Commissioners Regular Meeting

Commission Chairman Steven E. Joy called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:01 a.m. on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 in the conference room at the county courthouse located in Ellsworth with Commissioner Brown in attendance.

James Reinzo, president of the Rocky Mountain Trail Riders located in Greenfield requested permission for the club utilize Rt. 188 also known as the Nicatous Stream Road to the Nicatous Lodge.  His request was for ATV use during ATV season.  Mr. Reinzo stated that once the request is approve, liability falls on the club if an accident occurs.  Commissioner Brown stated that the commissioners received negative comments from camp owners last year when the question was broached by a different ATV/snowmobile club.  He was opposed to the request due to the camp owner’s comments, liability, and multiple users of the road.  He suggested notifying camp owners of the request and giving them a chance to comment.  Commissioner Joy stated that if the liability could be proved, he would be willing to grant the request for a one year trial basis.  Due to not having a full board, he suggested that Mr. Reinzo return with his request at the next meeting.  Sheriff Clark stated that once a trail is designated, trespassing problems usually decrease and encouraged the commissioners to grant the request.  CFO Roy suggested limiting access during the spring due to the condition of the road.  Since a consensus could not be reached, Commissioner Joy suggested contacting the camp owners for their input and he requested reassurance from Mr. Vaughn regarding liability.

Adjustments to the agenda:

MOTION: to change item 12b to a discussion rather than a request to purchase a digital audio recorder (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to add item 3h, a discussion regarding the audit management letter. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

Commission Business:


MOTION: to approve the minutes of the June 29, 2012 commissioners regular meeting and July 19, 2012 commissioners special meeting. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Brown was concerned that he did not receive the minutes from the June 29th meeting.



MOTION: to approve General fund and Airport Payroll Warrants #12-26, #12-27, #12-28 and #12-29 in the aggregate amount of $207,821.76. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve General Fund and Airport Expense Warrants #12-25, #12-26, #12-27 and #12-28 in the aggregate amount of $693,156.94. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Warrant #12-26 included the jail bond payment.

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Payroll Warrants #12-52, #12-52a, #13-01, #13-02 and #13-03 in the aggregate amount of $98,006.53. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Warrant 12-52a was a payroll that needed to be reissued.

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Expense Warrants #12-50, #13-01, #13-02, #13-03 and #13-04 in the aggregate amount of $112,361.05. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy presented financial reports to include the airport and jail update and reported that the jail FY12 finalized budget was over expended by $1,995.97.  This was due to medical bills captured during the month of July for prior months; the overage will be requested of the Board of Corrections.  Commissioner Joy questioned how a catastrophic medical bill would be handled with relation to the jail.  CFO Roy stated that in speaking to the BOC, a settlement with the jail could be imposed quarterly.  Jail FY13 budget numbers are on track.  80% of Community Corrections funds and 100% of BOC Investment Funds have been received.  Airport financials are on track.

MOTION: to approve June health insurance expenditures in the amount of $116,002.58. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a capital expense in the amount of $137.67 from account G-1-3012-66 for the purchase of 3-washable keyboards. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a capital expense in the amount of $1,190 from account G-1-3010-10 for MapScenes training/station training with EVR. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy and representatives from Sierra Communications and GWI presented a proposal to upgrade internet bandwidth within the courthouse complex.  Dylan Sauce described the current set-up and proposed changes.  Sheriff Clark stated that a few months ago the Sheriffs’ Department, RCC and Jail switched to the City of Ellsworth’s / University of Maine internet connection, firewall and bandwidth.  They have been testing the system for the past two months.  The system is much faster and costs $100 per month.  Commissioner Brown questioned if the University of Maine would consider taking on the courthouse as a whole.  This request will be researched and reported on at the September meeting.  Updated hardware is needed whether or not the change of service providers is made.  Commissioner Joy encouraged the parties to work together to see if the rest of the county could utilize the University of Maine connection.  Savings associated with changing the telephone system over from OTT to GWI would be approximately $140 per month.  Airport Manager Rogers suggested having a department head meeting to discuss items like this one.  The discussion will be brought up again at the September CRM.

Commissioner Joy suggested budgeting the FY13 COLA from zero to 1.5%.  Commissioner Brown agreed.  CFO Roy suggested utilizing a flat dollar amount rather than a percentage increase.

CFO Roy reviewed the audit management letter which stated that there were no critical deficiencies.  Three suggested improvements were (1) better communication related to the drawdown of AIP projects so that accounts receivable can be posted to the general ledger when a drawdown request is submitted. (2) Establishment of a formal Cafeteria 125 Plan. (3) That all bank accounts be reviewed by the commissioners and moved to the Office of Financial Affairs.

