Commission Chairman, Steven E. Joy called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 8:31 a.m. on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 in the conference room of the county courthouse located in Ellsworth, Maine with Commissioner Percy L. Brown Jr in attendance, Commissioner Antonio Blasi joined the meeting shortly thereafter. 

Adjustments to the agenda: 

MOTION: to add the signing of an engagement letter from Rudman Kersteen Ouellette as item 5f (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed) 

Commission Business: 

Old Business: 

MOTION: to approve the minutes from the February 2, 2016 Commissioners Regular Meeting and February 18, 2016 Commissioners Special Meeting. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed) 

Regarding the response to Trenton Fire Chief Corson’s request for funding of a bumper turret, Commissioner Brown stated that at this point the funds were still up in the air, in speaking with the EMA Director, there seems to be grant money available for this type of purchase.  Ellsworth Fire has professional full-time fire fighters that can respond to an airport fire, if needed.  Commissioner Joy stated that he would thing for Trenton’s voters and tax payers that they would explore the grant avenue with EMA.  Commissioner Brown stated that the County also allocates $1,500 a year to the Trenton Fire Department. 

MOTION: to deny the request of Trenton for funding for the bumper turret. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed) 

Unorganized Territory:

UT Supervisor Billings has reviewed the solid waste contract for T4 and has discussed it with the Town of Burlington; they did not want to commit to anything until they knew what was happening with PERC and MERC.  Upon review, Supervisor Billings stated that the northern half of T4 is the Passamaquoddy Indian Reservation a Sovereign Nation, he was not sure the County should be funding solid waste removal for them; the southern half of T4 is owned by the Maine Department of Conservation which has State Campgrounds at Duck Lake and Middle and Lower Unknown Lakes and already have a system for handling their solid waste.  There are 10 camp owners on these lakes that we need to figure out some way to provide solid waste removal for but he would like to back off the idea of providing solid waste for all of T4 and focus more on providing the service for the 10 camp owners around the lakes.  He requested to put the T4 solid waste on hold for now.  Commissioner Joy agreed and stated that Supervisor Billings has raised some good questions and encouraged him to continue researching the issue.   Commissioner Blasi asked “what options for Township 4 camp owners solid waste do we have?  Do Passamaquoddy’s pay taxes to the State or County, if yes their solid waste should be paid. 

Supervisor Billings presented a DRAFT contract from FairPoint for Broadband Service to Fletchers Landing Township (FLT).  On March 1st Supervisor Billings and a representative from FairPoint did a “ride out” to FLT.  FairPoint is in the process of updating their DRAFT contract and plans to attend the April CRM.  Commissioner Brown questioned if someone went door-to-door regarding service.  Two residents have been spoken to, one of which already has the service and another who has heard negative rumors about the service.  FairPoint has 3 available options, 1) 3-megabites to 1 which is better than Dial-up, but not much, 2)Most of FLT would be eligible for 15 over 1 which is best, and from box 400 north to the Waltham line would only be eligible for 3) 7 over 1.  If you have a phone line through FairPoint and the 15/1 connection, the cost would be $77 per month for unlimited internet.  Supervisor Billings has a list of 12+/1 people who want to be contacted; Commission Joy encouraged someone to provide those options for service.  Supervisor Billings stated that he did not think that we needed to go through all of FLT as some of the residents already have the option for service now.  Commissioner Joy would like to see Supervisor Billings pursue information from residents who currently are not offered service in order for them to obtain the service.  Unfortunately, residents on the south side of the “green box” cannot obtain service at this time, Supervisor Billings will work on this.  

According to the original Bull Hill TIF dated September 30, 2011, “within the District age Broadband Access $500,000.”  The District is the area around the towers, the roads accessing the towers, the Nicatous Road and the parking lot.  Further down in the same document under outside the District it says “L. Broadband access see item G above.”  Item G talks about Title 36 §1606 which is any uncaptured revenue goes to UT Education Service, but all of the Bull Hill TIF is captured revenue.  Due to the confusion of this section, Supervisor Billings contacted Attorney Erik Stumpfel who referred him to Laura Santini Smith, who drafted the document.  According to an e-mail response from Ms. Smith to Supervisor Billings there was a typo and the G above should have been an H referencing the broadband within the District.  $500,000 is available in the District and outside the District in the UT, it was not just limited to “in the District.”  There is $500,000 in the Bull Hill TIF and $500,000 in the Hancock Wind TIF.  Ms. Smith will be filing a correction with the original document. 

