Commissioners Regular Meeting

Commission Chairman Steven E. Joy called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, June 29, 2012 in the conference room of the county courthouse in Ellsworth with Commissioners Lawson and Brown in attendance.


MOTION: to approve the minutes of the June 5, 2012 commissioners regular meeting. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Erik Stumpfel, Esq. of Rudman and Winchell, Shana Cook-Muller of Bernstein & Shur and Dave Fowler of First Wind were in attendance to request commissioner approval of the Notification of Assignment and Acknowledgement and Confirmation Regarding Credit Enhancement Agreement in connection with the Bull Hill wind project.  Erik Stumpfel stated that most credit enhancement agreements allow the project developer to assign the agreement or their tax reimbursements under the agreement to banks that finance construction of the project.  He noted that on the Bull Hill project, by signing the Credit Enhancement Agreement , the county has already agreed that it can be assigned as collateral against financing of the project.  Any assignments for purposes other than project financing would have to be subject to approval by the county commissioners.  For clarification purposes, under the assignment the county would be paying the future TIF reimbursement due to Blue Sky East, LLC directly to the bank that is financing the project, Union Bank N.A.  Shana Cook-Muller and Dave Fowler indicated that the same bank would be providing both construction phase and permanent project financing.

MOTION: to approve the Acknowledgement and Confirmation Regarding Credit Enhancement Agreement.  (Brown/Joy 2-0-1, motion passed) Lawson abstained.
Discussion: Commissioner Lawson abstained because she is not in favor of the project.

Dave Fowler stated that preparation for the easement for the Bull Hill tower is almost complete, information will be sent to Eric Stumpfel for his opinion prior submitting it to the commissioners.

Adjustments to the agenda:

MOTION: to add item 7e, request to hire a full-time employee in the maintenance department, to add item 8e, request to hire a part-time clerk in the RCC, to move item 3 to item 10b, to add item 3i, treasurer request for deputy treasurer to attend the July treasurers meeting, to approve the payment of installation of a radio in the RCC directors personal vehicle. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to designate the County of Hancock campus as a smoke free campus beginning January 1, 2013, mean while, if needed, smoking cessation programs will be offered. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Brown stated that he felt the campus should be designated as a tobacco free campus out of concern for employees and public health.  Commissioner Lawson agreed.  Commissioner Joy suggested moving forward as a smoke free campus effective January 1, 2013.  Policing of the policy was a concern.  Cessation programs were discussed and will be offered, if requested.  A policy will be developed over the next 6 months.

Terri Cormier of the Ellsworth Historical society was present to request the deeding of the lawns currently owned by the county in front of the Old Jail to the Ellsworth Historical society.  The society currently owns the property the building sits on and the walkway only.  Commissioner Joy stated that once control is given up, the National Historical Society must grant permission to make changes and that control of the property is difficult to get back.  More information was requested.


MOTION: to extend until December 31, 2012 the MDOT agreement for AIP 29 and authorize the chairman to sign the agreement. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

The Town of Trenton has been awarded approximately $1,000,000 in funding for transportation projects.  Suggested improvements to the seaplane/boat ramp include a play area/park for children, privy, picnic area, gazebo and interpretive panels illustrating the historic significance of the ramp and airport.  A floating dock was not eligible for this MDOT funding therefore the town is pursuing a Small Harbor Improvement Program grant for approximately $80,000.  The 20% $16,000 local portion of funding is being pursued through funding raising efforts and pledges.  A MOU detailing airport and town responsibilities was presented.  A map denoting designation of property would be helpful.

MOTION: to accept the MOU with the Town of Trenton regarding the seaplane/boat ramp. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed.)

Lane Construction has requested to rent space on the airport for the duration of the Route 3 and Route 230 intersection project for a staging area and a space for the trailer/office.

MOTION: to allow the airport manager to rent from July 2012 to June 2013 two parcels of land at the airport totaling approximately one acre, for the purpose of construction staging areas for the Route 3 Route 230 intersection project, contingent upon on what is actually requested. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: the property should be put back to its original state once the project is complete.

Airport manager Rogers has received correspondence from Colgan Air stating that they have officially filed for bankruptcy and that claim submission is due by August 6, 2012.

10:19 a.m.: Break
10:30 a.m.: Back in session


Register Curtis presented a RFP for electronic recording services in the Registry of Deeds.  Commissioner Brown suggested having a legal counselor look at the document prior to distribution.

MOTION: to accept the RFP for electronic recording services in the Registry of Deeds, with the suggested changes. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: The submission date will be changed to July 13, 2012.  Register Curtis questioned if the commissioners would like to be present for vendor demonstrations.  The commissioners would like to be notified and possibly attend.


MOTION: to approve the hire of Gladys Dolliver of Ellsworth as a part-time, on call, as needed janitor at the rate of $12 per hour, effective June 30, 2012. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: there are no benefits associated with this position.

MOTION: approval to remove administratively, janitor Judy Carter from the employment rolls effective June 14, 2012. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the hire of Elsa Trenholm of Otis as a full-time janitor at Step 3F3 $11.97 per hour, effective June 30, 2012. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Facilities Director Walls requested permission to put out an RFP to grout the front steps of the courthouse and fix the granite steps at the Andrew Peters Office Building.