With regard to the Cafeteria 125 Plan, Commissioner Joy suggested contacting a company like Acadia Benefits to tell us what we need.  CFO Roy requested permission to seek out a company with the expertise to complete the project.  Commissioners Joy and Brown agreed to his request.

The clerk was instructed to contact all department heads to let them know that departmental checking accounts will be discussed at the September CRM.


MOTION: to approve a capital expenditure of $1,152.5 from account 40-70-410 Terminal Building Equipment. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the capital expenditure of $2,533 for the purchase of airfield signs and light components, from account 40-70-800 Miscellaneous. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy suggested prioritizing the replacement of the airport sign.

MOTION: to pay the overage on AIP 29 and authorize the chairman to sign the close out document. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign the closeout document for AIP 31. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to pay the overage of $1,337 on AIP 32 and authorize the chairman to sign the closeout document. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the change in employment for Joshua George from Interim Lead ARFF at Step 9C to ARFF at Step 8C, $14.20 per hour, effective July 28, 2012.. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Brown questioned if this has been discussed with the individual.  The answer was yes.  Going forward, disciplinary policy will be followed as was in this case.

MOTION: to allow the airport manager to set the maintenance worker scheduled for 10 hour days during the summer months and 8 hour days for the remaining part of the year, provided due notice is given to both the county clerk's office and the OFA. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Joy preferred to set exact dates in the Spring/Fall.  Commissioner Brown was concerned with the employee’s preference of working 8 hour days vs. 10 hour days.

Airport Manager Rogers gave a brief air carrier update & enplanement report noting that Pen Air enplanement's are low compared to last year and expressed her concern that the airport will not meet its 10,000 enplanements for FY12.  Commissioner Joy stated that less than 10,000 enplanements was unacceptable and questioned how the airport would reach the 10,000 enplanement goal.  He encouraged manager Rogers to work closely with Pen Air to rectify the problem.

Trenton transportation enhancement update: the SHIP grant application has been submitted and a meeting with the MDOT has been held to discuss plans for the seaplane ramp improvements under the Transportation Enhancement Grant.  Design and Engineering will be completed by the state in the coming months and the project will be put out to bid.  Construction will likely not take place until late next summer.

A schedule for the terminal project was discussed.  Parts of the process involve public input and feedback from tenants, the airport advisory committee, the Trenton select board and the county commissioners.  Commissioner Joy stated that he would like to include a “money making” entity in the design.


MOTION: to accept the resignation of corrections officer Brad Ewing effective July 19, 2012. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the promotion of temporary full-time corrections officer Warren Dowling of Ellsworth to full-time effective August 11, 2012 at Step 9-A $14.44 per hour and to have his seniority date established as January 9, 2012. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the transfer of eight hundred dollars ($800) in U.S. currency, pursuant to 15 M.R.S.A. §§ 5824(3) & 5826(6) in the matter of State of Maine v. Timothy D. Kane. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Brown questioned where these funds are put held within the county financial system.  They are currently being held in a capital account.


MOTION: to reimbursement the Deputy EMA Director for cell phone use in the amount of $150 for May, June and July 2012 and to authorize the ongoing cost of $50 per month. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Reimbursement vs. payment and associated taxes was discussed.  If documentation is received, no taxes are incurred.

Emergency Management Agency Director, Andrew Sankey stated that the website committee met on July 26 to discuss the redesign of the county website.  CERT training by MEMA will be held at the Acadia SERC campus in Winter Harbor on September 6-9th and vehicle bids have gone out.  The mitigation plan update has been accepted with one change which has already been addressed.  The next step involves visits to individual towns for their approval.  Mapping and digital inscription was discussed.  Michelle Cote thanked the emergency management employees for their help in obtaining a grant for two new servers for the sheriff's department..


Register Curtis received three responses for electronic document recording services.  After reviewing each submission she recommended Property Info, based in Texas, as the electronic document service provider for the Registry of Deeds but cautioned that the contract needed to be looked at by an attorney.  Property Info will be paid a monthly maintenance fee and work with the existing equipment.  The site will be hosted offsite and will include a redundant server.  Kennebec and York County’s Registries of Deeds are currently utilizing Property Info.  CFO Roy stated that Property Info is already integrated with TRIO and can connect to INFO ME for credit card payments.  Commissioner Brown was concerned with companies taking information, which can’t be prevented.  Commissioner Joy reiterated that it is the Registry of Deeds job to hold the official documents, they are not in the copy business.

MOTION: to accept Property Info’s proposal of $140,340 over 5 years as the Registry of Deeds electronic document provider. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Joy suggested having an attorney review the document.

