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, August 2, 2016 in the conference room at the County courthouse in Ellsworth, Maine with Commissioners Brown and Blasi in attendance.
Commissioner Steven E. Joy presented a 25 year certificate to Sheriff Scott Kane. All three Commissioners expressed a “thank you” to the Sheriff for his dedication and service to Hancock County for the past 25 years.
MOTION: to approve the minutes from the July 12, 2016 Commissioners Regular Meeting and the July 19, 2016 Commissioners Special Meeting (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: In regards to the budgetary transfers from Dept.10, Sheriff Kane explained that Revenue account# R10-200 which is set aside for the bullet proof vests- we will be reimbursed for half of the money from the Federal Government. CA Adkins stated he could set up a pass thru account so the account would not be overspent before the reimbursement is received. The Revenue account #R10-700 for vehicle reserve currently has the amount of $10,217. Sheriff Kane would like to have enough money set aside for the two vehicles that have been ordered and one more to be purchased later this year. Commissioner Brown asked if we will be selling the older vehicles – yes, we will, to the highest bidder. CA Adkins stated he has contacts from Penobscot County that he could call to inquire if they might be interested in purchasing the older vehicles. The line item from these vehicle purchases will be overspent by the $10,217 - but that money is held in the reserves. Commissioner Joy would like to have a more detailed presentation before a motion is made for this money to be spent. CA Adkins stated that the method of why the money was set aside is very clear – the amount was budgeted for this specific purpose. In the expense side, this money is already accounted for. Sheriff Kane stated that the gas expense line will be under spent this year, so they extra money for the vehicles could easily come from another expense line. Commissioner Brown would like to overdraw the vehicle purchase account so the extra revenue can be transferred from other line items. Commissioner Blasi would like to do the transfer as budgeted from the reserve accounts as the BAC approved last fall.
MOTION: to transfer the budgeted amount into the line item that would be overspent (Blasi/ ,failed for lack of a second)
MOTION: to overdraw the line item account to purchase three new vehicles from Account# E10-70-300 (vehicles) not to exceed $10,000 (Brown/Joy, 3-0, motion passed).
Discussion: this will show the BAC that the budgeted amount was not sufficient to cover new vehicle expenses. The transfer would be made to represent the money needed to purchase the vehicles. If the transfer is made, the line item expense account will have enough funds to cover.
The Treasurer and CA Adkins will make the transfers as it was approved at the BAC meeting last fall (but never completed). Commissioner Joy would like to know the exact amount that a vehicle costs with “completing with signs, cages, cameras, computers, etc”. Sheriff Kane stated that in next year’s budget, that is how he will present a new vehicle purchase. Commissioner Brown asked if it would cost more than $6,000 to outfit a new vehicle and Sheriff Kane stated that if the computer & camera were not switched out from the old vehicle, yes it would. These three new vehicles will be fully setup with recycled equipment from older cruisers.
MOTION: to approve the purchase of a new patrol cruiser (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: see above
Discussion in regards to the PILT revenues budgeted in 2016, Treasurer Eldridge found that it was budgeted in the Treasurer’s Office account# R05-103 for $11,000 but last fall the BAC reduced the amount to $2,000. Commissioner Brown asked where the $9,000 was moved to and Treasurer Eldridge said she was unable to locate the new Dept. The amount we received for 2016 was $10,679. She thought the PILT monies had been previously budgeted in “Town Taxes” but since 2014, it has been under “Misc Revenue” in the Treasurer’s Office. Commissioner Joy thought that it should remain in “Town Taxes” but to be classified as PILT revenue in a separate line item.
MOTION: to remove administratively from the payroll records: Brandon Harrington, Wanda Cleaves, Austin Ready, Matthew Clark and Robert Olekszak (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed).
MOTION: to promote Christal Warren of Hermon, ME from Full time Temporary to Full time Corrections Officer, step 9A at $14.84 per hour effective August 6, 2016. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed).
Discussion: Commissioner Joy asked for an update on status of the full time temporary positions. Jail Administrator Richardson said that we have moved the other full time temp position back to a part time position and now there are two fulltime vacancies to be filled. The full time temps have been currently working over their allotted 29 hours and we must watch very carefully the numbers of working hours for a 6 month period in order to stay in compliance with the ACA rules.
Discussion of the Monthly Report: Commissioner Blasi asked Director Wellman about what could be done about the Cadillac Mt signal? Director Wellman stated she has no control over the weather and the topography of Hancock County-it is not always equipment failure. The radios will be replaced in the near future as they have “aged out”. The dispatchers have been very busy in the past month as the 911 calls have escalated. Commissioner Blasi also asked her what the status of the QA clerk; Director Wellman said she is doing that job at this time.
