Commissioners Regular Meeting

Commission Chairman Steven E. Joy called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:02 a.m. on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 in the conference room at the county courthouse in Ellsworth with Commissioners Brown and Lawson in attendance.

Adjustments to the agenda:

MOTION: to add item 7f: approval of the FY13 jail budget and: to add item 8d, approval of UT trash contracts. . (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to invert items 4 d & c. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Commission Business:


MOTION: to approve the minutes of the March 16, and March 23, 2012 commissioners’ special meetings. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Deliberations: MacLeod v. the Town of Trenton tax appeal hearing.
Commissioner Lawson was concerned with acreage associated with the property.  The attending town representative agreed that the front footage acreage should be based on 3.4 acres.  Commissioner Brown stated that in his opinion, all properties were assessed using the same criteria and was treated equally.  He stated that Mr. MacLeod did not make a case for abatement.  Commissioner Lawson stated that there were four comparable properties and preferred to rule in favor of the town if the acreage was recomputed to 3.4 and the value was recalculated based on the correct acreage.  Commissioner Joy agreed that there needed to be a correction to the lot size, and stated that the town used appropriate data at the time of assessment and the town did not discriminate against the tax payer.

MOTION: that we deny the MacLeod appeal on the basis that we did not find that the taxpayer presented credible, affirmative evidence that the assessor's valuation was manifestly wrong, by demonstrating (1) the property was substantially overvalued and an injustice resulted; (2) there was unjust discrimination, or (3) the assessment was fraudulent, dishonest or illegal. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Either party may appeal from the decision of the county commissioners to the Maine Superior Court within 30 days, in accordance with Maine Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 80B.


MOTION: to approve the hire of Dennis E. Walls of Orrington as Facilities Director effective April 21, 2012 at the rate of $861.04 weekly. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to seek legal counsel for the defense of the digital fees set in statute by hiring Peter Marchesi Esq. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Joy stated that he felt it was time to move on this issue.  He preferred to utilize the services of Peter Marchesi due to his participation in the latest legal suit.


EMA Director Sankey distributed the EMA financial dashboard and a copy of the Hancock County Emergency Management news letter.  The mitigation plan is steadily moving forward with the help of JoAnne Moony, State Mitigation Officer.  Two gas generators have been purchased along with two mobile cross-band VHF-UHF repeaters and peripherals to go along with the generators.  Specifications for a new IMAT vehicle are prepared but financial questions remain unanswered.  Deputy Director interviews are scheduled for Friday, April 6th at 1:00 p.m.


MOTION: to approve General Fund and Airport Payroll Warrants #12-08, #12-09, #12-10, #12-11 and #12-12 in the aggregate amount of $241,492.91. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve General Fund and Airport Expense Warrants #12-09, #12-10, #12-11 and #12-12 in the aggregate amount of $335,688.72. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Payroll Warrants #12-34, #12-35, #12-36, #12-37 and #12-38 in the aggregate amount of $104,023.17.(Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Expense Warrants #12-31, #12-32, #12-33, #12-34 and #12-35 in the aggregate amount of $115,041.37. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy presented financial reports to include jail and airport update.  Commissioner Brown questioned account 4009 Custodial Services; this account identifies county maintenance department work done in the jail.  There were no red flags associated with the airport financial report.

MOTION: to approve February expenditures in the health insurance account in the amount of $118,933.54. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Approximately $70,000 has been deposited in March.

MOTION: to approve $101,521.18 for January expenditures in the health insurance account. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to expend $358.12 from G1-3012-66 for the purchase of a projector from the King grant. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a capital expenditure of $3,643.53 from account G1-3011-01 for the purchase of three computers, monitors and MS Office for the DA's office. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to authorize the transfer of $12,137 in Energy Grant rebates from Efficiency Maine to the building reserve account. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy presented a three year review of energy use.

MOTION: to send a memo to departments heads requesting a delay of non-essential spending through August 2012. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy stated that actuarial reporting has to be completed in 2012 for the 2013 audit.

