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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, April 1, 2014 in the conference room at the county courthouse located in Ellsworth Maine with Commissioners Brown and Blasi in attendance.

 

Commissioner Joy welcomed attendees and stated that the attendees’ applications and non-profits are very worthwhile and that the commissioners understand that.  He explained that some applicants received what they requested and some did not but that each application was judged impartially and grant funds were awarded totaling $126,000.  He explained that the funds come from the wind tower project and the funds derived are considered Community Benefit Funds.  $200,001 is received each year, this year the commissioners gave out $126,000 in grants and the rest of the funds were applied toward radio equipment for the Bull Hill communications tower to improve radio coverage for safety purposes. Orthoimagery also received funds.  Orthoimagery benefits towns, planning boards, assessors, EMA and others which will benefit all the residents of Hancock County.  Commissioner Joy stated that if entities were awarded $10,000 or less this year they can reapply. If awarded more than $10,000 the entity cannot reapply for three years. Once $25,000 is reached the entity cannot reapply for three years. This is a new rule just put in place this year.  He also stated that the commissioners have been pressured to offer tax relief.  Commissioner Joy stated that the commissioners feel grant recipients are helping some of the most vulnerable in Hancock County and that is why the commissioners are continuing to issue grants adding that if at some point the pressure becomes too much, they will have to apply the funds toward tax relief. Commissioner Joy stated that he is hoping that if a new wind tower project came into effect in 2015-2016, funds could be applied toward tax relief then.

The following Community Benefit Grants were distributed: Child and Family Opportunities $25,000, Farm Tomorrow on behalf of Food For All $3,500, Franklin Historical Society $4,000, Great Cranberry Futures Group $15,000, One Hancock $10,000, Healthy Acadia $10,000, Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry $15,000, Maine Pretrial Services, Inc. $25,000, The Grand $3,500 and the Town of Stonington $25,000.  Commissioner Joy stated that this is probably the most enjoyable part of the commissioner's job and welcomed attendees to stay for the rest of the meeting.

Commissioner Joy read a Proclamation for National Telecommunicators Week.

MOTION: to proclaim the week of April 13-19, 2014 as Telecommunicators Week. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Joanna Russell of EPIC Maine, which stands for Exploring Pathways to Industries & Careers in Maine, stated that the EPIC Maine event is taking place on April 24th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  The event will be held on the campus of Eastern Maine Community College and is targeting individuals age 18 to 24.  The six founders are looking at opening up all boundaries and are targeting high school graduates from Penobscot, Piscataquis and Hancock Counties who have not chosen to attend college or any kind of career job training and college students who need more information about what type of job or career they are interested in.  The concept of EPIC Maine came from the Tri County Workforce Investment Board's Youth Council.  EPIC Maine is reaching into the high schools to engage students and citizens.  16-18 year old high school students are being contacted through broad recruiting and outreach such as church youth groups and community groups.  The Tri County Workforce Investment Board is trying very hard to establish relationships with school superintendents, administrators and guidance counselors.   Commissioner Brown stated that the program also targets displaced youth who do not have a clear direction for their future or who have begun college but have dropped out for one reason or another.  Ms. Russell requested an allocation of $200 toward the program.

MOTION: to approve to finance the request for $200 to EPIC Maine from the Community Benefit account. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

The following bids were opened for the 2006 Impala

Ron LaPlant -$1,576.76

Jeffrey Cooper - $443.43

Edward A. Montague - $1,200

The following bids were opened for the 2006 Crown Victoria:

Ron LaPlant - $876.75

Jeffrey Cooper - $443.43

Bids were given to Sheriff Clark for review and recommendation.

Adjustments to the agenda:

MOTION: to remove item 3-b. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Commission Business:

Old Business:

MOTION: to approve the minutes of the March 4, 2014 commissioners' regular meeting, March 19, 24 and 28, 2014 commissioners' special meetings. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the Commissioner Access to Employee Files Policy. (Brown/Joy 2-0-1, motion passed, Blasi abstained) Discussion: there was no discussion.

