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COMMISSIONERS BUDGET WORKSHOP

September 3, 2014

Commission Chairman, Steven E. Joy called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 in the conference room at the county courthouse located in Ellsworth Maine with Commissioners Brown and Blasi in attendance.

 

The following jail van bids were opened:

Darling’s $19,523 Delivery upon demand

Quirk Dodge - Good until 5:00 p.m. on September 2, 2014 - $19,530

Commission Business:

Airport:

Three propane tank bids were received; the original bid did not state that it had to be a Buy American compliance, bidders were notified and No Frills Oil Co. was the lowest bidder.  Quality Tanks at propanetanks.com meets Buy American compliance.

MOTION: to issue a Notice of Award to No Frills Oil Co. for the airport propane tank bid, opened on August 12th. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi requested Manager Madeira to please explain the installation and general overall general purpose for the tanks.  Manager Madeira stated that it is the fuel supply for the terminal building; now that we are doing a conversion to LP or oil the tanks are either going to be installed by the end of this week or early next week and the first "fire up" of the burner is scheduled for September 15th; there are two 1,000 gallon tanks.  The Courthouse Facilities Director has been consulted regarding pricing for the tanks.  Commissioner Brown questioned if a pressure tested line is coming out of the ground right now; Manager Madeira stated that there is a line but he was unsure if it has been pressure tested.  The bid includes regulating equipment and hook-up of the regulating equipment.  Company pressure testing was questioned.  The specifications called for installation and hook-up of the regulator.  The contract to put the line in was through the project.  Commissioner Brown requested that Manager Madeira double check to make sure the line has been pressure tested.

Three public seating bids were received, the only adjustment to the bid was the option to convert the laminate tables and furnishings to solid surfaces, this would still leave the Arconas bid lower than all other bids.

MOTION: to issue a Notice of Award/Purchase Order to Arconas for public seating in the new departure area of the terminal building. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: there is an up charge of $1,620; $21,842 is the end cost included on the purchase order.  The next closest bid was $26,630.  The local share will be approximately $1,092.

Commission Budget Workshop:

01 - Courts:

Proposed Expenditures: $10,195

Commissioner Joy questioned County responsibility to pay witness fees.  DA Bassano stated that the State has “set the burden” on the counties for the fee, it is included in statute. Down the road, extradition costs may be used to pay for witness fees.

MOTION: to approve Courts expenditures in the amount of $10,195. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

02 - Emergency Management Agency

Manager was reduced to $50,481, Part-time was reduced to $12.50 per hour / $13,000 annually.

The Deputy Director position has unofficially been discussed as a shared position with the sheriff’s department at a cost of $30,000 in each department.  Commissioner Joy stated that he was currently at a point of not funding the position at all and/or listening to a proposal.  Hours would be shared 50/50 between each department.  Commissioner Joy stated that this would be a position discussion, not a “person” discussion, he was not willing to go there.  Commissioner Blasi questioned why the department head(s) have not discussed the shared position with the commissioners.  Commissioner Joy stated that the Washington County Manager is the EMA Director backup and is not paid for this work.  Commissioner Joy was not certain a Deputy Manager was needed; position coverage may be needed but not a Deputy.  Commissioner Blasi questioned if a part-time person could be utilized.  Office Assistant Helen Kazura stated that the Director is very overbooked and in need of help

Proposed expenditures: $185,274.

