Commissioners Regular Meeting

Commission Chairman Steven E. Joy called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 7, 2012in the conference room of the county courthouse located in Ellsworth Maine with Commissioners Lawson and Brown in attendance.

Adjustments to the agenda:

MOTION: to add item 3k, mitigation grant discussion and to add item 6d, to accept the resignation of Patrol Deputy Michael Southard. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to split item 2d into two parts creating item d-1, to set the salary of the EMA Director. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve: Minutes of the January 3, 2012 commissioners’ regular meeting and January 17, 2012 commissioners’ special meeting. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve the facilities director revised job description. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the retention of Erik Stumpfel Esq. of Rudman & Winchell as legal counsel for wind project work. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: a letter has been drafted requesting Eaton Peabody to transfer all County of Hancock client files relating to the First Wind Bull Hill wind energy project.

MOTION: to not enter into the agreement with Eaton Peabody. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the hire of Andrew Sankey of Gouldsboro as the Hancock County EMA Director effective February 11, 2012. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to set the EMA Directors salary at $49,000, effective February 11, 2012. (Lawson/Joy 2-1, motion passed) Brown opposed.
Discussion: Commissioner Brown stated that he preferred to start the director at $47,000, due to the salaries of existing employees.

MOTION: to approve the over expenditure of the EMA director salary line, if necessary. (Lawson/Joy 2-1, motion passed) Brown opposed.

Commissioner Brown stated that it was his feeling that the EMA Director should be included in the hiring process for the EMA Deputy Director/Planner but ultimately, the commissioners should choose the person.  Commissioner Joy stated that he felt the new director should interview and review the candidates but the commissioners would do the hiring.  Commissioner Lawson was in agreement with Commissioner Joy.  Commissioner Lawson stated that all the commissioners and the new EMA director should be in on the 2nd interview process.  2nd interviews will be held sometime in February.

DA Detective Steve McFarland and Airport Maintenance Worker/ARFF Todd Daley were recognized for their 10 years of service.  They were congratulated on a job well done and thanked for the services they provide.


MOTION: to approve January General Fund and Airport Payroll Warrants #11-52, #12-01, #12-02 and #12-03 in the aggregate amount of $212,902.98. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve January General Fund and Airport Expense Warrants #11-51, #11-52, #11-53, #11-54, #11-55, #11-56, #12-01, #12-02, #12-03 and #12-04 in the aggregate amount of $353,107.65. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Payroll Warrants #12-26, #12-27, #12-27a, #12-28 and #12-29 in the aggregate amount of $95,287.36. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Expense Warrants #12-23, #12-24, #12-25 and #12-26 in the aggregate amount of $94,091.58. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy presented the financial reports  including jail and airport updates.  The initial check from First Wind should arrive within the next seven days.  This will cover reimbursement for work completed by Eaton Peabody and EMDC.

Health account expenditures for the month of January were not available.

MOTION: to affirm the expenditure of $657.28, for the purchase of a computer for the treasurer and part-time OFA employee, from capital reserve account G1-3011-01. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to spend $2,175 from capital reserve account G1-3011-00 for carpet replacement in the Office of Financial Affairs. (Lawson/Joy 2-1, motion passed) Brown opposed.

CFO Roy presented the State Valuation four year trend and county taxes paid over three years by town, noting that the county valuation has gone down since 2009.

MOTION: to authorize the CFO to send out 2012 tax bills. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the 2012 Recapitulation in the amount of $5,301,455. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy explained that the Department of Corrections has hired RHR Smith to conduct an analysis of all county jails.  An information request was distributed by RHR Smith asking for specific information about county jails that the Department of Corrections currently has in their possession.  CFO Roy stated that the information is currently available at the State level.  He also reported that Sheriff Clark would like for all financial information requested by RHR Smith to go through him.  CFO Roy felt that the Office of Financial Affairs should be providing all financial information.  The redundancy of the request was discussed.

CFO Roy stated that expenses from the sheriff’s charity account should be shown through the warrant process.  Alternately, Commissioner Lawson suggested creating a different status for the charity account that is not connected to the County Tax ID number.  Sheriff Clark stated that this is a sheriff’s office employee’s account, and that their philanthropies will not be subject to scrutiny through a public process.  Commissioner Brown stated that by having the county’s tax ID number associated with the account it may be subject to a Freedom of Access request.  Sheriff Clark made it clear that the information will not be provided and that the employee fund be moved elsewhere.  A 501 (c) (5) account was mentioned.

CFO Roy suggested closing the sheriff’s charities and sheriff’s employee fund bank accounts located at Maine Savings Bank due to low balances.

CFO Roy distributed copies of checks written to Sheriff Clark from the sheriff’s employee fund account and stated that any funds received by employee over $25 is considered earned income.  Form 941 has to be filed for all funds received over $25.

