Commissioners Regular Meeting
Commissioner Shea opened the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, October 24, 2008 with commissioners Lawson and Brown in attendance.
Adjustments to the Agenda:
MOTION: to add the approval of the jail 6month and bi-anneal budget as item 5-i. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: move to add agenda item 3-f, a request to purchase airport uniform shirts. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: move to add agenda item 11-a, a reallocation of funds for the Hancock County Firefighters Association. (Shea/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: Adjustment 1-C – address line item changes in the 2009 budget. (Brown/Shea 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the minutes of the September 9, 2008 Commissioners Regular Meeting, September 15, 17, 19, and 24th Commissioners Budget Workshops, the September 29, 2008 Public Hearing and the October 1st Special Meeting. (Lawson/Shea 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: move approval of the October 15th Commissioners Special Meeting. (Shea/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
- Commissioner Shea has spoken with Auditor Kathy Tyson regarding using 2008 Community Corrections and Adult Program funds in the 2008 budget. He wanted to clarify the use these funds for jail expenditures in the 2008 budget.
MOTION: move that the county commissioners go on the record as stating that the Community Correction and Adult Education reimbursement received in 08 will be expended for the operation of the jail in 2008. (Shea/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY:
- As the EMA monthly report was distributed prior to the meeting, and there were other pressing issues affecting the emergency management staff, no presentation was given.
MOTION: move to accept the emergency management monthly report. (Brown/Shea 3-0, motion passed)
- The Emergency Management Agency requested the commissioners appoint a board of review for the emergency preparedness plan. This group is charged with the duty of reviewing and making suggested changes, annually, to the Emergency Preparedness Plan.
- Commissioner Brown asked who currently participated on this board. The clerk stated the board consisted of department heads. Commissioner Brown stated he also attended these meetings.
MOTION: authorize a annual review of the Emergency Preparedness plan. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
- Commissioner Shea wanted it noted that because there was no appropriation in the FY09 budget, it would be appropriate to use the county building reserve funds if security expenditures are needed.
- Commissioner Lawson stated the EPP needed a careful review as it was lacking in detail.
- Bids for ARFF tooling and responder personal protective equipment were opened on October 21, 2008. Five bids were received. The low bid was $39,568.00 by Fire Tech & Safety of Winslow Maine. It was explained that Fire Tech & Safety did not include 9 units of dry chemical replacement in their bid but submitted the additional price of $1,125.00, making the total $40,693.00. A discussion followed regarding the change of bid subsequently to the bid opening time. The bidder did not know what the other bids were. Commissioner Shea stated the importance of doing things ethically correct. It was stressed that Fire Tech & Safety did not know the amounts of the other four proposals.
- Airport Manager Cossette stated there is approximately $10,000.00 worth of additional equipment needed. He requested an addition to this bid and to negotiate with the low bidder, the addition of these items. He was instructed to put the additional items out to bid.
MOTION: move to award the aircraft rescue fire fighting equipment bid to Fire Tech & Safety in the amount of $40,693.00. (Lawson/Shea 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: move the hire of Eugene F. Hersom III of Deer Isle, Tyler D. Kennedy of Hancock and Benjamin B. Verburgt of Whitneyville as full-time airport rescue firefighters, additionally, the hire of Joshua E. George or Orland and Ronald E. Stevenson of Knox as part-time/on call airport rescue firefighters, effective October 13, 2008. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
- Airport Manager Cossette requested to increase the Step/Grade of full-time ARFF employees from step 8-A to 8-C, upon completing their 6-month probationary period and training.
- Airport Manager Cossette requested that the starting wage for part-time ARFF personnel be the same as full-time ARFF personnel. He stated that the employees hired for this job have the exact same qualifications and were all hired on the same day. The only difference is that three were hired full-time and two were hired part-time.
- Commissioner Shea asked if the part-time employees would receive the same annual step increases as the full-time employees. The answer was yes.
