Commissioners Regular Meeting

Commission Chairman, Steven E. Joy called the regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 5, 2012 in the conference room of the county courthouse located in Ellsworth with Commissioner Brown in attendance.  Commissioner Lawson joined the meeting at approximately 9:10 a.m.

Heather Fowler, Wellness Coordinator for Maine Coast Memorial Hospital and the current team leader of Wicked Good Wellness - Healthy By Choice! updated the commissioners on the progress of the wellness program.  A report is available, upon request, in the commissioners’ office.  A Confident Conversations meeting, designed to teach department heads how to discuss smoking cessation, is scheduled for June 12th.  Ms. Fowler discussed the need for an employee assistance program and other programs geared towards benefiting employee health.  A Health Fair is planned for September 19th.  Commissioner Joy stated that the county is moving in a positive direction.

Commission Business:


MOTION: to approve the minutes of the May 1, 2012 commissioners regular meeting and May 18th commissioners special meeting. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approval of deputy register of probate job description. (Lawson/ Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the probate clerk job description. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve General Fund and Airport Payroll Warrants #12-17, #12-18, #12-19, #12-20, #12-21 in the aggregate amount of $244,785.01. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve General Fund and Airport Expense Warrants #12-17, #12-18, #12-19 and #12-20 in the aggregate amount of $338,184.44. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Payroll Warrants #12-43, #12-44, #12-45, #12-46 and #12-47 in the aggregate amount of $100,904.95. (Lawson/Joy, 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Expense Warrants #12-40, #12-41, #12-42 and #12-43 in the aggregate amount of $81,779.25. (Lawson/Joy, 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy presented financial reports to include the jail and airport update. He reported that the BOC has voted to release the 4th quarter payment which should carry the jail through the end of the fiscal year but noted that a structural gap still exists.  There were no major "red flags" with the airport and general fund accounts.  Sheriff Clark stated that jail staff are meeting every Tuesday in order to monitor accounts and are working diligent toward not exceeding the FY12 budget.
MOTION: to approve April health insurance expenditures in the amount of $151,661.76. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a capital expenditure from account G1-3011-00 Building Reserve in the amount of $1,865 for the purchase of a mini split air conditioning unit. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a capital expenditure from account G1-3012-66 King Grant in the amount of $965.99 for the purchase of a heavy duty office chair for dispatch. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy stated that jail cash flow is on track when compared to the past three years but the essential spending directive should remain in place.  Register of Deeds, Julie Curtis expressed concerns regarding cash flow.  She is uncomfortable that Registry of Deeds transfer funds are being used to pay county bills and stated that if her funds are not kept separate she will "take her funds and put it in a separate bank account" as she is responsible for the funds as register, not the county commissioners.  The commissioners questioned if Registry of Deeds transfers were paid to the state on the 10th of the month.  The answer was yes.  These funds are kept in the general fund.  Register Curtis stated her concern with the CFO asking, everyday, how much money is in her account, and expressed her discomfort with the CFO asking how much money is due the state in transfer tax.  She clarified that the "process" was being questioned.  CFO Roy stated that there has always been enough money in the general fund to make the deeds transfer to the State of Maine.  Register Curtis disagreed, stating that in March 2011 there was not enough money in the general fund to make the deeds transfer which generated the airport transfer that is being currently challenged.  Sheriff Clark questioned if this process keeps the county from having to obtain a TAN.  He stated that this kind of banking affects the department heads because they cannot make capital purchases and are being held to essential spending.  TAN interest was discussed.  Commissioner Joy stated that the registers concern was not falling on deaf ears and that cash flow is on the agenda each month because it is a topic that needs discussing.  A short term loan with an interest rate of up to 1.2% for 3 months, of up to one million dollars, is in place under a contingency basis, if needed.  Register Curtis stated that if she was handling the funds, she would not be worried about it.  CFO Roy explained that the general fund is connected to a sweep account and that transfers can also be made.  Commissioner Joy suggested giving the register access to the accounts in order to keep her a breast of her funds.  Sheriff Clark questioned where revenues for the contract accounts are being kept.  CFO Roy stated that funds are showing in TRIO in the G1-1251-01 holding account.  Sheriff's Administrative Assistant, Michelle Cote stated that she has sent two e-mails requesting answers as to where town contract revenues are located within TRIO with no response.  Commissioner Joy questioned why the sheriff's staff could not find the location of the funds.  CFO Roy assured the commissioners that the information would be made available to the sheriff's staff shortly.

