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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, October 2, 2012 in the conference room at the county courthouse in Ellsworth Maine with Commissioners Lawson and Brown in attendance.

AGENDA

Deputy Treasurer, Renee Atwater was recognized for her 10 years of service to the citizens of Hancock County.

The following SO administrative vehicle bids were opened:

Darlings Chevrolet - bid price with trade:
2013 Tahoe - $29,278
2013 Tahoe - $29,278
2013 Tahoe - $21,778

Darlings GMC - bid price with trade:
2013 Yukon - $30,202
2013 Yukon - $30,202
2013 Yukon - $22,702

Hight Chevrolet - bid price with trade:
2013 Tahoe - $26,579
2013 Tahoe - $23,579
2013 Tahoe - $26,079

Varney Chevrolet - bid price with trade:
2013 Tahoe - $27,225
2013 Tahoe - $25,225
2013 Tahoe - $20,225

Quirk Chevrolet - bid price with trade:
2012 Tahoe - $27,454
2013 Tahoe - $24,481
2013 Tahoe - $17,481

 

The following Civil Process vehicle bids were opened:
Darlings Ford - Interceptor - $26,359
Darlings Chevrolet - Chevrolet Pick-up - $26,390
Darlings GMC - GMC Pick-up - $26,822
Charlies' Toyota - Highlander - $28,974
Hight Chevrolet - Chevrolet Pick-up - $26,988
Quirk Ford – Super Cab XLT - $26,990
Downeast Toyota - Highlander - $29,892
Central Maine Motors - Highlander - $29,444
Quirk – Interceptor - $27,743 plus equipment
Varney GMC - GMC Pick-up - $26,049
Varney GMC – GMC Sierra Pick-up - $27,468
Varney Ford – Interceptor - $26,332 with cloth rear seat, if vinyl needed, deduct $53.

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

Adjustments to the agenda:

MOTION: to add item 8c, an executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(A) and to postpone items 4 b & c. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Commission Business:

OLD BUSINESS:

MOTION: to approve the minutes of the September 4, 2012 commissioners regular meeting, August 29th, September 20th and 24th, 2012 commissioners budget workshops, and September 19th and 25th , 2012 commissioners special meetings. (Brown/Lawson 2-0-1 Lawson abstained on 8/29 and 9/20, motion passed)

MOTION: grant access to the Nicatous Road to Rocky Mountain Trail Riders ATV Club, pending a contract. (Lawson/Joy 2-1, motion passed) Brown opposed
Discussion: Commissioner Joy seconded the motion pending a written contract.  Nora Garland and Phil Roy will work with the club on the details of the contract.

COMMISSIONERS:

CFO Roy distributed e-mails regarding the installation and cost of providing fiber to the courthouse, jail and DA’s office.  The total estimated cost of the project is $5,553.  The DA’s office will hook up to the fiber once they are comfortable with the project.  The estimated savings is $5,190.  This proposal includes a total buyout of the DA’s GWI contract.  The cost of the service is $175 monthly and includes all entities.  Commissioner Joy stated that we will not make the switch until everyone is happy.  Commissioner Joy suggested that DA Bassano speak to Jason Ingalls who may alleviate her concerns.  Sheriff's Administrative Assistant, Michelle Cote requested that an open line of communication be adhered to by all involved.  Commissioner Joy stated that he was satisfied with the report and would be in favor of moving forward.

MOTION: to move forward with bringing in fiber optics into the building and working with the IT vendors involved while keeping good communication until everyone is on board. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Open communication was stressed.

CFO Roy distributed a spread sheet of all of the county checking accounts and suggested closing the following accounts: the Bangor Savings jail account and merging it into the jail payroll account located at Machias Savings, the sheriff restitution account, the sheriff’s employee benefit account, the DA “special” account and the county general employee benefit account.  Commissioner Brown stated that an audit of the sheriff’s charities account was requested previously but has yet to be conducted.  The auditor will conduct said audit within next two weeks.  Commissioner Brown was also under the impression that the sheriff’s employee benefit account would be comingled with the courthouse employee benefit account and for all employees.  It was stressed that the employee benefit account will remain, just the individual checking account will be closed.

MOTION: to close the Bangor Savings jail checking account and move the funds to Machias Savings. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to close sheriff restitution checking account. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to close the sheriff’s employee benefit checking account. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Brown questioned what was going to happen to the money that has been moved from this account.  Special Agent Corey Bagley stated that it was the employee’s money.  Commissioner Brown disagreed stating that as long as the Hancock County Tax ID number is on the account, it is county and taxpayers’ money.  The account contains bottle money, donations and vending machine revenues.  Commissioner Joy agreed with Commissioner Brown but stated that the commissioners have allowed the funds to be used as employee benefits and it was his opinion that the funds should be run though the county general ledger.  He preferred to close the checking account.  Commissioner Brown felt that by only using the funds from the vending machines downstairs to benefit the SO/RCC employees was discriminatory.  He preferred to merge the funds and stressed that the funds were "tax payers’ money."