- Commissioner Brown asked if we would have to change our policy to make this change. The answer was yes.
- Commissioner Lawson stated that with the part-time employees, the commissioners may want to have a different starting wage.
- The commissioner were in agreement that all employees should be treated equal.
- District Attorney Povich suggested meeting with the department heads to obtain input from them. Commissioner Shea suggested tabling the part-time salary request until input is received from the department heads.
- Airport Manager Cossette withdrew his part-time wage request.
MOTION: to approve the salary of full-time ARFF personnel at Step 8-A, $12.62 per hour, upon completion of their probation period ARFF employees will be increased to Step 8-C $13.79. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: move to approve the Securitas Security Services for an additional year at the same terms and conditions as last year and to allow the chairman to sign the agreement. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
- Airport Manager Cossette spoke briefly about a wetlands mitigation project for the runway safety area, which has been recommended by the Maine Fish and Game Department. The project would include replacing two culverts under Route 230 in Trenton. MeDOT will be responsible to obtaining rights of way from adjacent landowners.
- The project will take place in two phases. Phase 1 will include title work, property owner reports, right of way mapping, appraisal, appraisal review, and negotiations. Phase 2 will cover the final elements including actual purchase of the easements and issues related to the purchase. MeDOT estimates phase 1 at, not to exceed $40,000.00. The entire project is considered FAA eligible. Airport funds may be needed for this project but FAA and State reimbursement will be requested on the next project.
- Airport Manager Cossette recommended that the commissioners authorize the Airport Manager to negotiate an agreement with MeDOT for phase 1 and that he bring the agreement back to the commissioners for approval at a future meeting.
MOTION: move to authorize/confirm approval of the idea of Phase 1, which includes the right of way mapping, appraisal, appraisal review and other proposed items. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
- Assistant Airport Manager Navia requested the purchase uniform shirts for airport employees, which include the airport logo. Two quotes have been obtained. Sweat shirts and other shirt styles can be purchased by employees at their own expense.
MOTION: move approval to purchase 18 uniform shirts at a cost of $15.64 per shirt, from Cutler Custom Embroidery. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
- Bids for two-way radios will be sent out shortly. Unfortunately, two of the radios on the ARFF vehicle were ultra-ultra high frequency, which can not be used locally. A base unit is needed for the airport managers’ office and maintenance shop and five portables are needed. The purchase of said radios was provided for in the original grant proposal.
MOTION: move to authorize the airport manager to solicit proposals for the necessary radios and once he has proposals that he feels meets his RFP, to review them with the chairman and authorize purchase so we can have them as soon as possible. (Shea/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
- Assistant to the District Attorney, Administrative Assistant Terry Campbell requested to increase the work week of Detective Liaison Steve McFarland from 32.5 to 35 hours a week thus increasing his FY09 payroll to $38,930.00 annually.
- Commissioner Shea preferred to wait until next year to make this transition. District Attorney Povich viewed this as a ministerial mistake. The original figures were given to the commissioners and were recalculated at the wrong weekly rate. The increase in Mr. McFarland’s salary over the current request would be $3,846.00.
- FICA, WC, HI and Retirement figures were discussed. Commissioner Lawson agreed with commissioner Shea and suggested putting this request off for another year. District Attorney Povich strongly opposed this suggestion.
- Commissioner Brown agreed with District Attorney Povich and suggested accommodating District Attorney Povich’s request.
MOTION: move to approve the request of the District Attorney. (Brown/Shea 3-0, motion passed)
- Jail Administrator Dannenberg distributed spreadsheet reflecting an increase in jail board for September 2008. The loss of revenue due to the opening of the Somerset County Jail was discussed.
