Commissioners Regular Meeting

Commission Chairman, Percy L. Brown, Jr. called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:02 a.m. on Tuesday, June 1, 2010in the conference room at the county courthouse in Ellsworth with Commissioners Lawson and Joy in attendance.



MOTION: to approve the minutes of the May 4, 2010 commissioners’ regular meeting and May 17, 2010 commissioners’ special meeting. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • Tax appeal deliberations for Henderson v. TO Penobscot and Freeman v. TO Brooksville were scheduled for June 11, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. Henderson v. the Town of Penobscot will be considered first.

Victoria Burpee of the Eastern Maine Development Corporation presented the commissioners with Recovery Zone Bonding recommendations for projects in the Town of Blue Hill in the amount of $433,250.00 for expansion of the harbor parking area, dismantling and reconstruction of the old wharf, and completion of sidewalk./footbridge on High Street. The Town of Southwest Harbor has requested a total of $2,856,000 in Recovery Zone Bonding for infrastructure improvements for Mansell Lane and Wesley Avenue to include drainage, water, sewer and roadway infrastructure upgrades. Completed applications need to be at the Bond Bank by August in order to make the fall sale. The difference between facility and economic bonds were discussed.

MOTION: to approve the recommendation from EMDC for Recovery Zone Bonding for the Towns of Blue Hill and Southwest Harbor. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: The City of Ellsworth pulled out of the project due to the funds not being guaranteed.


  • The commissioners discussed the renewal of sheriff’s vehicle lease with no determination. They will resume the discussion at the July 6, 2010 commissioners’ regular meeting.


  • EMA Director, Ralph Pinkham stated that he needed to revisit the adjustment to the agenda section of the meeting and asked to change Deputy EMA Director, Robert McKenney wage from an hourly rate to a salaried position of $250 per week.

MOTION: to add item 3b to the agenda. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

  • An overview of behavioral health disaster assistance was presented. The hazardous mitigation plan was briefly discussed.

  • Grant distribution, tracking and categories for grant accounts were discussed at length.

MOTION: to set the weekly salary of EMA Deputy Director, Robert McKenney at $250 per week. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: This is based on a 16-18 hour work week.


MOTION: to add item 4f to the agenda, to purchase a snow blower. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • Biplane and Glider Rides Over Bar Harbor owner, Steve Collins made a request to install a 6,000 gallon fuel tank on the property he currently leases at the airport. Commissioner Brown was concerned that his request would compromise the relationship between the airport and Columbia Air. Mr. Collins presented a brief financial overview of his company and stated that he had no intentions of selling the fuel. He suggested leasing additional airport property, thus increasing monthly revenues..
  • Commissioner Brown requested documentation from the FAA stating that this would be worked into the airport plan. He requested more details. Regulations would be printed allowing the addition of the tank on airport property. Commissioner Lawson stated that the insurance for said tank would be Mr. Collins responsibility. He agreed. Commissioner Brown asked if he would be willing to enter into an agreement with the county regarding exposure to spills and such. A definite answer was not given.

MOTION: to approve an out of state travel request for Tyler Kennedy, Fred Hersom, and Shawn McVay to travel to Concord New Hampshire for annual live burn training and to approve an out of state travel request for Todd Daley and Joshua George to travel to Chicopee Massachusetts for annual live burn training. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

  • The owner of the Missing Link, Hank Dow has been sent a certified letter requesting the removal his vessel from airport property..

MOTION: to send a letter to Will Harris, Director of Submerged Land at the Department of Conservation, apprising him of the situation involving the Missing Link and to ask for his assistance in the removal of the vessel. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

  • The cost of charging a premium for flights from BHB compared to traveling from Bangor International Airport was discussed.

MOTION: to authorize the airport manager to travel to Washington DC, on June 2nd, to represent BHB’s interest in the Augusta, Presque Isle and BHB airport coalition. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Commissioner Joy wanted to make sure the groups meet with at least 2 representatives.