UT Fiscal Administrator Marcia McInnis has presented an amended budget format; she will visit Hancock County in the spring for training.  The FY16-17 UT Budget will be heard at 1:00 today in Augusta.  The former County Administrator was supposed to set up a meeting with McInnis and the auditor to go over the budget.  Supervisor Billings stated that the original budget submission created by the former CFO would have been correct with the inclusion of the 07 and 060 accounts. 

MOTION: to affirm the appointment of Millard Billings of Franklin to the Land Use Planning Commission, effective February 26, 2016. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Supervisor Billings has been approved by the Senate for this position. 

Regarding the Marcia McInnis budget restructure; Commissioner Brown questioned if “we were being the guinea pigs in this contract, they were supposed to have this ready for us years ago but they haven’t, now they said what’s coming out in 2018.  He questioned if what was presented is going to be used statewide for reporting or is it just for us.  Supervisor Billings stated that he believed that the UT budget format change is statewide.  Commissioner Brown was concerned that the next Fiscal Administrator might change the format again.  Commissioner Joy stated that the state may be catching up and trying to create something that applied to all. 

The application from Blue Sky to the LUPC was distributed.  In their permit, the decommissioning involves a 3 year update and a final update.  The requested amendment does away with the final review and focuses on a every 3 year update of what the decommission would be valued at.  Commissioner Blasi asked if this was to say that the corporation would be asked to pay more for the decommissioning.  Supervisor Billings responded “yes more or less depending on how each 3 year assessment rated them.  Commissioner Joy stated that it highlights that its done up to the end of the project and questioned if that is something that perhaps was not done before.  Supervisor Billings stated that the thought that there was some overlap before.  As a member of the LUPC Board, Supervisor Billings was going to hear the request at the March 9th meeting.  Supervisor Billings stated that because of our ongoing issues with Blue Sky and his position as Unorganized Territory Supervisor, he thought he should abstain from the LUPC vote for this application; if he had to abstain from something he thought it should be at the LUPC, not on the County level; he felt there may be a conflict of interest.  Commissioner Joy stated that the decommissioning value matters to the commissioners and they do have an interest in it.  Commissioner Blasi stated that Supervisor Billings should find out if chairman Livsay would like to request him to recuse himself or he could explain himself and seek a request for recusal from the chairman.  Commissioner Joy agreed with Commissioner Blasi’s suggestion as he did not like the idea of Supervisor Billings to recuse himself.  Hancock County has an interest in this, if Supervisor Billings could be in on the discussion it may be important.  Commissioner Brown questioned the difference in the addendum and current language and why is it a significant change.  In the current contract the decommission value is done every three years and includes a final one at the end; the addendum eliminates the final one at the end.  

Commissioner Blasi stated that it has been three month since the commissioners last discussed the Blue Sky East situation with Maine Revenue Service, before that it was four months; he asked Supervisor Billings if he had any further updates.  Supervisor Billings stated that the last report he had was that Erik Stumpfel was trying to negotiate an agreement with Blue Sky to get a consent agreement so that we could access the “proprietary” information given to Maine Revenue Services.  They are looking for the valuation formula and how they arrive at the numbers they are putting into the formula.  We are stalled in getting the agreement.  Commissioner Joy stated that a lawyer may not be the answer to this, it may be a stock broker or someone like that.  There was a determination of what First Wind shares were worth on the day that the transfer took place, which is usually a public document; he was unsure if Sun Edison was a publically traded company, if it is, it should be public information.  Supervisor Billings questioned if it was a valid sale and questioned if they sold it to a subsidiary company in a “shell game.”  Commissioner Joy did not believe that First Wind was a publically traded company, if it was sold to a publically traded company, its public information.  There is no better comp than the sale of your own company to determine a value.  Commissioner Blasi included in the meeting books, an article entitled “Sun Edison delays annual report citing internal probe.”  He asked the following questions: 1) Could Maine Revenue Services increase property tax assessment to make up for the lower valuations of each turbine?  Supervisor Billings responded no, that would require a supplemental tax, if you have already taxed a building and for some reason you missed one of the buildings, you can’t go back and do a supplemental tax on the other building because the commitment said land and building, you are locked in for that one commitment.  2) Are the Commissioners familiar with the Penobscot County law suit on this issue and if it is possible would the commissioners consider joining their law suit.  Commissioner Brown stated that he would not want to join until he found out what it was.  Commissioner Joy agreed.  Supervisor Billings stated that it is the same kind of issue; Rollins Wind in Penobscot County had the same issue that Hancock County had with Bull Hill and lost value or had less value that what they expected to get.  Commissioner Joy responded, yes we might have some interest. 