MOTION: move to confirm the transfer of part-time corrections officer Donna Miles of Otis to the position of temporary full-time corrections officer effective September 13, 2008 at Step 9-A, $13.60 per hour, to the end of December 2008. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: move to accept the resignation of corrections officer Amy Megno, effective September 29, 2008. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: move the promotion of part-time corrections officer Nancy Holmes of Waltham to temporary full-time effective October 24, 2008 at Step 9C $14.43 per hour, to the end of December 2008. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: move the promotion of part-time corrections officer James Gallacher of Winterport to a full-time corrections officer, effective October 25, 2008 at Step 9C $14.43 per hour. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to accept the resignation of part-time corrections officer Darren Nadeau, effective October 2, 2008. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: move to accept the resignation of full-time corrections officer Robert Courtot, effective October 24, 2008and retain his status as a part-time corrections officer at $12.00 per hour, effective October 25, 2008. (Lawson/Shea 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: move to approve the hiring of part-time corrections officer Amy Jo Smith of Ellsworth effective October 25, 2008 at the rate of $12.00 per hour. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: move to table the 6-month and bi-anneal jail budget discussion until later in the day. (Shea/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Malcolm Ulmer from MCCA Risk Pool and his associate Derek O’Dell discussed a proposal for health insurance coverage for county employees.
- Price comparisons between MMEHT and Meritain Health were distributed. A renewal cost of $915,750.35 was listed under the current provider. Under the worst case scenario, Mr. Ulmer projected the cost of health insurance, under the Meritain Health plan to cost approximately $869,070.85 in FY09.
- Savings with Meritain Health was estimated at $46,000.00 in FY09. If claims prove to be less, the savings would be substantially greater. The current levels of coverage; co-pays life time max benefits and out of pocket expenses were assured by Mr. Ulmer.
- The proposal did not include approximately $40,000.00 for the cost of life insurance and income protection. The company who provides these services would like confirmation from of the county before submitting their final information.
- Waldo County is very happy with their current coverage and has experienced a minimum savings of approximately $105,000.00 over what was paid in FY07.
- Claims processing is handled by Meritain Health, which is a nationally recognized third party administrator. There are numerous networks to choose from. Mr. Ulmer would look at the networks that best meet the needs of the county and surrounding areas.
- This partially self-funded, managed health care plan would cover all cost of the plan and the difference would be used to maintain the claims. Instead of sending approximately $72,000.00 to the insurer, the county would be sending roughly the same amount of funds to a county account and then approximately $16,000.00 each month is sent to Meritain Health to cover the associated cost of running the program, including the re-insurance. The retained difference is what is used to pay claims. Essentially, the county is maintaining the funds and supporting the re-insurance on two different levels by using specific re-insurance.
- If one individual or one family that is insured under the plan reaches $75,000.00 in medical claims in one year, from that point and above, specific re-insurance picks up the cost. The program can not be run into the ground because one employee has a serious medical condition.
- Mr. O’Dell encouraged the commissioners to include the savings from the plan in a designated reserve account for future years. Savings could also be used to pay down insurance or pre-pay. The idea of the product is to build up the account to accommodate spikes, improving benefits or to pay for claims.
- Waldo County is planning on funding their FY09 plan at close to the FY08 level. The proposed plan gives the county the ability, on many different levels, to control the health benefits, enhancements can be added to the plan such as the purchase a medical debit card. There are a number of different options available.
- Banking would need to be established along with other functions, which make the program work. The county would essentially setting up an insurance company for itself.
- Employees would continue to carry medical and prescription cards that are recognized throughout the county and state. There would be no changes to benefits if an employee became ill outside of the State of Maine. The plan mirrors the current plan but instead of sending all the funds off to the insurer, the county keeps the majority of the funds.
- Commissioner Brown questioned the cost of life insurance and income protection. Worst case scenario, it would cost the same as our current plans. The cost is approximately $20 to $30 thousand dollars. Under the current plan, life insurance is provided through Prudential Insurance Company.
