Commissioner Agendas & Minutes
COMMISSIONERS REGULAR MEETING
July 1, 2014
Commission Chairman, Steven E. Joy called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 in the conference room at the county courthouse located in Ellsworth Maine with Commissioners Brown and Blasi in attendance.
Waste Disposal Bid Opening:
Waste Management: Option 2 $420 per month, 2 days per week pick-up, 8-yard dumpster.
Waste Management: Option 3 $350 per month, 2 days per week pick-up, 6 yard dumpster.
Pine Tree Waste Services: Option 1 $295 per month, 3 days per week pick-up, 4-yard dumpster.
Pine Tree Waste Services: Option 2 $275 per month, 2 days per week pick-up, 8 yd dumpster.
Currently we have an 8 yd dumpster with pick-up 2x’s per week.
Bids were turned over to Assistant Facilities Director, David Linnell for review and recommendation.
Adjustments to the agenda:
Commissioner Blasi read the following statement into the record:
I request to reinsert a consideration of the State Marshalls' Courthouse Entry Screening Proposal onto the agenda under Commissioners. If the Screening Proposal was removed due to its cost, I point out that its total expense is half the amount of the cost of contract that the County Administrator would be signing. Why would the county want to budget for an Administrator at the risk of not being able to support the cost of a Cost of Living Allowance for all existing employees? Additionally, an annual increase for our Appointed Exempt Employees is mandated in their Pay Policy. The ultimate safety of the public in this building is being compromised by not including the Marshall's Screening Proposal in today's budgetary discussion, at the expense of a single position that will not have authority over almost half of our department heads by statute because they are elected.
When asked if there was any new information regarding the State Marshalls' proposal by Commissioner Joy, Commissioner Blasi responded, there is no new information other than what was discussed in February.
MOTION: to adjust the agenda to include the State Marshalls courthouse screening proposal under the budgetary discussion of 2d. (Blasi/ motion failed for lack of 2nd)
MOTION: to remove item 2d, decision on budgeting for a county administrator. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Brown stated that he did not think that the commissioners want to start talking about the budget workshop this early, the County Clerk has done preliminary work on the cost of a county administrator but he was not ready for a discussion on the subject yet. Departmental budget submissions are due on August 8, 2014, the subject will be discussed at that time. Commissioner Brown stated that prior to entering into a discussion, there are a number of different things that he would like to have prior to the discussion. Example: job description.
MOTION: to approve the minutes of the June 3, 2014 commissioners' regular meeting and June 20, 27, 2014 commissioners' special meetings. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
John Bradford of OneHancock stated that OneHancock had to modify their original distribution of the 2014 Community Benefit distribution award. Originally, each dollar awarded by a community to needed heat or power assistance would have been supplemented by a one-half dollar match from OneHancock. Though their intention remains the same, they have discovered that many communities are not covered by General Assistance do so through collaborative efforts with social service organizations. OneHancock requested to apply their original distribution criteria to WHCA in addition to the original disbursement plan, if the municipalities request. The following four towns have sent in letters of intent: Castine, Winter Harbor, Brooklin, Surry, Gouldsboro.. Commissioner Joy stated that towns are government agencies and he was unsure why a 501-3C is necessary. Mr. Bradford stated that this applied to places like the Seacoast Mission and WHCA. Commissioner Brown stressed that the funds should stay in Hancock County and that this is a one-time grant that was granted to OneHancock utilizing its pass-through, the Hancock County Planning Commission. Mr. Bradford stated that this is a .50¢ on the dollar match, up to the maximum of $500. Essentially twenty communities could qualify on a first-come first-serve basis. All towns have been notified. Commissioner Brown questioned why OneHancock needed WHCA’s assistance when they are working through the Hancock County Planning Commission. WHCA has the logistical ability to work with the towns and already deals with general assistance. WHCA has the ability to set it up for individual communities. WHCA will not receive any part of the funds and the funds will be passed through WHCA to the recipients. A fee of approximately $100, to process checks, will be charged by the Hancock County Planning Commission.