New health insurance cards should arrive shortly that include the VSP vision benefit logo.

CFO Roy stated that the FY11 audit should arrive by next week.

The OFA is currently able to collect excise tax as well as process titles and registrations for most vehicle classes.  They are the early stages of obtaining approval to sell hunting and fishing licenses through MOSES.  The first data upload to the state will begin next week.

CFO Roy  Commissioner’s Joy and Brown questioned where the funds would come from.  CFO Roy suggested from his IT capital reserve accounts.  Previously, they had been overspending the part-time line.  Commissioner Brown did not agree with that scenario.

MOTION: to approve funding for the OFA part-time position from July 1-December 31, 2012. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: CFO Roy stated that payment should come by over expending the part-time account by $2,500 for the final 6 months of the year.  Treasurer Eldridge stated that the part-time clerk was hired to help Renee but currently she is not doing that.  The part-time clerk works on excel reports, DMV items and compiling warrants.  Register Curtis stated that this item was not budgeted and yet the rest of the departments must stay with essential spending.  "If this is essential, why isn’t the CFO working 5-days a week."  Funding for the OFA part-time position is from July 1 – December 31, 2012.

CFO Roy requested an end of June meeting to set jail and UT capital accounts.  The July commissioners regular meeting was scheduled for June 29th beginning at 9:00 a.m.

10:12 a.m.: Break


MOTION: to closeout AIP 26 and to authorize the chairman to sign the closeout documents. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a capital expenditure in the amount of $717.96 from account 40-70-800 for the purchase of new padlocks for the airport fence. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to accept the land release request for the 0.77 acres along Route 3 and authorize the chairman to sign the release request letter. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Airport Manager Rogers requested permission to move forward with repairing the terminal building fire alarm system and requested that a capital expenditure request to come at a later date once the cost is known.  The final cost would be between $1,500 to $1,800, funds to come from account 40-70-410

MOTION: to authorize the airport manager to replace the fire alarm panel in the terminal building, the expense will be in the $1,500 to $1,800 range, to be paid from account 40-70-410. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to the repair of the Agco tractor in the amount of $7,000, to be funded from account G2-3010-30 Equipment Overhaul. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Airport undesignated funds were discussed.  CFO Roy preferred to over expend the  equipment expense reserve account E-40-70-100.  Commissioner Brown suggested obtaining another quote.  Commissioner Joy preferred to stay with the manufacturer, Agco.  Tires were priced out through several dealers.

MOTION: to accept the contract extension with Securitas for providing LEO services per TSA requirements at the airport until October 1, 2012 and to authorize the chairman to sign the extension agreement. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to accept the low bid for the purchase of a UTV, 15' and 6' mower from Greenway Equipment in Ellsworth in the amount of $32,226. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: $14,000 to be paid from account 40-70-110 and $18,226 to be paid from account G2-3010-70.

MOTION: to authorize the capital expenditure of $32,226 of which $14,000 would come from account 40-70-110 and $18,226 to come from account G2-3010-70. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to grant approval to extend the trash removal contract with Pine Tree Waste for a period of one year. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Facilities Director Walls requested to employ a part-time janitor for 8 hours per week.  He requested to schedule 3-4 regular shifts per month, thus creating a more homogenous group and covering planned absences.  By keeping this person engaged, it would not generate any additional costs.  Commissioner Brown clarified the amount of time the anticipated part-time janitor would be working.  The answer was approximately 16 to 32 hours monthly, on call-as needed with no benefits.  Director Walls has taken over safety officer duties with no issues or complaints.

