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, May 1, 2012 in the conference room at the county courthouse in Ellsworth with Commissioners Brown and Lawson in attendance.


The following fuel oil bids were opened:

Company:  Base Price Add'l chg.   Total bid
No Frills Oil Co., Inc.:    $3.382  $0.048  $3.337
  Would allow a fixed price between May and Sept. +.048 per gal.
Dead River Company: $3.2562 $.1823  $3.4385
Irving Oil Co.: $3.3881 $.085  $3.4731
Acadia Fuel: $3.2509 $.05 $3.3009
RH Foster Energy, LLC: $3.449   $.095 $3.544

 Submissions were given to the facilities director for review and recommendation.

MOTION: to approve the fuel oil bid from No Frills Oil Company at a cost of $3.337. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Adjustments to the agenda:

MOTION: to move item 5d up to 3i. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to add item 10d, an executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(a) to discuss a personnel matter. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Commission Business:


MOTION: to approve the minutes of the April 3, 2012 commissioners regular meeting and April 6th commissioners special meeting. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve the Airline Lodge & Snack Bar LLC retail off-premise malt liquor license. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve General Fund and Airport Payroll Warrants #12-13, #12-14, #12-15 and #12-16 in the aggregate amount of $208,327.30. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve General Fund and Airport Expense Warrants #12-13, #12-14, #12-5 and #12-16 in the aggregate amount of $446,441.51. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Payroll Warrants #12-39, #40, #12-41, #12-42 in the aggregate amount of $90,477.42. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Expense Warrants #12-36, #12-37, #12-38 and #12-39 in the aggregate amount of $93,842.50. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy presented financial reports including the jail and airport update.  Commissioner Joy questioned the negative balance of $12,331. in the Jail Comp Time Buy-Out account.  CFO Roy explained that this account was separated out of the overtime account in FY12 but was paired with the overtime account because one affects the other.  There were no anomalies in the airport budget which is on target and up to date.

Audit update:  RHR Smith has received the information requested of Hancock County regarding their analysis as requested by the Board of Corrections.  The 2013 jail budget has not yet been approved by the commissioners.  Jail expenses were reduced by $22,210 and the investment fund request was increased by over $4,000.  This did not meet the criteria laid out by the BOC.  Title 30 A requires that the commissioners to submit the budget to the BOC, currently the budget has been submitted without commissioner approval.  The RHR Smith audit has been completed.

MOTION: to approve March health insurance expenditures in the amount of $121,350.15. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a capital expenditure in the amount of $3,951 from account G1-3015-20 for the purchase of General Liability Insurance for the Hancock County Firefighters Association with J.T. Rosborough, Inc. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Cash flow update: CFO Roy projected that funds will be tight by July but is on track for now, he is hopeful that the county will get by without having to take out a TAN.  The fourth quarter payment for the jail should be forthcoming soon.  A letter will be written to the BOC requesting the funds be sent as soon as possible.

CFO Roy requested to add VSP Vision Benefits to the current health care plan.  The associated cost of the plan is 5-cents per covered employee or approximately $5 per month.  The program is not insurance or a vision plan.  Rather, it offers discounts on eye exams, hardware (frames, lenses, contact lenses), and other vision related services.

MOTION: to agree to extend VSP Vision Benefits to county employees. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: it was clarified that this is an annual additional $60 expense.  Commissioner Brown suggested that this item may be subject to union negotiation.  This program will become effective once updated cards are received.

CFO Roy presented a proposal for actuarial services from Menard Consulting, Inc. in the amount of $2,400.  Municipalities are utilizing the Milliman Company through MMEHT in order to complete their actuarial work.  The commissioners suggested contacting MC, Inc for user references.  Funding for this expense will come from the various health accounts (jail, airport and general).

MOTION: to hire Menard Consulting, Inc. to do our actuarial services in the amount of $2,400. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy stated that the workers comp audit has been paid.  A sub contractor was deemed an employee through this process and the cost of that "employee" has been paid.  This is being contested through the workers comp state board for review.  The sub contractor has been contacted and asked to complete an application for predetermination of independent contractor status but has not responded or returned the requested application.  The cost of the sub contractor was $713.77 plus the possibility of between $2,500 to $3,500 in employee taxes.  A letter will be sent stating that if the county has to pay this expense, the commissioners will be forced to seek restitution from the contractual employee per contractual agreement.  CFO Roy stated that the EMA Director is unhappy with these funds being taken from his budget and suggested that the CFO send a letter to the State requesting payment of these funds.  Commissioner Joy stated that a request for reimbursement on a legitimate claim for workers comp should come from the department.  All penalties should be paid from the commissioners professional services account.  The clerk was instructed to send a certified letter to the sub contractor requesting that the application for predetermination of independent contractor status be completed with a 30 day deadline, with the idea that if the county is going to have to pay the funds as stated in the contract the person may be asked to reimburse the county.

