Commissioner Agendas & Minutes
COMMISSIONERS REGULAR MEETING
Commission Chairman, Steven E. Joy called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 in the conference room of the county courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Brown and Blasi in attendance.
Honors System Exercise Challenge - Winner Announcement and Random Drawing: The employee with the most minutes of exercise is Tracey Higgins. She chose the $100 gas card. The random drawing winner of the massage is Alicia Smith. Commissioner Joy added that he is proud of these healthy employees and their efforts. The new exercise program is starting upstairs tonight in the old law library with new equipment.
Appreciation was given to Renee Atwater for 13 years of employment. She received a small flat circle of granite with a personalized engraved plaque in appreciation for her service.
MOTION: to approve the minutes from the March 8, 2016 Commissioners Regular Meeting and March 25, 2016 Commissioner Special Meeting. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Adjustments to the agenda:
MOTION to add an Executive Session MRSA Title 1 §405 (6a) negotiations. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to add item 3J, request approval of Elite Airlines Inc. Operating Rights Agreement. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Old Business – Continued:
Clerk DePrenger stated that in order to mask the cost of health insurance, and as not to commit a HIPPA violation, she would like to charge EMA and Drug Task Force the Maine Municipal Employee’s Health Trust rate for the specific plans currently in use. She has been asked to use $1,800 per month for Town Contracts based on the budgeted amount. Commissioner Joy agrees that the reimbursement amount from the State of Maine is the correct amount to be used as “the monthly charge” to the departments. EMA Director Sankey said that EMA will only be reimbursed the Federal amount and not the amount that is actually charged. This new rate would probably be better as the budget is submitted a year in advance so changing the dollar amounts now might cause a red flag. Commissioner Brown thought the MMEHT amount might be too small of an amount, but it could be adjusted into the next year. Chief Deputy Kane was okay with keeping the MMEHT amount through this year as the Town Contracts & DTF budgets were already set. The admin fees might pose a problem as those amounts are not in the budget. Commissioner Joy asked Clerk DePrenger to make adjustments as the year goes along but he also wants to see the history. Commissioner Brown wants to see a report of the actual costs averaged over the last 3 years before a final decision is made.
Jail Funding: Jail Administrator Richardson is aware that we are now using one half of the May allotment but he has heard that the supplemental fund bill has passed through the Senate. The Sheriff and Commissioner Blasi met with Administrator Richardson last week and he (Richardson) stated there is “less red” at this point in the budget so far this year- that is very encouraging that we still have 73.75% left in the Budget. We have not received over $23,000 in Federal Board funds at this time. Commissioner Joy said that the revenue side is better but there still is a gap to be filled in. Administrator Richardson is trying to obtain some Federal grant money that will help the “operational side” of the Budget.
The Airport monthly report included answers to Commissioner Blasi’s questions regarding the status of the Columbia Air Service sublease agreement. According to Manager Madeira, it is in effect only on a month to month basis but it is an active agreement. This is not the best situation but they (Columbia Air) will issue an RFP to seek a new scenic flight operator which will create a new sublease agreement. Manager Madeira also stated that the new sublease should be a three party agreement between Hancock County, Columbia Air and the new scenic flight operator (tenant). The change will probably not take place until the fall of 2016.
Manager Madeira confirmed that the Jacobs Engineering certificate of insurance has been received (March 21st) and it applies to all work by Jacobs Engineering within the 5 year GCA agreement.
MOTION: to approve the transfer request of $2,400 to increase part-time labor during the high season. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: The accounts affected are E40-01-165 (Full time ARFF) moving to E40-01-300 (Part time Maintenance). The new ARFF position has not filled so the budget will be underspent in that category.
MOTION: to approve the Jacobs Engineering Project Contract in connection with AIP 41, to replace eligible lighted airfield signs, primary wind cone and segmented circle. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the contract involves replacing the signage with foundations (not currently there), moving the current wind cone and segmented circle along with upgrading the regulators.
MOTION: to grant pre-approval for chairman to sign the 2016 FAA Grant Application in connection with AIP 41, to replace lighted airfield signs. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the bid openings for the contract will be April 22, 2016 so with the pre-signed grant application, it can be mailed by May 1st and the paperwork for AIP 41 will be submitted in a timely manner.
Manager Madeira requested approval to remove “EMT-B Required” from the ARFF job description as the FAA does not require ARFF personnel to be EMT certified.
