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, September 4, 2012 in the conference room at the county courthouse located in Ellsworth Maine with Commissioner Brown in attendance.

Adjustments to the agenda:

MOTION: to delete item 4c and add in it’s place, to sign MDOT modification document and too move the OFA agenda to later in the day due to information that is pending. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

Commission Business:


MOTION: to approve the minutes of the August 7, 2012 commissioners regular meeting. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

Discussion: ATV use on the Nicatous Road.  Sheriff Clark distributed MRSA Title 14 §195-A entitled limited liability for recreational or harvesting activities.  Commissioner Joy stated that a general poll was sent to lot owners in the area of which 21 were in favor and 8 were opposed.  Commissioner Brown stated that he would oppose the request because of the “bad ones that are going to spoil it for everybody,.” adding that the only way that he would change his vote is for the club to sign a bond taking responsibility for the road and if the commissioners received a complaint from any camp or land owner the agreement could cease.  Commissioner Joy stated that he was still not opposed to the request and was in favor of a one year trial.  Commissioner Lawson’s vote would be needed.  Attendees were encouraged to return in October with their request.


Discussion: High Speed Internet:  CFO Roy stated that he has contacted the University of Maine and that the University has stated that they can and will allow the county to hook on to their fiber network.  The cost associated with running the fiber inside and outside of the courthouse has been requested.  The cost to the county to the University would be $100 a month and includes unlimited access.  The district attorney was consulted regarding connection needs and has requested further information.  Sheriff Clark stated that the SO has dedicated fiber access already in place and the Sheriff’s Office should not be included in the county plan.  Jason Ingalls of the City of Ellsworth stated that the sheriff’s office connection is demarked at City Hall, it begins at the poll in front of the courthouse, is sent to City Hall and forwarded to the Sheriff’s Office and is privately owned by the city.  The district attorney needs a separate internet connection for DA Central which current set-up is Ethernet over copper.  A separate drop for the county and DA’s office was discussed.  This would come directly from the University and would not be connected to the city.  If the sheriff chose to stay on the city’s line the cost would be $100 per month from his departmental budget.  If all departments connected to the University, it would cost $100 a month for the entire county, a savings of $100 a month.  Sheriff’s Department IT support, Carl Stecher stated that the routing and the fire walls (design of the structure) is what makes it work.  Jason Ingalls of the City of Ellsworth stated that he has no issue with what the CFO is requesting, his concern was with who has access to the firewall, access would be needed by Mr. Ingalls, Mr. Stecher and Sierra Communications.  Mr. Stecher encouraged the different entities to sit down and design a system that is acceptable to all parties.  The DA and SO would have dedicated firewalls in place with approved personnel working on the system.  Contact personnel were named.  Concern was expressed regarding security of the firewall(s).  Sheriff Clark stated that whoever controls the account controls the service and agreed that the parties need to get together and discuss the issue.  Commissioner Brown was under the impression that there would be three separate connections.  One line with multiple firewalls vs. three separate lines was discussed.  CFO Roy stated that information could be segregated by firewall boxes.  Once the subcontractor is contacted and Sierra Communications is on board, the CFO will organize a meeting between the parties.

CFO Roy stated that at the auditor’s recommendation, all bank accounts should be reviewed by the commissioners and accounts that are deemed not necessary should be closed and cash balances transferred to the County's regular checking account.

The following accounts were discussed:  Airport general and sweep accounts, county general fund, investment and sweep accounts and airport / general payroll along with jail / UT payroll accounts and the courthouse employee fund.  The jail inmate benefit account, the Deeds credit card account, the District Attorney restitution account and the sheriff civil process, charities, employee benefit and restitution account were also discussed.

A Camden National account in which jail EFT’s are still coming into was discussed.  CFO Roy stated that the inmate benefit account should remain at the jail and does not necessarily need to go through the warrant.  He also stated that the deeds credit card account is not necessarily for Deeds, it could be utilized for the whole county.  It is a good holding account for all credit card transactions and that the OFA has full control over the Deeds surcharge account which is handled appropriately and he has no issues with it.  The Registry of Deeds and the OFA are both auditing the Deeds surcharge account.  The DA restitution account is a State of Maine account which the county has no jurisdiction over.  It was the CFO's opinion that the DA special account should be closed.  The CFO stated that he did not believe the Sherriff’s Civil Process account should remain in the Sheriff’s Office.  The sheriff’s charities account at Machias is closed and the CFO stated that the employee benefit accounts should be rolled over into one account.  The sheriffs’ restitution account has not been used since 2009 and the CFO felt it was unneeded.