CFO Roy suggested combining the jail, sheriff's and county employee fund accounts into one account.  He stated that vending machine profits are county funds and should be under the purview of the county commissioners or a committee appointed by the county commissioners.  $108.19 is currently being held for sheriff’s department vending profits.  Commissioner Lawson suggested seeking auditor direction prior to making any changes.  CFO Roy stated that the auditors have suggested that these funds should be run through the warrant process.  CFO Roy stated he will not be making decisions regarding expenditures within these accounts, and suggested committee oversight.  Commissioner Brown stated that he would like to see some middle ground reached and suggested that the courthouse and sheriff’s departments representatives work together to resolve issue.  Sheriff Clark stated that the machines will be boycotted and/or removed if necessary.  $108.19 will be transferred into the sheriff’s account.  Register Curtis clarified that if the committee agrees on unifying the accounts and how to spend the funds, will the commissioners question their spending?  Commissioner Joy and Commissioner Lawson responded no.  Commissioner Brown was silent.

CFO Roy stated that the audit has been moved to March 5-6-7, 2012.

CFO Roy stated that the FAA did not have an issue with the due-to, due-from’s for the airport.  They are questioning the $15,000 administrative fee. OMB-Circular A-87 will have to be followed when charging for these funds.  Direct cost documentation will need to be followed when complying with the OMB.

CFO Roy expressed the importance of completing the EMA mitigation project.  At the end of 2011 the mitigation account was over expended by approximately $4,100.  He stated that the project needs to be completed by September but, due to the timing of the town meetings; the project may be completed late.  An extension is possible but, if the plan is not completed in time the county may be in default and have to repay the funds.  EMA Director Pinkham stated that the plans can be ratified at any town council meeting but an extension may be necessary.  Commissioner Brown asked if a plan was prepared, Director Pinkham responded that it is currently in FEMA Region 1’s hands after which it will go to the towns for ratification.


MOTION: to authorize airport manager to obtain an IFE for terminal building design project. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to authorize airport manager to obtain IFE for taxiway construction project. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: different independent contractors can be utilized for different projects.

Airport Manager Navia stated that the Higgins airport property matter has been settled and a release of lien has been received.  She requested that the commissioners send a letter to Higgins requesting reimbursement of $274.88.  Commissioner Joy stated that the closing agent was responsible for the settlement of these funds.  A representative from the Town of Trenton stated that language in the settlement documents stated that the purchaser was responsible for all taxes.  Once the payment was received, there was nothing else that could be done.  The county was not sent a bill; they received an interested party letter.  There was never a time when the Town of Trenton would have acted on the lien and taken the property from the county.

MOTION: to accept the resignation of part-time ARFF, Taylor Trombley effective January 30, 2012. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Airport Manager Navia requested the hire of part-time, on-call, as needed ARFF, workers comp will be in force while working on the airport, travel will not be covered and liability would be the same as any other employee driving to work.  The application process will be open to all interested parties.

MOTION: to authorize the airport manager to advertise for part-time on call as needed ARFFs. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


There were no questions regarding the Emergency Management monthly report.  FEMA has been reviewing the Hancock County mitigation plan for three weeks.  The plan will be sent to the towns for approval once received.  Commissioner Lawson stated that she was under the impression that Director Pinkham will work for the next few weeks as a mentor/assistant and then transition out.  Commissioner Joy made it clear that Director Sankey’s hire date was February 11, 2012, once he is working, Director Pinkham will transition out two weeks later.  Director Sankey will be issued a credit card by the end of the week.


The following bid was opened for the 2008 Ford Crown Victoria cruiser:
Edward McFarland: $1,411

MOTION: to award the bid for the 2008 Ford Crown Victoria cruiser to Edward McFarland in the amount of $1,411. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Joy stated that the $1,411 exceeded the insurance deductable with regard to the Sargent issue and that he believed that the county has now been made whole.  Commissioners Brown and Lawson agreed.

MOTION: to approve a transfer of forfeited assets from Jake M. DeMakis of $770 in US Currency and one 1997 Nissan Maxima pursuant to MRSA Title 15 §§ 5824 (3) & 5826 (6). (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Sheriff Clark stated that at the end of FY11 capital accounts were reserved for the jail even though the jail budget was in the negative.  This practice was “non-traditional” in the eyes of the Board of Corrections.  He stated that this could have an impact on FY13 discussions and requested that the commissioners reconsider their decision to “book” the capital accounts.  He felt that capital accounts are for long term projects not day-to-day expenses.  Commissioner Brown stated that $25,000 in the building capital account was “on hold” for the fixing the retaining wall.  CFO Roy stated that he is sure that RHR Smith will not have a problem with the way the capital accounts are set up and utilized.  By “booking” the funds, there should not be any problems, according to him.

MOTION: to accept the resignation of Patrol Deputy Michael Southard. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

11:07 a.m.
MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(E) in order to conduct a telephone conference with Peter Marchesi Esq. to discuss a Registry of Deeds matter. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 11:28 a.m. with nothing to report.