MOTION: to approve the Airport Manager’s request to remove “EMT-B Required” from the ARFF job description. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the training can be provided thru the County after hire. There is money in the budget for the training. Commissioner Brown asked if anybody who applied for this position already had the training; the answer was no. Commissioner Joy asked did it prevent anybody from applying for the position. It was recommended that the position be re-advertised (for a short time) and start the process again. Manager Madeira stated he is up against a time constraint due to ARFF training that is scheduled for the week of April 19, 2016. He would like to have the new ARFF trained before May when the busy season begins.
MOTION: to approve the request to go out to bid for a Paint Machine sulky (a motorized unit that attaches to the current machine). (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the manually operated paint machine is used so the Airport can do its own pavement marking and line striping. The machine is very heavy to operate and the motorized unit would help to operate the machine properly. The account to be used for the purchase will be G2-3210-90.
MOTION: to preapprove out of state travel for (date to be determined) for ARFF personnel to attend a live burning training. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: this is in anticipation of hiring of a new ARFF person in the near future.
MOTION: to approve and sign the Elite Airlines, Inc. operating rights agreement. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: The Company is headquartered in Portland, ME but has expanded their flights to Newark, NJ and Portland, ME from Melbourne, FL. They have ten planes total that carry 50 and 70 passengers. Manager Madeira began speaking with Elite about two years ago, his efforts resulted in today’s Operating Rights Agreement. Elite is interested in coming to Bar Harbor, ME with two weekly trips starting Memorial Day through Labor Day. Elite Air books their own flights through their website. Manager Madeira said the contract could be expensive for Hancock County to start up (due to TSA credentialing issues) but if the carrier is allowed to operate with our airport, it would certainly guarantee that there would be over 10,000 boardings. Manager Madeira is pursuing to get some leniency & exemptions from TSA in order to allow the larger planes to utilize our Airport. Commissioner Brown stated that the Portland, ME flight will be a boost to our airport but the carriers we already have will have to be willing to schedule their flights accordingly.
On a further note, both Cape Air and PenAir have both submitted their proposals to the FAA & DOT for the upcoming operating year.
No Airport Marketing Agency RFQ’s were received in the mail but Manager Madeira had one sent by email from New York State. He would like the opportunity to review it and get back to the Commissioners later in this meeting.
MOTION: to accept the RFQ for a digital marketing campaign. (Brown/Blasi 3-0 motion passed) Discussion: The digital media plan will include a targeted comprehensive plan to increase traffic and flight bookings to Bar Harbor Airport; generate brand awareness for Bar Harbor Airport, drive qualified visitors to the Airport’s website and ultimately increase bookings, target and attract both national and local travelers to enjoy the convenience of BHB.
Break: 10:25am - 10:35am (back in session)
MOTION: to approve General Fund and Airport Payroll Warrants #16-8, #16-9, #16-10, #16-11 and #16-12 in the aggregate amount of $250,188.10. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve General Fund and Airport Expense Warrants #16-7, 16-8, #16-9, #16-10 in the aggregate amount of $560,891.95. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi stated the gift cards for the gas card & the massage should not come out of the Health account as it was not budgeted. The Wellness Program Account#20-05-215 is overdrawn at this time as there was no budgeted amount. The new exercise equipment was charged to Account #20-05-300 and Commissioner Joy asked why not keep it them both the same? Dep Treasurer Atwater remembered it was approved to come from this account but she will do an adjustment to the correct these accounts.
MOTION: to move the $100 spent (and also the upcoming $100 charge) that was debited to Account#20-05-215 to Account#20-05-300 (Brown/ Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Joy commented that the last warrant had an issue with Judge Blaisdell’s MainePERS contribution going to VOYA in error (it has been sent back to the County) and the November 2015 Unemployment invoice had not been submitted to the State and had incurred late fees. The invoice and late fees were paid in March 2016. These amounts were not in this year’s Budget.
MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Payroll Warrants #16-8, #16-9, #16-10, #16-11 and #16-12 in the aggregate of $108,454.32. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Expense Warrants #16-4, #16-32, #16-5 and #16-33 in the aggregate of $182,818.04. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Treasurer Eldridge presented the financial reports and an update on the AR. Commissioner Blasi asked about Sumner High School; Treasurer Eldridge replied it would be a Sheriff’s Office invoice probably for a school event, and it is current. Commissioner Joy asked if the Revenue & Expenses are only for 2016- Treasurer Eldridge replied yes, they are. Commissioner Joy asked at what percentage of the budget we should be at this time. Treasurer Eldridge said we should be between 25% and 30%. Commission Joy asked if the budgeted amount for Worker’s Comp was correct as that line item is way over spent. Dep Treasurer Atwater replied that we pay quarterly 40%, 30%, 15%, and then 15%.