MOTION: to approve the cooperative agreement with the Department of Conservation regarding the airport fire department and to authorize the chairman to sign the Federal Surplus Property agreement with the State of Maine. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


Airport Manager Rogers discussed the Independent Fee Estimator from a firm in Portland and consultant and engineering work for the terminal building expansion design project.

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign the contract with Hoyle Tanner & Associates for terminal building expansion design project. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to the sign grant application for terminal building expansion design project. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Airport Manager Rogers requested to increase the ARFF part-time pay rate to $13.50 per hour citing the position qualifications, licensure expenses and investment in training, personnel outfitting and travel.  CFO Roy suggested hiring temporary full-time for a period of 5 to 6 months.  Commissioner Brown questioned if a contract could be put in place due to the cost of training.  Commissioner Joy agreed and expressed his approval of utilizing a temporary full-time employee at the starting rate set by the wage scale with no benefits included.  Reimbursement of training cost, if the employee left employment early, was discussed.

MOTION: to approve the hire of Theodore Cooke of Verona Island as a temporary full-time ARFF, effective April 7, 2012 at Step 8A $13.45 per hour, no benefits included. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: It was clarified that no benefits means, no sick time, vacation time, personnel time, health insurance or retirement, etc.

MOTION: to approve the request for out-of-state travel, to Pittsburgh PA from April 23 to 27, 2012, for ARFF training. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: the total cost of training will be less than $3,000 total.

MOTION: to approve the request to go out to bid for a side-by-side utility vehicle. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Brown suggested pairing the purchase of the UTV and mowers for a better deal.  Commissioner Joy requested to see the specs prior to going out to bid.

MOTION: to authorize the airport manager to go out to bid for a batwing and bush hog mower. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Airport Manager Rogers discussed a proposed land release to the Maine Department of Transportation due to the conversion of the airport access road to meet the Route 3 and Route 230 proposed intersection in Trenton.  She requested authorization to obtain a secondary appraisal due to proposed insufficient compensation of $9,400 for 0.77 acres of airport land offered by the MDOT.  The amount received should include compensation for the land release process with the FAA including the revision of the Airport Layout plan, the airport manager’s time in preparing the necessary documents and a secondary appraisal.  A traffic analysis will be requested and telephone pole information and design verification is needed so that they do not penetrate the airport's approach surfaces.  Commissioner Joy stated that it is essential that the airport drive aligns with the intersection.

Airport Manager Rogers stated that Colgan Air has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and owes the airport/county approximately $90,000.  Cape Air will begin flight service on April 15th.  A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 11:00 a.m. on April 15th.  During the off season, the first three seats on all of Cape Air's flights will be $59, the next two are $69 and the last two are $89.  Holiday flights will be more expensive.  Pen Air's approximate expected arrival date is May 24th or 25th, 2012.


Director Wellman updated the commissioners on her and the CFO's efforts regarding a tower study for the Bull Hill location.  Ken Knight has agreed to provide his services for a 4 point outline for review of tower coverage; this should be available by mid April.  Call volume was discussed.

MOTION: to approve the hire Lori Bartlett of Bar Harbor as a part-time dispatcher at the rate of $12.00 per hour with no benefits. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Ms. Bartlett is currently EMD certified and has worked at the Town of Bar Harbor for three years.


MOTION: to approve the Jail Administrator, Jail Records Clerk and Part-time Corrections Officer updated job descriptions. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the promotion of part-time, on call-corrections officer Christopher A. McDonald of Holden to temporary full-time effective April 7, 2012 at the rate of $13.50 per hour.  Benefits include holiday benefit and sick time accumulation.  No other benefits. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Brown questioned if the $13.50 rate was on the pay scale.  The answer was no, but is a beginning pay rate.

