Commissioners Regular Meeting

Commissioner Steven E. Joy called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:03 a.m. on Tuesday September 7, 2010 in the conference room at the county courthouse located in Ellsworth with Commissioner Lawson in attendance. Commissioner Brown was absent.

Roxanne Jobe and Jenn Brooks of Eastern Maine Development Corporation presented information regarding a Recovery Zone Facility Bond request from Verso Paper of Bucksport.

Motion: to approve the Verso Paper Recovery Bond request. (Lawson/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

Jeff Fitzgerald, Deputy Planner for the City of Ellsworth requested commissioner approval to allow the Girl Scouts to make improvements to a walking path located behind the courthouse complex as part of the Library Trail project.

MOTION: to support the upgrade of the trail, by the Girl Scouts, along the Union River by the City of Ellsworth, over county land. (Lawson/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

Discussion: CFO Roy questioned the county’s liability regarding the project, and suggested a maintenance agreement to be included in the deed covenant.

Adjustment to the agenda:

MOTION: to add item 7b, the hire of Venetia Hunt of Orland as a part-time dispatcher at $12 per hour.


MOTION: to approve the minutes of the August 3, 2010 commissioners regular meeting. (Lawson/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

The spousal health insurance upon retirement discussion was postponed to the October meeting.

The scheduling of the Shelton tax appeal was postponed to the September 21th special meeting.

MOTION: to approve the 2010 sheriff’s vehicle lease, as proposed. (Lawson/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

Discussion: payment for this expenditure to come from account G1-3014-60.


The commissioners discussed the proposed intergovernmental contract to establish the Maine county corrections trust account agreement. Commissioner Joy stated that this was proposed at the MCCA meeting as a general proposal/discussion. He was concerned with the make-up of the board but agreed with the general philosophy. It was agreed that continued work needs to be done on the proposal. The commissioners did not lend their support to the proposal.


EMA Director Pinkham presented his monthly report. Special emphasis was given to a recent medical disaster training held at the airport. Director Pinkham and Planner Feury met with Royal Caribbean Cruise line for disaster training. Mitigation plan rewrites are in progress.


MOTION: to affirm the purchase of a web server. (Lawson/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approval of a software upgrade in the amount of $3,750 from Aptitude Solutions. (Joy/Lawson 2-0, motion passed)

Discussion: half of the cost for the upgrade can be paid up front and the rest can be paid next year, funding will come from deeds accounts.


MOTION: to approve the hire Phillip Wells of Amherst as a part-time on-call corrections officer, effective September 11, 2010 at the rate of $12 per hour. (Lawson/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve an MDEA Forfeiture of a John Deere lawn mower and a 20 gauge shot gun in the case of Nathan Power v. the State of Maine. (Lawson/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Commissioner Joy would like to further discuss this item at the October regular meeting.

MOTION: to remove administratively from employment rolls, Allen Smith. (Lawson/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy suggested moving the discussion regarding the purchase of cruisers to the October meeting. Lt. Cote requested to go forward with the discussion, as he felt he could answer questions effectively. The commissioners preferred to look at the documentation presented prior to discussion. The topic will be discussed at the September 24th budget workshop.

Lt. Cote was not prepared to discuss the Town of Tremont Law Enforcement Contract for 2010-2011. This will be discussed at the October regular meeting.

MOTION: to authorize the commission of Jean Marie Ahern who works for Securitas USA at the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport. (Lawson/Joy 2-0, motion passed)


Facilities Director, Richard Davis discussed the installation of gun lockers in the court marshals’ office adjacent to the Superior Court judges’ chambers.

10:21 a.m.: Break

10:24 a.m.: Back in session.


MOTION: to the hire of Venetia Hunt of Orland as a part-time, on-call, as needed dispatcher, at the rate of $12 per hour, effective September 11, 2010. (Lawson/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy stated that he has contacted the City of Ellsworth regarding the implications of the Kimball Report and the PUC consolidation proposal. He stated that City Manager, Michelle Beal encouraged him to” add it to the tax bills.” He suggested adding the full cost of the RCC to the 2012 county tax bill. Per capita vs. evaluation will need to be discussed prior to implementation. Commissioner Lawson discussed the “Home Rule” law. CFO Roy encouraged the commissioners to fund the RCC on the tax bills in the 2011-2012 fiscal year budget. Further discussion is needed on this issue.