MOTION: to approve the purchase of an Oshkosh snow blower and its transportation to the airport. (Lawson/withdrawn for lack of 2nd)

MOTION: to approve the purchase of a snow blower for $1,800. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to accept the low bid for transportation cost of the Oshkosh snow blower, in the amount of $2,200, to be paid from account #7300. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Commissioner Joy would like to see a local company supply this need.

  • A Oshkosh snow blower/sweeper of the same type is available in Bangor. Airport manager Navia requested commissioner authorization to request a transfer of this property when it becomes available.

MOTION: to authorize the transfer of property from Bangor. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Commissioner Joy would like to see the old snow blower disposed of once a new purchase is made.

10:59: Break

11:03: Back in session


MOTION: to accept the resignation of Stacey Stevens, effective June 9, 2010. (Lawson/ motion failed for lack of second)

Discussion: Revenues were discussed. Commissioner Joy wanted to know how the department was doing budget wise. Commissioner Joy stated that the commissioners could vote to change the effective date to any day that they choose. Commissioner Lawson disagreed.

MOTION: to accept the resignation of Stacey Stevens, effective June 9, 2010. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the Clerk of Probate job description, as presented. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Commissioner Joy asked where the job description stated that the employee answered to the department head. It states on page 3 that all employees are expected to perform the tasks as assigned by supervisor/management personnel, regardless of job title or routine job duties.

  • Register Cousins made a request to hire a part-time clerical assistant, for 24 hours per week. She would like to revisit the 24 hours during the budget process. The part-time position was requested due to the reduction in work volume in the registry.

MOTION: to fill the vacancy created in the Registry of Probate with a part-time clerical assistant working a 24 hour week. (Lawson/ died for lack of 2nd.)

MOTION: to leave the probate clerk position vacant and investigate hiring an assistant clerk on a part time basis at 24 hours per week. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve the Sheriff, Chief Deputy’s and Deputies’ Bonds as presented. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • District Attorney Povich requested approval to allow a summer intern, from Bates College, to work in the District Attorney’s office.

MOTION: to accept the contract between Bates College and Hancock County. (Joy/Brown 2-0-1, motion passed) Lawson abstained.

  • District Attorney Povich requested the purchase of a desktop computer for Detective Steve McFarland.

MOTION: to allow the District Attorney to purchase a desktop computer and screen, with the help of someone within the building, price not to exceed $1,000. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

12:28 p.m.: Break for lunch.

1:00 p.m.: Back in session.

MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA 1 §405 6-E in order to discuss personnel issues with legal counsel. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

1:52 p.m.

Commissioner Brown declared the meeting back in session with nothing to report.

Kathleen Tyson of the auditing firm Runyon, Kersteen and Ouellette presented the commissioners with a draft of the 2009 audit report and a letter of recommended changes. The final copy will be available in a few weeks.


MOTION: to approve the general fund bi-weekly payroll warrants #10-17, #10-18, #10-19 and #10-20 in the aggregate amount of $342,462.46. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the general fund expense warrants #10-18, #10-19, #10-20 and #10-21 in the aggregate amount of $316,829.30. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed

MOTION: to approve the jail and UT expense warrants #10-32, #10-33, #10-34 and #10-35 in the aggregate amount of $79,038.36. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

  • Financial reports to include the jail update and health insurance account update were distributed prior to the meeting.

MOTION: to approve the April expenditures out of the Meritain Health account in the amount of $76,695.39 and $21,862.00. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a capital expense from account 40-70-100 in the amount of $4,000 for the purchase and transportation of a snow blower for the airport. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

  • There was no update on the energy grant.

MOTION: to approve the jail general obligation bond payment in the amount of $365,325 for bond #853749. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a maintenance agreement, from Transco, for a wide scanner/copier in the Registry of Deeds. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • CFO Roy requested that the commissioners schedule a meeting, before the end of the month, to discuss UT and Jail surplus. A meeting was scheduled for June 25, 2010 at 12:00 p.m.


