LIVERMORE — Fire Chief Donald Castonguay told selectmen Monday night that it may be time for the town to consider paying for faster police service when his department needs assistance.
“Last week there was a medical issue on the River Road. We performed CPR for about 40 minutes. It took the state trooper about an hour to get there,” he said.
State police provide coverage for the town in even-numbered months; the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office covers in odd-numbered months.
Castonguay said a few years ago Livermore Falls Police Chief Ernest Steward asked him about covering certain Livermore calls for a fee.
“I think it’s a good idea,” Castonguay said. “We don’t need them all the time. There are some instances where police are needed faster. We’re at the end of the county. It takes officers a long time to respond.”
Selectperson and Fire Department member Ben Guild said, “For a couple of calls, it made a big difference in an unsafe situation” on medical calls. “A couple of Livermore Falls guys came over, prevented an assault.”
“Overdoses are dangerous. You don’t know how they’ll react,” Castonguay said.
Selectperson Tom Gould suggested getting numbers for the Budget Committee and putting the issue before voters at town meeting.
“Estimate a little high,” he said. “If there were three or four, allocate for 10 calls. You don’t want to be short. You can always put money back. We could budget this year to year.”
Selectperson and Fire Department member Scott Richmond estimated there would be no more than five calls per year.
“That may change. Times are changing fast,” Deputy Town Clerk Jean Tardif said.
At a public hearing before the meeting, one person spoke about the proposed medical marijuana moratorium ordinance going before voters Nov. 6.
Resident Michael Weaver said he’s a firm believer in medical marijuana. He has a medical marijuana license.
“There are 42,000 patients in Maine. I may be the only one in Livermore, the only one here tonight,” Weaver said.
“This is just a pause. It gives us six months time for the Planning Board to figure out how and what the town can put into effect. It has no effect on any existing businesses,” Gould said.
Voters will decide whether to adopt the 180-day moratorium at the polls from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Town Office/Fire Station Complex, 10 Crash Road.