Commissioners Regular Meeting

Commissioner Shea called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:04 a.m. on Tuesday, September 9, 2008in the conference room at the county courthouse in Ellsworth with commissioners Lawson and Brown in attendance. 

  • Tremont Town Manager Millard Billings requested that the commissioners review boundaries of a Tremont road that has lost, or doubtful, boundaries.  Town of Tremont has reclaimed and resurfaced the Flat Iron Road, and increased the size of the road from 21 to 24 feet.  The town surveyed the road and found there is no record of said road in town or state records.  Mr. Billings asked the commissioners to follow MRSA Title 23 in order to move forward with this process.
  • District Attorney Michael Povich suggested the following guidelines:  the town should file a formal petition, the commissioners will schedule a date and time to view the road and conduct a preliminary hearing in the Tremont town office, the commissioners will decree an order laying out the boundaries of the road, schedule a second hearing to hear objections from the public on the final boundaries.  If disputed, the appeal would go to Superior Court.

9:20 a.m.
MOTION: move to go into executive sessions to discuss a registry of deeds contractual issue. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

10:22 a.m.
MOTION: move to come out of executive session. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

10:30: 15 minute recess
10:40: Back in session


MOTION: move to approve the minutes of the August 11, 2008 commissioners regular meeting and the August 27, 2008 commissioners special meeting, as presented. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


  • The report was distributed prior to the meeting. Commissioner Shea addressed the question of the health officer expressing his concern that the State of Maine may try to use the public health districts to pull the county EMA offices into districts that would be directly administered by the state and not the counties.


MOTION: move to ratify approval for the hire of Mary Allison Navia of Blue Hill as the assistant airport manager, effective Saturday, August 30, 2008.  This will be an exempt position and have a starting salary of $37,000.00. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to authorize Commissioner Brown and Airport Manager Cossette to review proposals for a new boiler and recommend the company they feel best meets the requirements of the proposal. (Shea/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

  • Airport Manager Cossette briefed the commissioners on the status of transitioning from class III to class I certification.  A reimbursement agreement between the airport and Colgan Air has been reached for the cost of certification.  The contingency in the plan is that Pinnacle Airlines Board of Directors has to approve the agreement as a matter of formality.  The agreement calls for Colgan to reimburse the airport for class I certification costs for the next two years.
  • A grant offer from the FAA has been received for the purchase of an Index “A” ARFF vehicle and the purchase of vehicle tooling and fire fighter personnel protective equipment.  The total amount of the grant application is $450,000.00 with $427,500.00 coming from the FAA.  $11,250.00 from the State and $11,250.00 from the Airport.  The cost of the ARFF vehicle is $160,000.00.

MOTION: move to accept the $450,000.00 grant offered by the FAA recognizing that the FAA portion will be $427,500.00, the state portion will be $11,250.00 and the airport portion will be $11,250.00 and to authorize the chairman to sign said agreement. (Lawson/Shea 3-0, motion passed)

  • An advertisement for ARFF personnel has produced several inquires.  Mr. McKenney has completed an operating schedule using a 1 on 2 off approach.  The schedule calls for 12-17 hour days utilizing 3 employees. Airport Manager Cossette does not feel that 3 employees will be adequate during winter operations and respectfully requested to employ 4 full time ARFF/Emergency Medical Services personnel.  There will be six operations a day from Colgan Air.  ARFF employees will be available from 6:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.
  • Airport Manager Cossette stated the commissioners might want to increase the availability of the part-time maintenance employees.
  • Commissioner Shea asked if Bob McKinney could be used in a part-time administrative capacity with the ARFF personnel.  Mr. Cossette would rather have a full time employee handle those duties.
  • Airport Manager Cossette was very concerned with winter snow removal and recommended that a part-time person could be hired in the winter months to plow snow.
  • The airport budget review will be scheduled for November.
  • Airport Manager Cossette stated his last fuel diesel fuel oil bill was $1,400.00 and his electricity bill was $2,000.00.  Commissioner Shea suggested working with an energy auditor.
  • Airport Manager Cossette presented the commissioners with a reimbursement agreement between the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport and Colgan Air, Inc.  The agreement called for payment of $24,639.58 on or before the first day of each month for the period November 1, 2008 through October 31, 2009 with the first payment being due on or before November 1, 2008.  Further, Colgan agrees to pay the airport the sum of $23,209.17 on or before the first day of each month for the period November 1, 2009 through October 31, 2010 with the first payment being due on or before November 1, 2009.

MOTION: move to approve the agreement between the County of Hancock and Colgan Air for reimbursement of class I certification, said document was approved with the addition of a place added for the chairman’s signature. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

  • Airport Manager Cossette suggested starting the ARFF personal wage at $13.00 per hour and at end of 6 months their wage would increase to $14.00 per hour.  Commissioner Shea suggested tying their salaries into the wage scale.


MOTION: move to approve the Unorganized Territory warrant #2 in the amount of $4,099.25. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to approve payroll warrants #08-032, #08-33, #08-34, and #08-035 in the amount of $260,684.63. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

  • Commissioner Shea suggested adding a discussion to the October agenda, regarding surcharge accounts.  The nepotism policy should also be reviewed.