Register Curtis would like to ask for employee consensus regarding the purchase of a grill from the employee fund.  Discussion followed regarding the storing of the grill and propane tank.  Commissioner Brown was against the proposal due to spending county funds for personal reasons.


MOTION: to approve the RFP to make repairs to the front steps/plaza area. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Brown suggested changing the terms of the agreement due to the time of day the work would be conducted.

The maintenance department monthly report included a brief summary of recent activity to include the ongoing development of the safety program, in house snow removal, a Heattrak Matting system for the courthouse side entrance and DA's ramp and priorities associated with the 5-year plan.  The benefit of replacing the existing split ductless A/C units with heat pumps was also discussed.  The Emergency Preparedness Plan is being reviewed and a Safety Matters program is being is being prepared.  Preventative maintenance on county systems is a concern and the cataloging of these systems is currently taking place.  Commissioner Brown suggested meeting annually with department heads to discuss safety issues and to include a commissioner liaison in the discussions.  He also suggested looking into the purchase of a skid steer for courthouse snow removal.  Commissioner Brown stated that sealing of the courthouse envelope has been put off for a couple of years.  He suggested putting out an RFP for the service.  Heat pumps, natural gas and the cost of heating the courthouse was discussed.

12:10 p.m.: Break for lunch
12:30 p.m.: Back in session

12:30 p.m.
MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(E) to consult with legal counsel regarding a pending legal matter. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 12:56 p.m. p.m. with nothing to report.

12:57 p.m.
MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(A) to discuss a retiree health insurance request. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 1:07 p.m. and requested the following motion:

MOTION: to pay 50% of the health insurance premium for retiree Annette Smith's health insurance with Martin's Point, amount not to exceed the current county portion. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)
Discussion: checks will be made out to Martin’s Point and mailed to Mrs. Smith.

1:09 p.m.
MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(D) to consult with legal counsel to discuss negotiations.  Attendees included Pat Dunn Esq. Commissioners Joy and Brown, CFO Roy and Clerk DePrenger. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 2:51 p.m. with nothing to report.

2:51 p.m.: Break
2: 55 p.m.: Back in session


Director Wellman presented the RCC monthly report prior to the meeting.  Included in the report were dispatch updates, coverage response questions regarding the UT's and a radio/tower update.  An MOU between LifeFlight of Maine and the HCRCC was distributed.

MOTION: to sign the Memorandum of Understanding with LifeFlight of Maine. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

RCC Director Wellman stated that a responding agency needs to be named, by the UT Addressing Officer, in the 9-1-1 system.  Responding agencies have to be named for fire, EMS and law enforcement for each island.  Commissioner Brown stated that counties are not responsible for contracting with fire response for UT’s.  He also warned the RCC Director that she needs to be very careful in assigning responders to private islands.

The air conditioner in the RCC and the fan in the 9-1-1 computer room died recently.  Commissioner Brown questioned if air conditioners or fans are recommended.  The machines need a cool environment.  Replacement of the air conditioner in dispatch was requested.

Director Wellman presented a preliminary tower study completed by Ken Knight.

Commissioner Joy stated that personally, as a Hancock County Commissioner, he is having problems with where the RCC is going.  He suggested calling a meeting of the stake holders.  He is interested in finding out their opinions prior to making a decision on the future of the RCC.  An ad will be placed in the newspaper announcing a public hearing.  Commissioner Brown preferred to obtain more information prior to calling a meeting.  He was in agreement that an infrastructure would still be needed requiring licenses and towers.  Commissioner Joy stated that this is a fact finding mission and that he does not have an agenda yet.  He stated that Hancock County is at a crossroads and information is needed in order to move the RCC in one direction or another.  CFO Roy stated that the potential cost to expand the PSAP throughout the entire county should be obtained prior to the meeting.  Commissioner Brown stated that the cost for the first year would be in excess of 1 million dollars.  Operational cost for future years can be calculated.  Commissioner Joy reiterated that he would like to have the discussion within the next few months.  Commissioner Brown stated that it would be irresponsible of the commissioners not to look into this; he realized that many people will not like it, but the research and comparisons have to be done.  It was reiterated that information should be gathered prior to scheduling a public meeting.


UT Special Coordinator Roy stated that the Maine Department of Conservation has proposed a boat ramp in Township 10 on Spring River Lake.  It was reported that the wind project should be up and running by the end of November which will generate TIF funds in the near future.


Commissioner caucus dates and departmental budget dates were requested.

Clerk DePrenger submitted two quotes for the purchase of a digital audio recording system.  Commissioner Brown suggested changing the setup of microphones with “key” microphones.  The clerk was instructed to look into an entire new system.

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