Proposed revenues: not discussed

03 - District Attorney

Eligible employees will be receiving Step and COLA increases.  Commissioner Brown stated that he would not support the part-time position this year as he did last year.  According to DA Bassano, the principle job, in this position, is to keep the paper moving; this entails filing and managing the files.  This employee also purges files and coordinates where they go.  Justice Web will help with this issue.  Commissioner Joy agreed with Commissioner Brown assessment of the part-time cost and stated that he was in favor of the Justice Web concept.  The CFO was instructed to remove the position from the commissioners proposed budget.  Commissioner Blasi questioned what happened to the position in 2012 as the amount spent was far less than in 2013.  DA Bassano stated that the paper flow at that point “clogged up.”  Commissioner Blasi stated that it has been at the $12,000 level since 2011 and the DA has asked for it adding, “it’s needed, keep it.”  Commissioner Brown stated that he supported Justice Web but was unsure that Hancock County can support the cost of it in one year and suggested setting up a capital account for this purpose; he also preferred to wait and see what Washington County was going to do.  The Shared Case Summary web based program that the DA’s Office is using is part of with Justware but does not work with the State of Maine court software, the change to Justice Web should occur in 2015, if it is approved by the county’s; this is outside of anything that New Dawn is doing.  The cost of this purchase may need to come from the DA’s Technology account.  Commissioner Blasi questioned if the DA thought that paper would be discontinued.  DA Bassano stated that she had a difficult time seeing this happen and the county would need internet access in the courtrooms in order to go paperless.  She stated that she thought there will always be a physical file.  Short term, she feels the archived paper items will go away.  There are two full-time VWA positions and one 35 hour Detective position included in the budget proposal.

MOTION: to give tentative approval of DA revenues in the amount of $23,500 and DA expenditures in the amount of $351,774 or 1.26 % increase. (Joy/Brown 2-1, Blasi opposed) Discussion: This vote leaves Justware and Justice Web fully funded in the proposed budget.  Commissioner Blasi stated "if it comes down to something like the part-time vs. a county administrator, I'm not going to approve or support this departmental budget; I don't see why we are removing an essential part-time employee like that and putting the money instead towards an administrator."

04 - County Commissioners

The Deputy Manager wage was reduced to $32,795.

Jail Van - continued

MOTION: to approve the purchase of a van 19,523 from Darlings. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: these funds are in a capital reserve account that was booked at the end of the jail fiscal year, account #G11-3125-00

County Clerk - continued

Professional Services, account 30-200, was reduced to $10,000.  Commissioner Brown questioned the difference between Professional Services and Court Legal.  CFO Roy stated that nothing has been spent out of Court Legal account over the past 6 years adding that these funds could be spent for Professional Services or be used to reduce taxes.  Commissioner Joy suggested moving the Court Legal funds ($15,900) to the Professional Services account.  Commissioner Blasi wanted to see the reference where Court Legal was first included as Capital Funds.  Commissioner Joy preferred to allow the commissioners to make the change on September 12th rather than having employees spend time to research something that may go back 20 years.  Commissioner Joy questioned if the funds could be included in a commissioner’s office revenue line, an expense would be needed to offset it; he preferred this method because it does not affect taxation.

Commissioner Joy stated that the County Administrator position should be included in this budget.  Commissioner Brown stated that that the Deputy Manager/Deputy County Clerk would move and the County Clerk would be renamed, stating that the only thing that would change in the budget is the cost of the administrator.  Commissioner Joy stated that he believed that the vote will be 2-1 or 3-0 in favor of a county administrator.  He felt that it needed to be put in the budget now and suggested the wage of $70,000 for payroll, include health care, FICA and all other peripherals.  All personnel would stay the same in the budget, for now.  Commissioner Joy suggested utilizing capital accounts for some of the peripherals purchases.  CFO Roy stated that a contract buy-out under payroll benefits would also be needed.  Increases in the following lines are due to inclusion of a County Administrator: Travel, Professional Expenses, Office Supplies, Postage, Misc. Supplies, and Computer Maintenance, Dues.  CFO Roy suggested that purchases for furniture, computer and the contract buy-out could come from capital accounts.  Commissioner Brown suggested removing $2,100 for the purchase of commissioner chairs.  $1,000 was reduced for the purchase of a desktop computer, Commissioner Joy stated that this purchase could be made, this year, from the capital account.  Commissioner Brown stated the current Deputy Clerk could be moved to another department or from one department to another within the county.  She has been trained and has skills that are useful to county government.  Commissioner Joy stated that at some point offices should be combined and a cross trained floater could be utilized throughout the county.  Through construction, walls would be moved and the employee could be stepping back to a desk, in a pool, to do requested work.  Commissioner Joy stated that he did not disagree with Commissioner Brown's suggestion and stated that it was a place to revisit.