Commissioner Joy questioned where the funds should be kept.  It was agreed that the funds would be kept in the county general fund, in a dedicated account, similar to the Hancock County Adult Drug Court account.  Commissioner Lawson agreed.  Oversight and spending of the funds should be decided by the employees either by representatives or committee members.  The commissioners preferred that the funds be comingled as to benefit all employees.

MOTION: to close the county employee benefit checking account and move the funds from the sheriff’s and county employee benefit accounts into a dedicated employee benefit account. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Brown wanted to know how the funds that were previously in the sheriff's employee benefit account were going to be moved.  Currently, the funds are residing in a safe in the sheriff's department.

MOTION: we expect the sheriffs’ employee benefit funds to be put into the dedicated employee benefit account in the amount of $1,521.39. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: M. Cote questioned if bottle return funds should be included in the funds turned over as vending money.  C. Bagley stated that employees were authorized to write checks off that account in the past.  Commissioner Joy stated that as long as the account is under the county ID number the funds do not belong to “you.”  Total amount due from the sheriff's employee benefit account is $1,521.39.

MOTION: to close the District Attorney “Special” checking account. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

The following snow plow removal / sanding bids were opened for  Fletchers Landing Township:
R.F. Jordan: $12,000
Barry's Trucking: $16,225

OFFICE OF FINANCIAL AFFAIRS:

MOTION: to approve General Fund and Airport Payroll Warrants #12-35, #12-36, #12-37 and #12-38 in the aggregate amount of $203,296.44. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve General Fund and Airport Expense warrants #12-33, #12-34, #12-35 and #12-36 in the aggregate amount of $439,039.06. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Payroll Warrants #13-09, #13-10 and #13-11 in the aggregate amount of $86,973.77. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Expense Warrants #13-09, #13-10, #13-11 and #13-12 in the aggregate amount of $96,230.75. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy presented financial reports to include the jail and airport update.

MOTION: to approve August health insurance expenditures in the amount of $78,562.08. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: CFO Roy stated that if the commissioners agree, mail order co-pays can be reduced from a three month co-pay to a one month co-pay for a three month medicine supply.

MOTION: to authorize Meritain Health to move forward with producing a summary plan document of the county health insurance plan at a cost of $500 if the Franklin Group declines to do so. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Brown suggested trying to obtain the document without cost.

CFO Roy requested approval to spend up to $15,000 to paint the Superior Court courtroom.  Commissioner Brown did not want to take the funds from the building reserves and throw off the 5-year plan.  He deferred to the Facilities Director for his input prior to moving forward.

MOTION: to obtain estimates and specifications to paint the Superior Court courtroom. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a capital expenditure from account 40-70-800 in the amount of $884 for airfield signs and lighting supplies. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a capital expenditure from account G1-3021-40 in the amount of $312.12 to purchase bike helmets for bicycle safety training. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy requested approval to expend $2,341.47 from capital account G1-3014-10 for the purchase of 2-compter monitors and a laptop for the Office of the Financial Affairs.  Commissioner Joy requested to see the specifications prior to approving the request.

The jail/UT audit is in draft form and is expected to be completed within the next week or two.

MOTION: to accept the resignation of part-time clerk, Deborah Nickerson, effective October 1, 2012. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

AIRPORT:

MOTION: to affirm a request for out-of-state travel for the airport manager to travel to Burlington, MA to attend an FAA meeting on September 25, 2012. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Airport Manager Rogers explained the airport accounts receivable process.  The process is included in the airport monthly report which is available, upon request, in the commissioners’ office.  Advertising, which is funded in part by all participants, was discussed.  Commissioner Joy stressed the replacement of the BHB sign.  The cost and design will be forth coming.  An example of airport accounts receivable was distributed.  Accounts are balanced monthly and outstanding balance statements are sent out monthly.  The length of outstanding balances was discussed.  Commissioner Brown recommended that delinquent accounts that have been unpaid for 30 days should be charged interest and 60 day delinquent accounts should be pursued.  CFO Roy stated that AR training will be held on October 25th.  Airport Manager Rogers stated that she was hesitant to switch over to the new AR TRIO program.

The commissioners were updated on the status of the airport terminal building design process.  TSA has not approved the floor plan design as of yet.  A concept design was shown to attendees.  The building would be built to house two airlines and includes concession space to include a kitchen, in-door and outdoor eating area.  Once the final floor plan is approved, a restaurant/café RFP will be disseminated.