MOTION: to table item 1c Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Comm. Blasi requested that department heads follow the Overdraft Policy as approved on September 9, 2003 which supports the minutes of April 18, 2014 resolving that department heads should show which accounts funds were appropriated from when the account is or are overdrawn. He stated that the county already has an Overdraft Policy which was supported with a motion on April 18th so therefore, the policy should be followed. It involves department heads using the Request for Transfer of Budgeted Funds form in accordance with the policy. The forms would be submitted, the commissioners would review the potential overdraft, act accordingly and then the department manager can continue to operate their budget.
Commissioner Brown stated that currently we use a form to request funds transfers. Commissioner Joy questioned how what was done the other day, different from this policy. Commissioner Blasi stated that the commissioners would approve the overdraft prior to over-drafting an account, he requested that department heads complete the overdraft form, have the commissioners approve the overdraft and the transfer of funds from an expense account from one line to another within individual budgets. Commissioner Brown stated that when an account is over-drafted, there is usually a reason, knowing specific areas where there were not sufficient funds budgeted helps in the budgeting process for the next year. "If you take it from another account, you now show two accounts that are not true." Over-drafting gives the manager an idea of what needs to be added/moved to specific budget lines.
Commissioner Blasi read the following from the April 18th CSM, " there is no transparency to show where funds are paid from. Funding for accounts that are overdrawn, showing how funds were spent and where the funds came from was requested." Commissioner Brown stated that if a manager exceeds their budget, there is a problem but when you exceed a line you should not have transfer from line to line, ever. After reading the Overdraft Policy, Commissioner Joy stated that he did not see the difference in the policy and that the conversation on April 18th is the same item that Commissioner Blasi is discussing now. Commissioner Blasi stated that the completed form must be submitted to the Board of Commissioners and the Treasurer before the regular meeting so that it can appear as an agenda item, it's transparency. Commissioner Joy stated that so far, overdrafts have come before the commissioners except, perhaps, from the jail. The jail may do it differently but they have a bottom line budget that they cannot exceed. Commissioner Blasi stated that he sees other ones besides the jail. Commissioner Joy stated that sometimes lines are overdrawn due to poor calculation and used examples of retirement or workers compensation. When asked what he was looking for in the agenda item, Commissioner Blasi responded, to ask the department managers to use that form but request for budgeted funds. It was determined that the form in question is different form the form used to expend from capital accounts. It was clarified that the policy calls for transferring from one line to another line (in Section 4, page 2) within individual budgets. Department Heads would be required to come to the county commissioners prior to making an overdraft, per the policy. Commissioner Blasi stated that in the instance of miscalculations, the form would be utilized as well.
Register Curtis requested to know if she needed to seek approval each month for a known overdraft. The answer was no, if it was preapproved, monthly approval is not necessary. Register Curtis also disagreed with transferring from line to line within her budget as it does not make her budget true. Commissioner Brown stated that the expense summary reports reflects the percentage of funds spent in each account, if he sees an account that may be close to overrunning, he seeks out the department head to discuss the reason. He saw no need to create more paperwork for this, capital accounts are different. This is the managers budget, if they were going to run out of funds in their complete budget he could see the commissioners stepping in. The expense summary report is a great budgeting tool.
MOTION: to the department managers use the request for transfer of budgeted funds form under the existing Overdraft of Appropriation Budget Transfer Policy. (Blasi/ failed for lack of 2nd)
Commissioner Joy stated that parts of Bangor and the Bangor Airport have been made a Free Trade Zone. This would allow companies who utilize foreign or American parts to go through the Foreign Trade Zone to certify that they are either using foreign or American made funds and there is no tax due until the end. If Hancock County would like to take part in it, it may help one of the boat builders in the area. He did not see us using this all the time but did not see it as a detriment either. There is no bookkeeping for the county, it is all done through the administrator of the Free Trade Zone. Commissioner Joy was in hopes of someone attending the meeting to further explain the program. Commissioner Brown questioned what this would do for VERSO Paper, it would help them to certify the times/percentages that that they use American made and foreign made materials. Commissioner Joy requested to push the discussion down on the agenda in order to further read the information provided.