Proposed Revenues - $15,900, (from Court Legal)

Proposed Expenditures - $270,490 a 38.49% increase.

Commissioner Blasi requested a vote on the Commissioners' proposed budget, as Commissioners Brown and Joy were not in favor of voting, at this time, Commissioner Blasi stated the following, "I'm against a County Administrator for all the reasons I've stated on record. I do not approve the county commissioner’s budget.”  Commissioner Joy stated that the commissioners were not going to vote on it yet, anyway.  Commissioner Brown added that they were not going to vote on a County Administrator.

05 - Office of Financial Affairs

Miscellaneous Revenue is mostly from State PEL funds but these revenues can be from anything.  PEL funds are received in lieu of taxes.  CFO Roy state that he is expecting $6,500, the $5,000 is a placeholder, Federal funds are not counted until they hit the bank account.

9:55 a.m.: Break

10:03 a.m.: Back in session

OFA: continued

The Deputy Treasurer was reduced to $38,241.  CFO Roy requested an additional full-time position at $14 per hour; the Deputy County Clerk makes $15.77 per hour.  Commissioner Joy was not in favor of the increase of $29,120 in the Regular line that would decrease part-time to zero.  Commissioner Blasi agreed.  CFO Roy stated that the Deputy County Clerk could work in the OFA at 20 hours per week for $16,401.  She could do bank statements and AP’s.  Commissioner Joy was not in favor of the full-time position.  Commissioner Joy was “okay” with CFO Roy's 20 hour suggestion, for now.  Commissioner Brown was okay with 20 hours at $15.77 per hour or $16,401.  Commissioner Blasi stated that he did not agree with how this department was budgeted.

Proposed Revenues: $50,500

Proposed Expenditures: $179,219 or 13.14%

10 – Sheriff

Salary changes were included in the FY15 budget proposal.  The newly created, full-time, position of Major was included under account 01-111.  Deputy Manager is the Chief Deputy position.  Deputy Scott Kane gave a brief overview of the history of the patrol division.  The addition of the Major position will give more flexibility and allow Patrol Lieutenants be on the road more often and respond to more complaints.  Lt. Patrick Kane will be the Chief Deputy.  Deputy S. Kane thanked CFO Roy for his help in working on this budget, especially in the area of Overtime.  The Regular account decreased due to the hiring of new deputies at a lower pay rate than the two employees who currently fill those positions.  There is nothing in reserve to pay a department should a new officer come from an active department.  A job description was requested for the Major position.  Commissioner Brown was not sure he wanted to fund the Major position at $60,000.  Commissioner Joy agreed with Commissioner Brown regarding the pay for the Major.  Deputy S. Kane stated that a jail personnel and management training course, in Colorado, would be needed for the newly elected Sheriff and Chief Deputy.  Regarding firearms training, Deputy S. Kane stated that the last time he participated in Low Light fire arms training was in May of 1992.  Brown uniforms are no longer being produced nationwide, new uniforms will need to be ordered next year; color schemes will also be changed on cruisers once the new administration comes on board.  Uniforms that wear out will be replaced with new uniforms but Deputy S. Kane plans to stay with brown uniforms for as long as they can.  Fuel will be purchased at the place that is most economical for the county; the Comdata Card provides the ability to purchase fuel throughout the county and includes a record of the purchase.  CFO Roy clarified that the county is using WEX and Comdata is the back-up.

