Commissioners Regular Meeting

Commission Chairman, Percy L. Brown, Jr. called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 10, 2009with Commissioners Lawson and Joy in attendance.

Adjustments to the Agenda:

MOTION: to add item 9-a, a discussion regarding a salt and sand issue associated with the Nicatous Road and to remove items 5-a and b and 7-a and b. from the agenda. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve the minutes of the February 3, 2009 commissioners’ regular meeting and the February 5th and 12th commissioners’ special meetings. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

At 9:05 a.m, Bangor Hydro representative, Steve Sloan updated the commissioners on the finalization of Bangor Hydro’s latest completed project. The Downeast Reliability Project, a new project intended to serve Hancock and Washington Counties was presented. A transition systems map was used to explain the flow of the project services. A 115 line/loop system has been proposed in order to create a full loop system which will build redundancy into the current system and create a backup. A switch station and sub-station will be built on or near the Tunk Lake Road. By building closer to the coast, the additional benefits will include significant capacity for future growth of towns. Efficiency improvements are being included in the project, thus enabling the generation of renewable energy. Economic growth potential is included in the plan. Funding for the project’s capital cost will come from Bangor Hydro. Recuperation funds will come from local and or regional transmission rates. Commissioner Lawson stated that local rates are the highest in the area and some legislators are considering dropping out of ISO-New England. A review of the project has been submitted to ISO-New England and an easement corridor is being sought. Approximately 1/3rd of the project outline has been built. Key state agencies, media, environmental and economic development groups have been contacted. Right-of-way acquisition would be obtained by fall 2010, DEP permitting will take approximately 6 months and multi town permission will be obtained prior to implementation. The proposed project completion date is scheduled for 2012.

  • Commissioner Lawson was concerned about the supply cost and how it related to users. She was assured the increase would be minimal to neutral.

Mr. Sloan explained the benefits of regional cooperation and added that the support of the county commissioners is always welcome.

Kelly Bellis gave a power point presentation on monument location preservation of the Calais Branch – Maine Central Railroad. He asked for commissioner support in preserving the location of the current concrete monument markers. An audio tape of the presentation is available, upon request. Commissioner Lawson wanted to know which enforcement agency was responsible for implementing penalties of the law affecting the destruction of the current monuments and suggested contacting the attorney generals office. Penalties associated with the crime are damages.

  • Commissioner Brown suggested sending an inquiry to the District Attorney as well as the Attorney Generals Office.
  • Commissioner Joy suggested a compromise of moving the monuments from the middle of the right-of-way to the side of the right-of-way.
  • Mr. Bellis requested the preservation and maintenance of the location, not necessarily the preservation of the original monuments.

MOTION: to send the four letters recommended by Bellis to and additional letters to the DA and Attorney General to inquire as to what they can do about enforcement of the laws on the books relating to LD 748. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)


  • As the Emergency Management Agency monthly report was presented prior to the meeting, Director Pinkham asked if there were any questions. No questions were asked.