MOTION: to authorize the chair to craft a certified letter stating the previous request and allow 30 days for response. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


Airport Manager Rogers gave a brief update on the land release issue.  She was satisfied with the MeDOT traffic modeling and reported that the model projected issues with the airport entrance within the next three years.  Route 3 will be widened for easier access to the airport.  A land release has to be conducted due to the 0.77 acres that the MeDOT would like to acquire to complete the project.  Commissioner Joy stated that the right-of-way and title work should meet the airport property line and should not be 6’ short, as proposed.  the right-of-way and title should also grant the airport the right of usage.  Height restrictions regarding utility poles have been discussed and approved.

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign the grant offer for AIP XX Terminal Building Expansion Design. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign the grant offer accepting the funding for the Terminal Building Expansion Design Project. (Lawson/Brown, 3-0, motion passed)

Monthly Update:  Almost 3/4th of Cape Air flights have been booked for May.  Pen Air begins service on May 24th.

MOTION: to accept the contract with Hoyle Tanner and Associates for the professional engineering services associated with preparing the Federal Land Release for 0.77 acres to MDOT in the amount of $8,400. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the Lease and Operating Rights Agreement between the County of Hancock and Cape Air for the period of April 15, 2012 to April 14, 2016 and subject to the conditions contained wherein. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


Probate Register Bonnie Cousins, Judge Patterson and the Penobscot County Register Susan Almy were present to discuss and request approval of the ICON contract.  All workstations meet the requirement for ICON.  CFO Roy stated that a dedicated server would be needed and suggested utilizing the old Citrix server.  Electronic filing will eliminate the associated cost of paper and original documents will be returned to the owner.  ICON records are current through 1960.

MOTION: to enter into the Service Level Agreement with ICON in the amount of $2,360.00 annually from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2016. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: CFO Roy voiced his concern regarding the statutory requirement for competitive bidding and warned the commissioners about entering into this agreement.  The Penobscot Register of Probate will provide a letter from the Director of General Services waiving the bid process.  The new memorandum of understanding includes an optional period or extension.  Judge Patterson concurred with the Registers regarding electronic filing and the bid process.

Judge Patterson explained that the cost of court appointed attorneys, visitors and guardian’s ad- litem has been escalating and will be overrun in FY12.  A spreadsheet was presented showing budgeted professional fees per population for the 16 counties.  Guardianships have been growing steadily annually.  Payments are limited to $50 per hours for 10 hours.  Attorneys have stated that they cannot provide this service anymore due to the limited funds allotted for this service.  Commissioner Brown stated that, this cannot be helped, if it runs over, it runs over.  Commissioner Lawson suggested utilizing retired persons as guardian ad-litem.

11:12 a.m.: Break
11:20 a.m.: Back in session


Monthly Report:  Commissioner Lawson praised Director Sankey for the comprehensiveness of the EMA monthly report.

MOTION: to approve the hire of Richard Davis of Buxton at the weekly salary of $769.23, effective May 5, 2012. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Joy questioned if the health care issue has been resolved.  The answer was yes, a memorandum has been received waiving his rights to health insurance.  Mr. Davis will be participating in the health insurance buy-out/buy-down.

MOTION: to grant approval to solicit bids for a replacement IMAT vehicle. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Bids should include one with trade-in and one without.


MOTION: to approve the Equitable Sharing Agreement and Certification. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the corrections officer, corrections sergeant/corrections corporal, cook, head cook and part-time/on call, as needed cook job descriptions. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to send a letter of appreciation to Frank Shepard for his involvement leading to an excellent score in the recent compliance inspection associated with the jail. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)


Director Wellman stated that the Town of Blue Hill is currently late in paying for their RCC services.  A late notice will be sent to the town apprising them of the delinquency.  Commissioner Brown stated that given the picture from dispatch and push back by voters and information coming out of the PUC, he suggested being careful in entering into contracts with towns for more than one year.  Commissioner Lawson stated that one year contracts were preferable.

12:06 p.m.: Recess for lunch
1:00 p.m.: Back in session

Tower Project: Dave Fowler from First Wind, Ken Knight and Eric Stumpfel Esq. were present to discuss the county use of a meteorological tower in Township 16.  The tower location has been cleared but there is no road construction to the site.  Commissioner Brown stated that originally, a 300ft tower was discussed along with a small building and a road, cell phone coverage was also discussed.  Mr. Fowler stated that it was never in his mind that the county would need a 300ft tower, but if that type of tower was going to be more beneficial to First Wind's service, the county and the users he would agree to a 312ft tower, but requested proof of need.  Ken Knight stated 300ft would not benefit the county going forward.  He agreed that Bull Hill was a great site and a 150ft tower would serve the county well.  The tower is basically for radio coverage.  Repeaters and portable repeaters were discussed.  The time table for tower erection is prior to November 2012.  Commissioner Brown expressed the need for a generator for back-up purposes for the tower.  An 8k generator at a cost between $8,000 and $10,000 would be sufficient.  Commissioner Joy expressed his desire to cover the majority of the population rather than a small portion of the population and preferred to rent space rather than to erect a tower.  Commissioner Brown stated that he was looking at this from the law enforcement side stating that if law enforcement needed to respond to an emergency, they need the coverage.  Mr. Fowler suggested a cash option rather than building a tower.  He stated that $100,000 would build a 150ft tower anywhere and the Bull Hill site would still be available for county use.  The tower provision is under the Community Benefit Agreement that would become an addition to the CBA.

