Commission Chairman, Steven E. Joy called the regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 in the conference room at the county courthouse located in Ellsworth, Maine with Commissioners Brown and Blasi in attendance.


Adjustments to the agenda:

MOTION: to move item 10a to the top of the agenda, and to remove agenda item 5d. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Commission Business:

Public Comment:

Hendrik Gideonse of Brooklin stated that he has made a presentation to the League of Towns on Mount Desert Island that went very well and they were very interested.  Because of their interest Mr. Gideonse decided to contact all the towns that were not in attendance.  He distributed a 4-page description of his proposal and is tentatively scheduling two meetings monthly with select boards.  Mr. Gideonse stated that he is not making a "pitch for it" he is simply saying to be aware that this is being proposed.

Old Business:

MOTION: to approve the minutes of the February 4, 2014 commissioners' regular meeting, February 18, 2014 commissioners' special meeting. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

The Policy Workshop regarding the Appointed/Exempt policy was moved to County Clerk business.  As it was not discussed, it will be added to the March 19th agenda.

MOTION: to agree to work with CGI Communications to develop a Hancock County presentation. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: CGI will create the presentation with nominal county help.  Advertising will be sold to local businesses.


Community Benefit Applications will be reviewed on March 19, 2014 beginning at 8:30 a.m., exempt employee evaluations for DePrenger and Walls will be conducted on the same date.  Madeira is unavailable on that date.  Commissioner Brown stated that scoring should be done in a consistent manner.  Commissioner Joy suggested scoring using a system of 1 to 5, 1 being the highest and 5 being the lowest, and to use the criteria of truly community benefit, most people benefit, are there matching funds etc.  1 would be the highest and 5 would be the lowest and every application would be scored.  The lowest accumulated points would be the highest score, just like golf.  The importance of all the commissioners using the same scoring system and the scoring of all applications was stressed by Commissioner Joy.

Commissioner Blasi disagreed with Commissioner Joy's statement regarding the scoring of every application and stated that there is some subjectivity, if he thinks it is not where the public money should go, he did not want to score it.  Commissioner Joy explained his 1-5 scoring criteria.  Commissioner Brown explained that all of the applications have merit, some more than others, when someone receives zero, it is not fair.  Commissioner Blasi stated that he did not think necessarily that they all have merit.  Commissioner Joy stated "then you give it a 5. You have to score it, we have to have a score for every one of them.  5 would be the lowest, 1 would be the highest."  Commissioner Blasi stated that he can see abstaining from scoring as another way to express a preference.  By not stating any score Commissioner Blasi is indicating that the application does not have merit for some reason.

A discussion followed regarding the scoring of applications in executive session.  Commissioner Blasi stated that last time the applications were scored in public session with no public in attendance.  The clerk stated that she believed that the commissioners scored the 2013 applications at home and then discussed the scores in a open session.  After further discussion, the clerk stated that she will research if scoring was done in executive or open session in 2013.  Commissioner Joy stated that he was open to other scoring systems.  Commissioner Blasi stated that he did not have another one to offer.  Commissioner Joy stated that he would like to see them go through the process with a 1 being the highest, a 5 being a lowest and all applications scored.  Commissioner Brown concurred and stated, with regard to Commissioner Blasi, that if he doesn’t want to score one, it just doesn’t count, he has to vote in order for it to count.  Commissioner Joy stated that they are going to average them, if two out of the three commissioners scored all the applications and one commissioner chose not to score all applications, it skews the whole process, that's what caused the problem last time.  Every application should be treated the same, if not it does not treat all applicants equally.  Commissioner Blasi stated "I don't think we are going to agree commissioner."

MOTION: that we score the applications 1 through 5 and that we score all of them 1 through 5. (Joy/Brown 2-0-1, Blasi abstained) There was no further discussion.

Exempt employee evaluations will be held on March 19, 2013.  Airport Manager Madeira is not available on that date.

Commissioner Blasi referred to a screening proposal from the Captain of the Marshals and stated that he had asked the Captain of the Marshals to discuss the possibility of conducting full time entry screening for the Hancock County Courthouse during business hours.  At this time Entry Screening conducted by the Office of Judicial Marshals is limited to the entrance to the courtrooms.  His original question to the Captain was to screen the parking garage entrance in order to provide a safer environment building wide.  The Office of Judicial Marshal is in support of this proposal and is willing to, together with the county, to establish this goal.