  • Dick Ludders, Senior Vice-President and James B. Downar, Jr. of Hoyle Tanner and Associates presented the commissioners with a letter of explanation regarding the sequence of events leading up to their part in the ARFF building project. He clarified the need for the project and explained the Part 139 Certification requiring ARFF services and station requirements at the Hancock County Bar Harbor Airport. Funding of the project, in accordance with FAA criteria, was discussed.
  • Commissioner Joy questioned the return of funds from resident engineering, construction costs, and resident cost. The current construction estimate is 180 days. There is a possibility that the time frame could be between 90-100 days. Thus causing a return of estimated funds. Commissioner Joy questioned their point of continually making a return of funds on projects. Funds are not necessarily returned to the FAA; they are typically kept by the airport and used for other airport projects.
  • Commissioner Joy asked why Hoyle Tanner was privy to the independent estimator figures. Mr. Downar explained that they were not privy to those figures. The independent estimator submitted numbers based on a blank spreadsheet submitted by Hoyle Tanner, figures were entered by both companies and compared after both requests were received by Airport Manager Cossette, he in turn contacted Hoyle Tanner with the figures after they were received and compared.
  • Commissioner Brown asked why a design/build project could not be done at one time. The FAA requires that a professional design service be based on a qualification selection process. Consultant proposals are solicited every 3 years as per the FAA process. Several applicants were reviewed at that time.
  • Commissioner Joy questioned the complex nature of the building. Recharging of the ARFF truck, which utilized foam, requires pumps and tanks. Typically one charge is needed. Water supply is an issue due to the use of a well and sprinklers may be required in the building. Potential sleeping quarters may be incorporated into the design.
  • Funds for the project have to be obligated to the contractors by June 17, 2009.
  • Commissioner Joy asked if there would be any special air exchangers with in the building. The answer was yes. Air quality is very important to the design process and will be incorporated into the project.
  • Commissioner Brown questioned the need for a resident engineer. It was explained that this person was there to observe the construction, measure conformities and the control and testing of materials. Verification of materials to meet requirements is essential. It was explained that the FAA insists that this person be on site. $91,800.00 has been included in the project to cover his/her expenses. If the resident engineer were on site less than the projected 180 days, he/she will be paid less than the $91,800.000 that has been allotted. A qualified person within Hoyle Tanner may be available to oversee the job. All overhead is audited by the FAA annually.
  • Financial Manager, Philip Roy, voiced his concern regarding not utilizing the design/build concept with this project. The Clerk of the Works and engineering cost seemed excessive, in his opinion. He felt the design cost and construction were reasonable. He suggested taking a good hard look at the contract before going forward.
  • Commissioner Brown was hesitant to authorize anyone to enter into an engineering and architectural contract at this time.
  • Commissioner Joy felt the project cost for design and engineering of the building was excessive. He was also unhappy that Hoyle Tanner was privy to the independent fee estimate.
  • Construction estimates will be revisited when the time comes.
  • Commissioner Joy requested that the engineering portion be broken out separately due to the cost of the clerk of the works/resident observer. It was suggested that a separate contract be written, which will be acceptable to the FAA, in order to hire an independent Clerk of the Works.
  • Financial Manager, Philip Roy, stated the design phase would cost approximately $200,000.00 which is approximately $56.00 a square foot. He stated that if this contract allows them not to go out to an RFP, this is a reasonable cost.
  • It was explained that there is no contract with Hoyle Tanner for the year 2003; it is a selection process that was completed and agreed upon. The financial manager would like to see a copy of the selection process.
  • Commissioner Lawson suggested tabling the discussion until further information could be found.
  • Bob Cossette explained, by telephone, that a selection process is followed that allows the airport to conduct a selection of an airport engineering firm. This is only open to professional firms. Approximately 4-5 firms applied for representation in this selection process in which Hoyle Tanner and Associates was chosen.
  • Commissioner Joy stated that he was now comfortable with the project and his questions have been answered.
  • Hoyle Tanner suggested that the contract be rewritten, leaving the construction phase cost, to be determined. In order to include the construction phase into the grant, this phase will need to be completed by June 1, 2009. The commissioners were assured that this will not be seen as a delaying of the project.

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to execute the design and bidding phase of the contract for the ARFF building with Hoyle, Tanner & Associates, at a cost not to exceed $222,000.00. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve Payroll Warrants #09-06, #09-07, #09-08, and #09-09 in the aggregate amount of $277,718.55.(Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Expense Warrants #009-04, #009-05 and #009-07 in the aggregate amount of $648,399.01. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the Unorganized Territory Warrant #8 in the mount of $10,664.27. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

  • Financial Manager, Philip Roy, suggested that the commissioners approve a blanket approval of payroll warrants rather than approving them on a monthly basis. He explained that said warrants are available, for commissioner inspection, on any given day. The process for approving expense warrants will not change.

  • Financial Manager Roy asked for official approval to move forward with the Time Trak time keeping program. A brief overview of the program was given.