MOTION: to approve March expenditures in the Health insurance account in the amount of $168,239.77. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the prior year medical expense amounts will cease to accumulate in the Budget Year 2015 after March 31, 2016.
MOTION: to approve a request for Airport expenditure from reserve account G2-3010-25 for the purchase of a 1989 American 16’tandem axel trailer ($500), a 1985 York Rake ($400), and a 1992 Valby Chipper ($1,865). (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Treasurer Eldridge asked where the payment of $2,765 from the Airport to the General Fund should be credited. The account to be credited will be “Equipment Reserve” G1-3011-07.
MOTION: approve a transfer request from account G1-3011-06 to account 04-30-200 Professional Services in the amount of $10,000 (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: The over expenditure in this account has occurred from the Jail law suit and Union negotiations. Commissioner Joy verified with Administrator Richardson that we have received a small percentage of the total $540,000 (all Counties together) Jail lawsuit with the State of Maine. Our small percentage portion was $14,000.
Commissioner Blasi asked the following questions of Treasurer Eldridge: Does the Trial Balance balance? Yes; are all the checking accounts for February reconciled? Yes; are the Due to/from accounts in balance? Yes; are the Revenue/Expenses in balance? No, they are still in the process. The Auditor was pleased the A/Rs were in balance as the CFO had not done the reconciliation for 2015. In fact, the Auditors had done the previous years when they were here in the past. The Auditors will provide the Treasurer with a monthly reconciliation checklist; there is no final Audit checklist at this time.
MOTION: to approve/sign the MC, Inc. Fiscal Year 2015 GASB 45 Actuarial Valuation Services work to include the Airport, Jail and County Reports. (Brown/ Joy 3-0, motion passed) The Chairman has signed the agreement. Discussion: Treasurer Eldridge stated this report should have been filed in January 2015 but was overlooked and not budgeted in this year. It is renewed every 3 years and it is completed for all three entities. It will cost $800 per fund but was not budgeted due to the oversight. Commissioner Brown stated it should come from the 05-30-300 account and over draw that line so it will stand out for next year’s budget.
MOTION: to expense the GASB 45 Actuarial Valuation report from Account 05-30-300, have this line item be overdrawn, and it will be included in the upcoming Budget (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed).
MOTION: to accept the resignation of Deputy Treasurer Renee Atwater effective April 25, 2016. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Joy commended Deputy Treasurer Atwater for her efforts to keep the Treasurer’ Office running in the absence of the Treasurer and CFO.
The RCC Monthly Report included updates on upcoming vacancies, contracts and the Unorganized Territory.
MOTION: to accept the resignation of full-time Dispatcher April Canavan effective April 4, 2016 and approve her part-time status at $12.50 per hour with no benefits. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Per Director Wellman, she will not be working more than 29 hours per week.
MOTION: to approve the transfer of full-time Civil Process Secretary, Megan Kelley to the position of full-time Dispatcher, at Step 9H1 $18.26 per hour, effective April 30, 2016.(Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Ms. Kelley is the most qualified person to fill this position as she is fully trained. The 10 hour part time “Q” work she previously did for the RCC will be filled as well as her Civil Process position of 30 hours per week. Commissioner Brown was concerned the change in pay from a 7H1 to 9H1 was not reflective of her years of RCC experience. Director Wellman stated this is a lateral transfer and per the Union Contract, a starting dispatcher begins on level 9. With Ms. Kelley’s length of service, she will automatically start on step H. County Clerk DePrenger was asked to come to the meeting to assist in this discussion. She agreed that the starting level for Ms. Kelley as a dispatcher was correct at 9H1. Commissioner Brown asked if there is a 6 month probationary period in this new position and he was told, yes, there is.
MOTION: to appoint District VII police chief for Sean Geagan to the HCRCC/911 Advisory Committee (Brown/ Blasi 3-0 motion passed).