Discussion of the Mt Waldo#2 tower site: The site analysis has passed the inspection and Director Wellman has been discussing the project with CA Adkins to establish the next step of getting the tower up and running with our equipment. The tower representative feels the tower is able to carry the equipment currently there and also, our new equipment. He also has a document that states his liability and when we install our new equipment, our liability will increase. There will need be a little more research done on this issue, then we will move forward. Commissioner Brown asked to receive copies of the site analysis report.
Discussion of the overnight dispatching for the City of Ellsworth: there are a couple of setbacks with the City of Ellsworth vendors (Security issue, phone changes, etc.) so the RCC co-coverage will not begin until the end of August or the beginning of September. The City of Ellsworth is paying for everything to be changed over so we will just have to wait. As the RCC dispatch calls for July have increased, the month of August might not be as hectic with the changeover.
Discussion on out of state travel: Director Wellman would like to have the approval to send someone at the end of September for the Spillman conference. She will let the Commissioners know if and when she will need to overspend her travel/training budget. Commissioner Joy would like to have Director Wellman be the one to go to the conference as she runs the Department. Commissioner Brown asked how long the fulltime dispatcher has been open – since July. She has advertised with no really good bites. Her regular dispatchers are working OT to make up the missing hours. Commissioner Joy asked Deputy Kane if they considered sending somebody from the Sheriff’s Dept to attend this Spillman conference. Commissioner Joy asked if we have tried to recruit from the Jail or any other County department. Commissioner Blasi asked if we could continue to subscribe to “JobsinME” for employment postings and CA Adkins stated that for the annual fee, it was a very good idea. Commissioner Blasi asked what the training for a new dispatcher costs and Director Wellman stated it is part of the salary paid to the new person while they are learning the duties of a dispatcher. Commissioner Brown asked if rotating the overnight & daytime shifts are any incentive for new hires? Director Wellman does not change the rotation as the schedules are set as 2 days on 2 days off, then 3 days on, and 3 days off. It has not been a problem with the long term employees but new hires are difficult as they do not want overnight shifts..
MOTION: to approve out of state travel for the RCC budget with the name to be filled in late September (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed).
Break at 10:20am, back at 10:25am
MOTION: to approve the July General Fund and Airport payroll Warrants #16-26, #16-27, #16-28, and #16-29 in the aggregate amount of $210,524.99. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed).
MOTION: to approve the July General Fund and Airport expense Warrants #16-25, #16-26, #16-27, #16-28, #16-29 and #16-30 in the aggregate amount of $641,716.99. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: Commissioner Blasi asked that the Rudman/Winchell billing be expensed to Dept 08 (Probate) instead of Dept 04 (Commissioners). CA Adkins said that historically the Commissioners paid all the legal bills for the County.
MOTION: to approve the July Jail and UT payroll Warrants #16-26, #16-27, #16-28, and #16-29 in the aggregate of $93,578.12. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed).
MOTION: to approve the July Jail and UT expense Warrants #16-42, #17-1, #16-13, #16-14, 17-2 and #16-15 in the aggregate amount of $109,892.03. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: Commissioner Joy asked for the balance in the Bank as of today and Treasurer Eldridge replied there is $1.4million as of today. We have also received the Town of Orland’s tax payment.
MOTION: to approve the July expenditures in the health insurance account in the amount of $94,031.12. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: Commissioner Blasi asked about the medical costs for the EMA (it was masked before as there was only one employee, but now there are two employees, the “actual” is recorded).
MOTION to approve capital expenditure for the Hancock County Fire Department in the amount of $340. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed).
MOTION to approve the transfer of funds request for the Airport in the amount of $964. (Blasi/Joy, 3-0, motion passed).
Discussion; the August Jail funds needs to be transferred today and it was approved to do so. Commissioner Joy asked about the State money- are we still due to receive 20% of the CCA money? CA Adkins stated that we are now paid at 30% and we should receive the entire amount this month which will be split into 1/12 payments to the Jail.
Discussion on rearrangement of the Treasurer’s Office: Treasurer Eldridge would like approval to move Pam back into the Treasurer’s Office and there will be a new part time clerk hired to fill her position. The new Executive Assistant hire will go into Cyndee’s old office and we would like to make Gene’s old office to be a file room. The basement is wet and it is a mess to find old files.
MOTION: to approve the Treasurer’s request to move the clerk back into the Treasurer Office (Blasi/ failed for lack of second).