MOTION: to approve the expenditure of $10,150.00 from account 3011-01-Courthouse Technology and $3,930.00 from account 3014-10-Treasurer Technology in order to fund the Harris/TRIO interface of the Time Trak program. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve a request for transfer from Capital Account G-1-3014-80 VAW Detective Grant in the amount of $21,707.00 to Capital Account G-1-3011-01 Courthouse Technology. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approval to purchase a Toro Power Max 828XLE snow blower from Capital Expense Account G1-3011-07 in the amount of $1,000.00. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the financial managers request to pay a bill in the amount of $1,700.00. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • Financial Manager Roy stated his concern regarding the sheriff’s training reserve. This is a one sided journal transaction that requires approval from the auditors. Mr. Roy requested approval of the expenditure from the capital account but noted that there is no corresponding revenue at this time.

  • Invoices received for FY08 items amounting to just over $10,000.00 were discussed. Mr. Roy stated that he may be back next month requesting a reverse of his request.

  • Mr. Roy updated the commissioners on the progress of centralizing the District Attorneys servers. Direct access to Citrix will be made available to the Sheriff’s and District Attorneys offices.

  • Financial Manager Roy is planning on attending the JAG hearing to appeal the on behalf of Hancock County as funds were not granted to the County.

12:26 p.m.: Break for lunch

1:25 p.m.: Back in session


  • Unorganized Territory Supervisor, Walter Bunker, stated that the salt and sand supply for the Nicatous Road is running out and requested to spend approximately $3,725.00 in order to replenish it.
  • Financial Manager Roy suggested paying the expense from the contingency account.

MOTION: to authorize the replenishment of salt and sand for the Nicatous Road from the contingency account at a cost of $3,725.00. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


  • Interim Director McKenney reported that all dispatchers in the RCC have updated their emergency medical dispatch credentials.
  • Interim Director McKenney presented the commissioners with a proposal to provide night time dispatching services to the Town of Bucksport. Copies of said proposal are available,upon request.
  • Staffing and scheduling design was discussed, but no conclusion was reached.
  • Financial Manager, Philip Roy, suggested moving forward in hiring two dispatchers in order to alleviate the excessive overtime currently being be paid by the county. He stated that management has the right to work with the schedule.

MOTION: to authorize Interim Director McKenney to send a cover letter and proposal to provide, one evening shift from 2300 to 0700, dispatching services to the Town of Bucksport. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Commissioner Brown suggested adding additional funds to the personnel portion of the proposal. Fees schedules were discussed. EMA Director, Ralph Pinkham, suggested adding a date of implementation to the proposal. Director McKenney will contact the Town Manager in order to obtain an implementation date.


  • Register of Deeds, Julie Curtis, presented the commissioners with a transaction summary report for the year and reported that projected revenues were up for the month of February.

  • Register Curtis requested that a copier, currently housed in the registry, be transferred to the Maintenance Department and that as payment, the maintenance department take over the amount due for the maintenance contract.

MOTION: to authorize the transfer of ownership of a copy machine currently housed in the Registry of Deeds to the Maintenance department, subject to the maintenance department taking over the annual maintenance fee. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to reschedule the Samsara Memorial Trust Tax Appeal Hearing to the June 2009 commissioners’ regular meeting. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

2:22 p.m.

MOTION: to enter executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405-6(A) for the purpose of discussion the Deputy UT Supervisor and RCC Director position. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

3:15 p.m.

Commissioner Brown declared the meeting back in session.

MOTION: to make a job offer for the position of E-9-1-1 addressing agent at $20.00 an hour, for up to 20 hours a week. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

There was nothing to report under item 10-b.

Commissioners business continued:

  • Commissioner Joy felt that a waiting period should be established/included in the Appointed/Exempt Employee Policy for newly appointed/exempt employees.
  • Commissioner Brown suggested allotting 7 days vacation after the first 6 months of employment.
  • Commissioner Lawson, the county clerk and financial manager will work on this issue and report their conclusions back to the board.

3:50 p.m.

MOTION: to adjourn. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

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