Commissioner Joy requested thoughts or input from the entities affected by proposed changes.  Sheriff Clark stated that the civil process account was critical adding that the process is efficient, the account is reconciled, a report is sent to the OFA monthly and the difference in the report vs. the $2,000 allotment is requested once a month.  He stated that if the checking account is lost, the Civil Process department will be forced to take credit.  Currently, deposits are in the form of cash or check.  Commissioner Joy stated that, at this point, he can’t see any reason to change how it is done.  The sheriff’s charities account was transferred to a different tax identification number and a different bank earlier in the year.  Commissioner Brown questioned if an audit was conducted prior to the account being turned over or if such audit has since been completed.  The answer was no.  The definition of “county funds” was discussed.  To date this account has not been audited but it will be audited next year, according to CFO Roy.  In prior years, the account was audited based on the last statement received, this "audit" does not contain an accounting of expenditures or specifically what they were for.  The auditors make sure the account balances and they perform a spot check during each audit.  Commissioner Joy stated that an audit should be performed for FY10 and FY11 through the date that the account was turned over.  Sheriff Clark stated that the auditor is welcome to do so, but the recipient’s names will not be turned over.  Commissioner Brown was “fine” with that.

The employee benefit account consists of proceeds from the vending machines.  The restitution account is used sporadically due to receipt of insufficient funds (bad check cases.)  Commissioner Joy stated that, in his opinion, the restitution and employee benefit accounts could be closed.  Commissioner Joy questioned if the employee fund was a separate enterprise run by the employees.  Administrative Assistant Cote explained the usage of the SO employee benefit account.  Commissioner Brown stated that, in his personal opinion, this is a public building and the public should benefit from the revenue generated from the machines.  He went on to say that the courthouse employee fund benefits all employees, the SO employee benefit fund benefits a certain group of employees, not all.  Revenues from these machines should be utilized for the infrastructure of the building.  Commissioner Brown was in favor of allowing an employee fund, but thinks all employees should benefit from it.  CFO Roy questioned what happens to the money once the account is closed or would a capital account be set up, or would the accounts be combined and made into one account.  Commissioner Brown clarified that it should be combined into one account as not to discriminate against employees.  Commissioner Joy stated that there are two different issues, the checking account should not be a separate enterprise within the building and the use of the funds should be for the benefit of all.  Commissioner Joy stated that his recommendation would be to close the SO restitution account and bring the employee benefit account(s) under one account.  Commissioner Joy preferred to have Commissioner Lawson involved in the discussion and suggested a continuation at the October meeting.


MOTION: to approve up to $1,500 in capital expenditures for the purchase of a computer from account 2-3010-80, Office Equipment. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)
Discussion: CFO Roy publically requested that the airport manager complete a capital reserve request and forward it to the OFA prior to the meetings.  Commissioner Brown encouraged the CFO’s request.

Please see the September airport memorandum regarding a restructuring proposal of hanger leases.  Said proposal would align all lease expiration dates.  The plan would call for the removal of existing hangers and to erect t-hangers for aeronautical use only.  It would also allow for more hangers than currently exist.  Commissioner Joy suggested changing the schedule in order to more forward quickly.  Financing of the proposed change was questioned.  Commissioner Joy suggested looking at the leases on one side of the proposed project and contacting the lessees for input and interest.  He stressed speaking to involved parties prior to implementation as transparency is of utmost importance.  Commissioner Joy suggested negotiating with the specified lessee and continue to move forward with discussions.

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign the MDOT modification document. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the promotion of Theodore Cooke from full time to regular full time @ step 8B $13.78, effective September 8, 2012.  Seniority date will remain at April 7, 2012. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve an out-of-state travel request for Todd Daley, Josh George and Ted Cooke to attend ARFF Live Burn training in Westover Massachusetts from September 11-13, 2012. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

10:36 a.m.: Break
10:42 a.m.: Back from break


Sheriff Clark questioned if cash flow would prohibit his request to purchase a civil process vehicle.  Total available funds for purchase is $20,794.  He requested to solicit bids for the vehicle.  Dealer assistance (discount) and gas mileage will be included in the request.