Commissioner Joy questioned if Commissioner Blasi had read the proposal as there was more to it than just moving the metal detectors, there's a $70,000 price tag associated with it.  Commissioner Brown stated that he did not see where they said they were "for it" they just gave him the information he requested.  Commissioner Blasi stated he wanted to give the background and that this is what it would take to provide courthouse wide security and the associated cost, he then asked the commissioners to deliberate the proposal in the interest of Public Safety.  Meeting attendees included Commissioner Blasi, the Acting Sergeant of the Marshals, the Clerk of Court and the Captain of the Marshals, therefore the meeting had some weight.  When asked who called the meeting Commissioner Blasi responded, the Captain.  When asked again, he stated that the original request was from him regarding the metal detectors which prompted the meeting and a proposal.  There was no proposal to pay for the service at the present time.  Commissioner Brown stated that from what he has read all entrances would be closed other than the screening area adjacent to the parking garage.  This would create a problem for others who need to access other offices within the building, it's a public building and should remain open to the public.  This building was not designed for that type of set-up.

Commissioner Blasi stated that a way would be provided, at a cost, to keep the front door open.  Commissioner Blasi questioned what Penobscot County paid.  The service is provided at the new Court Building, it was not provided for the entire building at the old Courthouse.  Commissioner Brown stated that mixing defendants with victims, prosecutors, attorneys and the general public, is not a good mix with the close proximity of the entrance.  Commissioner Blasi stated the Clerk of the Court was concerned with the safety of the people in the building.  Commissioner Brown stated that there has only been one time in his years of service that high security was needed.  He reiterated that putting that group of people in one place at one time is a recipe for people getting hurt.  Commissioner Brown stated that nobody is going to go to Deeds or the Financial Office if they are screened and told about a recent visit to the state house.  Equipment and people who know how to run it is needed.  Commissioner Blasi stated that the public will adapt because they will realize the benefit for all of having screening.  Commissioner Joy stated that it is good information if there was a proposal of where the funds would come from and maybe the BAC would like to hear a proposal.  There is not enough parking in the parking garage area therefore it would create a problem of parking at City Hall.  Commissioner Joy had a problem with the money and logistics.  At this point he was not in favor of it due to the expense.  Commissioner Blasi would like to save it for the budget committee.  District Attorney Bassano stated that a separate entrance would need to be allocated for jurors, they cannot mingle with participants.

District Attorney:

MOTION: to approve the purchase of a computer for the DA's Office from the DA Technology account G1-3012-50 in the amount of $724.68. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

The County Bar Association voted last week to abandon the Law Library, Matthew Pollack from the State of Maine Clerk of Law Court, will survey what is here, anything the members of the Bar would like to retain will be set aside.  Mr. Pollock will then arrange for the disposal of the books.  This should move forward in the next few weeks.  Commissioner Joy suggested asking Mr. Pollack to visit sometime in the next 3 weeks.  He will be reminded today that we are waiting for a date.

Commissioner Blasi stated that for February expenditures, the treasurer has verified that the salt and sand agreement had no invoice attached, this is why he requested to hold the sand and salt check in the amount of $20,974.  The invoice has been obtained by Commissioner Blasi.  Commissioner Joy stated that Penobscot County provides us with a service, when they call and say they want our money, we pay them.  Commissioner Brown stated that Penobscot County sanded that road (Nicatous) for approximately 10 years without charge before asking Hancock County to chip in, they also assumed all the liability during that time.

Office of Financial Affairs:

MOTION: to approve February General Fund and Payroll Warrants #14-05, #14-06, #14-07 and #14-08 in the aggregate of $193,991.73. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve February General Fund and Expense Warrants #13-65, #13-66, #13-67, #13-68, #14-05, #14-06, #14-07 and #14-08 in the aggregate of $623,291.57. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Payroll Warrants #14-31, #14-32, #14-33 and #14-34 in the aggregate amount of $90,616.96. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Expense Warrants #14-31, #14-32, #14-33 and #14-34 in the aggregate amount of $195,782.36. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

There is no EMA revenue at this time due to the new quarter.