A $12,500 IT agreement has been proposed by the City of Ellsworth to utilize Jason Ingalls for Sheriff's Department IT work.  This cost does not include the RCC and does not include parts and hardware.  It does include an immediate emergency response.  The City Manager is in agreement with this price of the contract that does not include the RCC.  Jason Ingalls is certified in Spillman technology.  Deputy S. Kane stated that all officers have the same duty weapon, rifle and sights.  The firearms instructor determines when a firearm is worn out; weapons that that are changed out will be traded and there are no rifles to trade.  The minimal cost of a gun is $300.  Commissioner Brown questioned what is purchased out of account 20-005 Vehicle.  This includes vehicle repair, light bars etc.  New light bars will be purchased for the new vehicles so that they conform to the fleet.  LED Light bars are a tremendous asset in officer protection.  Account 30-325 is more contractual, i.e. Spillman. Account 20-100 Computer is for Maintenance and Repairs.  Commissioner Brown stated that at one time the County contracted with the City of Ellsworth for Jason Ingalls' services.  Jason Ingalls would take care of IT support due to Carl Stechers retirement; he currently provides Spillman support at no charge.

Regarding Insurances, Commissioner Brown requested a list of items that are insured.    Archiving of e-mails was discussed.  Commissioner Blasi questioned how far back e-mails could be researched.  Currently, it would be very difficult to find older e-mail; computers would need to be sent to the Computer Crime Lab in order to retrieve older e-mails.  CFO Roy stated that the county vendor, Sierra Communications could provide a server and monitoring for e-mail back-up.  Commissioner Joy stressed on professionalism while sending e-mails.  CFO Roy stated that capital accounts could be used for a portion of this purchase.  Commissioner Brown suggested having one e-mail server rather than purchasing another separate server.  Grants are available for the purchase of vests but they have to be front funded.  Account 70-100 Vests is intended for half of the vest purchase, the department budgets for the purchase and are reimbursed for half.  Account G1-3022 currently has $6,785 to replace vests.  The Technology Account is intended for laptop replacement and long range planning; Toughbooks cost approximately $5,000 apiece; two of the Toughbooks that they currently have will remain with the new sheriff and chief deputy.  Three vehicles have been budgeted in the proposed FY15 budget.  Maintenance may receive one of the spare pick-up trucks; V6 engines are preferred in the cars/SUV’s.  This would more than likely be piggy backed on to the state bid.  The Fire Arm Reserve is intended to swap out pistols.  Commissioner Joy stated that the proposed FY15 has a big increase, and suggested that Deputy S. Kane find a way to pay for it.  He will not accept a big number, but may accept an increase.  Deputy S. Kane welcomed the commissioners comments and offered his contact information and commissioner input.

12 - Formal Town Contracts

Proposed Revenues: $174,896

Proposed Expenditures: $146,423

Commissioner Brown stated that he has always felt that towns are being charged too much for patrol services.  He suggested knocking down the hourly rate for more hours.  The commissioners encouraged a contract with the Town of Castine.  Commissioner Blasi stated that account 70-300 has not been funded in the FY15 proposed budget.

13 - Civil Process

Proposed Revenues: $110,000

Proposed Expenditures: $123,618

Commissioner Brown requested that the Civil Process budget be neutral in FY15.  He stated “you know what you’ve got to do.”  Commissioner Joy seconded Commissioner Brown’s statement.  The Sheriff’s Administrative Assistant has volunteered to help in this department.  The Manager serves Civil Process papers.

46 - Drug Task Force

Deputy S. Kane stated that there is a very, very large drug case pending.  Funds from this forfeiture would help pay for the rental space fee and other needs.  Commissioner Brown stated that Hancock County is footing the bill for Washington County as they are not participating in the DTF.  Deputy S. Kane stated that Washington County has an officer now and one of the Sheriff candidates is a strong advocate of the DTF.  Commissioner Joy stated that according to Commissioner Chris Gardner, “Washington County has never paid for their officer, why should they pay now.”  Commissioner Joy questioned how and why expenses in the DTF went down.  Health Insurance decreased. Revenue was decreased because the projected number will not be reached this year.

Proposed Revenues $138,062

Proposed Expenditures: $200,235.