MOTION: to move the discussion to item 9a under New Business. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Blasi proposed the insertion of the following "and related federal and state laws," to the job definition of the County Clerk/Personnel Coordinator description in the Personnel Policy. This would further delineate which policies the County Clerk interprets and oversees compliance of.
Commissioner Joy read the following language from the Personnel Policy, “the County Clerk should be cognizant of the wishes of the Board of County Commissioners as well as laws governing personnel” stating that he thought the inclusion of additional language was redundant. Commissioner Blasi quested if there was any harm in including related federal and state. Commissioner Joy questioned if there were any other agencies that make laws. Commissioner Blasi referenced the unapproved proposed 1994 job description in his discussion. Commissioner Brown clarified that the County Clerk serves at the will of the County Commissioners, it's as simple as that. When asked if there was a reason for the suggested change, Commissioner Blasi stated Commissioner Joy suggested changing the language to, the County Clerk should be cognizant of the wishes of the Board of County Commissions as well as "all" laws governing personnel.
MOTION: to insert the word "all" before laws in Section 2. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Registry of Deeds:
MOTION: to approve the hire of Calla Lane of Ellsworth as a full-time clerk in the Registry of Deeds, at Step 6C $12.78 per hour, effective June 28, 2014. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: This would bring the staff up to 4 positions. Step 6C is a little above the bottom, the candidate has 5 years of customer service from a bank and the position was budgeted for in the FY14 budget. This position is filling in a slot that had been previously been eliminated.
Register Curtis stated that the current power outage and the power outage last week has caused numerous computer problems in the Registry of Deeds. She voiced her displeasure with the county’s IT vendor. Commissioner Brown recommended generator and battery back-up solutions.
The airport manager's report included an update on Public Information Officer (PIO) training, Commissioner Blasi questioned if the Commissioners needed to designate Manager Madeira as the PIO. The answer was no. An update of the 2013 airport audit and subsequent overdraft in the amount of $300 from account E-40-50-620, this was due to a bad number given to the airport manager by the CFO to include in his FY14 budget. The Functional Exercise After-Action meeting was held in June. Fair Point Yellow Pages omitted the airport in their 2014 listing, although it is listed in the white pages. There was a Seaplane Ramp Enhancement Project meeting in June, the project is moving ahead and Hoyle Tanner is working with the DOT for a design on the float system. The scope of work published by the DOT to Hoyle Tanner is between the parties. Commissioner Brown questioned if the DOT was going to submit their final design for commissioner approval by fall, the answer was yes.
Airport Manager Madeira briefed the Commissioners regarding a request for amendment to the Hoyle Tanner Associates (HTA) contract executed on 9-3-2013 for terminal building project construction administration. The contract amendment reflects an increase of $77,850. According to Manager Madeira, an unexpected $80.000 increase is not manageable and notification of such should have been received sooner. There is a issue with the process that is not totally and completely appropriate. Karen Frink of HTA stated that Manager Madeira voiced his concerns clearly. The Value Engineering (VE) process was done quickly therefore errors and omissions are being found. Commissioner Joy questioned if HTA and the architect received direction with regard to what we were trying to do and questioned how we got to where we are. Ms. Frink stated that a concept design and estimate was created, which was too high. The building was redesigned pre VE, and another estimate came in at 2.5 million. HTA was also told, by the previous airport manager, that the county share could go as high as $600,000. The job came in at 3.6 million with a county share that was not approved by the commissioners. During the VE process, Nickerson & O’Day became the driver in the VE process, Rick Malm of Lewis + Malm and Lane Construction discussed cost cutting and removed the work in the existing terminal. Through the VE process things were taken out which lead to today’s discussion.