CFO Roy reviewed the jail financial reports noting that trending is good in expenses, overtime, the comp time buy-out, prescription pharmaceuticals, electrical, heating oil and advertising are problem areas.  Employee medical is holding its own.  The jail has not paid the Fair Point bill since November.  This is all billed together and the jail reimburses the county.  $15,000 will be entered into revenues under Federal Boarding within the week.  The jail should earn approximately $10,000 monthly in Federal Board money by the end of the year.  The 3rd quarter weighted payment should be issued soon.  Hancock County should receive at least 3/4th of its 3rd quarter payment.  Somerset County was left out of the 3rd quarter payment when the amount was calculated, the Department of Corrections did not calculate it correctly.  It is anticipated that the jail will be short by approximately $4,000-$5,000 by the end of the fiscal year.  Commissioner Joy stated that $57,700 was approved for federal board, it looks like that Hancock County will receive $130,000, if they choose, they can do anything they want with the difference and do not have to run it through the budget to cover shortcomings.  The funds have to be reported but can also be moved outside the jail budget.  Examples given: $50,000 to pay down debt, it has to stay with the jail, it is jail revenue, all excess revenue above the budget is within the county’s jurisdiction to do what they want to with the jail.  The BOC was also required to make their quarterly payment to Somerset county.  Revenue projections must be met, but beyond that……Commissioner Joy stated that if we are over in the revenue from Federal Inmates, he would like to see the difference put into a capital account.  The sheriff is doing a good job in making money with federal inmates.  In June the commissioners need to decide if the overage is going to be used to pay the shortfalls or set funds aside in capital accounts to make up the BOC shortfall.  Funds can be used for debt service, capital accounts or programming.  In June decisions will need to be made with the Sheriff regarding the revenue and the funds owed by the BOC.  CFO Roy stated that the bigger picture is the 2015 budget, the commissioners should consider lowering the federal inmate proposed revenues as the sheriff is using it to cover the cost of his operations.  Commissioner Joy stated that he did not feel that the number could be lowered if it has been shown that more revenue will come in.  The actual of the cost for a federal inmate to be in a county facility is being calculated in order to present actual numbers.  Federal inmates cost approximately $26 per day in Somerset County, this does not include the cost of transporting the inmates or the accompanying armed guard.

Up to date General Fund TRIO numbers were presented.  After the clerk requested that the most recent financials be added to the commissioners books, Commissioner Blasi stated that he was surprised to see the financials in the book as he had been expecting that they would come on Monday's.  Commissioner Blasi clarified that the financials are acceptable on the Monday previous to the meeting day.

The Accounts Receivable (AR) was reviewed.  The BOC owes Hancock County $6,307.  CFO Roy stated that you cannot charge the State interest, they won’t pay it.  CFO Roy stated Federal Board funds has arrived in the amount of $15,336.40.  The MDOT will pay what is owed at the end of the project, this was a ruling from the Department of Transportation.  Commissioner Joy requested a copy of the rule.  Commissioner Blasi questioned several different AR accounts.  TSA funds should come in soon.

MOTION: to authorize February expenditures in the health insurance account in the amount of $119,698.20. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: CFO Roy stated that $24,471.10 from prior year expenses will not show up in the TRIO accounts.  Colored departments paid their actual costs.

MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3011-01 courthouse technology reserve in the amount of $1,300.48 for the CFO’s desktop computer. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3015-20 for the purchase of County Breathing air compressor licenses renewals for 2014 in the amount of $10. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G2-3010-15 to Mohr Signs for Design Work and Sketches for the old airport entrance sign in the amount of $480. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3015-10 Training Reserve for the purchase of 25 books and workbooks for the 2014 Fire Academy in the amount of $2,393.38. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3021-56 EMCOMM FEX for meals from the EMCOMM FEX of 1/25/14 in the amount of $26.68. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G2-3030-20 AIP 37 Lcl Share to Hoyle, Tanner and Associates for invoice #52679 in the amount of $45.68. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G2-3030-20 AIP 37 Lcl Share to Nickerson & O'Day, Inc, requisition #6 (local share) for AIP 37 in the amount of $7,477.74. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a request for transfer of budgeted funds from account E40-70-100 Reserve Equipment to account E40-10-750 Supplies Heavy Equipment in the amount of $860. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Brown stated that he was going to go along with it but he did not like to do things this way.  He likes to know what a particular line is going to cost us for budgeting purposes in the following year.  Commissioner Brown added, as long as it can be explained, he will approve it.

MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account #G1-3011-00 for replacement of waterline and side entry stairs. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: The water is in use at this time.

CFO Roy stated that his office has been very successful in walking people through the Bangor Payroll system.  He stated that no one is allowed to go to Bangor Savings Bank to gain information about their payroll.  He requested that employees and elected officials need to come to the OFA for training on ESS system.

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to affirm the audit engagement letter with Rudman, Kersteen & Ouellette audit renewal. (Brown/Joy 2-1, motion passed, Blasi opposed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi stated that local firms should be given the opportunity to respond to an RFP and that Commissioner Brown, in 2013, stated that he would not mind going out to an RFP in 2014.  It was argued that this is/is not a contract.  Commissioner Brown gave a brief history of auditors/auditing in Hancock County.  Commissioner Brown stated that at the end of the contract, it will either be put out to bid or renewed.  CFO Roy stated that it should be put out to RFP at the end of 5 years, if it is renewed, the principle should be changed.

The UT FOAA response has been sent to the requester.


AIP 37sSteel erection is at 95%, all structural steel beams and columns are erected, the steel inspection is scheduled for the week of March 1st.  The foundation will not be poured until it warms up.  Radiant heating will be installed.  BHB is the Hancock County – Bar Harbor Airport identifier.

The old airport logo designed by the previous airport manager was misunderstood, the new airport sign concept and new logo is much clearer.  Commissioner Joy requested more space between the BHB.  The Town of Trenton has a sign ordinance which includes no banners or scrolling for safety purposes.  The LCD banner is the most significant advertising tool for the airport.  The potential downfall is not advertising airport vendors.  Specifications will be worked on with Bangor Neon, then the sign will go out to bid.  Larger advertising lines were suggested.  In-office operating equipment is unknown at this time.  Placement of the sign will be in the same location as the current sign, for now.  Sign mobility is important due to the possibility of the airport entrance being relocated sometime in the future.  Relocation of the entrance is a complicated political issue that will not be resolved by the time the new sign is needed.  The new sign and logo will be "rolled out" at the same time as the building.  A duplicate foundation may be needed in the future in order to relocate the sign somewhere near the Grange Hall.  MDOT road signs for vendors and the airport was suggested.

MOTION: to approve the lease renewal between Enterprise and Hancock County. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Manager Madeira discussed Article V in the agreement with regard to signage.  Print advertising is up to the vendors.

The airport manager is waiting for a counter proposal from Hertz.


The maintenance monthly report was all good news.  The cost of propane has gone down.  Only one delivery truck is needed to service the tanks at Hancock County.  There are no level indicators with the propane tanks, therefore they have to be manually monitored.  A percentage gauge can be added to the tanks.  The courthouse and jail have been totally converted with the exception of a summer hot water tank.  For the cost of converting the burner, they can purchase a new boiler.  Looking into a small boiler would create more cost savings when compared to a coiled system.  Very little hot water is used in the complex, one unit would serve the entire complex.  Hot water is not circulated within the courthouse.  An on demand system would be efficient for courthouse usage.  A point of use heater could be set at 140 degrees or 110 degrees.  Domestic water in the courthouse cannot exceed 120 degrees.  Sanitizing washers use less water and energy and lower water temperatures can be used with a sanitizer, thousands of gallons of water can be saved.  This can be added to the 5-year plan and discussed throughout the years.  This would be considered a low output flew gas, high combustion unit with an 85% rating, the average is 90%.  When discussing the renovation of the DA’s building to propane, changing the water heating system should be discussed as well.  Unit heaters in the DA’s Office need replacing.  Commissioner Joy suggested beginning the cost savings process.