08 - Registry of Probate

Probate Fees are set in statute; faxing and the cost of publications are set at the Registers discretion.  Commissioner Joy stated that he was looking for revenue sources within the Probate budget; the total cost to mail should be charged, the Register is working on this.  Commissioner Blasi questioned what other charges could be invoked other than user fees.  Register Cousins listed filing fees, publications, abstracts, copies and faxes.  The Managers wage was decreased to $35,174 and the Judge was increased to 1.5% above the FY14 wage.  Register Cousins did not agree with the increase in the Judge’s salary citing the current Judge’s years of service.  Commissioner Joy suggested changing the Judge’s wage to $25,000 annually if health insurance is included.  The question of part-time elected officials was discussed. Commissioner Brown stated that there is no such thing as a part-time elected official.  A discussion followed regarding offering health insurance to part-time elected officials.  It was suggested that $25,000 be included as the wage and health insurance be offered.  Part-time was changed to $14,976, 24 hours per week under part-time and 4 ($2,496) additional hours under surcharge.  Restoration goes into a reserve account to be used at the discretion of the Register.  Commissioner Brown questioned how the Register planned to build the surcharge account.  She responded by stating that by budgeting the majority of part-time hours through taxation, this will allow the 4 hours to be paid through surcharge and surcharge funds to build in order to purchase acid free jackets.  CFO Roy stated that a copier will be brought in sometime this week to try out for potential purchase; the copier may be purchased through the Commissioners Technology Reserve account.  The Registry of Deeds copier, out front, is similar to the current copier in the Registry of Probate; the copier out back is a Cadillac model that e-mails and faxes, scans books and sends documents to a computer.  Register Curtis volunteered to give the Cadillac copier to the Registry of Probate; the Registry of Deeds would then purchase a new copier.  Commissioner Joy liked the idea and suggested moving forward with the plan.  Commissioner Blasi agreed.  The Registry of Deeds copier will be replaced through the Copier, Equipment and Scanner line.  Because it is coming out of capital accounts, it can be done this year.  Commissioner Blasi again inquired about part-time hours.  Register Cousins replied, 24 hours from Part-time and 4 hours out of Surcharge; today, the person works 24 hours.

Commissioner Brown excused himself from the meeting at 11:56 a.m.

Revenues: $113,250

Expenditures: $189,061, a 6.64% increase.

09 - Registry of Deeds

The Manager salary was reduced to $42,752, Part-time is 16 hours at $12 per hour; Students usually fill the part-time positions working during spring break, winter break and during the summer.  Register Curtis suggested reducing account 09-30-500 Microfilming/Index to $41,000.

Revenues: $710,000

Expenditures: $268,667 or 5.19%

12:18 p.m.: Break for lunch

12:35 p.m.: Back in session - Commissioner Brown rejoined the meeting.

07 - RCC

Regarding including the RCC on the tax rolls, Commissioner Joy stated that he is going to give up this time, he has always tried to put the RCC on the tax rolls but this year he is not going to try.  CFO Roy requested a breakdown of revenues; per Commissioner Joy, a breakdown of revenues may be distributed to the commissioners or the BAC.  Revenue of $400 will be added to the FY15 proposed budget for Transcripts.  The Manager wage was reduced to $50,060 to reflect a 1.5% increase.  The Administrative Assistant’s wage was increased to $12.50 per hour, per previous commissioner approval.  The Shift Supervisor stipend is used for Director coverage while out of the office, on vacation.  Director Wellman suggested hiring a floater at 40 hours per week for dispatcher fill-in and QA (Quality Assurance) work stating that this would reduce the overtime budget.  $43,000 is for scheduled overtime.  The RCC schedule and number of dispatchers was discussed.