Commissioners:

MOTION: to nominate Commissioner Percy L. Brown, Jr. to the EMDC Board of Directors. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: there is no term for this appointment, it is an open spot. Commissioner Brown explained that the Work Force Investment Training Council for Displaced Workers experienced a controversy as to whether all three CLEO’s could vote on the new contract and whether it would be a conflict of interest.  To move the process Commissioner Brown resigned, since then the DOL has found that it is not a conflict of interest.

Sheriff:

MOTION to administratively remove, Stormy Wardwell and Tammy Coombs from the employment rolls. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the hire of Michelle Silvestrone of Gouldsboro, Stephen Barnes of Otis and Mary Ann Sheets of Seal Cove as part-time, on call, as needed Corrections Officers at the rate of $12 per hour, no benefits for an average of 29 hours per week for calendar year 2014. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: none of the new hires have training.  They will be evaluated in 6 months in order to see if they will remain on the employment rolls.  In house training will begin next week and they will be evaluated in two months.

MOTION: to approve the promotion of Shaine Gross of Brooklyn from temporary full-time to the position of full-time Corrections Officer at Step 9A $14.44 per hour, effective April 5, 2014.  Seniority date - October 15, 2013. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: CO Gross has been working in this position since October 5, 2013.

MOTION: to approve the 2014 Town of Stonington Law Enforcement Contract. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: regarding a typo in the Stonington contract; the sheriff will make sure the typo is taken care of in the next contract.  The rate did not increase.

MOTION: to accept the bid from Ron LaPlant for the 2006 Ford Crown Victoria in the amount of $876.76 and the 2006 Chevrolet Impala $1,576.76. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to grant approval to bid out the 2006 Dodge Charger police car. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the trade-in factor of trading in pick-ups has caused the Sheriff's Department to not have the spare cars, thus Deputies Bagley and Thornton were sharing this vehicle.  Part-time deputies are driving the spare vehicles which are the oldest in the fleet.

Office of Financial Affairs:

MOTION: to sign the transfer request for expenditure from reserve account E12-70-300 in the aggregate amount of $6,626.51 for the purchase of various cruiser equipment and associated labor costs. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve March General Fund and Airport Payroll Warrants #14-09, #14-10, #14-11 and #14-12 in the aggregate amount of $194,627.54. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve March General Fund and Airport Expense Warrants #13-69, #13-70, #13-71, #14-09, #14-10, #14-11, #14-12, #14-13, #14-14 and #14-15 in the aggregate amount of $779,318.37. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Payroll Warrants #14-35, #14-36, #14-37 and #14-38 in the aggregate amount of $87,924.23. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Expense Warrants #14-35, #14-36, #14-37, #14-38 and #14-39 in the aggregate amount of $113,712.88. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

BOC funds should be received in or around May in the amount of $6,307.  Commissioner Joy questioned if UT vehicle registrations could be held up until outstanding accounts are paid.  He also suggested, due to the age of the receivable, moving toward collection on Steven Sargent and Monica Jackson.

MOTION: to authorize March expenditures in the health insurance account in the amount of $148,251.70. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Joy stated that the amount is probably consistent with prior year amounts at this time of year.  It may also include the 2013 end of year stop loss amounts.

MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3011-00 to convert heating to propane in the amount of $26,185. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: there is one more bill to come on this project which is the 10% retainer.  The fence and vaporizer repair work is still left to be completed but the vaporizer is working "okay" for now, it is under warranty.  Director Walls stated that he has every expectation that the vendor will meet expectations.  Going forward, all work should be completed prior to issuing the final 10% of payment.

MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3012-60 to Browns Communications for the tower project equipment in the amount of $1,851.36. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the equipment is in and is being set up at Brown’s Communications prior to installation on the tower.

MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3015-00 in the amount of $408 for repairs to the radio system on Cadillac Mountain. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: this was in response to Brown’s Communications making a repair on the Cadillac tower.  Director Wellman stated that the reception is still "not good."

MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3012-66 in the amount of $228 for replacement cost of a dispatch computer. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the $228 is coming from the King Grant, the rest is coming from the RCC budget.  Commissioner Blasi requested the OFA to close the King Grant.  Commissioner Joy stated that it will be open until the end of the year and then closed.

MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G2-3030-20 in the amount of $8,451.86 for Requisition #7 of AIP 37 to Nickerson & O'Day, Inc. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Joy had previously reviewed this expenditure.

The Affordable Health Care Act required vendors to be paid Electronic Fund Transfers from the health account.  The appropriate paperwork has been delivered to the bank and it is expected to begin in April.  The treasurer approves the transfer.

The Bull Hill communication project was approved for $115,414 with $71,250.54 from TIF funds, $19,163.46 from Capital and $25,000 from Community Benefit Funds.  Currently the balance in the TIF fund is $45,397.04.  Approval was requested to take the shortage from either the RCC Capital Reserve account or from Community Benefit Funds.  Commissioner Joy questioned if the funds could be taken from UT funds.  As the funds have already been expended, this is an accounting issue.  Commissioner Joy stated that more information is needed prior to him making a decision.  This will be discussed further at the April 18th CSM.  Account options to pay the short fall would come from the Community Benefit Fund, the RCC Capital Account or the UT budget.  Commissioner Brown requested an up-to-date Community Benefit Fund balance and a more detailed explanation regarding the $2,192.91 TIF over expenditure at the April 18th CSM.

Included in the OFA monthly report was a Community Benefit Fund Balance noting available funds of $142,758.73.  $126,000 and $200 was distributed earlier in the meeting leaving a balance of $16,558.73.

Harris Computer/TRIO fix discussion: Commissioner Blasi asked how this purchase would change operations considering the different checking accounts that we have at Machias Savings.  Deputy Treasurer Atwater stated that this purchase will improve posting of journals and manual journal entries associated with the airport.  Commissioner Brown stated that when purchased, it was understood that TRIO would need to be adapted to meet our needs.  Commissioner Joy stated that the Munis system would fit our needs but is very costly for purchase, maintenance and upgrades.  Commissioner Joy stated that he would like to see approval of the expenditure.  Commissioner Blasi questioned if there was an account number associated with the purchase.

MOTION: to make the purchase in the amount of $2,670 from Account G1-3014-10, the Finance Technology account. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi questioned if there was anything/any project designated for the 70-300 account.  There was no response.

MOTION: move that the chairman sign for the Harris computer quote Call Number 901609/TR0BD694. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the request to move Rachel Allen to $12.50 per hour for all work performed in the RCC. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Brown questioned if the combination of the two positions (RCC Admin Asst and PT Dispatcher) equaled 29 hours per week.  The employee is scheduled for 16 hours per week now and is not scheduled in dispatch.  This employee's hours should not exceed 29 hours per week.  The employee has also gone to QA training.  The pay increase will be effective immediately.

Break - Back in session

Airport:

AIP 37 construction update:  The steel erection, deck and inspection is complete. Ongoing tasks include exterior walls and sheathing, concrete poor on roof and roofing, and the remainder of LED light fixture installation.  April will see the beginning of floor insulation, pouring of the interior slab and installment of 1" insulation boards.  There are five items on the Change Proposal Summary that have not yet been authorized for FAA reimbursement.  The total county share is at $247,420.  Hoyle Tanner & Associates (HTA) will be providing information to the FAA for reimbursement and a proposed meeting to resolve these problems will be scheduled for next week.  Commissioner Blasi questioned items #20 and #28.  The dark blue areas/lines of the spreadsheet are county approved contingent on if the FAA pays their share.  We are currently on budget but there is not a lot of room for growth.  The generator has arrived and has been restored.  The eventual home will be just north of the terminal building where the old flag pole was located.  The generator has been tested and works well, it has been inspected and is ready to go.  During the wind/blizzard event, 5-6 pallets of foam insulation blew off of the roof and damaged approximately three vehicles.  The contractor is working with the vehicle owners for resolution.