The courthouse roof system sustained damage during the ice storm in different places, the main roof was alright but the roof over district court is a membrane ballast roof with one drain, it is problematic and will leak in the future.  Director Walls suggested replacing it with a membrane and adding an additional drain at an estimated cost of $40,000.  The existing heating system has created a leak due to the drainage.  Drains create condensation, they frost on the inside and create leaks.  Repairs are localized.  The main courthouse has one drain and areas are pitched away from the drain, when it snows, freezes and rains, problems are created.  The $40,000 is a repair and replace scenario with some correction.  Insulation levels would be created to send water toward the drain.  Commissioner Brown questioned the expected lifetime of the roof and asked Director Walls to research it.  Director Walls stated that rooftop heating and cooling does not make sense.  Heat pumps will be put in the courtroom and be treated differently from the waiting area.  Commissioner Brown was concerned with roof top construction damage.  Membrane ballast are not a glued down process, it is vulnerable and could not be used for staging for the rooftop project.  Next month more cost information will be available.  Commissioner Joy requested a roof tour in June/July.  Roof work could be completed in 2 weeks.  Repairing the larger drain and repairing the screw heads  by adding rivets or blind screws are necessary.

Commissioner Blasi stated that there is a discrepancy in the name of the Safety Committee/Continuity of Government Committee.  There is a Safety Officer within the building and the committee is different from that.  Director Walls stated that the focus is the Emergency Preparedness Plan which falls under the Continuity of Government plan.  The safety officer is the Facilities Director as far as OSHA, the Safety Committee developed the Emergency Preparedness Plan.

Unorganized Territory:

Supervisor Billings distributed an email from the Aurora Fire Department.  The Martin’s Ridge Road is holding up right now because of the cold, when it thaws, a temporary fix will be needed.  Supervisor Billings requested approval to pay for the temporary fix in the amount of approximately $2,200.  The temporary fix cannot wait for the spring road work.  Supervisor Billings stated that he has spoken to a couple members of the Franklin Select Board, they do not want to do much more on their end of the Martin's Ridge Road other than grading.  The Town of Franklin contracts out for their grading.  Continuity between the two projects is essential.  The Lane proposal should be looked at and the county should decide what they want to do prior to speaking to the Town of Franklin.  There are two houses on the Martin’s Ridge Road, one is a year round resident.  Commissioner Joy stated that it would be cheaper to buy the two properties and abandon the road.  Supervisor Billings stated that another solution would be to see if the Town of Franklin would annex #9, adding that Franklin may be interested due to the value around the pond.  Taxes in Township 9 would increase from $4 to $16.  The town would be affected by real estate taxes around Donnell Pond.  Commissioner Brown stated that, in his opinion, there is no reasonable option to fix the road because we do not own the entire road.  It was clarified that although the County of Hancock owns Township 10, the State of Maine owns Rt. 182, in Township #9.  The Town of Franklin has literally, at times, plowed Rt. 182 and blocked Martin's Ridge Road. 

Due to liability insurance discussions for snow contracts, Supervisor Billings talked to the Town of Franklin about plowing the Martin’s Ridge Road, he asked the commissioners if they were interested in the proposal.  Commissioner Joy wanted land owners on the Martin’s Ridge Road contacted regarding the purchase of abutting land to the road for possible purchase of the properties and abandoning the road.  Commissioner Brown mentioned the previous discussion regarding closing the road and the interest expressed by the public during that discussion.  Commissioner Blasi questioned if there was any advantage to considering having jurisdiction over the Franklin way/line to a certain point.  Commissioner Brown stated "if you have people in there that want to go in there and use it in the winter time, it is our responsibility to provide that for them."  Commissioner Blasi stated that he "was not trying to avoid the plowing and maintenance, the jurisdiction so that we could then control what happens at the top of the road which is the part where Franklin.  So if we were the jurisdiction, if that was a part of our road, would that be of any benefit?"  Commissioner Brown questioned if Commissioner Blasi wanted to take on Franklin's road.  Commissioner Blasi responded "this is just for a topic of discussion."  Commissioner cautioned Commissioner Blasi stating "I don't know if you want to do that."  Commissioner Blasi stated, "then if we don't do that, we have the situation of Franklin getting around doing what we ask them to do."  Commissioner Brown stated that we would then be in Franklin's territory.