Ellsworth Historical Society CAP Assessment Review

Scott Hanson with Sutherland Conservation & Consulting presented recommendations for necessary repairs and improvements to the old jail.  In order to perform the work the contractor will need access across county property.  6’ around the building will be needed for staging and mobile lifts, a new drainage tie-in to the catch basin across the parking lot is needed; pavement around the building would be cut back as well.  A designated area is needed for material storage and mixing, this can be accommodated on the old jail lawn area.  The project needs to be done cooperatively with the County.  Commissioner Blasi stated that the bullet points seem plausible and agreeable.  Commissioner Joy stated that if they are going to dig up the parking lot to connect to the drain, it needs to be brought back to its original quality, digging around the building was okay with him and he wanted to see a start and end date.  Commissioner Brown was concerned with the additional water being sent to the storm drain and suggested contacting the DEP for guidance; he was also concerned with damage to vehicles and people utilizing the area.  Commissioner Joy wanted to see the Liability and Workers Comp insurance documents.  Commissioner Brown stated that our liability increases because anything outside the foundation is on County property; that is a concern for the county.  Commissioner Brown also stated that the end of the project should be signed off on by the county.  Mr. Hanson stated that timelines and penalties will be included in the bid document.  Damages to a person was a big liability concern.  Staging as opposed to a mobile lift may provide more protection to falling.  Commissioner Brown stated that the County should be involved in the process going forward.  Changes should also be reported to the commissioners.  2 hour parking begins in June and ends around September; timing of the project could coincide with parking limitations.  The Risk Pool will be contacted with liability concerns on our end. 


Commissioner Joy stated that he would like to go to an automated telephone answering system for the courthouse.  The City of Ellsworth’s works fine and he would like to see less unnecessary telephone interruptions in the work day.  Auto Attendant is already built into our current phone system.  Commissioner Brown stated that there is nothing he hates more than waiting for so many seconds to speak to a person.  Commissioner Blasi stated that the Commissioners and staff could audition it prior to implementation. 

MOTION: to switch to an automated phone attendant. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Brown stated that our phone number is no longer published in the phone book, under Auto Attendant there would be one telephone number and the call would be directed to the correct department.  Commissioner Blasi stated that another issue is that employees receive calls that they do not need to field, this will screen those calls and send them to the correct department.  The phone script can also be revised at any time.  This will not affect the copper lines. 

MOTION: to appoint Jonathon Thomas of Surry to the WHCA Board of Directors. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

Appointed/Exempt Evaluations were scheduled for April 5 at the end of the day, 3 the first time, 2 the second time.  County Administrator resumes will also be discussed at that time. 


The airport monthly report included updates on the closeout of AIP 37 (the terminal building expansion project), AIP 38 and 39 has also been closed out and a check for $64,253.42 has been received, AIP 40 is still open, once it is closed we will be officially done with Hoyle Tanner Associates.  The monthly report also contained the airport managers concerns regarding a Columbia Air Services Sublease, the Essential Air Services proposals submitted to the US DOT on 2/9/2016 that included proposals from Cape Air and Pen Air, the airport cash management report, advertising for the ARFF position and an update on the 2016 airport marketing plan which is a work in progress; Carole Whidden is helping quite a bit with this.  The marketing plan will be discussed at the April meeting.  Commissioner Blasi stated that he did not believe we should be using the Yellow Page Directory; Manager Madeira explained that this is a Bangor Directory. 