Commissioner Joy read aloud a Proclamation Resolving April 10-16 2016 as “National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week”. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to sign the previously approved the Town Contracts (motion passed during last month’s meeting)
Registry of Probate:
MOTION: to approve the request for the Judge of Probate to travel to Port Clear, Alabama for the annual Probate Judges Conference during the week of May 15 – May 19, 2016. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Register Coughlin stated that almost all of the travel budget will be used for this conference. Registration was $400, flights & car rental will be $864.66, hotel expense is $660 and meals have been allocated at $150.
Emergency Management Agency:
MOTION: to approve the hire of Bradley Nuding of Lamoine as EMA Deputy/Planner at an annual salary of $40,000, effective April 23, 2016. (Brown/ Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Director Sankey stated that Brad will be learning the grant writing process and he comes to Hancock County with a vast experience with volunteer EMA procedures. Commissioner Blasi asked if he will be using the TimeTrak system; yes, he will be clocking in & out. Commissioner Blasi requested that Mr. Nuding continue the former EMA Deputy Director’s municipal EMA preparedness.
MOTION: to enter into Executive Session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6A to discuss negotiations. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Joy called the meeting back to Regular Session at 12:10pm with nothing to report.
MOTION: to adjourn for lunch. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
12:25pm, back in session.
MOTION: to accept the $7,500 campaign contract of Advanced Media (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: this will be a fixed four month hyper-target campaign and the website could be adapted to a “click” system and honed to reflect the searches. Commissioner Blasi asked about setting up the Facebook page. This campaign does not include that aspect but Manager Madeira feels one could be setup in-house. The search information is also analyzed by this company and they will offer suggestions as to how to improve our marketing.
Jeff Nevin from FairPoint spoke in regards to the Fletcher’s Landing Township broadband progress. There was already a project going on in FLT as FairPoint was upgrading the remote terminal and also adding DSL service to the other residents. The back road areas will be upgraded and will now be included in this upcoming project. Commissioner Joy asked about access to the service as some residents are really struggling to understand why there still is no service. Some residents are on the “backside” of this service and this is what the upgrade will correct. Older standing homes want high speed internet and very few are interested in TV service. A new house being constructed can call for all services and get it installed. The broadband speed will be 7Mg (on the main road going towards Waltham) and the closer to the “terminal box back to the residence”, the greater the speed. Most of the homes will get 15Mg (going backwards towards Ellsworth). This contract for $10,000 will grant FairPoint permission to complete all the installation and upgrades. Justification for TIF monies being used for this upgrade, any high speed internet service for rural Ellsworth to going to improve the economic development. Commissioner Joy asked if this contract includes the connection to the actual residence or is it to the closest pole. Mr. Nevin said there is no charge for the hookup to a building/house and the activation is done by this new contract for the customer (if there is a current phone line attached to the building/house). Commissioner Joy asked if there is an advantage for someone to switch from a dish internet to the FairPoint internet; yes, it is more dependable and reliable with the weather. The customer will be given the options to purchase the package that is suitable for their needs.
MOTION: to approve & sign the contract between Northern New England Telephone Operation, LLC (FairPoint) and the County of Hancock/UT Bull Hill TIF for $10,000 from account 07-3030. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed).
The Unorganized Territory Monthly Report included updates on Snow Removal Contracts, Solid Waste, Fire Contracts, Emergency Medical Responders, Rural Broadband Access and First Wind. Commissioner Blasi asked about Eric Stumfel’s view on the Washington and Penobscot County taxation assessment for the State of ME in regards to the wind turbines. UT Supervisor Billings said that Mr. Stumpfel would like to take it forward to the MCCA (as a group) as there are 8 of the 16 counties are involved in this same situation. Commissioner Joy does not think with the price per share at this time that it would be worth the MCCA’s time to pursue this case and is there someone from this area who could represent us.
UT Supervisor Billings received a postcard (addressed to the Hancock County Commissioners) that states a tower in Cherryfield is too tall. He was confused about the project and he has downloaded some information about the project. He will find out more as to why we were notified of this project.
MOTION: to approve the RCC/UT Contract. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: The account 05-60-300 as UT is on a July 1 through June 30 budget year but this covers the RCC budget year of January 1 through December 31.
Maintenance Director Walls stated that wind has been taking off shingles from the roof. Roof Systems of Maine has been here to assess the roof and they were not impressed with the previous work. It was recommended that two rows of Ice & Water shield be added plus an underlayment. The flashing needs to be replaced along with any rough deck plus some of the soffit area. The ventilation seems to be OK but the roof “curled” because there were no “jets on the tabs” to keep the black shingles from expanding. We will know more when the old roof is stripped and the roof is redone correctly. He is recommending to not used black shingles again as they absorb the heat. All contractors will come back to do a “360” tour of the roof before the RFP is issued.