Discussion on Machias Savings Bank reissuance of FDIC insured demand balances coverage: We do not have the proper coverage for all of the accounts under our Tax ID#. The Bank is willing to remove the sweep accounts and have all the accounts covered for up to $10million. FDIC only covers up to $250,000 and CA Adkins will verify what we need to have for coverage for all the deposit accounts. Commissioner Joy would like to have some clarity on this subject and is asking if the Machias Savings Bank representative could come to the next meeting to answer their questions..
Discussion on the list of Machias Savings Bank account balances: Treasurer Eldridge asked if the Commissioners like to have this report each month at the meeting. The account numbers are not revealed but all the accounts are listed with the balance as of that date. The consensus was yes, they would like to have this report monthly.
Discussion on the update of the County 2015 Audit and the Jail/UT 2015-16 Audit. The draft has gone to the partners for approval and it will be given to us when it has been approved. The Commissioners will receive a copy of the DRAFT at that time. CA Adkins had stated his deadline was August 1st but that date has passed- the 2015/16 Jail audit is beginning tomorrow.
Discussion on the Monthly Report. The roof job has started, the equipment is here and the stripping off the old shingle has begun; the heat pump is being installed in the Deeds office and the DA’s office has the new window/wall job has just begun. Sierra Communications will be in the DA’s to install the wiring shortly. The signage and any other revisions will have to be addressed with the Historical Society. The sprinkler system inspection contract came in the mail today. It needs to be approved and signed for the upcoming two year term.
MOTION: to approve & have the Chairman sign the sprinkler system contract (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed).
11:00am B(angor) A(rea) R(ecovery) N(etwork) Presentation: Joanne Russell. This program assists addicts who come out of Jail and need a new beginning. This BARN program allows people from Penobscot, Piscataquis, Hancock & Washington to come in for training, education, living arrangements and start over. It has been proven that 90% of people who come out of jail and go to work, do not go back to jail. We need to make it our responsibility to help these people move into a new life and continue to succeed. There are several agencies who are involved with BARN and the Penobscot County Commissioners have been very supportive. She is asking for the same support of the Hancock County Commissioners. The newly sober person needs to have time to adjust to this new life – giving them money and sending them on their way will only reassure that they will go back to a life of drugs and crime. When somebody wants to make a change in their life, they have the full support of BARN and all the programs offered. The good living habits need to be reestablished and this program has recovery coaching programs for helping these people. There is currently no Federal or State monies for this program – it is all donation based and they have been very lucky so that now they are ready to hire a fulltime director and staff. Currently, the programs are run by volunteers. The BARN and Hancock County connection could be established.
Jon Farley (VP of Eastern Maine Development Corporation) spoke about the workforce system and addicts released from prison– are the people ready to go to work? The answer is No, as there are habits that the newly released addicts need to address and the education and training involved needs to be specified with each recovering person. EMDC provides these services to the addicts so they can have the necessary counselors and training available. There is a program that has helped over forty-two people in the last few years and he would like to see these programs continue. The personal development of these people is the most important part of these two programs working together. EMDC is mostly Federal grant monies but the BARN is not funded by any grants. Penobscot County currently donates $10,000 each year and the BARN would like to raise it to $15,000 next year. If Hancock County would like to donate that much money each year, think how much would be saved by not having the addicts come right back into the penal system. Residents from Hancock County have been served by EMDC in employment & education programs- imagine how these programs could help those who need to start over after a jail sentence. Commissioner Brown stated that he would like to see if a certain amount could be set aside from the Community Benefit funds for the BARN program. Commissioner Joy stated he agreed but he wanted to see the 2015 Audit’s final figures before he put anything in writing. The ongoing commitment would have to be established after we knew what we had for Community Benefit funds in the future. There will be no motion today, but maybe after the Audit is finalized, that donation could be given. The Board of Directors of BARN have a meeting next Monday (August 8th) and Joanna Russell will let them know that we are interested in becoming benefactors. She thought it could be a three month time frame before anything would be finalized with all the connections.
Discussion on the Monthly Report: UT Supervisor Billings stated that at the last LUPC meeting, Sun Edison did not come before the Commission, but Blue Skies, LLC (Bull Hill) did appear. The panel voted with a strong “NO’, that unless there was a bond issued within 30 days, they were in violation. Commissioner Brown asked if Bull Hill was permitted by the LUPC (now the DEP) but that Hancock Wind was always permitted by the DEP. Commissioner Blasi asked if the bond amount for the ongoing Hancock Wind project would remain the same and UT Supervisor answered there is no dollar amount change. The Hancock Wind project is under way with nine of the eighteen towers are up- eight more to be constructed. Eric Stumfeld has responded there is reason for Hancock County to be under the umbrella of SunEdison in regards to the Chapter 11 suit as Hancock Winds is a separate LLC. Commissioner Blasi asked if the expectations of the Community Benefit payments remain the same or has it changed. The monies for Bull Hill is locked in for the future as Hancock Wind is written in the permit with the LUPC which is now under the DEP. If it sells again, the new owner may feel they are not obligated under the prior permit. UT Supervisor Billings asked if Eric Stumfeld should come to the next meeting to answer questions. Commissioner Joy stated maybe Eric could just call the Commissioners at a specified time on a meeting day so they could ask him questions about the lawsuit.
