Tuesday, June 18, 2013
AUGUSTA -- The cost of getting a copy of criminal and civil complaints, accident reports and other documents from the Police Department would triple, from $5 to $15, under a proposal from the police chief.
The cost of being fingerprinted -- without being arrested -- also would increase, from $10 to $20.
Those fees have not increased since at least 1981.
The fee increases recommended by Chief Robert Gregoire are up for discussion by the City Council tonight at its meeting, which begins at 6:30 in council chambers at Augusta City Center.
Gregoire, in a memo, said the fee for citizens to obtain copies of public safety documents hasn't increased in more than 30 years.
Members of the public seeking copies of public safety documents such as accident reports and criminal and civil complaints now are charged $5 for the first five pages and 25 cents for every additional page.
The proposal would increase the charge for the first five pages to $15.
"The requirement and demand on the Police Department for documentation is ever-increasing," Gregoire said. "These incidents require officer time to investigate and complete the reports as well as clerical staff time to research and print out the documents. These documents are often mailed out, requiring envelopes and postage fees. Supplies for reproduction equipment and contracts have increased significantly since the $5 fee was set prior to 1981."
People go to the police to be fingerprinted for employment, licensing and adoption requirements. The fingerprinting, Gregoire said, must be done by a sworn police officer, not clerical staff.
Councilors also are scheduled to hear a presentation by Plymouth Engineering on a proposal to connect the Kennebec River Rail Trail to the city's Waterfront Park, both of which are on the west side of the Kennebec River. The trail now ends under Memorial Bridge, by the Maine State Housing Authority parking lot.
City Engineer Lionel Cayer said the proposal, for which state and federal grant funds are being sought, would connect the trail and the nearby park by a 10-foot-wide multi-use trail, some of which would run along the riverfront and require construction of a benched retaining wall.
Councilors also are scheduled to discuss potential new street names proposed by the E911 Street Name Subcommittee.
The committee studied ways to eliminate confusing or similar-sounding street names and was asked to recomend names for new roads being added as part of the new Exit 113 interchange.
Their proposed names include Calumet Connector for the Route 3 connector from Interstate 95 to North Belfast Avenue, and Calumet Roundabout for the eastern traffic circle associated with the Exit 113 modifications.
However, in a memo to city councilors, subcommittee members note those proposed new names have some challenges.
"The Calumet Connector and Calumet Roundabout would not be connected to the bridge named 'Calumet Bridge at Old Fort Western,'" committee members warn in the memo. "They would be connected to the bridge named 'Cushnoc Crossing,' which is the new bridge crossing the Kennebec River and is not near Cushnoc Drive or Cushnoc Circle."
Keith Edwards -- 621-5647