Commissioner Agendas & Minutes
COMMISSIONERS REGULAR MEETING
Commissioner Chairman, Steven E. Joy called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissions to order at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 in the conference room at the County courthouse in Ellsworth, Maine with Commissioners Brown and Blasi in attendance.
Adjustments to the agenda: to remove 2d (hiring of a fulltime Corporal) and replace 2d with a discussion on the CCA fund
MOTION: to remove 2d (hiring of a full time Corporal) and replace 2d with a discussion on the CCA fund (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Bid Openings for the 2005 Chevrolet Impala and the 1989 Grumman Boat: there are no bids for the Chevrolet. Bids for the boat: 1st-John Davis, Jr $3,225 2nd –John Davis, Sr $3,625 3rd – Douglas Holmes $3,555.60. The Sheriff will review the bids and Commissioner Joy will accept the recommendation later. The Chevrolet will be put on the front lawn with a “for sale” sign.
Discussion: Public Comments. Commissioner Blasi asked if Phillip Merletti was in the room. There was no response from the audience so there are no Public Comments today.
MOTION: to approve the minutes from the June 7, 2016 Commissioners Regular Meeting (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed).
MOTION: to approve the Sheriff’s, Chief Deputy and Patrol Deputies’ Bonds (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). This is done annually- no discussion was needed.
MOTION: to approve the promotion of Michael Pileski to Sgt. at level 12G effective August 8, 2016 at $20.74 per hour (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed).
MOTION: to approve Jillian Jones to work “Out of Classification” as a Correctional Corporal effective July 16, 2016 with a 3% increase per hour (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: Commissioner Brown asked how many employees are working “Out of Classification” and JA Richardson stated there are none. This change is needed to fill in all the supervisory shift openings and a new Corporal will be hired before the next meeting.
Discussion on the Community Corrections Administration Fund: The Jail must prove to the State of Maine that we have employees who perform the requested Community Corrections and that 30% of the total Jail operational budget is used for these employee’s salaries. The current employees (Amy Smith and Florilla Pelkey) are both paid using the CCA funds.
MOTION: to authorize the Chairman to sign the Community Corrections Administration report for 2016 (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the resignation of Crystal Hobbs effective July 30, 2016 (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: she will remain on the roster as a part time, on call Corrections Officer at $12.00 per hour, no benefits.
MOTION: to approve the hire of Abel Martinez of Etna, Maine, Brandon Harrington of Gouldsboro, Maine and Dale Wells of Holden, Maine as part time, on call Corrections Officers at $12.00 per hour, with no benefits, not to exceed 29 hours per week. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: Commissioner Joy asked how many part time employees we now have to fill in for vacations, sick call outs, etc. JA Richardson said there are quite a few part time employees who are able to help the Jail make the schedule complete.
MOTION: to remove Levi Soper from the County payroll records (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed).
MOTION: to approve the Medical Treatment Agreement with Albert Blackadar (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: this is a $500 increase for each month so the yearly amount will be an additional $6,000. JA Richardson said that he is now available to the Jail 24/7 for medical issues and one day per week he is on sight. JA Richardson said he is very happy with his service.
Discussion in regards to the purchasing tasers for the Jail, Sheriff Kane stated that they are needed due to the increase in inmate physical attacks on the patrol. Only the Supervisors will carry tasers while on duty and but there will be one extra on site, if needed. Purchase price will be $1,500 each and training will occur in-house. The CA Adkins will advise as to where the money will come from. Our insurance policy will cover any patrol issues for use of the tasers. Commissioner Brown would like to see where the money will come from (maybe from a surplus in the Audit). Commissioner Joy says the support from the Commissioner is there for tasers, but he would just like to know where we will pay for them. There is already a taser policy for the Sheriff Dept. but the Jail will need to have one written up. The taser will be secured with the officer in charge while the second one will be locked up on site.
Discussion in regarding obtaining Narcam for the patrol units: The patrol officers will receive the doses (available at no cost to us from the State as they have received a grant to purchase the Narcam). There will be training also, at no cost to the County. It is an unfortunate situation that we need to have these doses available. The officer training will go into depth about the OD patient and how the doses are to be administered.
