January 18, 2022

Brewer area towns Y2K-ready> Contingency plans include extra staffing, designated shelter

BREWER — The city has put together an extensive contingency plan for the century change.

“Each city department has reviewed the Y2K issues and feels the city is ready to move into the new millennium with little or no disruptions,” Mary Stuart, the city’s technology coordinator, wrote in her monthly report for November.

The plan calls for beefed-up staffing in the areas of law enforcement, fire protection and emergency communications, among other things. The city also has purchased a propane-powered generator for the public safety building on South Main Street.

Even before the ball drops, however, emergency response personnel will be keeping an eye on Y2K developments elsewhere in the world.

“As you know, the New Year will arrive several hours earlier in Europe and other parts of the world. FEMA is going to be broadcasting throughout the evening of Dec. 31 on CNN to inform us of the impact of Y2K on areas that experience it before us,” wrote Capt. Dan Green, the city’s civil emergency preparedness director, in a memo to Police Chief Steve Barker.

“I, as well as millions of other interested persons, will be keeping an eye on these broadcasts,” he wrote.

Should Brewer experience a widespread power outage or some other disaster, the Brewer Auditorium on Wilson Street will serve as the city’s designated shelter.


The town’s entire full-time public safety staff of two — public safety director James Ellis and Eugene Worcester, a Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department patrol officer assigned to the community — are scheduled to work New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

According to Ellis, the town recently bought a new generator for public safety purposes, but other than that it will take the same steps it does to prepare for a major storm or any other disaster. That will include making sure all emergency vehicles have full tanks of fuel and are ready to roll.

Though the emergency paging system has been deemed Y2K-compliant, the town will revert to its backup telephone “call-down list” should the system fail and should additional personnel need to be brought in.


All town computers here have been checked and deemed Y2K-compliant, according to Town Manager Pamela Violette. The town has not developed any special disaster plans, she said, as the region is not expected to experience any major problems.


Town Manager Dexter Johnson said this week the town has investigated its Y2K compliance and has been assured by its vendors and service providers that all municipal equipment — including town office computers — should weather the turn of the century without any glitches. No special plans have been made, he said.

The HoltraChem Manufacturing Co. plant in Orrington will be shut down during the hours just before and after the year change, plant manager David Baillargeon said late last month. Though none of the facility’s equipment is date-sensitive, he said, the plant will undergo a voluntary shutdown to allay any public concerns. The plant will resume normal operations early New Year’s Day.


This small Penobscot County community has no fire department or police department of its own — and a relatively new town office computer. Given those circumstances, Town Administrator Cindy Grant said Clifton has no need for a Y2K contingency plan.

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