- Mr. Ulmer stressed that a commitment to the plan is needed immediately and a payment in the amount of $16,000.00 would need to be made immediately. This payment would be for January 2009. Once this is received, Meritain Health would begin working on the plan documents, enrollment paperwork, putting their team together that would work on this account, and scheduling a December open enrollment. Employees will receive insurance and prescription cards by January 1, 2009. Meritain Health will meet with the employees and explain coverage’s. Telephone numbers will be distributed and a web site is available to answer further questions. There will be no lapse in coverage.
- Meritain Health is a 3rd party administrator; they are not an insurance company. They are the company that is hired to pay claims and manage medical cases, they are responsible for placing the re-insurance for catastrophic health. Worst case scenario, Meritain places stop loss coverage which limits the county’s contribution to a self funded plan, it becomes at $671,276.05 a standard traditional insurance plan where everything would be paid for, and the county would stop paying. It is one of the top 5 TPA’s in the United States and have been in business for a very long time.
- A $16,000.00 payment to Meritain Health would be paid prior to January toward the January 2009 bill. A bank account, with a minimal opening balance, would also need to be established. 1/12th of $869,070.85 would need to be deposited sometime in January 2009.
- Waldo County is issued a monthly bill, but the entire year could be paid on day one or quarterly payments could be established.
- Employee orientation will be done in a timely manner. Shifts would be set up to accommodate employee schedules and spouses are encouraged to attend. Information can be obtained prior to orientation.
MOTION: move that in 2009, we engage Meritain Health to provide our health insurance coverage for our employees and to authorize the chairmen to spend time with the clerk and treasurer to decide which account $16,000.00 will come from so we can cover that out of our 2008 budget. It is important that life insurance and income protection is included in the plan so that the commissioners are sure that they have a policy that is 100% compatible or better than what is currently offered. (Shea/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
11:10 a.m.: Break
11:21 a.m.: Back in session
MOTION: move to approve payroll warrants #08-36, #08-37, #08-38 and #08-39 in the amount of $281,832.92. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: move to approve expense warrants #008-028, #008-029 and #008-031 in the amount of $593,026.15. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Brown stated that we were still paying $3.70 per gallon for gas at Dead River during the month of September. Commissioner Shea suggested contacting Dead River Company to inquire what we are paying per gallon.
MOTION: move to approve the Unorganized Township Warrant #3 in the amount of $3,354.77. (Brown/Shea 3-0, motion passed)
- Commissioner Shea expressed his concern that the treasurers’ office will become overly busy at the end of the year. He requested that department heads submit their FY08 end of year expenses prior to January 1, 2009.
MOTION: move to send a letter to the department heads requesting that end of year bills be submitted to the treasurers’ office by January 1, 2009 or no later than January 15, 2009. (Brown/Shea 3-0, motion passed)
- Deputy Treasurer, Renee Atwater requested additional compensation, in the amount of $125.00 gross per week, while acting in place of the treasurer.
- Commissioner Brown asked how long Mrs. Atwater had been Deputy Treasurer. She answered approximately 5 ½ years. He stated that by statute, she is already doing what is required by law.
- Commissioner Shea stated this is a manageable request of the budget.
- Commissioner Shea stated that the clerk’s office should be informed of treasurers’ office closures.
MOTION: Commissioner Brown stated that the deputy treasurer is doing the job as deputy treasurer now that she has been paid for the past 5 ½ years to do. His opinion was that if the number of hours were not increased, no additional compensation is needed. He was concerned with the office hours. It is suppose to be open from 8:00 to 4:00 and he was concerned that this has not been done. (Brown/ Shea 1-2, motion died)
MOTION: move to award an increase of $100.00 per week to the Deputy Treasurer, per week, while acting in the capacity of County Treasurer. (Lawson/Shea 2-1, motion passed) Brown opposed)
MOTION: move approval to add the deputy treasurer to the registry of deeds bank account. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: move approval to temporarily add the county clerk to the bank signature card. (Shea/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
- Director Dunno went over her monthly report, in detail, with the commissioners.