Mr. Knight stated that the cash buy-out offer is a very, very good offer and to be able to utilize the site later on is exceptional.  He stated that a 320ft tower would cost approximately $95,000.  The cost of renting space in other parts of the county was approximately $550 per month.  Approximately 79% of the county is covered with RF coverage.  RCC coverage is slight in the north portion of the county.  Tower height drives the cost of the unit, the higher the tower the higher the cost.  His recommendation was to conduct an RF study of the site at the proper height.  He recommended utilizing the Bull Hill site.  Most towns have a height ordinance which can hamper the installation of the tower.  Other RCC’s could also utilize the tower.  Frequencies are needed in order to meet the need of a new tower.  The current licenses are site specific.  The cost of communications equipment for the site, a couple of channels and microwave is approximately $35,000 to $40,000 per site.  Most of the equipment in Hancock County is analog based, but newer analog/digital equipment is available.  A repeater on the Bull Hill tower would allow Penobscot RCC to utilize the tower.  Mr. Knight suggested taking the money and utilizing the opportunity to put a tower up in the future.

Commissioner Joy summed up the conversation stating that a 150ft tower would serve the county’s purpose and the road would be open to the wind turbines but not necessarily the county tower, there is to be a building that houses an electrical panel and a generator and equipment that goes on the tower.  The cost of a 150ft tower and the site infrastructure is approximately $100,000.  The frequency would be an additional cost.  As part of decommissioning the Hancock County tower will not have to be removed, see page 87 of the LURC Agreement.  Mr. Stupmfel clarified that the lease needs to allow use by the county or an option to extend the lease over several years.  An independent agreement with the land owner may be needed for a perpetual or long term lease of the land.  The county can also acquire an easement by eminent domain in a UT.  Mr. Stumpfel will work on this.  Specifications for a building will be provided by Ken Knight.  The commissioners agreed on a 150ft tower and agreed that the roads will be opened to the turbines and possibly the tower site but not necessarily.  Needed items are a building, power and generator.  The site would be at Bull Hill.

Break: 2:11 p.m.
Back in session: 2:17 p.m.

MOTION: to accept the resignation of full-time dispatcher Jennifer Grant effective May 15, 2012. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to accept the resignation of part-time dispatcher Joshua Jordan. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the promotion of Jessica Silvestrone of Trenton from a part-time clerk/dispatcher to a full-time dispatcher at Step 9A $14.44 per hour effective May 5, 2012. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: The hire date will remain at May 5, 2012.

MOTION: to approve the hire of Jessica Masse of Hancock as a part-time dispatcher at the rate of $12 per hour with no benefits. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to table the Frenchboro contract. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


CFO Roy gave a brief update on Bureau of Motor Vehicle training attended by himself and Deputy Treasurer Renee Atwater and associated implementation.  Notifications will be sent to all FLT residents notifying them of this service.  Commissioner Joy questioned if other OFA employees could perform this function.  The answer was not for the first year.

The UT Special Project Coordinator submitted a written report and gave an oral presentation on his work in the UT.

Road update: The Nicatous Stream Road and Martin’s Ridge roads have been un-posted.  Washouts have occurred on the Nicatous Stream Road and flailing has been completed.  New culverts have not been installed.  Work on the Martin’s Ridge Road is awaiting other responses.  There have been numerous animal control reports.

The county has been paying approximately $550 to $650 per month for curb side pick-up in Fletchers Landing Township.  The City of Ellsworth has removed FLT from their curbside pick-up RFP.  Commissioner Joy stated that something can be worked out with the City to include those individuals who utilize the service with their carrier.  An animal control officer should be assigned to FLT.  Permission was given to seek out that person.


MOTION: to appoint of Ellen Willingham of Winter Harbor as a public sector representative to the WHCA Board of Directors for three years. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION:  to approve the inclusion of "significant other" in the Personnel Policy under Bereavement Leave. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the Pine Tree Waste Recycling Service Agreement. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to accept the resignation of Safety Officer, Lynn O'Kane effective May 1, 2012. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6A to discuss a personnel issue. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back in session at 3:05 p.m. with nothing to report.

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

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