MOTION: to approve the sheriff’s request to solicit bids for the purchase of a civil process vehicle. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Brown would like all types of vehicles/manufactures considered and stressed that the commissioners have the right to accept or reject any and all bids.  Commissioner Brown preferred to compare manufactures.  Commissioner Joy suggested obtaining best mileage, best assistance, and best price.

Sheriff Clark requested to solicit bids for sheriff’s office vehicle(s).  The amount available in the Town Contract account is currently $23,331 and there is an additional $20,000.  The trade-in value of replacing some of the SUV’s was discussed.  Sheriff Clark stated that he is not compelled to accept anything, but would like to take Chief Deputy Bishop’s, Detective Brown and Lt. Kane's vehicles and solicit bids for similar vehicles to include the trade-in of each.  Town Contract revenues vs. expenses were discussed.  The Town Contract account continually renews itself and will have approximately $53,000 in it by the end of the year.  The sheriff is projecting to spend $23,000 from that account.

MOTION: to allow the sheriff to solicit bids for the purchase of SO administrative vehicles. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Brown clarified that the three vehicles in question are not “cruisers.” And that next year, cruisers may be need to be purchased.

Sheriff Clark stated that the Board of Corrections is seeking what the county needs to run the jails for FY15.  A first draft of the proposed jail FY15 budget was submitted to the commissioners on August 29th.  $35,000 has been added to the repair account and $25,000 has been added to the capital account.  Sheriff Clark felt that sufficient funds are included in the proposed budget.  Significant increases are reflected under heat, lights, water, building structure and in the motor vehicles capital account.  Boarding of inmates revenues was discussed.

MOTION: to approve the proposed jail budget for FY14/15. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Joy clarified that this was a “proposed” budget.  Sheriff Clark stated that if the commissioners feel more funds are needed, now is the time to add them.  CFO Roy suggested adding $100,000 to $200,000 to fix the jail wall.  Commissioner Brown stated that when the wall falls down, the BOC will have to fix it.  Commissioner Joy stated that he is not necessarily approving the budget due to currently being in union negotiations, he stressed that he is approving the “proposed” budget.

Sheriff Clark stated that it may be premature to have the executive session discussion at the end of the day due to contact with the BOC regarding the proposed issue.

MOTION: to make an adjustment to the agenda, move item 12C to item 5D. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

11:30 a.m.
MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(E) to discuss a personnel/legal matter. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 11:40 p.m. and called for the following motion:

MOTION: to pay the MCCA Risk Pool the sum of $12,000 from account 11-02-40-4004 Attorney Services as the County's contribution of a settled legal matter from the FY12 jail budget. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)


Commissioner Brown voiced his concerns about a recent news paper article noting that grants are going to run out soon.  The EMA symposium will be held this weekend in Winter Harbor.  Beginning September 18, a four day training will be conducted by Deputy Director Davis and held in Ellsworth.

The following EMA vehicle bids were opened:
                                                            Clean Sale/No trade-in
Hight Chevrolet, Buick, GMC Inc.    2013 Tahoe, $29,354
Quirk - Bangor                                   2012 Silverado Pick-up $27,907
Quirk - Augusta                                  2012 Tahoe $30,948 (in stock)
Quirk – Augusta                                 2013 Suburban $36,429
Downeast Toyota - Brewer                2012 Tundra Pick-up $29,990 (includes tax)

Bids were turned over to the director for review and recommendation.

MOTION: to adopt the 2012 update to the Hancock County Mitigation Plan. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to reaffirm the decision to award the contract for a software system for the Registry of Deeds to Property Info. (Joy/ died for lack of 2nd)
Discussion: Commissioner Brown abstained from seconding the motion because it was his impression that this was not approved in a public session.  After clarification, it was agreed that the decision was agreed upon at the August commissioners regular meeting.

MOTION: to affirm a change to the Property Info contract which gives the commissioners the right to have a jury trial if there is a discrepancy in the contract. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

12:05 p.m.: Break for lunch
12:30 p.m.: Back in session


RCC Director Wellman submitted her monthly report, which is available upon request in the commissioners’ office.  The number of documented 9-1-1 calls, personal calls and “dispatch” calls (calls for service) were questioned.  An e-mail entitled Waldo information requested to determine dispatch feasibility was also distributed along with monthly call volume numbers and an e-mail correspondence from Ken Knight.  Commissioners Joy and Brown encouraged the director to track “all” calls in and out and their associated purposes for either one day or one week per month.