The original building costs were too high and the VE was included in that process. A fee for engineering and architecture has been included in all the steps. Change Orders and paying for engineering and architecture again, that was taken out previously, was questioned. Commissioner Joy questioned some of the disputed Change Orders and wanted to know who was at fault.. The final drawing, which has not been produced to date, was questioned. Ms. Frink stated that the contractor likes to make mountains out of mole hills because it’s in his best interest. Commissioner Joy questioned if HTA and Lewis + Malm were still working in the county’s best interest. The answer was yes. 100% of project administration is FAA eligible. 91.44% is the current proration that is eligible for VE. The proration will continue to decrease as to what is FAA eligible $64,922. The local share of Article 1 & 2 is $12,927. It will become payable when the proration is completely determined. The FAA’s position is that they will not pay for things twice, the VE was added and then removed, therefore the FAA will not pay. Commissioner questioned why we were paying for the VE twice. HTA was paid for engineering.
Ms. Frink explained that HTA provides an estimate for a 30% design, they were under the impression that it would be a 2.5million dollar building but it came in as a 3.5 million dollar building. Commissioner Joy stated that the original of “how we got here” is hard to believe. Commission Joy questioned what would happen if the county said no to HTA's request. Ms. Frink could not answer his question. HTA is approximately $100,000 in the deficit between design and construction. Commissioner Joy was not sure why HTA had a 25% deficit as they have years of experience. Commissioner Blasi questioned when an answer is needed, soon. Commissioner Joy was concerned with the cost of finish work; Ms. Frink stated that the funds requested today should cover the remainder of the project. Ms. Frink clarified that it WILL take us to the end of the project. Commissioner Joy was concerned with available airport finances. Manager Madeira stated that the local share is currently at $251,576 and is being paid from account G2-3030-20. A couple thousand dollars will be needed, which we currently have on hand. Commissioner Joy stated that he was not ready to make a decision today and requested a continuation of the discussion at the July 8th special meeting. Commissioner Brown questioned the hours and cost associated with the VE in the amount of $56,750. Manager Madeira proposed eliminating the “fixed fee.” In checking his math, Commissioner Brown stated that $30K +$30K +12% +$11,100 = $78,300. The project administrator is HTA. Commissioner Joy stated that he was under the impression that the VE was done in a commissioners meeting and stated that he didn’t understand where the VE came from. Items were eliminated and other items were changed. Commissioner Brown stated that it bothered him that the HTA representative was using terms that she didn’t know the meaning of. The contractor did most of the estimating of costs, not the new design. Commissioner Joy stated that the process of the VE inclusion or taking out and paying for change orders because someone left something out was a very irritating process. Commissioner Blasi stated “well put commissioner.”
Manager Madeira requested that the board amend the Hoyle, Tanner & Associates contract dated September 3, 2013 to account for the millwork design for the Terminal Building Project. After speaking to involved parties, the mill work will be paid for separately. Millwork designers were discussed, ACI was contacted and agreed to provide the design work for $3,800. Manager Madeira questioned if the design work was included in the original HTA agreement. Commissioner Brown stated that county policy is to put anything over $2,500 out to bid, he was concerned with the $35,000 cost and stated that we did not need any more surprises. The entire cost will be between $32,000 and $33,000. The airport could function with the original mill work but it would not look good. There was no design work done by the architect for the millwork. ACI provided a quote and Nickerson O’Day was going to find someone locally, who has never built a ticket counter, to see if they could do the work. The $35,000 cost would come from the county. Design cost is $3,800, it is 76% eligible and $1,200.80 is the local share. ACI would do the design and fabrication. Entitlement costs are limited, if we reach the Entitlement cost limit, the FAA will not pay the excess cost. Commissioner Joy assured the parties that Hancock County will not pay the excess costs either. Ms. Fritch assured Commissioner Joy that HTA is keeping an eye on the costs and the Entitlement limit it will NOT be exceeded.