- Commissioner Shea asked Director Dunno to explain the synchronization process. This is a tool that synchronizes all the equipment in the dispatch center.
- Medical Priorities, a system used by the County of Hancock, has been chosen as the state wide emergency medical dispatch system. Certification cost $45.00 per employee, and will be reimbursed by the state.
- Director Dunno requested the following appointments to the RCC technical committee:
Robert McKenney (member at large)
Chris Holmes (Hancock FD)
Joe Wardwell (Bagaduce Ambulance Co.)
Geoff Miller (Peninsula Ambulance Co.)
Dispatch representative from the RCC.
Jim Malloy (Gouldsboro PD)
CD Richard Biship
Ira Kronish (Memorial Ambulance)
- Director Dunno stated that many members felt that only participating RCC members should be allowed to sit on the committee.
- Commissioner Brown asked if Frank Myatt of Dedham and Byron Vinton of Bucksport have been interviewed. Director Dunno stated she has contacted all the potential appointees and they have agreed to serve. Commissioner Brown felt that both these gentlemen should be allowed to be on the committee.
- Commissioner Shea suggested adding Mr. Myatt and Mr. Vinton to the committee.
MOTION: move make the technical committee and 11 member committee and approve the appointments of Robert McKenney, Chris Holmes, Joe Wardwell, Geoff Miller, a dispatch representative, Jim Malloy, CD Richard Bishop, and EMA representative, Ira Kronish, Frank Myatt and Byron Vinton to the RCC technical committee. (Brown/Shea 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: move the promotion of temporary/part-time employee Freda Moore to regular/part-time at 20 hours per week. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
12:15 p.m.: Break for lunch.
12:52 Back in session.
MOTION: move to approve a snow contract extension for Townships 22 and 28 with Randy Perry of Cherryfield at a cost of $11,999.00. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: move approval of a snow contract extension for Township 9 to Jeff Albee at the same cost as the previous year. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: move approval of a snow contract extension for Township 8 to Patrick Jordan, at the same cost as the previous year. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: move a snow contract extension for Township 7 to Rowland Robinson, at the same cost as the previous year. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
RCC Supervisor discussion:
Union Representative Kenneth Eaton and Dispatcher Ralston Means III were in attendance to discuss the position of RCC Supervisor.
- Commissioner Shea stated that this position had been discussed in a prior meeting and the commissioners were not amenable to the request. Dispatcher Means stated that if something happened to the current director, there is no one assigned to back up her position.
- EMD protocol calls for consistent monitoring of calls. Quality control needs to be maintained. 13 out of the 16 counties have a supervisor in their dispatch center.
- Commissioner Shea stated that the position was not included in the FY09 departmental budget request and explained that a stipend was included in a prior year budget.
- Commissioner Shea stated that the previous request increased the supervisor two steps above a dispatcher, it also called for the same comp time policy afforded to patrol supervisors.
- Commissioner Shea explained the significant difference in overtime earned by dispatchers vs. other employees throughout the county. Dispatcher Means did not agree with his explanation.
- Commissioner Lawson wanted clarification as to what Dispatcher Means was asking for, a supervisor plus an additional employee or just a supervisor. Dispatcher Means stated that it would have to be negotiated. Less overtime would be available with the hire of a 7th dispatcher.
- Commissioner Shea stated that one way to meet the request was to hire an additional person but that person would not be tied to the current schedule.
- Mr. Eaton suggested the 7th dispatcher fall under the schedule and the supervisor fall under a more flexible schedule. Director Dunno was more amenable to Mr. Eaton’s scenario.
- Commissioner Shea suggested a tentative agreement be made between the union and the commissioners and that the scenario be brought before the BAC.
- Scheduling was discussed. Commissioner Shea suggested that the employees of the RCC work out a concept with the Director and he will apprise the BAC of the progress being made.