Director Wellman stated that there were 20 AT&T hang up calls in one day, last week; all of those calls must be followed up on, thus depleting RCC and agency resources.  As a public safety announcement, the RCC put the following on their Facebook page: Pocket dials have increased, please use care when putting your cell phones away.  There is a protocol for each call back under quality assurance.  A new dispatcher would cost $14.83 per hour plus benefits or approximately $103,000, the Directors suggestion would save approximately $12,000.  The 40 hour schedule would need to be negotiated with the union.  QA is included at 20 hours per week, the Assistant works up to 16 hours per week.  The QA Clerk has to check 100 EMD calls per month, hang ups do not count.  CFO Roy suggested eliminating the Part-time and QA position in order to fund another 40 hour employee in a floater position.  Anytime over 40 hours would be paid as overtime.  Commissioner Brown questioned why we are budgeting for 20 hours for the Administrative Assistant (acct. #01-110) when the employee is only working for 10 hours per week.  The Administrative Assistant is also doing QA work at 20 hours per week.  Commissioner Brown stated that he was not going to hire another person to earn overtime, the hire would also qualify for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act if they work 30 or more hours.  Dispatcher scheduling was discussed.  CFO Roy suggested bringing in another $50,000 in revenue (tax) to offset the cost of expenditures.  Director Wellman stated that contracts are in place that state that we will not increase the cost by more than the total percentage increase of the county budget.  Commissioner Brown suggested reducing the uniform budget.  Commissioner Blasi questioned if account 07-15-100 Communications has been resolved.  Director Wellman stated that use of an Air Card would have been nice during the Bar Harbor fire last night to access Spillman.  The monthly cost of the Air Card would come from Department 14, the purchase would come from account 07-15-100.  Commissioner Joy suggested that the CFO and the Director work this out among themselves and suggested that the $750 under account 07-15-100 be reduced to $150.  Commissioner Blasi questioned if CD Bishop were to leave, would there be anyone available to fill in during the absence of the Director.  The answer was yes, there are other employees who could fill in during her absence.

Director Wellman increased Service Contracts $26,794.  The only tower maintenance cost that we currently have is for Bull Hill.  There is currently nothing budgeted, in the FY14 budget, for tower/equipment maintenance.  Director Wellman stated that the increase is for a new location.  Commissioner Brown stated that the UT’s would pay for anything that happens on Bull Hill. 

CFO Roy suggested that the RCC obtain a quote from Jason Ingalls for IT support for the RCC.  Dispatch computers and the Directors computer have Spillman included on them.  $5,000 is included in the FY15 proposed budget for IT service.  Computer support should be included in account 07-20-100, account 07-30-150 should be reduced to $35,544.  The RCC is paying Mr. Ingalls for Spillman support, they pay for NCIC and Metro support.  Sierra Communications has not been cleared for Spillman support.  Spillman work is supposed to be provided by the City of Ellsworth for free.  Carl Stecher was paid for non-Spillman support in 2013.

The Bull Hill equipment costs approximately $115,000, a building was included in account 07-70-100 at a total proposed cost of $150,000.  Commissioner Joy preferred to find the funds elsewhere.  Commissioner Brown wanted to cut the cost out of the budget proposal completely.  Commissioner Brown stated that in speaking to the Brooksville Fire Chief, he has mentioned making the Brooksville tower available for RCC use; in speaking to another individual, the Mt. Ephraim tower would have a farther reach.  An RF/Propagation Study could be done for $300 on the Mt. Ephraim tower; straight line testing could be done soon. 

Commissioner Brown stated "if that is the case, I think we would be wasting our time and finances if we could get this agreement coming up then we could use some of that money to lease somewhere.  We do have some money still left in Community Benefits for this year to do some of this work with and rather us taking our money in appropriations, I would (he didn't finish his sentence.)  Commissioner Joy agreed with Commissioner Brown's statement and also pointed out that in the RCC Equipment, he assumed that the commissioners would reimburse the almost $30,000 that they took out, as agreed upon.  That would take them back to $83,000 in the Equipment Capital account; there is still $41,000 in Community Benefits from this year.  He felt that they have plenty of money to get this out of taxation.  Commissioner Blasi agreed.  Commissioner Brown stated that he is waiting for more information and will apprise Director Wellman of his information as soon as he receives it.  Mt. Ephraim is a privately owned tower, Mt. Waldo is owned by a corporation.  The simulcast picks stations rather than having to change stations, this was removed from the Bull Hill tower equipment.  Commissioner Joy stated that when we rely on volunteers, we get it at their pace, it’s time to move forward.  RCC e-mail back up will need to be funded in the FY15 budget.  Account 70-100 was reduced to $10,000.  Commissioner Blasi questioned why $6,546 was included in account 30-150; Director Wellman stated that this is a contractual issue that has to be paid.  Commissioner Joy stated that the QA expense is an unfunded mandate that he is willing to discuss.

