Commissioners Regular Meeting

Commissioner Shea called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 11, 2007in the conference room at the County Courthouse in Ellsworth, with Commissioner Brown in attendance. Commissioner Lawson could not attend due to an injury suffered the previous day in an auto incident.

Tax Appeal Hearing – Wilkinson v. Town of Swan’s Island

By letter from Thomas J. Wilkinson Jr., the request for the tax appeal hearing of Wilkinson v. the Town of Swan’s Island was withdrawn.

Adjustments to the Agenda:

MOTION: move to add a discussion with the Register of Deeds between EMA and the Treasurers items. (Brown/Shea 2-0, motion passed)


MOTION: move to approve the minutes of the November13, 2007 Commissioners Regular Meeting, and November 28, 2007 Informational Meeting. (Brown/Shea 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move approval of the 2008 Non-Union Employee’s Holiday Calendar. (Brown/Shea 2-0, motion passed)

  • Commissioner Shea stated a letter has been received from Martin’s Ridge resident John Lasell, to which he enclosed a check for $500.00 and requested that the funds be used for Martin’s Ridge Road improvements. The commissioners appreciated his generosity, but was uncertain if they could accept the money.

  • Sheriff Clark reminded the commissioners that donated funds were accepted for an airport project in the past.

MOTION: move to thank Mr Lasell for his kindness and generosity and to accept his $500.00 check pending approval from the District Attorney, and to instruct the UT supervisor to utilize the funds for the Martins Ridge Road, and that the funds be spent in the 07-08 UT budget year. (Shea/Brown, 2-0 motion passed)

Discussion: Commissioner Brown would like to see the funds go towards a dump or a more charitable project in that area. Commissioner Shea reminded him that if money is accepted, it should be spent on the Martins Ridge Road.

Deferred Sentencing Update:

  • Dr. Richard Dimond gave the commissioners a brief update regarding the Deferred Sentencing Project. He submitted a revised request for $44,000.00 for “bridge funding” from February 1, 2008 through June 30, 2008. County funding for this project will be added to the January 2008 agenda.


  • Director Pinkham stated there will be 8-health regions established throughout the state and it was his impression that the county commissioners would be charged with specific duties associated with the Public Health Forum.


  • Register Curtis projected that John Simpson of MacImage of Maine would owe the county approximately $18,000 - $20,000 in internet fees for the 4th quarter of 2007. She spoke to Aptitude Solutions and has found they are not contractually obligated to MacImage of Maine. She is anticipating that Aptitude will take over the website by the middle of January 2008.


The following monthly bills and Warrants were presented for approval:

MOTION: move the approval of Payroll Warrants #07-44, #07-45, #07-46, #07-47 and #07-48 in the amount of $321,216.37. (Brown/Shea 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move the approval of Expense Warrants #007-036, #007-037 and #007-038 in the amount of $564,101.74. (Brown/Shea 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move approval of UT warrant #6 in the amount of $12,273.07. (Brown/Shea 2-0, motion passed)

  • Discussion: Commissioner Brown questioned why cruiser gas is not bid out. The Clerk was instructed to contact Dead River Company to see if federal taxes are taken from the gas bill prior to distribution. In follow-up to the above discussion, the clerk found that federal taxes are not charged to this account.

  • Treasurer Crowley requested authorization to transfer funds from the Employee Cost account to individual departments effected by union negotiations. She will have specific figures once department heads submit their transfer requests to her office.


MOTION: move the appointment of Richard Davis of Ellsworth as Facilities Director, effective September 8, 2007 with the salary for 2007 prorated for the 2008 budget. (Brown/Shea 2-0, motion passed)

  • Commissioner Shea expressed his appreciation to Mr. Davis for stepping in and taking over during a difficult time.

  • Director Davis reported that he has received a different opinion regarding the under ground tank inspection. He is awaiting word from the Department of Environmental Protection as to what needs to be accomplished in order to bring the tank up to code.

  • Director Davis gave a brief overview of his plan to install an air conditioner in the E-9-1-1 equipment room. Commissioner Brown suggested allowing fresh air into the room vs. an air-conditioner. Commissioner Shea suggested adding a louver to the window. An exhaust fan could also be used. This would run on a switch. Commissioner Shea suggested contacting Mid-Maine Ventilating for this service.

  • Director Davis informed the commissioners that an energy audit in process. Commissioner Brown felt the Jail boiler should already be efficient but had concerns about the Andrew Peters Office Building boiler.

MOTION: move to approve the removal of the electrical panels on the courthouse roof, expenditures to be taken from the courthouse reserve account. (Shea/Brown 2-0, motion passed)


MOTION: move revenues in the FY08 budget in the amount of $1,890,619.00, expenditures in the amount of $6,997,405.00 with transfers in the amount of $100,000.00 making the total FY2008 amount to be raised by taxation $5,006,786.00. (Brown/Shea 2-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Commissioner Brown stated that of all the county budgets he has seen, this is the first one in the minus category. Commissioner Shea stated that it was due to the department heads and the cost of health insurance going down.

Director Dunno stated revenue in her department needs to be addressed as the UT item would need to be changed. She also requested $1,000.00 in the travel account be reinstated.