MOTION: to request to an RFP for the new Jail roof (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Update on Jail Full-time Temporary Employee(s) Status. As of last week, we have two full time temporary employees and one of them has been extended for an extra 60 days due to an employee being out on leave.
Jail Administrator Richardson stated that the jail medical provider is requesting an adjustment in his contract which expired April 1, 2016. He is seeking an increase from $30,000 per year to $36,000 per year. The current rate will go thru July 1st and the new contract will have the new rate of $36,000. This year’s budget will be over extended but he is the only Doctor in the area who will work with the Jail 24/7. The new contract was given to the Commissioners for review.
MOTION: to remove administratively, from the employment rolls, part-time cooks Kevin Fitzgerald and Alisa Runnells-Bragg. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Brown asked if the inmates could help out cooking in the kitchen, as part time help is hard to keep. The length of the work day (13 hours) and having to work on Sunday is the biggest obstacle. Administrator Richardson was not confident he would trust an inmate to cook food but they do serve meals. A Food Service is still being investigated. They would purchase the food and supplies plus do all the cooking for $194,000 which is less than what is budgeted currently for food & personnel.
MOTION: to approve a request for an unpaid leave of absence for a jail employee under Article 29 of the Union Contract. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the employee has currently used up all her sick time and will now go onto “unpaid leave” until June.
MOTION: to approve the 2016 Town of Stonington Law Enforcement Contract. (Blasi/Brown, 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Joy was looking at the contact in regards to the health care account. He asked if there is dollar amount that reflects the actual amount of healthcare premiums in the contract. In this case, the Officer has an insurance buyout so that amount is what is put into the budget to be reimbursed by this Contract. This practice should be discussed when the Budget cycle begins again as Commissioner Joy is concerned that the rate has been calculated on the “lowest cost employee” and he would like to show the exact cost for Healthcare. Commissioner Brown asked if the “man hour rate” had ever been calculated for these Town Contracts and Chief Deputy Kane said that he has last year’s figures available for the Commissioners to review any time.
MOTION: to approve a forfeited asset in the amount of $1,995 in the case of the State of Maine vs. Peter Chiumiento. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve a forfeited asset in the amount of $1,000 in the case of the State of Maine vs. Aaron Herrick. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve a forfeited asset in the amount of $497 in the case of the State of Maine vs. Nicholas St. Merite (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Blasi stated the 5 year plan gathered (but not established) by the previous County Administrator needs to be adjusted for the upcoming County Administrator. Commissioner Joy stated this was not on the Agenda nor was it added as an adjustment to the agenda. This will not be discussed today; it will have to be put on the agenda for the next meeting.
County Clerk Cynthia DePrenger updated the Commissioners with regard to her remaining time in service as she could possibly be relocating in the near future.
Commissioner Blasi stated he would like to have the new County Administrator job description amended to include: 14. Review of appointed exempt employee’s hours worked. Commissioner Brown stated that he thought it was part of the personnel policy as to who is approved to be exempt for “clocking in/out” and who is responsible for monitoring the hours. There are several Exempt Employees who clock in daily but there are still several who do not. The timecards should be reviewed by the County Administrator to make sure the Exempt employees are putting in their required hours per week. Commissioner Joy does not agree with a weekly review but it should be done systematically.
MOTION: to add #14 under General Expectations, Review of appointed exempt employee’s hours worked. (Blasi/Brown, 3-0 motion passed).
A brief discussion of the upcoming Retiree Health insurance meeting for April 22, 2016. We have numerous retires that use our health insurance as supplemental to Medicare but we also have other situations and we need to assess what the County would continue to cover if & when employees retire or they leave our employment after 10 years.
MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405(6a) to review county administrator applications. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 2:42 p.m. with nothing to report.
Commissioner Blasi preferred to conduct one or two appointed/exempt employee evaluations during the April 5th CRM. Commissioner Joy stated that due to the time of day and that appointed/exempt employees were under the direct supervision of the County Administrator during the prior year and therefore the commissioners evaluations would not be a clear reflection of the employee(s) achievements/progress. Employee evaluations were not conducted, they may be revisited at a later date.
MOTION: to adjourn. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Pamela J. Linscott
Finance Assistant / Clerk