Proposed Revenues: $100,675

Proposed Expenditures: $651,110 or a 10.14%,

Maintenance:

The Manager’s wage was reduced to $46,128, Part-time was increased due to painting that needs around the courthouse complex and the skills of the part-time employee.  Employee Costs changed accordingly.  Commissioner Brown questioned the increase in account 07-600 Training/Registrations and did not agree with the proposed training in appliances; "he can still work under the Director’s license without obtaining one of his own".  Commissioner Brown preferred to spend funds on a basic license.  Commissioner Joy stated that he may go along with Commissioner Brown, but in another year he may say yes to training in appliances.  Commissioner Brown stated, down the line, with more experience in propane, he may be interested also.  Account 07-600 was reduced to $250.  Facilities Director Walls will be speaking to Deputy S. Kane regarding inmate help.  Facilities staff is responsible for inmate help oversight.  Yards & Grounds includes flowers, plowing and sanding.  Account 10-200 Gas was reduced to $750 and a change in title to Gasoline was requested.  Clean-up of the grounds will be included in the Plowing and Sanding RFP for 2015.  CFO Roy suggested increasing account 06-15-001 Electricity.  Director Walls felt that his estimate was in line as there have been many changes and upgrades in order to reduce the cost of electricity in the Andrew Peters House and the Courthouse.  CFO Roy stated that Standard Offer might hit .12¢ to 12 and one half cents for January, February and March.  Commissioner Blasi said "transmission lines" and then questioned why we needed more transmission lines.  Director Walls asked if this was a larger question to which Commissioner Blasi responded, no nothing more than I've said before.  CFO Roy recommended $35,000 and Director Walls stated that he thinks $35,000 makes sense for account 15-150 Heating Fuel.  A vehicle may be available from the Sheriff’s Department for FY15 thus allowing a reduction in account 20-230.  Commissioner Brown suggested funding account 20-230 at $10,000.  CFO Roy questioned why one department should have to pay another department for a vehicle that is already owned by the county.  Facilities Director Walls stated that if the Maintenance Department was allowed to plow, that would save a lot of money.  CFO Roy was instructed to include $10,000 in Sheriff’s Department revenue  from the Maintenance Department to offset the cost of transferring a pick-up from the Sheriff's Department to the Maintenance Department.

Proposed Revenues: $61,161

Proposed Expenditures: $398,312 or 2.75%

14 - Communications

Commissioner Joy questioned if US Cellular has been contacted to see if we have the best plans possible.  The answer was no, not yet.  Revenues were increased to $2,648 due to Jail and UT cell phone reimbursement.

Proposed Revenues: $1,400

Proposed Expenditures: $42,500

16 - Debt Service

The jail bond interest payment was reduced to $36,500.

Proposed Expenditures: $338,000

17 – Third Party Donations

Third Party Donations was flat lined to $165,835.  Funding 3rd Party Donations out of Community Benefit funds was mentioned.

Proposed Expenditures: $165,834 or 4.33% under FY14.

20 - Health Insurance

Commissioner Joy questioned Commissioners Brown and Blasi on where they stand with regard to newly elected official’s health insurance offerings.  Commissioner Brown stated that he did not see why the tax payers are obligated to pay for someone’s family adding that spouses and family members of newly elected officials may have the option to buy into the plan, but they don’t work here; we take care of our employees, fine.  Commissioner Joy stated that the idea of a single plan invites him.  It was clarified that this discussion is for newly elected officials.  Commissioner Joy stated that he cut the Probate Judges salary to include family health insurance; this conversation will be revisited.