- Commissioner Brown was not amenable to the proposal.
- Commissioner Lawson stated the group would have to give up some overtime in order to commit to the idea.
- Commissioner Brown stated that the BAC has requested that the county find out how much it would cost to have another source dispatch for Hancock County.
- Commissioner Brown stated there will be a reduction in PSAP’s in the state of Maine. He was not sure where the reductions would be made but voiced his concerns that changes are on the horizon.
REGISTRY OF DEEDS:
- As the register could not attend the meeting, she submitted her report prior to the meeting.
- The clerk stated that Linda Grindle, of the Ellsworth Historical Society, requested a discussion on the addition of a barrier behind the Historical Society. The commissioners were not amenable to her request and agreed that a barrier would not be placed at the back of the building.
MOTION: move that we deny the request of the Historical Society as it would be an impediment to parking and snow removal. (Shea/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
- The Hancock County Firefighters Association requested that $1,093.98 be reallocated from the building reserve account 70-400 to the training reserve account 70-900. This transfer will cover an existing overdraft in the training reserve account and will not effect association operations.
MOTION: move approval of the HCFA transfer request of $1,093.97 from account 18-70-400 to account 18-70-900. (Shea/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
Jail and Sheriff budget modifications:
MOTION: move to approve the 6 month jail budget for January through June 2009. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: move to approve the proposed jail budget from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010 in the amount of $2,002,487.00. (Shea/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: move to approve the proposed jail budget from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011 in the amount of $2,071,562.00. (Shea/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
The commissioners discussed the following changes in the proposed FY09 budget:
MOTION: to approve the wage for the sheriff’s administrative assistant in the amount of $35,618.00. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
A discussion followed regarding a spread sheet submitted by Sheriff Clark which included suggested changes to his personnel services accounts.
MOTION: move to make the following modifications to depart 10, the sheriff’s budget: change line item 1-102 Administrative Assistant to $35,618.00, line item 1-130 Regular to $384,603.00, change the detective line item 1-142 to $53,348.00, yielding a new personnel services cost of $668,320.00. Change 5-100 FICA to $51,127.00, change 5-200 Retirement to $13,950.00, change 5-300 Health Insurance to $144,592.00 and change Workers Comp to $17,682.00, leaving an employee cost subtotal of $227,252.00 and a revised sheriff’s department expense of $1,184,272.00. (Shea/Lawson 3-0, motion passed) For a total increase of 7.11%
- Commissioner Shea stated that a question was raised concerning account 10-70-100 Equipment. The Sheriff’s Administrative Assistant, Michelle Cote, explained that account 50-420 Bullet Proof Vest currently has a balance of $6,784.71. On July 24, 2008 a transfer of $5,000.00 was made from the Equipment Account 10-70-100. On April 4, 2008 $1,784.71 was brought forward from 2007, thus producing an ending balance of $6,784.71 in account 10-50-420.
- Account 10-70-100 Equipment had a starting balance of $10,000.00 in FY08; a transfer was made in the amount of $5,000.00 to account 10-50-420 Bulletproof Vest account and $485.20 was posted from the Technology Account 70-200, on July 24, 2008, leaving an ending balance of $5,485.20.
- Currently, account 70-200 Technology has a zero balance.
- Commissioner Lawson suggested listing the bullet proof vests as a sub-account under account 10-10-100 Uniforms.
During the last BAC meeting, Sheriff Clark requested that account 13-07-100 be increased to $3,000.00.
MOTION: move to increase account 13-07-100 from $1,500.00 to $3,000.00. (Lawson/Shea 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Shea questioned CD Bishop regarding Civil Process overtime. It was explained that officers do not have time available to deliver these orders.
MOTION: move to fund account 13-01-500 Overtime at zero. (Brown/Shea 2-0-1, motion passed) Lawson abstained.
MOTION: move to adjourn. (Brown/Shea 3-0, motion passed)