MOTION: to authorize the facilities director to put out an RFP for the re-grouting of the courthouse front steps and the steps located at the district attorney’s office. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Joy suggested looking into new technology to utilize in the project due to the frequency in which the steps have to be re-grouted.  He also voiced his concerns that the DA’s steps may need re-pointing as well as re-grouting

Oil delivery contact information will be addressed by the facilities director.


Emergency Management Agency Director, Andrew stated that the State of Maine has agreed to pay 65% of the Deputy Director salary.  The split of 65/35 is a direct reflection of his time spent in each area.  This is different from past practice.

A new IMAT vehicle is needed.  A bid will be disseminated soon which will reflect a late model 2012 vehicle or a 2013 model.  Towing capacity was discussed.

An after action review was held regarding the truck vs. Island Explorer propane powered bus vehicle accident.  The process was very beneficial to all parties.  Director Sankey spoke highly about the fire academy and the training involved that taught attendees to work together as a team.  It was evident communication to the public should be improved.

A website committee will be formed in order to study website design, need and implementation.  Encrypted communications channels were discussed.  Director Sankey felt that EMA did not have a need to utilize or access encrypted channels.  Training will take place at the “old navy base” in Winter Harbor during the month of September 2012.  An exercise activity is available utilizing the Bull Hill wind farm site.


Commissioner Joy stated that the Town of Blue Hill has stated that they will pay for their RCC services on the last day possible for submission.  Commissioner Brown suggested that RCC contracts should be postponed until further notice.

Commissioner Joy questioned the special skills and licensure required for the dispatch clerk position.  The compensation code should be eliminated due to the part-time status.  Commissioner Joy questioned the title of “clerk” noting that the qualifications out weighted the title.  The difference between a dispatch clerk and dispatcher was clarified.  Civil Process / dispatcher swaps and the cost associated with Workers Compensation for those positions were discussed.  Commissioner Brown questioned why a job description has to be created for a dispatcher /clerk when both of those job descriptions exists.  Commissioner Brown stated that he did not care for the current arrangement of job sharing.  He preferred to have two separate positions.  Commissioner Joy suggested having a full-time position to conduct EMDQ and clerical work.

Commissioner Joy stated that the majority of the League of Towns does not want to pay for the RCC and do not want to come to the RCC.  He stated that the County of Hancock is at a critical position right now due to towns not coming forward to join the RCC.

MOTION: to approve the hire of Devon Bohacik of Ellsworth as a full-time dispatcher at Step 9A, $14.44 per hour, effective June 30, 2012. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Mr. Bohacik has a law enforcement background, but no dispatch experience.

Director Wellman reported that Life Flight has stated that they will be primary responders to some of the UT islands at no cost to the county.  Privately owned island opinion was discussed.  This discussion will continue at a later date.


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

MOTION: to approve the trash removal agreement for Fletchers Landing Township with the City of Ellsworth and Pine Tree Waste in the amount of $3,354. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the sand/salt storage agreement with the County of Penobscot. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Ken Knight presented and a scope of services and fee schedule for the continuation of the Hancock County radio communications upgrade plan previously discussed in 2011.  Bull Hill and UT areas should be financially separated out from the bill as a whole.  Commissioner Joy felt that TIF and or Community Benefit funds should cover the cost of this project and expressed his desire to move forward.  Director Wellman stated that the Caterpillar Hill tower has been erected.  She suggested moving forward and including the Caterpillar Hill site within the scope of work.

RCC  continued:

MOTION: to hire Ken Knight as our radio communications consultant at a price not to exceed $12,500 with an emphasis on Bull Hill, in connection with coverage in Hancock County including Caterpillar Hill. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: funding would come from the UT department for now and eventually will be charged to the TIF fund.  If the Caterpillar Hill tower serves a UT, it can be funded through TIF funds as well.  Commissioner Brown was concerned that the Bill Hill and Caterpillar Hill work should be separated financially.

MOTION: to approve the hire of Lori Bartlett of Southwest Harbor as a part-time RCC clerk effective June 30, 2012.  Hours will be Monday – Thursday, 16 hours a week, $12 per hour, no benefits and in combination with the dispatchers part-time job and will not exceed 39 hours per week. (Joy/Brown 2-1, motion passed) Brown opposed.
Discussion: Director Wellman stated that Ms. Bartlett will not exceed 39 hours per week in combination with her current part-time dispatch duties.

Director Wellman stated that a county radio was installed in her personal vehicle.  For full disclosure purposes, she reported the installation to the commissioners.


Treasurer Eldridge requested that the Deputy Treasurer be allowed to attend the treasurers meeting on Thursday, July 16, 2012.  Commissioner Joy stated that he was agreeable to her attending one meeting per year.  Commissioner Lawson agreed with Commissioner Joy.  CFO Roy stated that he has denied the deputy treasurer's request as department head.  The commissioners authorized the deputy treasurer was to attend the treasurers meeting to be held during the September MCCA convention.  CFO Roy clarified that the OFA will be closed that day due to attendance at the convention.