Proposed Revenues: $112,891

Proposed Expenditures: $960,000

30 - Reserves

Proposed Expenditures: $318,000

The ICMA RC Health Retirement Account is paid out of account 05-500.  Account 30-20-300 was reduced to $100,000.  CFO Roy stated that account 30-70-405 Health Trust does not show up on the budget because "we have always done it through Undesignated Funds."  CFO Roy stated that account 30-05-200 Retirement is considered the "Health Trust," in prior years this has been funded through Undesignated Funds adding "if we have the funds, lets fund it, if we don't, lets don't."  Commissioner Joy preferred to leave $10,000 in account 30-05-20 to hold the account, these funds may be "taken out later."

Proposed expenditures: $110,000

CFO Roy stated that currently, he is expecting between $350,000 to $400,000 to be available in Undesignated Funds but warned the commissioners not to take that to the bank.  Commissioner Joy stated that he was not certain he could fund the Deputy position in EMA.  Commissioner Brown stated that he did not think they need to spend $60,000 for the Major position.

The Sheriff’s Department and OFA budgets remained unfinished.  Commissioner Joy suggested that the Sheriff's Department-10 should be reduced by $100,000 and $5,000 should be deducted from the OFA, for now.  Commissioner Brown stated that reorganization of the Sheriff’s Department should happen within the first year and that the new sheriff does not have to do everything during his first year.

Proposed Revenue: $1,695,920

Proposed Expenditures: $5,557,763.

Proposed transfer from Undesignated Funds: $200,000

Proposed reduction from the SO and OFA: $105,000

Total Proposed amount to be raised by taxation: $5,547,763

$390,479 above FY14 taxation or an increase of 7.70%

CFO Roy stated that another $100,000 could be applied from Community Benefit funds to help offset taxation; this would bring the proposal to $297,000 or 5.76% above FY14 taxation.  Commissioner Joy stated that he could see using $50,000 from Community Benefits this year and the $48,000 that is in the capital account; that would leave $150,000 from what comes in.  He stated that there has been a call to apply the funds to taxation, he would like to show it earlier than he thought they were going to, but they may have to.  Commissioner Brown stated that he thought we may need the funds that they currently have as there may be issues prior to the "new money" coming in, they may have to address towers or different things.  Commissioner Brown stated that the majority of the funds should go towards the budget, that "this is the year to do it."

Commissioner Joy stated that maybe the commissioners would "bring it back" when the Hancock Wind Project comes on, that the commissioners have done some "nice things" and maybe it's time to apply it to taxation; he also stated that he would still like to be below the LD1 Cap and that the City of Ellsworth had a 5% increase this year, the county has to be below what they are.  The commissioners have been very frugal in the past but then there comes a time after 3 years of being frugal that maybe you just can't do it, it gets tougher to do.  Commissioner Brown stated that we knew we were going to have a spike.

CFO Roy stated "just to give you an idea of what $350,000 would be, it would be $200,000 in Undesignated Funds, $150,000 of Community Benefits and then another $105,000 from SO and OFA reductions would bring you to 4.8% or $247,479.  Commissioner Brown wanted to be under 3%, Commissioner Joy agreed.

Regarding the Public Hearing scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on September 12th, Commissioner Brown  stated that they are not going to discuss the merits of the Wind Farm, all they are going to discuss are the merits of the TIF.  Commissioner Blasi clarified that it is regarding the TIF Development Program that is under review right now.  Commissioner Blasi stated that he was not in favor of counting on Community Benefit revenues toward the budget adding that he thought is was foolish.  Commissioner Brown stated "you were last year, you wanted to put the whole thing towards taxation."  Commissioner Blasi stated, "that's right, once I have the money I'll do something with it" and questioned "you're gonna budget with $300,000 Community Benefits."  Commissioner Brown stated "I am when I have to pay down $1 million dollars, I'm not going to go kick someone out of their house."  Commissioner Joy stated that we will have the money on November 1st or shortly thereafter.  Commissioners Brown and Blasi continued their discussion by Commissioner Brown stating that if I don't have it I won't spend it.  Commissioner Blasi stated "well you budgeted for it" adding that "we at least have a month to rectify it."  Commissioner Joy clarified that they have until December 15th.  Commissioner Brown stated that "if we don't have it by then, I'm not going to do it."

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

Respectfully,

 

C. DePrenger

County Clerk

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