MOTION: to agree to the engineering fee for developing the millwork for the airport. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
11:04 a.m.: Break
11:11 a.m.: Back in session
MOTION: to approve Pine Tree Waste Services as the courthouse waste disposal contractor for one year commencing July 1, 2014 and ending June 30, 2015 at a cost of $275 per month for an 8 yard dumpster twice a week. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
An email from Malcolm Ulmer regarding fire control was distributed. Bids for the Nicatous Road Restoration project were opened on June 17th with two bids received and both contractors participated in the site visit. Liability and Workers Compensation insurance was submitted by Prentiss & Carlisle, Inc.. The need for additional culverts caused an increase in the original quote. Runoff was a concern. Supervisor Billings stated that the CFO was concerned that if the project began in the first quarter, the funds would not be available, 1/3 of the funds would be available in October. Prentiss & Carlisle preferred to start on schedule and wait for the funds at the first of October.
MOTION: to award the contract for Nicatous Road Rehabilitation Project to Prentiss & Carlisle, Inc. in the amount of $272,500. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the Fire Agreement with City of Ellsworth for Fletcher's Landing Township in the amount of $8,500. (Joy/Brown 2-0-1, motion passed, Blasi abstained) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi questioned if there had been any contact with the Town of Mariaville. Mutual Aide agreements will be followed between the City of Ellsworth and the Town of Mariaville. Commissioner Blasi is uncomfortable with the contract due to the Risk Pool Manager writing that the municipality should provide liability insurance rather than the county. Commissioner Joy stated that the Risk Pool will provide a defense should an accident happen regarding the City responding to a call in the Unorganized Territory. This is a five year contract. Commissioner Joy stated that the City’s insurer should be told that they are going into Fletchers Landing Township and if there is an additional cost, the county should pay that cost.
MOTION: to accept the Hancock County Fire Protection Agreement. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Article 8 is the language that was added.
Last week Supervisor Billings met with Old Town (Ambulance) and Milford (Fire) Public Safety Departments, a draft coverage agreement was distributed for T32, T34, T39, T40 and T41 south of Cabassas Stream. The quote for T32 was $3,000 or $5,000 for all coverage area as proposed or $3,000 annually for T32 and $750 per call for all other areas. This would be paid for in the Fire/Ambulance section of the UT budget. Currently we are relying on the State for fire coverage in the Townships. Commissioner Joy would like to see the cost for combined fire and Ambulance coverage would cost. Commissioner Brown stated that we have never provided ambulance coverage. Currently we have ambulance coverage with T7, T8, T9, T10 & 16 with County Ambulance with no annual stipend and T16 with Capital Ambulance with no annual stipend. Currently, the process is to get the injured person to a landing zone. RCC Director Wellman stated that she needs to know who to send when a call comes in. Commissioner Joy would not like to see the County enter into a contract for ambulance service, but would rather depend on the State. No action was taken. Current ambulance responders do not charge for their service as they charge the customer/person they are responding for. Lincoln and Millinocket may be able to respond to T3 and T4. Commissioner Blasi encouraged Supervisor Billings to keep looking. Commissioner Joy suggested the possibility of paying per trip. When asked if the commissioners wanted the UT Supervisor to continue negotiations with Old Town, Commissioner Brown responded "I say, at this point no, I don't look to do that, I don't mind having a conversation." TIF funds may be a way to fund fire protection in the future. Supervisor Billings was instructed to stop negotiating with Old Town. Commissioner Joy stated "at this point, stop negotiating with them." He stated that that the commissioners were indecisive at this time.
The flyovers have been completed and photographs will be available during August.
Office of Financial Affairs:
MOTION: to approve June General Fund and Airport Payroll Warrants #14-22, #14-23, #14-24 and #14-25 in the aggregate of $199,746.18. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed, Blasi did not vote)
MOTION: to approve June General Fund and Airport Expense Warrants #14-26, #14-27, #14-28 and #14-29 in the aggregate of $639,239.64. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed, Blasi did not vote) Discussion: the $305,000 was for the airport.