Airport Manager Rogers stated that enplanements are looking bleak and is expecting to be short approximately ,200 passengers of the 10,000 enplanement goal.  This means that BHB may not automatically receive to the $1,000,000 entitlement.  Discretionary funds are still an option.  The airport terminal project will be bid out in the spring of 2013 with a two year option, if funds are available, discretionary funds could be used toward the project.  If this possibility does not work out, the airport manager would draft legislation to have the legislature (congress) dedicate BHB as a Virtual Primary Airport, based on the early pull out of the Essential Air Services provider.  Service and website access was discussed.

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY:

Emergency Management Agency Director Sankey verbalized the highlights of the EMA monthly report which is available, upon request, in the commissioners’ office.  The EMA 2012 budget report was distributed for commissioner review.  An after action training was held on September 27th pertaining to the “propane” powered busses, used locally.

12:08 p.m.: Break for lunch.
12:30 p.m.: Back from lunch.

MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 6(a), to hear a request regarding a county employee. (Joy/Lawson , motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Brown stated that he was very uncomfortable with this discussion.  Commissioner Joy stated that, in his opinion, the commissioners are entering into executive session because once something is said in public, it can’t be taken back.

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 12:55 p.m. with nothing to report.

MOTION: to add an emergent item under item 10A, an addendum to the FY13 budget to confirm the revenue, expenses and transfers for the FY13 commissioners' proposed budget. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed

Commissioner Brown gave a brief overview of his recent trip to the wind farm located in T16.

Erik Stumpfel and Shana Cook Mueller were present to discuss an amendment to the Community Benefit Agreement regarding to include an “opt out” payment of $200,000.  Commissioner Brown questioned the county’s easement, which has been signed and is awaiting recording.  He also questioned page 2 section (a).  It was his impression that First Wind would maintain the road, provide a generator and build a building.  Commissioner Brown wanted to make sure the road would be maintained for years to come.  Ms. Mueller clarified that the road will be maintained by the company as long as the company has assets at the site.  Ms. Mueller will contact legal counsel for First Wind in order to make Commissioner Brown’s proposed changes.  If First Wind does not meet their tower obligation after one year, all assets associated with the tower will be turned over to the county along with the balance of the $200,000 that has not been spent for the tower.  The commissioners were assured that the tower would be built soon and that it was safe to say that $200,000 would cover the cost.

RCC/E-9-1-1:

RCC Director Wellman distributed call statistics E-9-a-a but was having difficulty pulling up an additional call status report.  A 40 hour schedule, which mimicked the City of Ellsworth's was included in the monthly report, this included 16 hours of weekly overtime.  A specifications list of equipment needed for the UT communications tower, in Township 16, was included in the RCC monthly report, this list will be forwarded to Dave Fowler of First Wind.  New RCC protocols were also included.

SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT:

MOTION: to accept the resignation of Patrol Deputy Larry Fickett, effective September 23, 2012. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Sheriff Clark requested to hire Travis Frost of Ellsworth as a full-time patrol deputy.  He stated that the county would need to pay the Town of Mt. Desert $6,000 to reimburse the town for his academy training.

MOTION: to allow the sheriff to take $1,190 from UAD grant money and to utilize $4,810 from the sheriffs training account to reimburse the Town of Mt. Desert for the cost of training Officer Frost. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Brown was uncomfortable with taking money that was allocated for one purpose to pay for another.

MOTION: to approve the hire of Travis Frost of Ellsworth as a full-time patrol deputy at Step 12C, $17.94 per hour, effective October 20, 2012. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Sheriff Clark distributed a spreadsheet memorializing the cost of the civil process bids received earlier in the day.  He suggested approving the bid from Darlings Chevrolet for the purchase of a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado pick-up, he also suggested allowing Ricky Miles to sell the current civil process vehicle, from his auto lot, for approximately $5,000.  Commissioner Joy preferred to follow the county sealed bid policy.  Sheriff Clark suggested approaching a pool of local dealers to put the vehicle on their lots.  Even with this scenario the sheriff was short $1,200 of funding the purchase price of the vehicle.

MOTION: to approve the bid from Darlings Chevrolet for the purchase of a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado Pick-up, in the amount of $26,390, of which $12,694 to be paid from the civil process reserve account #3014-70, $7,500 from the 2012 civil process budget account #13-80-300 and the balance from the sum of what is received from the sale of the vehicle and taken from account 10-20-005 Vehicle Maintenance. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion, passed)
Discussion: If $5,000 is received from the sale of the current vehicle the E13-80-300 would be overspent and the $5,000 in revenue would offset it.  Commissioner Joy clarified that the bid was accepted, although it was not the low bid, because it was a 2013 model and due to its proposed gas mileage.