MOTION: to set the following fees per MRSA Title 33 Chapter 11 §851 14-B:

  • Five dollars per page for paper abstracts and copies of plans.
  • One dollar per page for other paper abstracts and copies; and
  • Fifty cents per page for digital abstracts and copies, except that the fee is 5¢ per page for copies of 1,000 or more digital abstracts and copies of consecutive records.

(Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the Register's out-of-state travel request to attend the Aptitude conference in Florida on April 25-27, 2012. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Register Curtis stated that she only has one computer in the Registry that meets the Aptitude upgrade specifications.  She has received quotes from Hewlett Packard and Dell for 16 computers and one server at a cost of approximately $16,000; she currently has the funds to pay for the purchase in the Registry of Deeds computer account.  Commissioner Brown stated that the request exceeds $25,000 and has to be bid out.  He questioned the compatibility with the RFP.  CFO Roy reminded the commissioners and register that because the purchase is over $10,000 a hard RFP is needed.  Register Curtis was authorized to go out to RFP.

MOTION: upon receiving the results from the RFP, to authorize the purchase of 11-computers and 1-server for the Registry of Deeds at a cost not to exceed $15,000 from account 09-30-500. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


An updated tower location map was presented and potential tower locations were discussed.  Commissioner Joy preferred to locate the new tower in an area that helps the largest population.  Rental space could be offered on the second tower located in the UT.  A repeater on the Osborn tower would reach the majority of the UT’s.  Commissioner Brown questioned the existence of the old Region 4 frequency.  Region 4 used to be located on Mt. Waldo but has since been removed.  AT&T currently owns the tower.  Testing will be conducted at the Osborn location shortly.  The cost of the repeater and generator is approximately $16,000.

LD 1614 has been tabled as of this date.  There has been no official documentation regarding combining into two PSAP’s.

MOTION: to accept the resignation of Julius Murano III effective January 24, 2011. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve the promotion of Judy Carter of Ellsworth from the position of part-time janitor to full-time janitor at Step 3D $11.32 per hour, effective February 11, 2012. (Joy/Lawson 3-0. motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the hire of Horst Kuehn of Hancock a part-time, on-call janitor at the rate of $12 per hour with no benefits, effective February 11, 2012. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the renewal of the Mechanical Services contract in the amount of $5,185. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

12:10 p.m.: Break for lunch.

12:22 p.m.: Back in session


The MacLeod v. the Town of Trenton tax appeal hearing was scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, 2012.


MOTION: to approve the 2012 Small Animal Clinic contract. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve the removal of Linda Babski-Smith administratively from the employment roll. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

12:32 p.m.
MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6 (A) to continue CFO contract negotiation. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 1:06 p.m. with nothing report.

1:00 p.m.: Dave Fowler of Blue Sky East stated that RCC Director Renee Wellman has expressed a desire to relocate the communication tower provided by Blue Sky East, as agreed to in the community benefit agreement, from Township 16 to another area of the county.  He stated that he is willing to contribute a set amount of dollars towards her efforts if the commissioners are agreeable and it satisfies his requirements or to offer other solutions.  The temporary meteorological tower that is currently located in Township 16 was not permitted for long term use.  The meteorological tower currently permitted in Township 16 will be shared by First Wind and the County of Hancock.  The site would be maintained, including plowing and sanding and has power access.  Commissioner Brown preferred to keep the location of the tower in the Unorganized Territory because it will benefit the people who live and work in that area.  The tower will be 95 meters in height and have meteorological equipment located at the top of the apparatus; county frequency information will be located down the sides of the tower.  First Wind is required to remove the tower after 20 years.  Negotiations would ensue if the tower is built in a different area.  The timetable for tower installation is up to the commissioners.  The tower is over and above any TIF revenue, if the tower is kept in the UT, TIF revenues can be utilized, and if it is moved outside of the UT Community Benefit funds may be used.  Readings need to be obtained soon.  Tower construction will begin towards the end of spring and be completed within a few months.  All parties were in agreement that the tower needs to be constructed.  The $300 cost to conduct a radio frequency test would come from a capital reserve account.  Revenues from the project should be expected once 50% of the project is complete.  Mr. Fowler will e-mail the clerk with an approximate date.

MOTION: to resume the previous executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6 (A), to continue CFO contract negotiations. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 1:52 p.m. and called for a motion.

MOTION: to set the 2012 wage for Phil Roy as CFO at $52,273 and to hire him to work on a part-time basis with the head of the UT to develop a budget for the wind project and to pay him $4,327 annually to be broken out monthly, to be paid during the last payroll period of each month. (Joy/Brown 2-1, motion passed) Lawson opposed.
Discussion: Commissioner Lawson stated that there needs to be a written description in place for this job prior to voting on the motion.

2:02 p.m.
MOTION: to adjourn. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

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