Airport Manager Madeira recommended endorsing Pen Air and Cape Air as the Essential Air Carriers for the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport.  Cape Air’s proposal is status quo with 3 flights a day, Pen Air has proposed an additional overnight service as requested by the airport manager.  Commissioner Blasi asked for a table of flights offered for the next meeting.  There is no schedule information available from Pen Air at this time, Cape Air will have a similar schedule as last year.  The 5:45pm flight was a concern as they are not able to approve pilot’s schedules for longer days like they used to.  An early start would be best for our passengers.  Andrew Bonney, Barbara Butler and Amanda Carlo of Cape Air were in attendance.  Mr. Bonnie stated that regulations have been adopted that constricts the amount of time that pilots can work.  They are able to schedule pilots for 11 hours and 45 minutes which is a slightly tighter duty day than in the past.  Early morning, two mid day trips and an evening flight has been offered.  Cape Air is the 2nd largest carrier in the EAS.  The Pen Air schedule is contingent upon the EAS awarding Presque Isle and Plattsburg NY; those proposals were contested; until they know the outcome they are unable to submit aircraft routings and schedules. 

The Cape Air proposal includes a 2 and 4 year proposal; Manager Madeira recommended the 4 year option.  Manager Madeira presented a letter to Michael Martin of the US DOT that endorsed the EAS proposal of Pen Air and Cape Air and requested commissioner approval. 

MOTION: to have the chairman to sign the letter. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Cape Air has proposed a schedule, Pen Air has not submitted a concrete schedule but their proposal includes an overnight flight and an in and out service during the day.  This could be between 10:30 and 3:30 each day.  Commissioner Joy was concerned that the Pen Air association has been a bit tenuous and Cape Air has been grouped together with Pen Air with this proposal.  The Dept. of Transportation is asking for support of the proposals, this will move the process as efficiently as possible.  Pen Air will probably provide 14 non-stop flights per week with and inside out flight. 

Airport Manager Madeira requested to purchase the following equipment from the County: 1985 Grader-Mount York Rock Rake, Model RH – Purchase Price: $400, 1989 16’ American flatbed trailer – Purchase Price $500 and 1992 Valby 3 Pt. Chipper –Purchase price $1,865.  Total purchase $2,765.  Commissioner Joy questioned if other county departments would like to use the equipment as he was not sure that the property should be sold and suggested leasing it in order for other county departments to be able to utilize it.  Manager Madeira stated that the UT Supervisor has stated that he has no use for the equipment.  The Facilities Manager knows about the equipment and did not request to use the equipment.  The airport should only list the equipment on their inventory if it belongs to the airport. 

MOTION: to sell the 1985 Grader-Mount York Rock Rake, Model RH, 1989 16’ American flatbed trailer and 1992 Valby 3 Pt. Chipper for $2,765. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi stated that none of the items are rated above fair except the chipper. 

Manager Madeira requested approval of the Sklizovic private hanger land lease for Parcel P-16.  There is a $5,400 Impact Fee on this sale in which Mr. Sklizovic would like to take the County up on their financing option of the Impact Fee.  There has never been in Impact Fee for Environmental on any other hanger lease. 

MOTION: to approve the Sklizovic Private Hangar Land Lease for Parcel P-16. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Brown questioned what would happen if Mr. Sklizovic defaulted on the lease.  Airport procedures would be followed.  The description and reason of the Impact Fee is noted on Page 2, item b. 

Commissioner Blasi questioned Exhibit A from the last meeting, the SLODA Application, he asked if it was still a pertinent document and wanted to know what was going to happen that.  Manager Madeira stated that there has to be a DEP permit amendment filed whenever you are going to change impervious structures or configuration of land at the airport.  Jacobs Engineering will be filing the permit amendment. 

MOTION: to approve the Jacobs Engineering Project Contract associated with the Impact Fee for Private Hangar Parcel P-16 and to authorize the chairman to sign the project contract. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Manager Madeira recommended the establishment of a separate account for the purpose of the Impact Fee and that the Treasurer set up a reserve account to track the funds.  Manager Madeira stated that this is a pass through expense, he does not want two different accounts Revenue and Expense, a reserve account will keep it all separate.  The details can be worked out.  Commissioner Joy stated that he did not agree with the word “accounts”, as it is one account.  Manager Madeira stated that reserve account is a pass through account.  The auditor will be consulted regarding the account and how to set it up. 