MOTION: to approve June Jail and UT Fund Payroll Warrants #14-48, #14-49, #14-50 and #14-51 in the aggregate of $89,777.53. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed, Blasi did not vote)
MOTION: to approve June Jail and UT Fund Expense Warrants #14-49-, #14-50, #14-51 #14-52, #14-53 and #14-54 in the aggregate of $118,750.32. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed, Blasi did not vote)
Commissioner Joy questioned if there are currently cash flow issues. According to Deputy Treasurer Atwater, the General Fund is okay at the moment. Tax bills are sent out in March and the first payments are received in late July early August.
Deputy Treasurer Atwater requested to take 120 day delinquent jail AR accounts to Small Claims Court. She was instructed to find out the cost prior to the commissioners approving the request.
MOTION: to authorize June expenditures in the health insurance account in the amount of $75,452.74. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the cost is down. Actual cost is charged to the jail. Commissioner Blasi questioned the corresponding warrant number to pay these expenses. Commissioner Joy authorized the check to pay EMMC yesterday. A recommendation from the CFO regarding jail surplus is needed, funds may be put into a capital account in order to see how the new law is interpreted was mentioned.
MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G2-3030-20 in the amount of $12,946.46 to pay payment requisition #010 from AIP 37. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi questioned the difference in this and the $214,000 invoice submitted. This is our portion of the $214,000 bill.
Deputy Treasurer Atwater requested approval of a request for expenditure from capital reserve, account G1-3012-60 in the amount of $2,783.24 and $25,000 for final payment of the Bull Hill Tower Project. This was approved in a previous meeting. Commissioner Blasi stated that he approved the transfer but was on record against the expenditure.
Upon retrieving the warrant memo from Commissioner Blasi and questioning the absence of his signature, Commissioner Blasi informed the Deputy Treasurer that because of overdrafts in warrants 50 and 27, he did not sign the warrant memo.
The commissioners took time to read the Free Trade Zone information submission by BanAir. Commissioner Joy stated that this would help companies on the cash flow side and that he didn’t see any down side to signing the Letter of Support.
MOTION: to send a letter of Letter of Support for the foreign trade zone. (Brown/Joy 2-1, motion passed, Blasi opposed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi would like to see the agreement prior to supporting the cause.
The meeting was adjourned for lunch at 12:15 p.m.
1:00 p.m.: back in session
Erik Stumpfel Esq. stated that he has received a revised set of spreadsheets from Shana Cook Muller to adjust the amount of the TIF but he has not yet had the opportunity to review them. It will be his priority for the July 8th CSM. Commissioner Joy stated that in speaking with Dave Fowler, if the project goes out to financing the county will not receive the funds. Commissioner Joy questioned why it was not the same agreement as the Bull Hill document. Attorney Stumpfel stated that Shana Cook-Mueller has provided new projections that show less revenues to Hancock County. The Community Benefit Fund side of the agreement was important to Commissioner Joy. He stressed the importance of “getting it done.” Commissioner Brown questioned when the commissioners need to meet with Dave Fowler and his attorney. The response was sometime soon. It would involve a Public Hearing, approving the TIF and approving the documents, the same as the last project. Commissioner Joy stated that a discussion regarding a fire engine has not gone away as part of the TIF as made necessary in the TIF District. This is not necessarily to be paid out of the TIF as it was a CBA add on. Commissioner Blasi questioned if the meeting could start at 8:30 a.m. to have this discussion. The answer was yes.
MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 ss. 405 6a to discuss a personnel matter. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session and instructed the county clerk to contact the employee on behalf of the commissioners to see about a plan for that persons attendance at work, here at the Hancock County Courthouse.
MOTION: to adjourn. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)