Sheriff Clark distributed spreadsheets memorializing the cost of the three sheriff’s administrative vehicles received earlier in the day.  Vehicles will be paid for from the sheriff’s vehicle reserve account and the town contract account.  He stated that "we may have to borrow from ourselves to make this purchase."  After a lengthy discussion, the following motion was made:

MOTION: to purchase 2-Tahoes from Quirk Chevrolet, one for $25,681 and one for $24,481 and to trade in vehicles 45 and 72. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the promotion of corrections officer Jon Merchant of Bar Harbor to the rank of corporal at Step 10D, $16.63 per hour, effective October 6, 2012. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Community Benefit Agreement: continued
MOTION: to execute the Amendment to Community Benefit Agreement with First Wind which includes the “opt out” payment of $200,000. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: The tower is for county communications purposes only.

MOTION: to accept the Easement noting the 9-1-1- tower is a Hancock County communications tower. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: RCC Director Wellman clarified that the tower is a county communications tower.

MAINTENANCE:

  • MOTION: to approve the Orkin Pest Control contract for the courthouse. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Facilities Director Walls stated that the assistant facilities director posting should be satisfied by October 5, 20102 and that he was hoping to satisfy the need by hiring an in-house candidate.

RCC – continued:
MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(a) with the RCC Director to discuss an evaluation and disciplinary action. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 4:04 p.m. with nothing to report.

UNORGANTIZED TERRITORY:

MOTION: to award the FY12/13 snow/sand contract for Fletchers Landing Township to R.F. Jordan in the amount of $12,000. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the T7 FY12/13 snow/sand contract extension with Rowland Robinson and to approve the T9 FY12/13 snow/sand contract extension with City Line Sand and Gravel. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy requested approval to hire of a part-time person to install signs in the UT.  Commissioner Joy preferred to charge per sign at $40 per sign, no travel included or $30 per sign plus travel.  This person would be a contract employee.  The position will be posted in house for 10 days and if no one is interested, the job will be advertised.  Commissioner Brown preferred to hire someone who is without a job to do the work. He was instructed to advertise in-house for the position and if no one shows interest, to advertise it outside.

UT special Projects Coordinator Roy requested that the communications tower supply list provided by Ken Knight be put out to RFP so that it can be approved at the November meeting.  The tower should be erected sometime in November.  Commissioner Joy stated that if it is not on the LURC agenda soon, it will not be erected in November.  CFO Roy was instructed to follow-up on the LURC application. 

MOTION: to allow Ken Knight to go out to RFP to evaluate the supplies needed for the UT communications tower. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

UT Special Projects Coordinator Roy stated that TIF funds cannot be utilized for a dental program for UT residents at this point.  The DECD advisor is reviewing other TIF’s to see if any other entity has included medical care in their TIF’s.  DECD does not have jurisdiction over TIF funds.  Commissioner Joy stated that the commissioners need to line up projects for when Community Benefit funds are received. Purchases should revolve around community development.  Approximately $100,000 to $116,000 should come in by the end of December 2012.  Commissioner Joy stressed that the Special Projects coordinator’s job only deals with community development.

The Town of Aurora has requested payment for response of two ATV accidents, one in Township 28 in the amount of $350 and one in Township 39 in the amount of $900.  The CFO advised the commissioners to send the department a letter stating that it was not in their purview of the county commissioners to pay these bills and suggested that the Town of Aurora send a bill to the victim’s insurance company.  This is what has been done with structural fires within the UT for towns who respond without a contractual agreement with the county.  Commissioner Joy stated that we do not pay for vehicle accidents of any kind.  The commissioners instructed the clerk to send said letter.

NEW BUSINESS:

MOTION: to confirm the summary proposals for the FY13 budget, expenditures in the in the amount of $7,116,673, revenues in the amount of $1,539,666 and transfers in the amount of $276,000 for a total to be raised by taxation of $5,301,007. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: this is being done to correct an error.

COUNTY CLERK:

Tom Loveitt of Canfield Systems of Scarborough is scheduled to visit the commissioners’ meeting room on October 17, 2012 in order to design and price out a new recording system to include a digital recorder, microphones, speakers and a podium.

The clerk requested approval of a tobacco free or a smoke free campus policy.  Commissioner Brown preferred a "smoke free campus" policy over a "tobacco free campus" policy.  Commissioner Lawson stated that she felt it should be a tobacco free campus.  Commissioner Joy said that he was looking at it purely from the wellness program standpoint.

MOTION: to approve the Tobacco Free Campus policy, effective January 1, 2013. (2-1, motion passed) Brown opposed
Discussion: notification shall be sent to all departments and employees including the court system.

Clerk DePrenger requested a change in Article XV Leaves in the Personnel Policy allowing employees to begin accruing vacation and sick time within one month/ week of employment.

MOTION: to allow employees to begin accruing vacation time after the one week and allow employees to utilize vacation time after one year. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

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