Manager Madeira presented a verbal executive summary regarding the 2014 Hertz Operating Lease.  There were six changes from the old lease: a three year term effective April 1, 2014, a $20 per month increase from $150 to $170 for building lease, the definition of gross receipts was further defined, and the rate fee escalator was flat lined at 10% which should increase revenue.  Commissioner Blasi said “breakouts”, and in response to this word, airport manager Madeira read a portion of the agreement Article 4, Item D which says the lessee further agrees to keep accurate records, books and accounts of the gross receipts due hereunder and that the Chief Financial Officer of the County or his or her representative shall have the right to examine and audit those records, books or accounts and at any reasonable time upon not less than seven days with written notice.  Manager Madeira stated that he was going to recommend to the CFO that, on occasion, he would ask for supporting material as each month he receives a report noting the gross receipts as defined in the contract with Hertz but he has never received a breakdown that shows how they arrive at the gross number.  Maintenance obligations were also further defined under the last article and the Sign Fee was removed.

MOTION: to approve the chairman to sign the 2014 Hertz Operating Lease. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

 

Manager Madeira presented a verbal executive summary regarding the changes to the Pen Air Operating Lease.  The sign fee was removed.  Commissioner Brown questioned the terms of the agreement from May 23, 2014 through October 13, 2014.  After this date Pen Air shuts down at Bar Harbor but still runs out of Boston.  Per the DOT Order, they are only obligated from Memorial Day through Labor Day, the County terms are April through October 13, 2014.  Section V 1 states that the lessee agrees to operate on a seasonal basis providing not less than fourteen (14) nonstop flights per week.  The county’s agreement of working through mid-October is different from the DOT’s time frame.  Last year they pulled out in the middle of October, the year prior they pulled out on Labor Day.

The load factor reports for last year, as a whole, was “not great.”  After Labor Day, Cape Air comes back with a three (3) flight a day schedule and takes most of the market share.  Per the DOT Order, Pen Air has the right to leave after Labor Day.  Commissioner Blasi asked if anyone has ever questioned the DOT and how they arrive at their Orders.  Manager Madeira has questioned the DOT and stated that at the time the DOT puts out an EAS bid they approach the community, the government and at that time they request feedback.  When the DOT put the EAS bid out in 2012 their determination was 14 flights per week for the bare bones minimum.  Review of this is unknown at this time.  If changed the DOT will need to issue a new Order for Bar Harbor.

Commissioner Joy wanted to change the terms of the agreement as 14 flights at minimum is a lose/lose for everyone. Bar Harbor needs an early and late flight. They are not helping us with what they are doing.  Manager Madeira suggested telling the DOT that they would like them to put out a new EAS bid proposal but most likely, Pen Air will be the only airline that puts in a realistic bid.  Commissioner Joy was not in favor of signing the agreement today and wanted to negotiate something better for Bar Harbor.  Commissioner Brown was concerned that if the commissioners push back a little they may lose a carrier.  He agreed with Commissioner Joy regarding the Pen Air contract.  Manager Madeira stated that if they don’t get the contract with Presque isle, Pen Air will not be in Bar Harbor.  Cape Air does not have the capacity to provide more flights.  Commissioner Joy wanted to “get in on the mix, in the negotiation with Presque isle” with the MDOT.  He requested that the MDOT advocate for Bar Harbor for a better schedule.  A case would need to be made that Pen Air requires a subsidy even to be here in low season.  Commissioner Joy stressed that we are spending millions of dollars to build a new terminal building and the MDOT is offering a “crummy” schedule.  He would like to see the MDOT advocate for Bar Harbor.

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign the contract with Pen Air, after notifying the other two commissioners. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the Presque isle discussion should close in a week.  If this can be done at the April 18th CSM, the commissioners will sign it then.

Maintenance:

Cost savings data regarding propane will be available by the end of the week.  Commissioner Joy questioned why the RFP contract price given by the propane vendor is not good.  Commissioner Brown stated that he believed that the price being used is very good.  Commissioner Joy questioned if the Mont Belvieu, Texas rack price could be checked, Director Walls will check it.  He stated the bid price was $1.79, he preferred to make sure they are adhering to the contract for rack price plus .04 cents.  Director Walls stated that he believed they have kept it in the “ballpark.”

Minor changes were made to the custodian and janitor job descriptions in order to bring them up to date.  Outside help from inmate trustees was questioned. 