Sheriff Clark stated that a couple months ago the CFO requested a reduction in the number of checking accounts within the county.  He asked the commissioners to authorize Machias Savings Bank to close the checking account and release the funds to “us”.  Commissioner Joy questioned how the checks would be titled and expressed his concerns regarding the liability of moving the accounts to a private account.  He stated that the letterhead and checks should not be misleading by noting “Hancock County.”  Sheriff Clark stated that he would be looking into the liability issue but in all cases will hold the county harmless.  Sheriff Clark stated that there have been opportunities to join with other entities that embrace their activities and support them, noting that he did not know how many times in the last 20 years they have had this discussion and stated that it was appalling that "you people" (the commissioners) don't seem to want to support a group of people that has done so many good things for so many others and that "we just want out."  Commissioner Joy clarified that his characterization was not correct stating that the sheriff actually walked out with the checking account, at maybe the CFO's suggestion, adding that he could not say that "we" (the commissioners) want this, this is something that the he (the sheriff) did in the last month.  Sheriff Clark stated that this is not the first time in the last 20-years that "you people" (the commissioners) have made things difficult for us (the sheriffs' charities participants), he stated "just give us the money, we don't want anything else to do with you, so just make the motion."  Commissioner Joy stated "that is what's happening, we did not ask for you to leave, we just asked you to account for it, that's all."  Sheriff Clark stated that he thought that they were given a mandate to move the funds.  Commissioner Joy stated that no motion or vote was taken to do so, there was a discussion.  Sheriff Clark stated that the county could keep the account but requested that the county release the funds adding that in anticipation of what he thought was agreed to at the March meeting, the county tax ID number was removed from the sheriff's charities' account, signatures were changed and a new ID number was attached to the account.  Commissioner Brown questioned who authorized the change of ID number and signatories and stated that he did not have a problem if the funds were moved properly, but the change needed commissioner approval.  He also requested that the account be audited prior to making the move.  Sheriff Clark stated that it is not public funds or county money.  Commissioner Brown disagreed and stated that as long as it is under the county ID number, it is county funds.  When funds are moved from county accounts to a vendor, it is documented.  Commissioner Joy stated that at the last meeting there was a discussion, not a motion and that an accounting of the account seems to be the crux of the problem.  CFO Roy stated that the account has been “spot checked” by the auditors and that a W9 with the new ID number is needed in order to move the funds.  Accountability of the account is needed re: access to the monthly statement, according to the auditor.  Commissioner Joy stated that this should not be an adversarial discussion, the sheriff’s charities is a wonderful thing that everyone should be proud of.  Special Agent Bagley apologized for the confusion of changing the accounts and requested to move the funds to a privatized account.  Commissioner Lawson felt that this move would be a shame.  Special Agent Bagley stated that checks are written to people in need, by including this under the county’s purview, it becomes public record and that the group that handles the fund is uncomfortable in making this public record.  Commissioner Brown reiterated his suggestion of auditing the account prior to relinquishing it to a privatized account.  CFO Roy reiterated that a W9 is required in order to make a lump sum transfer.  Sheriff's Administrative Assistant, Michelle Cote stated that the Maine Savings account is most likely listed under an employee's social security number.

MOTION: to authorize the Machias Savings Bank to close checking account number 1532360 and remove any connection to the county’s Employee Identification Number and to release all funds presently existing in this account to the Sheriff’s Charities Committee, reluctantly. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Sheriff Clark stated that the bank will release the funds to the sheriff’s charities committee under their tax identification number.  Commissioner Joy reiterated that a W9 is required prior to moving the funds.

MOTION: to authorize the Machias Savings Bank to close checking account number 1532400 and remove any connection to the county’s Employee Identification Number and to release all funds presently existing in these account to the Sheriff’s Office Employees’ committee. (Lawson/     motion failed for lack of 2nd)
Discussion: This is the vending machine account.  Commissioner Brown stated that he would not support this request.  Commissioner Joy stated that he would not second this request due to it being a business within a business and that he had issues with the request.  Sheriff Clark stated that no less than two votes have been taken to reaffirm the use of the funds from the vending machines.  Sheriff Clark stated that funds currently in this account belong to the sheriff’s employees.  He questioned if the account would be left as is and if it will continue to receive monthly commissions.  The commissioners preferred to leave the account “as is.”

MOTION: to authorize the Camden National Bank to close checking account number 1151166 and remove any connection to the county’s Employee Identification Number 01-000006. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy stated that the Maine Savings Account should be closed also.