MOTION: move an amendment to the motion to add the $1,000.00 back into the RCC travel account. (Shea/no 2nd, motion died for lack of 2nd.)

Commissioner Brown complimented /Commissioner Shea on his direction of this budget.


  • UT Supervisor Bunker presented the commissioners with a verbal monthly report and requested signatures for an Animal Control Contract, Ellsworth/T22, T28,T32 & T34 Trash Contract and the T22 Snow Contract.

MOTION: move to approve the Small Animal Clinic Animal Control Contract for 2008. (Shea/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to approve the Ellsworth/T22, T28, T32 and T34 Trash Contract. (Brown/Shea 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to approve the T22/Randy Perry Snow Contract. (Brown/Shea 2-0, motion passed)

Treasurer Crowley reported that the City of Ellsworth has declined her request to renew the township excise tax request due to the fact that it is not in their best interest. She will be contacting the State of Maine for further information. Commissioner Shea requested a letter be sent to the Ellsworth City Council requesting that they consider Treasurer Crowley’s request and notating that all other towns within the state mutually participate in this effort.


Patrol Lt. Patrick Kane was recognized for his 20-years of service with the County of Hancock. The Commissioners applauded his dedication and thanked him for his service.


  • Sheriff Clark distributed the jail board report for November 2007. He is confident that he will reach his 2007 projected revenues.

  • The state proposed jail take over was briefly discussed.

  • Sheriff Clark distributed a request for bids for two Ford Cruisers. He stated one vehicle will be traded in and the other will sold via the bid process.

  • Commissioner Brown questioned if the Sheriff has looked into more fuel efficient vehicles.

MOTION: move approval for the Sheriff to go out to bid for two Ford Cruisers. (Brown/Shea 2-0, motion passed)

  • Sheriff Clark informed the commissioners that the total cost to purchase 3 requested cameras is $14,340.00. Originally 8 cameras were applied for through a state grant, 5-were approved. One camera has been installed thus far.

MOTION: move approval to purchase 3 cruiser cameras from the Contract Reserve account #12-70-300 not to exceed $15,000. (Shea/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

RCC 9-1-1

  • As Director Dunno submitted her monthly report prior to the meeting, she asked if there were any question.

  • Commissioner Shea asked when we would start to receive bills regarding Cadillac Mountain. He was concerned that the state would retroactively bill the county.

  • Director Dunno gave a brief E-9-1-1 update. She stated that her telephone bill increased by 100% due to state mandated 3-way calling with no warning to the centers. She has spoken to state authorities regarding the matter.

  • Commissioner Shea questioned the progress of the Ellsworth Dispatch project. Director Dunno requested authorization for the telephone connection.

MOTION: move that we authorize Sierra Communications to connect the telephone lines between the County E-9-1-1 Center and the City of Ellsworth. (Shea/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

  • Director Dunno explained that she has spoken to Sheriff Clark regarding $2,500.00 that was added to his budget last year to cover his portion of Cadillac Mountain site. She would like to use these funds toward the recorder acquisition. Sheriff Clark has verbally agreed to her request. Treasurer Crowley reported that these funds were allocated to account 10-20-500, which has been used. This would leave the recorder purchase short by $3,650.00.

  • Commissioner Shea suggested authorizing an overdraft for RCC line item 07-20-200 or asking the recorder people to set up a fee schedule through FY09. Treasurer Crowley stated that the commissioners would have to approve a transfer from the overlay to cover the anticipated negative balance in the RCC departmental budget.

  • Treasurer Crowley stated transfers for pay raises have not been done, at this time. She suggested that after the payroll transfer is completed, there might be funds left over.

MOTION: move to approve an overdraft in the FY07 budget under RCC line item #07-20-200 in the amount of $3,000.00, to pay for the recorder, along with what is available in the FY08 budget. (Shea/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

Budget Workshop continued:

MOTION: move to approve the 2008-2009 Unorganized Territory Budget revenues in the amount of $29,562.00, Surplus (Estimate) $14,939.00, Less 10% of expenditures $19,500.00, which equals the Estimated Surplus Applied of $25,001.00, total deductions being $25,001.00, expenditures in the amount of $195,001.00, total amount to be raised by taxation $170,000.00. (Shea/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to increase the LD1 Cap to $170,000.00 for the 2008-2009 tax year. (Shea/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Commissioner Brown was concerned with the lack of control the County has over UT contracts.

MOTION: move to approve Airport revenues in the amount of $448,702.00, expenditures in the amount of $451,475.00. (Brown/Shea 2-0, motion passed)

Note: Funds to support the airport are not raised by taxation.

Discussion: Commissioner Brown stated he has recently read that enplanements at Bangor International have decreased by 80,000 passengers since 2002. He stated the trickle down effect is probably being felt at the Hancock County/Bar Harbor Airport and is in hopes that we can retain our 10,000 annual passenger limit.


MOTION: move to delay the $5.00 increase in health insurance contributions for all county employees with emphasis to Union employees that 2009 contributions as stated in the Union Contract will still apply. (Shea/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to approve the FY08 Health Insurance Buy-Out Policy as presented. (Brown/Shea 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to table the personnel policy workshop until Commissioner Lawson is available. (Shea/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to adjourn. (Brown/Shea 2-0, motion passed)

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