MOTION: to approve the acquisition of Narcam from the State along with training at no cost to the County (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed).
MOTION: to approve to advertise for a 20hr per week Civil Process Assistant at $12.00 hr with no benefits (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: Commissioner Brown stated that the position was full time with Union benefits- should the Union be notified that we are changing it?
MOTION: to approve a citizen’s donation to implement a K9 program (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion withdrawn) Discussion: Sheriff Kane had gone to a public meeting with the League of Towns to discuss various programs that he would like to implement. In passing, he mentioned a canine program and a citizen group has gotten together a $20,000 donation to start the program and to get a dog with training. There will be overtime with the officer training for the dog and patrolman. Also, there is the cost of food and shelter for the dog. The 2017 budget is all prepared for the donation but we will have to set up a new line item for ongoing budgets and expenses. There will be one deputy for one dog – the animal lives with the deputy and it will become part of his “uniform”. Commissioner Joy is thankful for the donation and would like to see the program implemented. There will be more information coming from the Sheriff. CA Adkins wants to accept the money and move ahead with a plan. Commissioner Brown wants to make sure we move quickly.
MOTION: to accept the $20,000 donation pending more information to begin the implementation and cost of the canine program (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the promotion of Benjamin Astbury to Detective effective July 23, 2106 at level 14G2, $23.06 per hour (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed).
MOTION: to move 3c to 3a (the MOU with the City of Ellsworth) (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: the City of Ellsworth needs assistance with their overnight dispatching and the Chief of Police Bickmore along with Fire Chief Tupper would like to explore getting assistance from the RCC of County of Hancock. The copper phone lines would need to be altered and kept in repair. The City of Ellsworth would be responsible for all the cost of the upgrades. The City Council members are in favor of moving ahead with the plan.
MOTION: to approve the development of a Memorandum of Understanding with City of Ellsworth for overnight dispatch (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: the connections will have to be made to the City of Ellsworth control station if this program goes full throttle. Commissioner Blasi asked how will this agreement affect the dispatcher’s pay in regards to the increase in the dispatch workload. Director Wellman replied that at this time, only the call volume will increase for the RCC, there will be no more increase in dispatcher hours for the RCC. Director Wellman also stated that if this program moves forward “full bore”, than, yes we would need to look at extra dispatcher employees at the RCC. The EFD Chief Tupper spoke that he is definitely on board with this program as he knows that the RCC will help to fill the void.
Monthly report discussion: Commissioner Blasi wanted Director Wellman to elaborate on the cell service at Bull Hill but she has not heard from UT Supervisor Billings and will contact him again.
Discussion in regards to Waldo Site#2 (printouts were given): Director Wellman would like to have a structural analysis completed at the site. Director Wellman and the Commissioners do not want to pay for the analysis test and then not have it pass. She was also asked to find out if the company would reimburse for the structural analysis, if it failed. It has not been an inquiry but the company said they would give the RCC 3 months free rent for the cost of the structural analysis. An 8x10 building is all that is needed to hold the equipment but there is nothing on site now. There is a generator on Waldo#2 now but it is not large enough. Commissioner Joy asked who is using the tower and there is only AM radio that does not require a larger generator. The UT has a maintenance program that monitors the tower on Bull Hill and the RCC would have the same expense on Mt Waldo. Commissioner Brown asked if the equipment could be leased instead of purchasing all new, as that would save some money, but is it feasible. Director Wellman will check it out. Commissioner Brown also asked if digital equipment were to be used in the future, would it be easy to convert the equipment were are now just purchasing? Director Wellman stated that when MSCommNet had issues earlier this month and had to have out of state technicians fly in to do the repair, the Hancock County RCC was backup while that system was under repair. Commissioner Blasi asked if the equipment she had proposed earlier in 2014 would still be used on this new tower and the answer was yes. Commissioner Brown asked Deputy Sheriff Kane if he was in agreement of the new tower sight as he was on the initial search committee. He stated that even though he has not seen this exact tower sight, he has been on the mountain and he agreed this is the best location. Commissioner Joy stated that $400 per month is a decent rental and yes, he would agree to this sight if the tower could hold our equipment. The $2,750 structural analysis test will be paid by the County but it will be reimbursed back to us if the tower does not meet the requirements. We know the equipment will be $102,000, setup of the equipment will be $30,000 and with only $86,000 set aside now, we will have find $44,000 within the budget. Commissioner Joy stated that if City of Ellsworth dispatching comes on board with the RCC, we will need to have this upgrade completed and Director Wellman agreed. The dollars will be verified with CA Adkins and Director Wellman. Commissioner Joy wants to move forward to find the funds in order to get the structural analysis completed and complete the project.