MOTION: to authorize the closing of the Maine Savings Sheriff’s Charities account and to authorize the transfer of the $10 to the Sheriff’s Charities Committee. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Sheriff Clark requested for the county to pay liability insurance for the sheriff’s department IT person.  Commissioner Joy wanted to know if the county has a policy of independent contractors providing liability insurance/workers comp prior to working for the county.  There is no such policy at the present time.  A policy will be written requiring outside vendors to show proof of liability/workers comp insurance prior to performing work for the county.  Commissioner Brown felt that the request was unusual and a precedent may be set by granting the request.

MOTION: to ask the sheriff to ask Carl Stecher to provide proof of insurance with a general aggregate limit of $2M and each occurrence limit of $1M and to provide it at the May meeting. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Sheriff Clark distributed the FY13 jail budget for commissioner approval.  Proposed revenues and expenditures are $2,198,789.  The commissioners decided to put off approval in order to have a thorough discussion of the proposal.  Commissioner Brown was concerned with the funds projected for jail building maintenance cost.  Sheriff Clark suggested putting off the discussion until sometime in July.

12:09 Break for lunch
12:11 Back in session

Alan Churchill, the Teamsters Local 340 representative requested to withdraw the Pinkham grievance stating that Mr. Pinkham has elected to accept his reprimand as a disciplinary action which resolves the grievance.

MOTION: to accept the withdrawal of the Pinkham grievance. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

12:14 p.m.: Break for lunch.
12:36 p.m.: Back in session


Commissioner Brown stated that all commissioner “consensus” votes should go through the county clerk’s office from now on.  A discussion followed regarding the hiring of Ken Knight for an RF tower study.  Cell coverage, tower height, communications and promises made during previous meetings was also discussed.  More meteorology towers located in Hancock County are a possibility in the future.  CFO Roy stated that he met with Roxanne Jobe of EMDC re: TIF budgeting.  The formation of an advisory committee was discussed by CFO Roy and Ms. Jobe along with a revolving loan fund committee.

CFO Roy requested approval to add DOT plates and registration software to TRIO for the UT’’s.  This would include automobiles, boats, RV’s and ATV’s.  Total cost of installation and training is $5,100 with a $500 annual fee.  Approximately 250 to 300 registrations are completed annually.  CFO Roy also stated that Hancock County is not putting enough money into road repair capital accounts to further upgrade their roads as other county's are doing.

MOTION: to add registration software to TRIO for the UT’s and to include the cost of training that goes with it. (Joy/Lawson 2-1, motion passed) Brown opposed.

CFO Roy stated that the City of Ellsworth is charging $4,100 annually for use of the transfer station plus curb side pick-up at a cost between $500 to $650 monthly for Fletchers Landing Township.  $500 annually is being charged by the City of Ellsworth for use of the transfer station  for Townships #10, 22, 28, 32 and 34.  CFO Roy suggested that the county go out to RFP for curbside pick-up separate from the City of Ellsworth.  Commissioner Brown stated that a site to take their trash is the most importation issue.  Commissioner Brown suggested finding out how many homes are serviced prior t making a decision regarding curbside pick-up.

MOTION: to sign the Memoranda of Agreement with the City of Ellsworth, as written, for a three year period and over the next three years investigate perhaps having our own transfer station or paying for curbside.  (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Lawson stated that since the residents have had curbside pick-up for years, the service should continue.  Commissioner Brown preferred to have more information.

MOTION: to authorize the City of Ellsworth to include Fletchers Landing Township in their RFP for curbside pick-up.  (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

1:19 p.m.: Break
1:23 p.m.: Back in session


MOTION: to reappoint Craig Schoppe as a representative to the WHCA Board of Directors. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Rick Otto of the Hancock County Adult Drug Treatment Court requested to utilize the courthouse on Saturdays to conduct drug testing and provide counseling.

MOTION: to allow the HCADTC to use the courthouse for Saturday hours and have access through the front door. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Brown suggested utilizing the front door rather than utilizing dispatch for entrance.

1:38 p.m.
MOTION: to adjourn. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

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