Franklin County courthouse building to reopen to public on March 29.

Donna M. Perry, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine
·2 min read

Mar. 16—FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted Tuesday to reopen the county courthouse building to the public March 29.

Franklin County is improving in regards to COVID-19 cases, county Clerk Julie Magoon said. With the county going into the budget process in mid-April, she suggested the building open in late March. People would need to adhere to COVID-19 protocol, including social distancing and wearing masks when entering and being in the building, she said.

The building has been closed to the public since mid-November. It was the second time it closed to the public because of pandemic. The first was in mid-March 2020. It reopened June 11, 2020.

In other business, IT systems director Jim Desjardins told commissioners the county's computer server needs to be updated. A server collects information and provides it to other computers within a network. The cost is $98,000, not including about $40,000 needed for software.

Commissioners Terry Brann of Wilton and Clyde Barker of Strong are aware of the situation, he said. Commissioner Lance Harvell of Farmington began his four-year term Jan. 1.

Desjardins said he tried to put more money away but the Budget Advisory Committee reduced the amount he requested. He has put $10,000 away each year and has $30,000 in a reserve account for the upgrade.

County staff went through all of the reserve accounts, Magoon said. There is $19,000 in an insurance reserve that can be used toward the upgrade, which brought the amount on hand to $49,000

Susan Black, county register of deeds, has about $100,00o in a surcharge account, Desjardins said.

Black said she would fund the rest of it through the account.

Franklin County Emergency Management Director Tim Hardy is also working on the next round of Homeland Security grants, Magoon said.

The software will need to be purchased next year, she said.

Commissioners voted to use the insurance money toward the purchase, and then voted to purchase the server equipment and authorized Desjardins to sign for it.