Supervisor Billings stated, on a municipal road, you have the right to go onto a private driveway to do what is needed to divert water.  It was unknown if the county could do the same thing.  The Franklin section is approximately ½ mile from where the county portion ends.  The county could give a right of way to allow passage on the road because the road would be private.  It would cost the county $40,000 to fix the road, the annual plow contract is $3,500, in Commissioner Joy’s opinion, it makes sense to purchase the houses and abandon the road due to the “bleeding” cost of the road.  When discussing closing the road previously, it was discussed that by not plowing the road in the winter, it may hold up better.  That is what happened in February when the road was not plowed.  If no one is living there in the winter time, the road could be closed.  To abandon the road, owners would need to be compensated.  This would not affect the Town of Franklin.  The cost to abandon the road would be cost prohibitive.  It does not hurt to look into purchasing the property.  Supervisor Billings was asked to contact the home owners and ask them if they have an interest in selling their property.  The road is a separate issue.  CFO Roy stated that County funds would be needed to purchase the property, not UT funds.  The commissioners did not act on the Lane proposal at this time.  Supervisor Billings requested to do the temporary fix in the amount of $2,200.  The majority of commissioners were in favor of doing so.

Request for Proposals for T10SD Curbside Pick-up have been mailed to five waste management companies in the area and an advertisement has been placed in the Ellsworth American.  Commissioner Blasi e-mailed revisions and questions the night prior to the meeting.  T9 was included as an option if the proposal worked after the first year.  If there is a multiple year contract the Consumer Price Index-Urban for Boston would be used.  Residents would be notified by placing notices at the town offices and mailing of letters.

The Burlington Select Board has signed and returned the Fire Contract for Township T3 and T4.  The Aurora Fire Department has rejected the county's draft contract  pay for call is off the table and they have stated that in good conscience they cannot limit their calls to structure fires only.  Commissioner Joy suggested using the word municipality rather than town in the fire agreement.  The standard contract has been reviewed by legal counsel, Malcolm Ulmer and is the same format as Burlington and Cherryfield.  The City of Ellsworth contract is very different.

Commissioner Brown stated that, regarding the Aurora e-mail, he is not on board with a pay-per-call, as it will be quite costly and present liability issues.  They present as a private company running a public service with unqualified personnel.  Supervisor Billings suggested waiting until the LLC paperwork is received.  He suggested contracting with Osborne.  Commissioner Joy stated that at some point, the county should take over the Osborn Fire Department due to its location.  In the future fire response may be under the county and as the requirements become more and more, the county may need to take it over.  Commissioner Brown stated that whoever gets the contract down where the wind farm is located will be will get the fire truck.  Commissioner Joy stated that smaller towns are struggling with providing these services and the county may need to provide them in the future.  Commissioner Brown suggested contacting the towns of Osborne and Eastbrook to see if they may be interested in providing fire protection for the area.

Mike Edgcomb of Time Warner has offered to help with the ConnectME grant application for rural broadband access.  Supervisor Billings stated that the county is not eligible for a ConnectME grant due because the area is being served by Fair Point for providing DSL services.  Union River Telephone has been contacted, they have extended their lines into Waltham providing high speed internet.  When speaking to the manager, he stated that they cannot extend into FLT because public utilities commission only allows one phone provider per area.  Fair Point has not yet responded regarding what they can do for service that exceeds dial-up.

Supervisor Billings requested commissioner approval to adopt a standard fire contract for the Hancock County Unorganized Territory.  If so approved, he will begin fire service negotiations with the City of Ellsworth.

MOTION: to accept the Hancock County fire agreement as our document. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

12:14 p.m.: Break for lunch.

12:35 p.m.: Back in session.

MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 § (6)(E) to consult with legal counsel.  (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 12:58 p.m. and called for a motion.

MOTION: to grant consent to the firm of Rudman & Winchell to represent the County of Hancock in the TIF or Community Benefit negotiations, we find no conflict of interest at this time for Rudman & Winchell representation regarding TIFS and Community Benefits for Eastbrook or any other Hancock County municipality. (Brown/Joy 2-0-1, motion passed, Blasi abstained.)  Commissioner Blasi was concerned that there would be conflicts of interest in the future.  Commissioner Joy stated that that if that were the case, Rudman & Winchell would pull out of negotiations.


MOTION: to grant approval to sell a 2006 Ford Crown Victoria and 2006 Chevrolet Impala. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the Crown Victoria was a spare car and Steve McFarland was using the Impala.  Travis Frost’s old vehicles is now the spare.  The vehicles will be advertised for 10 days, if the sheriff  does not get a response, the taxi service will be contacted in Old Town.  The out of state company will be contacted also.  The equipment is removed and recycled or is considered unused equipment.