MOTION: to approve the updated job descriptions for Custodian and Janitor positions. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

The cost estimate for the roof over the District Courtroom were reasonable in the facilities directors’ opinion.  Commissioner Joy suggested returning the quote to the facilities director and having him put out an RFP.  Commissioner Brown suggested relooking at the prior paperwork for roof work and checking to see if a vendor actually created the RFP.  Lewis + Malm had done the previous RFP for the main courthouse roof.  The jail/district court clerk’s roof is original.  Commissioner Blasi stated that if it is the original roof, he thought it needed a complete over haul.  The middle roof repair is working with no leaks.  Director Walls recommended that the district court roof be addressed; this is also known as the lower roof.  An inspection of the roof by the commissioners was suggested for May.  Some issues have been addressed but the roof still leaks.  Commissioner Brown questioned if the funds to repair the roof would come from the Building Reserve account.  The answer was yes.  As an option, Commissioner Brown suggested taking $200,000 a year to fix the roof from Community Benefit Funds rather than going out to bond to borrow funds for the roof.  The current project proposed would need to be completed soon.  CBM glue was discussed.  It was clarified that the district courtroom/deeds roof is considered the lower roof and is the oldest roof.  Regarding the main roof replacement, it was previously determined that an RFQ would be needed in order to move forward with that project.  The Woodard & Curran assessment was referenced.  Commissioner Joy stated that he has never been in favor of spending 5 million dollars on the roof.  He preferred replacing the rubber roof every 20 years at a cost of approximately $200,000.  Commissioner Brown explained that the 5 million included air handlers and other items as well as the roof.  Efficiency of our energy delivery system is lacking.  Commissioner Brown stated that the building reserve has been dwindling over the past few years.  Commissioner Joy stated that the jail bond will also be paid off in five years and those funds will become available.  Commissioner Brown suggested putting out an RFP for the current roof repair work.

Director Walls submitted quotes from the RCC for installation of additional cameras.  It was Director Walls and Commissioner Brown’s opinion that this was a discussion for the safety committee.  Monitoring of the cameras and recording devices would be housed in the RCC.  Director Walls can install the cameras himself.  He was instructed to take it up with the safety committee.  Commissioner Blasi asked if any of these were replacement cameras.  The answer was no.  This is an old concept that was part of previous safety concerns.  The cameras footage would be for review purposes. 

New Business:

Regarding the request to reschedule the Smith v. the Town of Trenton tax appeal hearing; Commissioner Brown stated that the commissioners do not have the authority to force the towns to reevaluate property.  Commissioner Joy stated that, for him, he would need to know if the town said they were going to reevaluate all the properties in the town, but later stated that the Smith appeal was denied by the commissioners in 2012.  Commissioner Brown stated that they should have taken their case to Superior Court once it had been denied by the County Commissioners.

MOTION: as there was no new evidence with the application, we deny the application for the appeal. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi stated that he was not on the commission in 2012.

County Clerk:

Clerk DePrenger presented a sick leave policy update for the personnel policy.

MOTION: to accept the sick leave policy in the Personnel Policy, as proposed. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Brown was concerned with the “wordiness” of the proposed language.

Commissioner Blasi stated that the UT Monthly Report contained interesting information.  He stated that the Ellsworth contract may be a stumbling block for the City to want to get into and that we do not want to lose their service.  Commissioner Joy stated that the contracts have been sent out and some feedback has been received.  There has been no response from the City of Ellsworth at this time.

Commissioner Blasi stated that the Franklin contract is once again "on the table."  The UT Supervisor will be visiting the Franklin Select Board in the near future.  Commissioner Joy stated that, at some point, the county may need to look at providing fire service.  He suggested developing an “area fire department” for municipalities.  Commissioner Brown stated that fire departments will never give up their local turf.  Commissioner Joy reiterated that at some point we may need to do something like that.  Commissioner Brown stated that the Town of Eastbrook is the most reasonable location for a fire truck for the Bull Hill Wind Farm location.  Commissioner Joy preferred to utilize Osborne because of their location.

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

Respectfully,

 

C. DePrenger

County Clerk

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