Manager Madeira distributed the BHB Cash Management Report to include Receivables, Cash and AR, Liabilities and Reserve Accounts.  As of yesterday the Airport Undesignated Fund balance was $537,859.  CFO Roy always recommended an Undesignated Fund Balance in the range of $350,000.  Manager Madeira suggested designating some funds to reserve accounts.  Commissioner Joy stated that he would like to see a proposal for a meeting in the future. 

Commissioner Brown asked how they were doing on the Airport Generator, the expenses that cost to set it up is more than what we need and is great.  They do not need a 270 KW generator.  The generator will probably be sold.  This is the generator that was retrieved from Massachusetts.  Commissioner Brown thought that it may be able to run some of the small villages/towns like Swan’s Island. 

Commissioner Blasi asked if we have received the insurance certificate from the Jacobs Engineering.  Manager Madeira will look into it.  He also asked if we need storm water review, Jacobs will look into this, that’s why we hired them.  Commissioner Blasi asked what the ACDBE Plan Specs were; they are for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. 

10:26 a.m.: Break    10:38 a.m.: Back in session 

Treasurer’s Office: 

MOTION: to approve February General Fund and Airport Payroll Warrants #16-4, #16-5, #16-6 and #16-7 in the aggregate amount of $198,970.61. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed) 

MOTION: to approve February General Fund and Airport Expense Warrants #15-66, #15-67, #16-3, #16-4, #15-68, #16-5 and #16-6 in the aggregate amount of $325,250.58. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Payroll Warrants #16-4, #16-5, #16-6 and #16-7 in the aggregate amount of $89,150.21. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Expense Warrants #15-30, #16-30, #16-2, #15-31, #16-31 and #16-3 in the aggregate amount of $98,654.12. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi questioned if the memo was revised from the original.  The answer was yes. 

Treasurer Eldridge presented financial reports and an update on AR.  Commissioner Blasi questioned #177 Garbo Lobster Co. this is a property lease at the airport. 

Commissioner Blasi asked if all county checking account statements for the prior month been reconciled; the answer was no, statements have just been received. 

Commissioner Joy stated that in 2014 and going into 2015, the health insurance account numbers were not accurate.  If someone was looking to find our $300,000 they should be looking at this.  The Clerk was asked to report prior year totals that were paid in 2016.  At the end of the year it was thought that we would have a surplus in the health account of approximately $130,000, which has been used up.  The figures presented today are accurate.  The auditor only goes through March prior year numbers, once April 2016 comes around 2016 funds will be used to pay prior year bills received.  Commissioner Brown stated that at the end of FY15 he thought there was $50,000+ in excess funds.  Commissioner Joy pointed out that the numbers are now accurate.  Commissioner Brown stated that when we started self insurance we were $100,000 in the red, we are no longer in the red. 

Commissioner Joy stated that we are not supposed to expose departments that have one employee health plan; in order to comply with reporting he requested to use the fee associated with MMEHT’s Point of Service Policy.  He suggested doing this for Swan’s Island, EMA and the DTF.  These are reimbursement numbers intended to mask or not point to actual usage, actual usage will be redacted in the public document.  You cannot point to individuals due to HIPPA rules and laws. 

Commissioner Joy stated that we have some retirees who have asked to utilize other supplemental health insurance providers.  Approximately $90,000 is spent on retiree health insurance each year.  Commissioner Joy would like to move retirees to a Martin’s Point or AARP supplemental plan, pay for their coverage and not collect revenue from the retirees.  Commissioner Blasi endorsed the idea.  Retirees will be invited to a meeting to discuss options and possibly sign up for alternative plans during that meeting.  The commissioners agreed to pursue the option.  Commissioner Brown stated that sometimes people do not like change, the retirees need to be accommodated, heard and understood. 

MOTION: move forward with the retiree health insurance initiative. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Quotes should be obtained from employees utilizing different supplemental policies. 

MOTION: to approve February expenditures in the health account in the amount of $187,418.66. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Clerk DePrenger stated that she has contacted Maine Municipal Employees Health Trust to obtain costs of their POS C Plans in order to bill EMA and the Swan’s Island Contract their monthly cost.  The March amount currently showing on the health insurance spreadsheet is the fixed cost. 