Sheriff Clark gave a brief history of the FY15 budget which was a duplicate of the FY14 budget until recently.  A budget has been created that balanced to the revenues.  The January Federal Board payment was received yesterday.  Commissioner Joy questioned the decrease in employee medical.  CFO Roy stated that the good faith estimate for employee medical is on track for $400,000 for this year, between $350,000 and $400,000 is a good estimate.  Commissioner Joy questioned using Federal Board funds in maintaining the budget.  He suggested putting some of those surplus funds in a capital account.  The key is whether the state has the funds to pay the 4th quarter investment fund payment.  If the 4th quarter is paid, the funds would be available to put into capital accounts.  The issue can be resolved once the supplemental budget is approved.  The sheriff is assuming that the employee health insurance contributions would be increased by $5 per week, this is currently in negotiations with the union and is unresolved.  $311,949 is the flat line investment fund contribution to the county.  The investment fund payments will be based on the average daily population, the money will follow the inmates.  This is unfair to Hancock County because it is located off the I95 corridor.  Sheriff Clark stated that no one wants to come to Hancock County to drop off their inmates because it’s off of hub corridor.  When boarding, inmates have to be delivered to the facility.  Hancock County Jail’s daily average is less than its capacity due to the hub issue.  Commissioner Joy questioned if the staffing requirement is the same no matter how many inmates they have.  The answer was yes.  The jail would need to be reduced by 29 inmates to remove one staff member.  Penobscot County took in Federal Boarders and moved their local inmates to different jails.  It was a good financial decision.  Commissioner Joy questioned the $350,000 budgeted for employee medical.  The difference to cover the shortage would possibly come from Federal Board Revenue.  Commissioner Brown questioned if the State was planning on taking on all of the Corrections Officers via union contract.  Sheriff Clark stated that it was his impression that they wanted to see the difference in the contracts.  The BOC would negotiate but the county would pay for it.  Maine Municipal is pushing a Desjardin conversation noting that if a county exceeds their LD1 Cap they would have to present it to the municipalities.  Smaller counties have smaller pay scales.  York County and Two Bridges have the same number of inmates but a 4 million dollar budget difference.  Cost cutting measures will be needed if the BOC does not bail out county jails.  The Flannigan Report did not come up with how to pay costs.  Commissioner Joy suggested an alternate health insurance option.  He felt that there was a $50,000 shortfall in the presented FY15 budget.  If they don’t exceed the Overtime and Comp Time Buyout, it will be interesting to see if the budget comes out right.  Sheriff Clark was confident that Federal Board will not change with a new sheriff.  YTD medical is on track.

MOTION: to approve of the FY15 jail budget in the amount of $2,323,723. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

The DTF made a substantial seizure of property that will result in a great deal of asset forfeitures in the future.  Currently the items are in storage at a cost of $500 per month.  Sheriff Clark suggested to overdraw the budget for the year and when the items are sold, the funds would be paid back.  It will not be resolved soon and is in the beginning stages of the court system.  The property will not be dealt with until the charges of the individual is resolved.  The forfeiture will be shared with 20% going to MDEA.  The items may have to be moved, therefore decreasing the storage costs.  $3,700 is currently in Capital Reserve accounts but the CFO did not prefer to put it in under reserves, he stated that a line could be entered under contractual services as "storage" that could be overspent and repaid. If money is left over at the end of the year, the money can be moved over to replenish the account if the capital is there. If there is no capital, the budget will be overspent.  Forfeitures automatically go into the capital account.  Commissioner Joy asked for suggestions, Commissioner Blasi responded by saying, capital reserve, reserve.  Commissioner Joy suggested the creation of an expense line.

MOTION: to set up an expense line in the DTF and over expend it, if needed it will be funded from a capital account at the end of the year. (Joy/Brown 2-1, motion passed, Blasi opposed)  Discussion: Commissioner Brown stated that it doesn’t make a difference where we take it as long as it’s tracked well.