Monthly Report: Facilities Director Walls has inspected most of the campus and has made initial assessments of the courthouse and jail.  He stated he has been approached to paint the Superior Court courtroom with at a shared cost of approximately $20,000 from the county.  Commissioner Brown was in favor of the endeavor.  Commissioner Joy stated that it was court space and he felt the court system should be responsible for the entire cost.  In this scenario, the county would have to prepare the bid documents.  Director Walls stated that the Andrew Peters Office currently has an emergency exit that leads to a locked door.  Commissioner Lawson stated that the exit sign should be removed immediately.  Commissioner Joy stated that this issue needs to become a top priority to be resolved immediately.  The building also has a reverse pitch situation that has created a plumbing problem.  The pipe in question is in the floor and will need to be removed and replaced.


Emergency Management Agency Director Andrew Sankey presented the monthly report.  There are currently no flood reports or declarations with regard to the recent rains in Hancock County.  Deputy Director Davis has begun his duties.  Almost $1,900 has become available to purchase communications equipment and grant opportunity has arisen through MMA, permission was given to pursue the grant.  The Mitigation Plan has been forwarded to the State for review and approval.  Flood mitigation plans have been approved by all but three towns.  A large animal rescue took place last month to which the HCEMA provided resources.


MOTION: to approve the Town of Stonington law enforcement contract. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: The original Stonington contract was for 30 hour, it was reduced to 24 hours a few years ago.  There is no contract for the Town of Castine.  Eight hours is provided to the Town of Castine by the “on duty” patrol officer.  There are two additional 4-hour shifts paid by the town.  Funding and patrol deputy scheduling for town contracts was discussed.  This contract is for a 6-month period.
MOTION: to approve the Town of Tremont law enforcement contract for a 6 month period. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Joy questioned why each town pays a different rate.  The Tremont contract is for 30 hours per week.

MOTION: to approve the acceptance of $1,627 as a drug task force feature, in the case of State of Maine v. Donald A. Smith. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the acceptance of $3,064 as a drug task force forfeiture, in the case of State of Maine v. Robert A. Goodwin. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the acceptance of six (6) firearms, as a drug task force forfeiture, in the case of State of Maine v. Levi F. Dam and State of Maine v. Keely L. Dam. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: these guns will be taken to Willey’s for “credit” to be applied toward future purchases.

MOTION: to approve the sheriff's and chief deputy’s annual bond. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the sale of two cars received in drug forfeitures. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: vehicles are a 1999 Subaru Legacy station wagon and a 1999 Nissan Maxima.  These vehicles will be put on the front lawn for sale.  Proceeds from the sale will go to the Drug Task Force.

11:35 a.m.: Break
11:41 a.m.: Back in session

Sheriff Clark presented the FY13 jail budget.  A 10-year capital improvement project outline has been presented to the BOC for review.  Sheriff Clark stated that he is not bound to the capital plan, that it is more for the state’s use.  There is currently $46,000 intended for capital improvements in the jail.  Sheriff Clark stated that finances in the jail are so tight that in order to find money a program will have to be cut or a person will have to be let go.  Commissioner Brown was concerned that the BOC was not going to release funds when needed.  Sheriff Clark stated that $27,500 has been put into a capital reserve in FY12 which lowered his working capital due to the way the account has been used in the past, meaning, the capital account has been utilized as a general repair account prior to 2012.  Commissioner Brown was concerned that the capital building repair account has not been funded.  Commissioner Joy felt that account 46-4602 was going in the wrong direction by being reduced rather than maintained.  The cost of running the jail verses the county tax cap and the survival of county jails was discussed.  Commissioner Joy questioned the cost of overtime and part-time.  Comp-time and the comp-time buy-out was discussed.  Sheriff Clark felt comp time in certain positions should be limited.  Wage increases are not included in the FY13 budget.  These increases will be requested in the supplemental budget request.  Shortfalls in community corrections funds were discussed.

12:16 p.m.: Recess
12:40 p.m.: Back in session


RCC Director Wellman gave a brief overview of her monthly report.  Commissioner Joy suggested sending different individuals to Spillman training so that there would be a pool of Spillman educated employees.  The grand total to attend the conference is approximately $1,700.