MOTION: to approve a capital expenditure request in the amount of $10 from account G1-3015-20 for the purchase of an annual license renewal. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

MOTION: to approve a capital expenditure request in the amount of $75.15 from account $G1-3015-20 for the purchase of a 6000 PSI valve for fill station. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed) 

Commissioner Blasi questioned the health insurance “lock box” account number.  The number is 20-05-300.  The Lock Box should include the General, Airport and Jail health line.  The account has not yet been combined, Clerk DePrenger stated that she believed that the commissioners were waiting on the audit to let the treasurer’s office know amount left over for the year to put into the lock box.  Commissioner Brown stated that the “$84,000” account will be the “lock box” account. 

Commissioner Joy stated an email was sent by the treasurer to the commissioners on February 19, 2016; he was concerned with an employee calling Bangor Payroll; he stated that Treasurer Eldridge represents the treasury and complaints should only come through the Treasurer.  Treasurer Eldridge stated that she was unaware of the situation until recently.  Commissioner Joy stated that if there are recurring small problems are we fixing them; he wanted faith that numbers are correct.  Checks and balances should be checked and rechecked within the Treasury and reports cannot go out or be submitted with mistakes on them.  The reason for the meeting with some treasury/commissioner staff was to reinforce the importance of accurate information.  Finger pointing was at the treasury in general, not at a specific person.  Commissioner Joy reinforced that accurate information is vital and that he wanted the commissioners to know about the conversation.  Treasurer Eldridge stated that the Finance Assistant/Clerk is still not completely trained in her treasury duties.  She has since trained with the County of Penobscot and TRIO training is scheduled for May.  Commissioner Joy reiterated that the reason for the meeting was to say that if there are issues they should be taken care of and it matters that our reports are accurate and not necessarily done quickly.  Commissioner Blasi asked which employees generate reports in treasury; all treasury employees generate reports. 

Treasurer Eldridge requested signatures on the engagement letter with RKO, they will be visiting the County of March 28th

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign the agreement/contract with RKO. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi requested to review the agreement.  Treasurer Eldridge stated that this is the last year of the 5-year contract. 


The maintenance monthly report included heat pump installation in the Registry of Deeds administration area and the treasurer’s office.  

Director Walls presented a plan recommended by Seacoast Security for power outage alerts at the Bull Hill site.  A rent increase from the State of Maine Court System is also being pursued.  Commissioner Blasi asked the reason for the rent increase for the state lease.  Reason’s included an increase in staffing, the need for cleaning supplies and in researching rates from other counties, we are on the low end of the scale. 

Jail roof discussion: Director Walls stated that an upgrade is needed, the price estimate of $60,000 to $65,000 and installation will be about the same.  A metal roof cost approximately 75% more than a fiberglass shingle roof.  The cost will be approximately $30,000 in material for a total of $55,000+.  This would also cover the District Court Clerk’s office.  30 year architectural fiberglass shingles will be used.  Commissioner Brown mentioned problems with ventilation and heating over the years.  Most of the problem is a result of inadequate underlayment under the shingles.  Craftsmanship and conditions play a part in the leak issue.  The roof was initially installed in 1998.  Commissioner Joy questioned if an RFP was needed and then put the job out to bid.  Informed opinions are needed prior to moving forward.  Commissioner Joy was ready to move forward.  Stray roofing nails were a concern.  An independent opinion is worth seeking with a comprehensive analysis to include improvements and a method moving forward.  Venting will be included in the proposal.  The underlayment and subsurface of the roof will make a big difference in the new roof.  Capital Reserve funds will be utilized for this project. 

Director Walls requested approval of an expenditure in the amount of $1,104 to provide an alert system and monitoring agreement to cover the Bull Hill stand by generator.  A signal will be sent to Seacoast Security monitoring, a call will go to the RCC and a person will be notified (Walls/Wellman or Sankey).  The cost is $360 per year and should be paid from the UT fund. 

MOTION: to purchase this through TIF funds in the amount of $1,104. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

For three out of the last four years, the DA security inspection has recommended a locked door where the current Dutch door is located at the DA’s office.  Commissioner Joy suggested making the entire entrance secure.  Commissioner Brown cautioned locking doors due to needed exits.  Commissioner Joy suggested changing the entrance to the back of the building.  A foyer type set-up was also suggested.  Several different scenarios were discussed.  The commissioners were willing to discuss alternatives. 


Currently, there are two part-time employees who continue to fill temporary full-time positions.  One is covering a vacancy of a sergeant position the other is covering for a maternity leave; they are saving money by utilizing temporary full time employees. 