MOTION: move to approve expense warrants #008-025, #008-026, and #008-027 in the amount of $545,140.97. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

  • Treasurer Crowley stated that a specific department is constantly requesting a hand written check and insists that bills be paid immediately.  She would like the department managers to be reminded that the writing of a hand written check is an emergency gesture offered in times of special needs by the treasurers’ office and not intended for daily requests.

MOTION: move that a memo be written to the department heads reminding them that expenses are paid on a biweekly warrant and that all expenses should be paid by such a warrant.  Hand written checks are written on an emergency basis only. (Shea/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


  • Sheriff Clark distributed the jail board report for August 2008, prior to the meeting, which reflected an increase in revenue.  The commissioners commended the jail administrator’s diligence in searching for jail board revenues.


  • Commissioner Shea discussed the possibility distributing prescription drug cards to the citizens of Hancock County.
  • In order to participate in the NACo prescription drug card program, the county would be required to join NACo at a cost of approximately $1,070.00 per year.  County Rx provides this service free of cost.
  • In researching both programs, Commissioner Shea recommended joining the County Rx program.
  • Commissioner Shea suggested promoting the County Rx drug plan via media.  Commissioner Lawson requested to have cards printed with the county logo.

MOTION: move to have 10,000 County Rx cards printed to include the county logo. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

  • Cards will be made available at town offices and all county offices.


MOTION: move to remove administratively, part-time dispatcher, Keisha Kelliher from the county employment roll. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

  • MCCA Risk Pool executive Malcolm Ulmer stated, via e-mail, that he had a number of concerns with the Cadillac Mountain communications site document and has referred it to council.

MOTION: move to table the Cadillac Mountain Communications Contract. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • Dispatcher Ralston Means explained that Jim Arseneau from Waldo County will be installing a synchronization system in order to synchronize the Spillman, 9-1-1- system and the radios.  The cost of this service is $75.00 per hour.
  • Dispatcher Ralston Means requested authorization to attend a Spillman training / conference in Salt Lake City Utah October 5th through October 10th, 2008.  The total cost, including the conference, airfare, hotel and meals would be approximately $1,822.50.  He explained that conference fees could be built into annual maintenance fees.  The commissioners suggested adding these expenses to the departmental budget.  Commissioner Shea suggested that Director Dunno work with the Sheriff in covering these expenses.

MOTION: move to approve the request of Ralston Means to attend a Spillman training / conference in Salt Lake City Utah October 5th through October 10th, 2008, contingent on the funds coming from the existing RCC budget. (Shea/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


  • Register Curtis updated the commissioners on progress in the Registry of Deeds.


  • Facilities Director, Richard Davis updated the commissioners on the health and condition of the trees between the jail and district attorneys office.  He stated that due to extensive root rot, the trees now need to be cut down.
  • He was directed to contact other tree surgeons for pricing to cut down the trees.  Replanting of new trees can be done in the spring.

12:45: Break for lunch
1:35 p.m.: Back from lunch


  • An Order was received from Superior Court remanding the commissioners to reconsider its opinion rendered on the Brower v. the Town of Dedham tax appeal.  The commissioners were advised to consider the parcels in question as one parcel.
  • Commissioner Brown felt that the commissioners should remand the matter back to the town for consideration.
  • Commissioner Shea felt there was no need to hold another hearing.  He suggested adding the item to the October agenda for discussion and resolution.  All associated parties will be notified of the resolution discussion date and time.

MOTION: move to schedule a discussion/resolution of the Howard Brower v. the Town of Dedham tax appeal, as remanded by Superior Court, for the October commissioners regular meeting.  (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

  • The Samsara v. the Town of Frenchboro Tax Appeal Hearing was rescheduled for the December 16th commissioners’ regular meeting at 1:00 p.m.
  • Commissioner Brown suggested holding a special meeting to hear the Ewing grievance hearing, the hearing was scheduled for September 29th at 5:00 p.m.  Presentations will be limited to 15 minutes.


  • The clerk requested permission for her and UT Supervisor Bunker to open a snow removal bid for Township #22 on September 16, 2008, as advertised.

MOTION: move to authorize Commissioner Brown, the county clerk and the UT Supervisor to open snow removal bids on September 16, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. and that the commissioners give authority to Commissioner Brown to approve said bids. (Shea/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • The clerk submitted a copy of the revised Employees with Working Spouses policy for commission signatures.

MOTION: move to approve the revised Employees with Working Spouses policy. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

  • Commissioner Shea stated Attorney Pellegrini was asked to look at the County Contracts policy, to include the commissioners’ responsibility with regard to surcharge accounts.  The current policy does not apply to the registry of deeds, probate and the jail surcharge accounts.  A revised policy was suggested by Mr. Pellegrini.

MOTION: move to approve the revised County Contracts policy with the following changes: All county contracts for goods and/or services rendered for the benefit of the county, or provided by the county,…(Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

2:23 p.m.
MOTION: move to adjourn. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

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