Treasurer Eldridge stated that she has received several telephone calls regarding the warrant process and requested copies of the 2009-2011 audits.

MOTION: to approve General Fund and Airport Payroll Warrants #12-22, #12-23, #12-24 and #12-25 in the aggregate amount of $192,255.43. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve General Fund and Airport Expense Warrants #12-21, #12-22, #12-23 and #12-24 in the aggregate amount of $310,417.82. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Payroll Warrants #12-48, #12-49, #12-50, #12-51 in the aggregate amount of $81,798.84. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Expense Warrants #12-44, #12-45, 12-46, #12-47, #12-48 and #12-49 in the aggregate amount of $86,193.06. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy publicly thanked Deputy Treasurer Renee Atwater for her assistance over the past few days in the closeout of the jail and UT fiscal year.

Commissioner Joy stated that there were questions at the recent League of Towns meeting regarding oversight of the warrant process.  He stated that the previous treasurer used to view the warrants and checks prior to commissioner signature.  Checks were not released until the chairman signed the warrant.  The current treasurer prefers to view the warrant and checks after the chairman has signed the warrant.  In many municipalities a check is not released until all selectmen sign the warrant.

CFO Roy presented financial reports to include the jail update.  The airport update was not available.

MOTION: to approve May health insurance expenditures in the amount of $175,529.21. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a capital expense in the amount of $40.00 from account G1-3015-20 for equipment repairs. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

A list of UT transfers from undesignated funds to capital accounts is available in the commissioner’s office, upon request

MOTION: to move $96,377.37 in UT undesignated surplus funds to capital expenditures. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

UT road repair, ditching and grading was discussed.

CFO Roy requested to utilize Shell gas cards along with the Comdata card for gasoline purchases.  It was reiterated that the Shell card is for gas purchases only.  Commissioner Joy stated that he did not believe the savings generated would be significant.

MOTION: to move forward in utilizing Shell gas cards for airport use. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: These cards will be set up like the Comdata cards but will only be utilized for the purchase of gas.  The program will be reviewed in one year.

There will be no jail undesignated surplus transfers to capital accounts for FY13.

CFO Roy expressed his opinion regarding the underfunding of the jail Employee Medical account number 3902 and suggested increasing the amount to $45,000 which would be offset by increasing revenue in account number 0521 by employee contributions.  He stated that portions of the jail FY13 budget has been decimated and stated that there is no way that the State of Maine is going to give money for corrections officer raises in the supplemental budget while state employees have not received wage increases in years.  Account number 4001 Accounting/audit services has been budgeted $1,500 short.  Assistant Jail Administrator Shepard stated that the sheriff was unaware of the $1,500 shortfall until last week.  CFO Roy suggested over expending the line.  The reduction in account 4502 Building Structure was a big concern.  Commissioner Joy was uncomfortable with the reduction and did not want to rely on the State to fund renovation or construction at the county jail.  CFO Roy suggested cutting elsewhere, moving the funds to a building capital account or building maintenance with an understanding the the board is required to fill the structural gap in overtime.  Commissioner Joy stated that he would not approve a capital expense for building repair.  Commissioner Lawson stated that the BOC is more likely to provide funds for overtime, employee medical or inmate medical rather than maintenance repairs.  Commissioner Joy stated that $10,000 should be removed from inmate medical and put into building maintenance (structure.)  CFO Roy suggested taking $10,000 from part-time officers and move it into building structure.

MOTION: to approve the sheriff’s proposed budget in the amount of $2,183,172 with the following changes: to move $10,000 from account 4018 Inmate Medical and account 3210 Part –time Corrections and put it into account 4602 Building Structure.  To add $45,000 to account 3902 Employee Medical and offset it in revenue account 0521 Employee Medical . (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy stated that he has received correspondence from the State of Maine Workers' Compensation Board stating their need to have the potential independent contractor sign or date a verification form.  The contractor in question has not acknowledged the form.  Commissioner Joy stated that he preferred to try to collect the funds but not at this moment.


Clerk DePrenger requested format clarification, for budget purposes, regarding how the Hancock County Volunteer Fire Fighters Association should submit their FY2013 budget request.

MOTION: to have the Hancock County Volunteer Fire Fighters Association submit their budget like a 3rd party donation and provide proof of insurance. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Clerk DePrenger requested for the county to pay for employee (dependent(s)) BMI screening as part of the Wicked Good Wellness – Healthy by Choice! Health Fair.

MOTION: to move ahead and pay for employee BMI screenings at a cost of $25 per person and to pay for employee flu shots at a cost of $27.50 per person as part of the September Wicked Good Wellness – Healthy By Choice! health fair. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

3:07 p.m.
MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA title 1 §405 6(D) to discuss union negotiations. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed) Attendees included Commissioners Joy, Lawson and Brown, Clerk DePrenger and CFO Roy.

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 3:33 p.m. and stated that a commissioners’ special meeting should be scheduled for July 19th at 1:00 p.m. in order for the commissioners to prepare for union negotiations.  This meeting will be held in executive session.

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