MOTION: to spend up to $2,750 for the structural analysis for the Mt Waldo#2 (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Joy wanted Director Wellman to inquire with the company that if the structural analysis does not pass, will we be reimbursed or will the company will make the necessary repairs to the tower in order for the County to proceed with installing equipment and constructing a building for the generator and electronics.
MOTION: to approve Out of State travel for attend the Spillman Conference at a cost of about $2,000 (no motion passed). Discussion: Dispatcher Rollie Means usually goes to the conference and with the shortage of dispatchers, the cost of the conference and overtime for other dispatchers will cost the RCC more money than what is in the current budget. Sheriff Kane stated that he would like to see the County hire a Spillman Administrator so we (RCC/SO/Jail) did not have to depend on outside assistance when computer problems occur.
MOTION: to approve the sale of the boat, trailer & motor to John Davis, Sr for $3,625 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: The money will go into to the General Fund account as the Sheriff Office would like to purchase a side by side at a later date.
MOTION: to approve the June General Fund and Airport payroll Warrants #16-21, #16-22, #16-23, #16-24 and #16-25 in the aggregate amount of $261,667.83. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed).
MOTION: to approve the June General Fund and Airport expense Warrants #16-19, #16-20, #16-21,#16-22, #16-23 & #16-24 in the aggregate amount of $367,099.61. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the June Jail and UT payroll Warrants #16-21, #16-22, #16-23, #16-24 and #16-25 in the aggregate of $111,950.99. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed).
MOTION: to approve the June Jail and UT expense Warrants #16-10, #16-39, #16-11, #16-40, #16-12 & #16-41 in the aggregate amount of $132,561.48. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed).
Discussion on the financial reports and update on AR: “Victor Tango” is an airplane excise tax that is still past due and Treasurer Eldridge will send another letter to the plane owner.
MOTION: to approve the June expenditures in the health insurance account in the amount of $ 177,649.83. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: Commissioner Joy asked if the health care budget will be exceeded with all three funds. There was $130,000 left over from 2015 and are we still paying invoices from this account? Yes, but the accountant will back out those 2015 invoices. Commissioner Brown is concerned that $84,000 left in the “locked box” account would take a Commissioners vote to clear it out. Yes, it would.
MOTION to approve capital expenditure for the Hancock County Fire Department on radio repairs (Brown/Blasi) and propane for the North Tower (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed).
Commissioner Joy asked about cash flow (money in the Bank) at this time. CA Adkins stated the cash balance in the Bank is about $1.1million and we are okay at this time. The town tax payments will not start coming in until late August or September.
Discussion involving the Budgetary Transfers from Reserves for Dept. 10 that needed to be signed from the May meeting when they were approved: The transfers had not been done yet and CA Adkins needs approval to do this. The Sheriff’s budget line items will be depleted but it should remain in reserve funds. Some more research is needed before a final decision can be made.
Discussion for the designation of a second check signer: it will probably be the new Executive Assistant to the County Administrator. Commissioner Brown agreed to this and both the Treasurer and CA Adkins concurred.
Discussion in regards to the Maine PERS and VOYA employee and employer contribution rates effective July 1st. : the new employer amount is 9.5% and the employee is 8.0% for both. The increase was budgeted in the 2016 budget. Treasurer Eldridge stated the monthly service fee that the County has been paying will now be at $0. Commissioner Joy asked why are we now $0 and will it remain that way in the future? Treasurer Eldridge will find out the reason.
Discussion on the Town Tax report for 2016: Trenton is the only town to remit payment thus far.