MOTION: to accept the resignation of dispatcher Jessica Masse. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve out-of-state travel for Ralston Means III to attend the Spillman conference in Salt Lake City Utah in September 2012. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the RCC dispatcher job description. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the RCC part-time dispatcher job description. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the RCC part-time clerk job description. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

RCC Director Wellman requested to move forward with reference to Ken Knight’s report in improving/upgrading radio coverage in the county. The cost to provide radios on all of the towers is unknown but can be paid for with Community Benefit funds.  Chairman Joy suggested focusing on one tower at a time.  Director Wellman stated that it may be cheaper to do them all at once.  Commissioner Brown stated he was not sure if the county would have a dispatch center in 2013.  Community Benefit funds will not be received until after April 2013.  Commissioner Joy suggested beginning the tower study but payment would not be received until community benefit funds are received.  2-antennas are needed on the Bull Hill tower, Commissioner Joy would prefer to use Ken Knight with regard to stocking the tower and building with needed equipment.  Cost of licensing frequencies, cost of equipment on tower(s) and cost to connect to the building(s) is needed.  The Town of Amherst has received a request erect a tower, Director Wellman has requested to include public safety, at no cost, in the permitting process of this particular tower.  Director Wellman was instructed to contact Ken Knight to obtain a cost for proposal for his work in obtaining the equipment list and cost of outfitting the Bull Hill and Caterpillar Hill tower.  Commissioner Joy stated the financial end of the Community Development program is the CFO’s responsibility.  The CFO should be monitoring when the wind project is up and running and requesting the first payment immediately thereafter.


The Special Project Coordinator update is available, upon request, in the commissioner's office.

MOTION: to approve the Cherryfield / T10 Transfer Station Agreement. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy requested to table the Fletchers Landing Township curbside pick-up discussion until the June 29.  Union River Solid Waste Disposal has been contacted with a request to join their 5-member community in order to contract with them to provide curb side pick-up on a per bag basis for Fletchers Landing Township.  Commissioner Joy suggested checking to see if all of the UT’s could participate in this service.

CFO Roy stated that the bridge located on the Back Road is not in state compliance with regard the guardrail system.  The State of Maine Department of Transportation has been contacted and directed the CFO to contact C.A. Newcomb & Son to fix the problem  under the state contract.  The Back Road is also in need of repair.

MOTION: to move forward with fixing the guard rail on the bridge located on the Back Road at a cost of $3,652. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy was directed to remove the rock on the Back Road and to fix the road with dirt.

MOTION: to sign the Greater Ellsworth HUW/UW Collection agreement. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy presented the following documents for review:

  • Revolving fund application for financing (Washington County)
  • Revolving fund Personal Financial Statement (Washington County)
  • Brochure explaining funding opportunities for business and nonprofits in the UT (Washington County)
  • Review of TIF Awards in Washington County as an example of things that can be done.
  • TIF District Application for funding (Washington County)

CFO Roy requested direction on if he should move forward with the above items.  Commissioner Brown suggested working with Roxanne Jobe of EMDC on this project.

CFO Roy stated that it was his understanding that the UT state auditors have questioned the use of UT funds in order to pay for the services of the UT Special Projects Coordinator.  The county is awaiting the results of the final UT audit.  CFO Roy stated that the auditors did not understand how a ‘sweep” account worked.  Once it was explained, they understood.  Going forward, a charge for the RCC, under the UT budget, must to be documented.  A method to determine a baseline charge has been developed.

Four UT cat and two dog complaints have been handled over the past month.

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign the LURC application, once received, regarding the communications tower in T16 and other related documents. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

The Myra Road is in need of grading, the cost should not exceed $1,400.  The Nicatous Road has been graded.


MOTION: to affirm renewal of the Pitney Bowes Service Level Agreement. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


Clerk DePrenger requested approval to utilize the commissioners meeting room for Healthy Lifestyle meetings, to be held June 21 – September 13, 2012.  Commissioner Brown was uncomfortable loaning out the room, but preferred to have a responsible person in charge.  The commissioners requested contact information and an attendance sheet.

MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(A) to discuss a personnel matter. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
Clerk DePrenger and CFO Roy were excused from attending the executive session.

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 3:00 p.m. with nothing to report.

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

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