Office of Financial Affairs:

MOTION: to approve General Fund Payroll warrants #10-32, #10-32, #10-33 and #10-34 in the aggregate of $184,891.10. (Lawson/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve General Fund Expense warrants #10-32, #10-33, #10-34 and #10-35 in the aggregate of $1,000,691.95, Jail and UT Payroll warrants #10-31, #10-32, #10-33 and #10-34 in the aggregate of $84,920.43, Jail and UT Expense warrants #10-05, #10-06, #10-07 and #10-08 in the aggregate of $89,086.17. (Lawson/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Commissioner Lawson questioned the layout of the warrant signature page and asked that the jail payroll and UT payroll be separated in the warrant. Commissioner Joy questioned the hours of the UT Supervisor.

CFO Roy presented the financial reports to include the jail update.

MOTION: to approve the July expenditures from the health insurance account in the amount of $131,016.81. (Lawson/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

Discussion: CFO Roy explained that the county does not yet have a full check reconciliation program in place for the health insurance account.

There were no requests for capital expenditures or transfers.

MOTION: to approve a transfer in the amount of $81,376 from UT surplus to account G-05-3200-00 UT Roads. (Lawson/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy requested approval of an updated job description for the deputy treasurer and approval of a job description for the position of accounting clerk. Commissioner Joy suggested changing the title to assistant financial officer. This item will be discussed at the October CRM.

CFO Roy updated the commissioners on the Jail/UT audit and distributed a town taxes, paid to date, spreadsheet. Investments and cash analysis was discussed. CFO Roy requested permission to move the energy grant expenditures into the administration part of the grant process. The commissioners agreed with his request. The proposed FY 11 budget and health trust funds were briefly discussed.

The Trial Balance has been balanced as of last week; all county checking account statements for the prior month have been reconciled, except the general fund account. Due to/due from’s balance and revenue and expense accounts reconcile to the control accounts.


Airport Manager Navia stated that Biplane and Glider Rides have run into a glitch with the fuel farm project. Because it is a private company, safety measures are less than previously believed.

MOTION: to affirm the hire of Russell Holway of Trenton as part-time janitor, effective August 14, 2010 at $12 per hour. (Lawson/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to support the Essential Air Service proposal by Colgan Air under Option 1. (Joy/Lawson 2-0, motion passed)

Discussion: a recommendation letter will be sent to the Department of Transportation expressing the commissioners’ support of EAS Service by Colgan Air.

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign the reimbursable agreement with the Maine Department of Transportation for the Runway 22 Safety Area Project. (Lawson/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

Discussion: This agreement secures the MDOT’s 2.5% share of the project cost for a maximum amount of $20,279 in funding.

Airport Manager Navia discussed the need to replace corroded/leaking sewage pipes in the terminal building basement. Cost, funding and bidding of the job was discussed.

Airport Manager Navia discussed updating the airport’s Minimum Standards and a proposed Oyster Aquaculture site to be located near airport property.

12:21 p.m.: Break for lunch.

1:01 p.m.: Back in session.

Jim Wilson and Dave Bouffard of Woodard & Curran briefed the commissioners on the recent energy audit. A copy of said findings is available in the commissioners’ office, for viewing.

2:01 p.m.: Break

2:05 p.m.: Back in session


The ratification of SO/RCC CBA was postponed to the September 21st or 24th special meetings.


2:09 p.m.

Commissioner Joy called the grievance hearing filed by Ralston Means on behalf of Nikki Dennison to order at 2:09 p.m. Attendees included Commissioners Joy and Lawson, Shop Steward Ralston Means III, County Clerk DePrenger and Mrs. Dennison. Shop Steward Means chose to have the hearing held in executive session. Attendees were sworn in and testimony was heard.

MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA 405 6(a). (Lawson/Joy 2-0, motion passed 2-0)

3:06 p.m.

MOTION: to come out of executive session. (Lawson/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

Commissioners Joy and Lawson agreed that a decision will be rendered on or before September 22, 2010. They await information from the insurer/reinsurer and Malcolm Ulmer in order to know what coverage is available.

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