Discussion about the Department of Interior PILT payment of $10,679: what do the Commissioners wish to do with the money as it can be used as they see fit. Commissioner Blasi asked where was it budgeted (Dept 05 under Misc County Revenue) and have we rec’d the amount budgeted? It can be discussed again at a later date.
Break 11:10am -back in session at 11:20am
Roof update: The project has not yet begun as the Contractor has been doing another job elsewhere and we wanted his crew here, not split between two job sites. We would like it to be completed soon and the window of opportunity will be closing in. There was a begin date and end date in the Contract and at this time, they have not yet dishonored their agreement. CA Adkins would like an email notice sent to the Contractor with him and the Commissioners included in the email.
Commissioner Blasi asked how often was the garage swept and Director Walls responded that as often as he could get a trustee, it was swept.
MOTION: to approve the hire of Allan Philbrook of Ellsworth, Maine for the position of part time janitor, effective July 16, 2016 at a rate of $12.00 per hour with no benefits not to exceed 29 hours. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed).
Discussion on the Registry of Deeds new office space. Register Curtis has money set aside and would like to have two walls put up to make a small enclosure in the Deeds large space. Commissioner Joy does not want to proceed until he has a discussion with the Register. He also stated that he feels the two Registries (Deeds and Probate) should be combined into one Department as a “Registry of Documents”, as all files are now electronically filed and the filing space is not needed for both.
Discussion on the extension of the District & Superior Court operating hours from 8:00am to 4:30pm: At this time, the Courthouse Building is closed at 4pm so the janitors can begin the nighttime cleaning. This change in operating hours could cause some security issues and the building would have to remain open. Commissioner Joy this is the perfect opportunity to raise the rent for the space that the State of Maine uses and to inquire about security issues, open hallways and stairwells, along with the elevator, etc.
Monthly Report discussion: the email received from Erik Stumpfel is an update on the subject of Hancock County Community Benefits is listed on the LUPC permit for Hancock Wind (purchased by SunEdison) but not the DEP permit. The concern is should the Commissioners represent themselves somehow in the bankruptcy case as a Contracted Creditor so that we will get what is owed to us by Hancock Wind. Chapter 11 is reorganization whereas Chapter 7 is full on bankruptcy proceedings. We need to know that we are “on the list” and what we can expect from these proceedings.
MOTION: to hire Erick Stumpfel as our representative in the bankruptcy suit of SunEdison (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: UT Supervisor Billings will contact Erik Stumpfel with CA Adkins’ assistance and all expenses will be spent from the TIF funds.
MOTION: to approve submitting RFPs bids for snow removal at Fletchers Landing, #22 and #28 for a two year term (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: UT Supervisor Billings will change all the contracts to have a 2 year term year with a deadline date to cancel the contract.
MOTION: to approve the transfer of Road reserve accounts E3200-00, Environmental cleanup account E3405-00 and E911 account E3400-00 for a total of $13,000 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: the money was not moved at the end of 2015 into 2016 and UT Supervisor Billings wanted to make sure that the funds were transferred correctly this year.
Commissioner Blasi asked that the Coast Guard out of Rockland is now responding to the off shore islands and UT Supervisor Billings said this is true in an emergency situation, weather permitting. Also, Commissioner Blasi asked if the blinking lights versus radar on the wind towers has been investigated and UT Supervisor Billings stated there is no provision in the County contracts for the blinking lights and DEP felt they had already signed their agreement and didn’t seem “too excited about reopening it”. Adding solar powers to one of the wind farm installations has not been pursued as UT Supervisor Billings has not been given the name of Dave Fowler’s replacement but it is his understanding that a different transformer must be used to convert the solar power to energy.
MOTION: to approval the bid of Rothy Associates of Leeds, Maine for the execution of the Professional Planning Services for 2017 Hazard Mitigation Plan (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: Director Sankey followed the directives for the advertising and posting. There is $20,000 in Federal grant money that is split $15,000 and $5,000 In-kind.
Monthly Report discussion: the eye station has been installed and up & running. A couple of accounts are close to going over budget and Commissioner Joy asked about overspending the copier expenses accounts – it seems that all Departments are overspent. CA Adkins will check it out. The new Elite flights are coming in fairly full but one flight has been changed to coming in on Sunday. Cape Air is very busy.