Facilities Director Walls requested approval to purchase a new ductless mini split A/C unit for the 911 server room at a cost of $2,380.  Commissioner Brown questioned if this would give the room a fresh air exchange.  The answer was no.  The fresh air vent works.  Commissioner Brown questioned if a heat pump might be more beneficial.  Director Walls stated that it would not in this situation.  Commissioner Brown also suggested checking to see how the equipment chosen would affect the new ‘Next Gen” equipment.  Commissioner Joy preferred to table the request for now.  The replacement of the A/C unit in dispatch proper was also discussed.

MOTION: to table the discussion regarding the replacement of a mini split A/C unit until the October agenda. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

Ken Knight, Bruce Marcus and Maria Fleet from Marcus Group were present to discuss potential coverage and system potential for Hancock County and radio system designs for Bull Hill and Caterpillar Hill.  Budgetary numbers should be submitted prior to the first Tuesday in October.

Emergency Management Agency continued:

Emergency Management Director Sankey recommended the purchase of a 2012 Tahoe from Quirk Augusta in the amount of $30,948.  Commissioner Joy requested that the director contact the dealerships to compare specifications.  Commissioner Joy suggested asking the winning dealership about a possible trade-in on the current vehicle.


MOTION: to reappoint David Sanderson of Lamoine, to a three year term on the WHCA Board of Directors, as a representative from the Public Sector. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed)


Clerk DePrenger presented the commissioners with two proposals for the purchase of a digital recorder and new microphones for the commissioners meeting room.  The clerk was asked to obtain a podium with a microphone and speakers.  Demonstration microphones were requested.

MOTION: to designate Commissioner Brown as public access officer for the County Commissioners Office.  It is the commissioners interpretation that each department that is headed by a elected official should also designate an official public access officer for their department.  (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve General Fund and Airport Payroll Warrants #12-30, #12-31, #12-32, #12-33 and #12-34 in the aggregate amount of $248,298.83. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve General Fund and Airport Expense Warrants #12-29-, #12-30, #12-31 and #12-32 in the aggregate amount of $348,272.87. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Payroll Warrants #13-04, #13-05, #13-06 and #13-07 in the aggregate amount of $109,947.87. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Expense Warrants #13-05, #13-06, #13-07, and #13-08 in the aggregate amount of $63,234.08. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy presented financial reports to include the airport and jail update.  Marketing funds and Essential Air Services numbers were discussed.  CFO Roy stated that the OFA should be handling airport receivables.  Commissioner Joy questioned where this account was housed and who is responsible for the account.  The responsibility currently falls to the airport manager.  CFO Roy stated that the airport is no longer using General Fund money.  CFO Roy stated that the county could “loan” the airport funds with interest due to anticipated airport cash flow issues.

Emergency Management Agency continued:

After checking with Hight Chevrolet and Quirk Auto Park, EMA Director Sankey recommended to accept the bid from Quirk Auto Park for the purchase of a 2012 Tahoe in the amount of $30,948.  Commissioner Brown suggested purchasing the 2013 vehicle offered from Hight Chevrolet.

MOTION: to accept the bid from Hight Chevrolet for a 2013 Tahoe in the amount of $31,345. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Facilities Director Sankey was instructed to find out what the trade-in would be for the vehicle.

Office of Financial Affairs continued:

A $200,000 transfer will take place next week in order to stay within the $250,000 FDIC coverage amount.

MOTION: to approve July health insurance expenditures in the amount of $93,610.34. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)
Discussion: the July health insurance reflects a $108,000 savings over the July FY11 total.

CFO Roy stated that he, the clerk and deputy clerk met with Cross Insurance regarding their programs.

CFO Roy presented the commissioners with a capital improvement request for the purchase of an airport computer at a cost of  up to $1,500.  The request will be approved once the actual amount is known.

The First Wind project should be up and running in November which means Community Benefit funds should be received shortly thereafter.  TIF funds will not be received until after April 15, 2013.  Commissioner Joy will be attending the dedication ceremony and CFO Roy and Commissioner Brown will be visiting the site soon.

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