Sheriff Clark requested approval to purchase two gun sites from the town contract capital reserve account in the amount of $1,000.  He stated that this is a capital purchase that would be requested once in many years and is not an ongoing maintenance issue.  CFO Roy stated that the balance in the account is $27,466 after a recent cruiser purchase that was yet to be deducted from the Special Revenue Fund - Reserve spreadsheet.  CFO Roy stated that he has not been able to update the spreadsheet.  Commissioner Blasi asked CFO Roy "can you printout the new ones please."  CFO Roy responded by saying "no, I haven't had time."  Commissioner Blasi asked "can you print them out if you're redoing...."  CFO Roy responded "it'll be about an hour and a half from now I have to update this whole sheet and I haven't had time, it's not possible commissioner."  $1,000 would be used to purchase two sites.  Sheriff Clark stated that they would need to buy six this year and four would come out of the sheriff's account and two out of the reserve account, that would take care of all the long guns.

Commissioner Blasi asked if the sites would be used in the contracted towns as well.  The answer was yes.  Sheriff Clark stated that all cruisers have already been purchased for the calendar year, "we will not be purchasing any more this year."  Commissioner Joy suggested purchasing the sites from account12-10-604 Miscellaneous Supplies.  Commissioner Joy requested to use the budget first.  There is still $3,400 in the Vehicle Account E12-70-300.  Bills for vehicle equipment can be paid from the vehicle account.  Sheriff’s Admin Assistant, Michelle Cote requested commissioner approval to pay for vehicle equipment from the vehicle account.  The majority of the commissioners agreed to her request.  The scopes will be paid from the E12-10-604 account.


There were no questions regarding the RCC monthly report.  The requested computer purchase was intended for Dispatch Station 1, the used computer will be moved into the Directors office.  Commissioner Joy questioned how each department decides what kind of computer to purchase.  They normally consult their technology support.  CFO Roy suggested taking the funds from the King Grant or the RCC Equipment account #G3012-60.  There is currently $5,250 under Maintenance and Repairs, this is committed funds for the computer services for Jason Ingalls and Sierra Communications.

MOTION: to use $228 from the RCC King Grant #3012-66 and the remainder to come from account #07-20-100, to purchase a computer. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Director Wellman stated that the last structural analysis for Caterpillar Hill has not yet been received.  The analysis is currently at a “corporate office” and will be forthcoming.  A cost for structural analysis is between $2,500 and $3,500.  Estimated costs for the installed tower equipment is estimated at $150,000, included in that amount is $15,000 for an equipment building and $7,000 for the pad for the equipment building.  Additional upgrades are an unknown cost as this time.  Caterpillar Hill will improve coverage in the western part of the county.  Caterpillar Hill and Blue Hill are privately owned.  Caterpillar Hill is more flexible due to the ownership.  Public Safety has free access to the Caterpillar Hill site.  The most that the county currently pays for tower leasing is $2,400.  The process for requesting space should begin now.  Redundancy between coverage areas is only on Cadillac Mountain.  EMA and Hancock County Fire is on the North Ellsworth tower.  The Blue Hill site does not cost anything and the Director is not willing to give up the space.  Municipal Ordnances for the Town of Sedgwick was questioned.  There are none on Caterpillar, as far as they know.  Co-location applications do not cost anything.  Commissioner Joy felt that the space should be reserved and the structural analysis should be reviewed.  Information was distributed regarding what a structural analysis consists of.  The Sedgwick tower is 150 ft.

MOTION: to authorize Renee to apply for a co-location application for the Caterpillar Hill tower. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Break: 2:21 p.m.

Back in session: 2:23 p.m.

County Clerk:

MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(A) to discuss an employee matter. (Brown/Joy 2-0-1, motion passed Blasi abstained)

MOTION: to remove an attachment from a personnel file that was put there by Commissioner Blasi until we get some advice from counsel and we all go into executive session again to discuss the evaluation and the contents of what Commissioner Blasi put in the personnel folder. (Joy/Brown 2-1, motion passed, Blasi opposed.) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi stated that the attachment was referred to in Commissioner Blasi's evaluation......Commissioner Blasi was interrupted and advised that his comments could not be specific to what was in the document.  He was reminded that they were out of executive session and he could not be specific as to what he was talking about.  He was advised to stop or to say something not specific, in general.

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


C. DePrenger

County Clerk

Official Website of Hancock County, Maine.                              Copyright 2019 All rights reserved.