MOTION: to approve to dispose of the 275KW generator (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: the generator is too large and it needs to be enclosed and rewired for new diesel fuel tanks. Manager Madeira would like to remove it from the Airport inventories. If another County department wants it, the FAA will want to see that the Airport receives full market value of $5,000 (retail). Commissioner Blasi asked if the Manager to please consider installing a solar array at the Airport to supplement power in the absence of the large generator.
MOTION: to approve to overspend Account E40-10-002 Supplies, Postage (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed).
MOTION: to support the opposition of the proposed 24.5 acre suspended aquaculture farm located .8miles SSE in Trenton, Maine (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: this is a bird attraction and any land use changes should not be allowed per the FAA. Letters were signed by the Commissioners and will be mailed the Maine Department of Marine Resources and US Army Corps of Engineers tomorrow.
Lunch 12:10pm - back in session at 12:40pm
Discussion in support of Third Party Donation applications: Commissioner Blasi read the following notice, “As recorded on September 1, 2015, a discussion of this topic was to be continued. We need an equitable application process to be used in this year's budget cycle to fund 3rd Party (or charitable) Donations. No one can remember how agencies other than the University of Maine Cooperative Extension became eligible for funding. The same agencies get funded in each annual budget without the entire community having received notice on how to apply for funding. I move that the application questionnaire and notice thereof be posted.”
MOTION: to post an application questionnaire for 3rd party donations (Blasi/ no second, motion failed). Discussion: the 3rd party donation agencies apply each year and if the announcement was posted, there will be more agencies apply than what we currently have. Commissioner Brown stated “who is going to be approved or not be approved? And if the BOC approves all of the requests, we will be hung out to dry”.
Discussion: in support of County Code Enforcement Service, Commissioner Blasi read the following: We have discussed expanding services that would assist our municipalities. Sometimes the services we discuss may already exist for us to refer to. While exploring Code Enforcement possibilities, I have found that the Maine Building Officials and Inspectors Association website lists municipalities needing CEO services. I have also asked the Hancock County Planning Commission and the Maine Municipal Association if they would be willing to list CEOs looking for more work, as well as municipalities who need CEOs. Both are looking into this. Commissioner Brown stated the a couple of years ago, he had asked Dep County Clerk Kelly Tupper to do a survey of all the towns who have Code Enforcement Services. These types of people are dwindling as the population ages. Commissioner Blasi has a survey to be sent out to the towns in Hancock County that he will give to CA Adkins.
Jail lawsuit discussion: CA Adkins stated the Bangor Daily News had printed an article a few weeks ago about the Jail lawsuits with the State of Maine and it looks like everything will be moving forward. We have already spent over $9,000 on legal expenses and we would certainly like to have those expenses reimbursed along with the shortfall funds.
CA Adkins would like to schedule a property tax abatement hearing for August or September for a resident of Lamoine. The resident would like to have a date setup on the calendar but CA Adkins will address another letter to Mr. Rhyne as the phone number given was not working.
Update on the 2015 Audit: the audit is not ready but the numbers are almost conclusive. We probably will have a $200,000 surplus but CA Adkins is not sure this amount is really correct. Commissioner Blasi asked if the beginning balances of 2016 have been adjusted to the ending balances of 2015- yes, they have but they might have to be adjusted again. The auditor has not been in contact with CA Adkins and he will email the Auditor again this week.
Discussion in regards to the 2017 Budget process: the packets have gone out to all Departments and CA Adkins is not planning to make any changes to the budget process.
MOTION: to enter into Executive Session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(e) to discuss Inmate Benefit Fund (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) with Sheriff Kane and DA Matt Foster. Returned to session with nothing to report.
MOTION: to enter into Executive Session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(a) to review Executive Assistant to the County Administrator applications (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Returned to session with the CA Adkins to set up interviews for next Tuesday.
MOTION: to enter into Executive Session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(d) to review Contract negotiations (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Returned to session with nothing to report.
MOTION: to enter into Executive Session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(a) to conduct an appointed/exempt employee evaluations (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed). Returned to session with nothing to report.
MOTION to adjourn at 3:50 PM (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Pamela J. Linscott
Finance/ Admin Clerk