MOTION: to approve and sign the 2 year contracts for snow removal at Fletchers Landing to RF Jordan & Sons of Ellsworth, ME and to Randy Perry of Cherryfield, ME for the snow removal in T#22 and T#28.(Brown/Blas 3-0, motion passed). Discussion: there were only two bids submitted (one for each contract) and we currently have the insurance certificates on file for both. There is a 2 year time frame on each contract with a deadline date to cancel.
Discussion of the Monthly Report: the number of deplanements so far will put us up over 10,000 for the year and the rental car revenue is up over 11% from last year. The wildlife hazard management plan with the FAA is now on edit #4 and maybe they might finally be accepting the Airport’s plan.
Manager Madeira would like to hire a contractor to take the tops off trees from the area near runway #22. The Airport has an aviation easement to top the trees where they extend into the easement area. Manager Madeira has discussed this with the abutting property owners and they understand what needs to be done. The trees will need to be trimmed by a tree cutting contractor. The account (E40-30-128) will be overspent when the service has been provided. We have one estimate right now, Manager Madeira will try to get another estimate.
MOTION: to approve to overspend account E40-30-128 in order to trim some trees in the approach area to Airport runway#22 (Brown/Blasi, 3-0, motion passed).
Manager Madeira informed the Commissioners that the aquaculture hearing was held last week and DMR informed residents that there was to be no testimonials on aviation safety as that was not their jurisdiction. There will be some sort of formal hearing with the Army Corp of Engineers and Manager Madeira will be waiting for an announcement.
LUNCH break: 12:10pm, back in session 12:25pm
Discussion: reschedule the September Commissioner’s regular meeting to the 13th (2nd Tuesday)
MOTION: to move the next Commissioner’s regular meeting to September 13, 2016 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to accept the resignation of Cynthia DePrenger as Personnel Coordinator effective July 22, 2016 (Joy/Blasi 2-0, Brown opposed, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the hiring of Rebekah Knowlton from Deer Isle, ME as the new Executive Assistant to the County Administrator, exempt, at a salary of $48,500 beginning August 29, 2016. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioners were asked to set their Caucus meetings to be held before September 23, 2016. Commissioner Joy has scheduled his meeting after the next Commissioner Meeting on September 13th at 4pm. Commissioner Brown would like to receive his “packet” and he will find a date & place and give CA Adkins that information. The caucus meetings need to be advertised for two weeks before the actual meetings. Commission Blasi has scheduled his meeting for August 23rd in Franklin.
Discussion: in regards to the Department of Labor overtime rules: CA Adkins has looked into the new rules for OT hours and exempt (salary) employees that begins December 1, 2016. Currently, we have two employees who fall under threshold of $47,476. Both employees will need to be paid for OT hours if their salary is not raised. This will be discussed further at the budget process meetings.
Discussion on the RCC expansion: The City of Ellsworth wants to come on for overnight dispatching and the RCC site needs to be expanded if this happens. Commissioner Joy would like to have extra copies of the survey given to all the Commissioners -five copies total, so there are extra copies available. Director Wellman has contacted Malm & Associates for the extra copies. The details can be talked about after the Commissioners have received copies of the survey. If Hancock County wants to grow, we need to have that space available. Commissioner Blasi stated that expansion labor should be paid by new Municipalities and expansion technology should be paid by all. There is no room downstairs in this current building for the RCC and Sheriff to have any expansion. Commissioner Blasi stated that EMA is the most logical department to move out first as Director Sankey has the most storage space issues, but the RCC and Sheriff need more space, also. If the RCC and the EMA move out, the Sheriff would have more space for expansion. Commissioner Brown stated that a large building could include both the RCC and EMA as the EMA receives half their funds from the State as reimbursement for services. Commissioner Blasi asked Director Wellman if there any place in Ellsworth that is better suited for radio reception; traffic congestion around the new site is a large part of the equation.
MOTION to adjourn at 1:05pm (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed).
Pamela J. Linscott