  • Register Curtis distributed a proposed fee schedule that included bulk web downloads, subscription fees, e-mail requests for documents and plan copy fees. Commissioner Joy suggested charging for watermarked copies.

MOTION: the monthly subscription fee for documents without the watermark is $25 plus ten cents for each page printed. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Commissioner Joy asked if most subscribers will use less than 100 copies per month. The answer was no, there will probably be more than 100 copies requested per month.

MOTION: Copies will be 10 cents per page to print after login with the watermark. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to accept the registers proposal for all other copies. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the effective date of the change will be June 7, 2010.

The registers proposal was as follows:

From the website: Documents will cost ten cents to print with or without a watermark. Non-subscription users who want an official copy will contact the registry for copies; fees will be fifty cents per page for electronic delivery and $1.50 for delivery by USPS (paper) plus postage. Subscription service is available for users who want unobstructed viewing of documents; the fee for this will be $25 per month plus ten cents per printed page.

Bulk transfers: The cost for bulk transfers will be $.09 per page. This is defining bulk as a range of consecutive documents, date ranges, book/page ranges to include all document types in the range requested. Bulk requests will be paid up front. If someone should request the entire database of images/data the same figure multiplied by the number of images would be transferred.

Plan copies: In-house (paper) copies will be $4.

In-house copies: Fees for all other in-house copies (paper) will remain at $1.50 per page.


MOTION: to approve the hire Amy M. Smith of Ellsworth as a part-time, on-call as needed corrections officer at the rate of $12 per hour, effective June 5, 2010. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • Jail van specifications were discussed. Commissioner Joy suggested taking the trade-in out of the package. Commissioner Brown suggested pricing out a work style van rather than a family style van.
  • CFO Roy stated that there are not enough funds between contingency and capital accounts to pay for this request. Sheriff Clark stated that $6,000 was included in the 6-month budget and questioned if it had been brought forward. It had not.

MOTION: to approve the specifications for a jail transport van, as presented. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to promote Roger A. Smith of Clifton from part-time, on-call as needed to full-time temporary corrections officer, at Step 9C $14.87 per hour, effective at a date to be determined by the sheriff and county clerk, benefits to follow the county personnel policy. (Joy/Lawson, see friendly amendment)

Friendly Amendment: effective at a date to be determined by the sheriff and a county commissioner. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • Sheriff Clark requested approval of specifications for the removal of poured walls in the detectives’ office. This would be a design build project.

MOTION: to approve the proposed wording for an ad seeking bids for concrete removal in the detectives office and to refine the job specifications. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to accept the resignation of full-time dispatcher Jason McFarland and to retain him as a part-time dispatcher at the rate at $12 per hour, effective June 7, 2010. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to change the status of Nikki Dennison from temporary full-time dispatcher to full-time regular dispatcher, effective June 5, 2010 and to recognize her seniority date as January 8, 2010. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to change the status of Jennifer Grant from part-time, on-call, as needed to full-time dispatcher, at Step 9C 14.87 per hour, effective June 5, 2010. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the hire of Robert Courtot of Brooklin, Tonya Carter of Sullivan and Eli Brown of Corea as a part-time, on-call as needed dispatchers at the rate of $12 per hour, effective June 5, 2010. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to accept the RCC monthly report. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)


  • The signing of the courthouse collective bargaining agreement and a decision regarding the purchase of the telephone/voice mail system will be taken up at the June 11, 2010 commissioners’ special meeting.

4:05 p.m.

MOTION: to enter into executive Session under Title 36 §841: to have a discussion regarding an infirmity abatement. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

4:15 p.m.

MOTION: to decline to hear the Shelton abatement for lack of information. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed).

Official Website of Hancock County, Maine.                              Copyright 2020 All rights reserved.