MOTION: to continue Cristal Warren’s full-time temporary status with no benefits. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)  Discussion: Commissioner Blasi stated that this was not his intention to discuss this, he was more interested in Corporal Stanly acting as supervisor.  There is currently a Sergeant vacancy in the jail, the employee on maternity leave has interest in applying for the sergeant position.  Corporal Stanley continues to act as supervisor for his shift for now. 

Discussion: Future of the jail when funding runs out.  Sheriff Kane stated that the jail budget expenses are running on line where it should be but they are still borrowing one month ahead (of the monthly taxation cap amount).  Current legislation will more than likely be appropriated in the amount of 2.5 million dollars according to Senator Kimberly Rosen.  Hancock County should receive $45,000 to $50,000 in supplemental funds.  Federal Board should come in at $65,000, combined with the estimated amount from State Supplemental of $50,000 the amount would be $115,000 in revenue.  Inmate medical will take a hit due to a recent Life Flight trip.  The inmate has since met bail with the help of the DA.  January Federal Board has not yet been posted and February Federal Board has not yet been received as they are currently a month behind.  Two payments of Fine money has been received.  Commissioner Blasi questioned how the dual accounting system is working?  The Deputy Treasurer has been working with the jail admin staff, it is doing well.  Penobscot County jail came in “in the black” for this year. 

Sheriff Kane requested approval to go out to bid for cruisers; he would like to purchase two now and wait for fall to purchase one more.  Commissioner Brown asked how taxes are coming in.  Commissioner Joy questioned if everyone paid through December 31st, the answer was yes. 

MOTION: to grant permission to go out to bid for cruisers. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Sheriff Kane would prefer to buy local; he has two cruisers for trade in and one pick-up trade in for the fall, all will be paid for from the SO Department 10 budget. 

MOTION: to sign the Town of Tremont and Swan’s Island patrol contracts for 2016. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the Stonington Contract will be presented at the April meeting.  Sheriff Kane stated that the Town of Swan’s Island is very pleased with the service they are receiving from the assigned officer.  The Town of Stonington is also pleased with their service and thanked Sheriff Kane at a recent town meeting for the job that they are doing.  The Town of Castine is reluctant to sign a contract but budgets $10,000 each year for law enforcement; they may or may not utilize all of those funds.  

Commissioner Blasi gave Sheriff Kane his copy of the 5-year cruiser plan. 

Sheriff Kane requested approval to advertise for a patrol deputy position; plenty of time is needed due to the lack of qualified applicants. 

MOTION: to approve the request to advertise for a patrol deputy. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi questioned if this was in lieu of the DTF position.  This position is in anticipation of a promotion to the detective position.  Commissioner Joy asked if a position has been added for 2017, Detective McFarland will be moved over to the SO in 2017.  The detective will be promoted from existing employees and a patrol deputy will be hired from outside. 

MOTION: to grant authorization to dispose of Unit 58 a 2005 Chevrolet Impala. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: this will be put out to bid or traded in.  A minimum bid will be requested. 

Sheriff Kane requested to sell some jail kitchen items, a salad bar, a fry-o-later and other items. 

MOTION: to offer certain jail items for sale according to county policy. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

MOTION: to approve the hire of Kevin Fitzgerald of Orland as a part-time cook, $12 per hour, on call as needed, effective March 8, 2016. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) 

The Sheriff’s Cup begins this weekend.  Commissioner Joy offered his services as referee. 

12:34 p.m.: Break for lunch    12:45 p. m.: Back in session 

MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA title 1§ 6E, to consult with legal counsel. (Brown/Joy 2-0-1, motion passed, Blasi abstained) 

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 1:15 p.m. with nothing to report. 


Director Wellman stated that Waldo 1 failed the structural analysis and she did not anticipate the commissioners authorizing $50,000 to bring Waldo 1 up to speed.  She will be visiting Waldo 2 within the next few weeks to check it out. 

Director Wellman requested approval to pay the budgeted contractual quote from Brown’s Communication for the Dispatch Consoles.  This is for the maintenance agreement. 

