FARMINGTON — Selectmen appointed Stephen Eldridge of Monmouth as interim town manager Tuesday night, two weeks after voting to reopen the search for a permanent one. He will start Thursday.

Farmington selectmen Tuesday night appointed Stephen Eldridge of Monmouth as interim town manager. He is seen in 2015 when he was hired as town manager for Vinalhaven. Eldridge starts Thursday in Farmington. Submitted photo

Following a closed door session at the July 25 meeting, selectmen voted to reopen the search after a candidate withdrew for personal reasons.

Cornell Knight of Carrabassett Valley was hired as interim manager in February following the unexpected resignation of Christian Waller that month.

Eldridge is a retired town manager, Knight said. “His last full-time gig was for the town of Berwick; he was there six or seven years,” he said. “Previous to that he was manager in Lisbon, Rumford, Vinalhaven and Etna. He has a master’s in public administration, has done interim stints in Bethel; most recently he just finished last month in the town of Winthrop.”

Eldridge will be paid $600 a day, prorated for the time served.

There is a clause in the draft agreement stating either party can cancel after two weeks, if Farmington’s search goes longer than Eldridge wants, Knight indicated.


Selectmen also authorized requests from the Police and Fire departments.

Police Chief Kenneth Charles was given permission to enter an agreement with Franklin County Agricultural Society to provide police services during the Farmington Fair from Sept. 17-23.

According to the agreement, “Farmington Police Department will be reimbursed for all associated costs. The exact cost of the detail will be provided at the time of billing. Payment for services will be paid no more than two weeks following the conclusion of the fair. Based on the current schedule of 290.5 hours, the cost of the 2023 season is estimated at $17,116.62.”

Charles was also authorized to sell a utility trailer his department obtained through the military transfer program, in an effort to offset costs of upcoming vehicle purchases.

“It really never got used, it’s in fantastic shape,” Charles said.

Fire Chief TD Hardy was permitted to put the 2010 F-150 truck out for bid after the low bid for a new utility pickup truck was approved.


Specifications for the new truck were sent to six companies and three bids came back, Hardy said. They are:

• Ripley & Fletcher Ford, South Paris, 2024 Ford F-250 crew cab, $60,752.72.

• Ripley & Fletcher Ford, South Paris, 2023 Ford F-350 crew cab, $60,318.34.

• Hight Chevrolet, Farmington, 2024 Chevrolet 2500HD crew cab, $50,692.99.

“Hight is the best deal,” Hardy said.

Selectman Joshua Bell said he was pleased a local dealership was selected.

Proceeds from the sale of the 2010 pickup will go into the Fire Department Vehicle Reserve Account.

In other business, selectmen voted to send a request for legal services with responses due Aug. 29, Knight said.

Town attorney Amanda Meader has given a 45-day notice.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.