MOTION: to approve the request to pay the budgeted contractual quote from Brown’s Communication for the Dispatch Consoles. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

Director Wellman requested authorization for a structural analysis on Waldo #2 at the cost of $2,250.00.  The company that owns the tower has an engineering firm that will perform analysis.  Funds would come from the RCC Capital Reserve.  A building and generator will be needed at the site.  The cost for renting or leasing the location is $1,250 per month.  Commissioners Joy and Brown were not sure that they wanted to pursue Waldo 2 and encouraged Director Wellman to request a copy of the original structural analysis.  Purchasing or leasing another site or land was suggested.  Commissioner Blasi questioned how much more there was out there to uncover.  Another location is being looked into.  The Islands are out of reach; Commissioner Blasi asked if there are any other properties in the TIF that would work; the answer was not in that area.  Funds will not be available until Hancock Wind funds come in.  TIF’s will not pay for purchase, it will only pay for rental.  Inefficiencies included in a previous structural analysis were discussed.  Director Wellman was encouraged to obtain a copy of the original structural analysis and to seek other locations.  The potential of purchasing something will also be looked into. 

Director Wellman requested commissioner signatures on updated RCC contracts. 

Commissioner Blasi stated that the UT Supervisor has stated that there are responders in place for the UT, Director Wellman’s monthly report contained information on areas that do not currently have responders assigned. 

Commissioner Blasi questioned Director Wellman regarding notifications to Emergency Management of information that they should be receiving by law, to assist their operations from Communications.  Director Wellman clarified if the question was regarding the RCC notifying EMA.  Commissioner Blasi stated that it is regarding information that they are supposed to know and questioned if EMA is being notified.  Director Wellman stated that EMA is notified when EMA is requested.  Commissioner Blasi questioned, “should they have to be requested or should they just get notified as the law seems to read.”  Director Wellman stated that she has “not seen a law that says that she has to notify EMA on a situation when the sheriff is dealing with a shooting or when the fire department is dealing with a large structure; if I leave it to the commanding officer because I believe it is their responsibility and if they want to be notified we ask at times, do you want us to notify EMA.”  Director Wellman stated that she knows of times in the past that the EMA Director has wanted her to notify him of things and the question had been asked to the incident commander and the incident commander said “no we will take care of it.”  Different County’s handle notifications to the EMA Director differently, the EMA Director has given Director Wellman a list of items he would like to be notified on, she stated that she did not have a problem notifying him if he has been requested to be notified, but she did not see any sense of adding more work on the dispatchers to notify him on something that he is not going to do anything with.  Commissioner Blasi stated that her option to notify should be, if not required by law.  Director Wellman stated that she would have to see the law as she has not seen it, she has not seen a law that said she has to notify EMA on anything.  If that is the case then all of the incident commanders would be interested in seeing it as well.  Director Wellman reiterated that it goes back to the dispatcher requesting several times of the incident commanders if they wanted EMA notified, she has on occasion notified him directly just as a “heads up.”  The new county wide Spillman may assist in these types of notifications.  Commissioner Blasi referred Director Wellman to the Statute (no number was given). 

District Attorney: 

MOTION: to approve the hire of Stephanie Scott of Ellsworth as a part-time, 20 hour per week, Legal Secretary III at the rate of $12 per hour, effective March 12, 2016.  This position does not include benefits. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

Commissioner Blasi asked if there has been any news on the Shellfish Ordinance.  DA Foster stated “we are prosecuting those again but with the state as the party there is still a wrinkle with it; the clerk’s office computer system will not allow them to use the state as the complainant and still have the controller’s office pay the towns, it is in the works. 

Commissioner Blasi stated that he has sent the commissioners the latest meeting agenda for Frenchman Bay Partners on Rockweed harvesting and the conflicts surrounding it. 

County Clerk:

Clerk DePrenger requested approval to bring in a Personal Trainer in order to assist employees with wellness goals; she also requested authorization to spend up to $3,200 from account 20-05-300 to purchase wellness equipment to assist in the request. 

MOTION: to authorize the expenditure of up to $3,200 for the purchase of wellness equipment. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Brown said to make sure that the deductions are being made correctly and that participants know there are no refunds.  Commissioner Joy stated that this is being done as a way of saying that we care about our employees and would like to offer it to employees and their families.  Commissioner Joy stated that he was looking for a year commitment in supporting this endeavor.  This is a low investment to say that we care about our employees, Commissioner Blasi agreed. 

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


Cynthia DePrenger
County Clerk

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