Audio recordings of the meeting are available upon request

Commissioner Percy L. Brown, Jr. called the Public Hearing of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 6:07 p.m. on Thursday, September 29, 2016 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioner Blasi in attendance. Commissioner Joy was absent. Also in attendance were Budget Advisory Committee (BAC) members: Jo Cooper, Kathleen Billings, Hal Snow, Fred Ehrlenbach, Jim Schatz and Rep. Ralph Chapman. Various members of the Public were in attendance.

 Commissioner Brown stated that this 2017 Budget has been in turmoil since the onset and with Union negotiations, it could change again. At this time, the Budget is stretched to the max. There have been revisions within departments this past week and there are still more revisions needed. The budget deadline is December 15, 2016 and the BAC (and then the Commissioners) has a lot of work to do before then. Commissioner Brown turned the meting over to CA Scott Adkins who introduced himself to the BAC and to the public in attendance. He asked if there were any questions before he began the explanation of the workbook: On Page 1 is the ‘tally sheet”:

 Proposed Expenditures: $7,803,282     Proposed Revenues: $1,904,670

Total 2017 Amount to be raised by taxation (without the Overlay): $5,898,612

Total increase over the FY16 amount to be raised by taxation: $505,863 or 9.38%

Page 2 is the “Comparative Revenues” and Page 3 is the “Comparative Expenditures”. The elected officials and their salaries are listed on Page 4 while Page 5 is the “Comparative Summary for Revenue & Expenditures” and Page 6 is the “Summary of Budgetary Proposals”. Each Department is separated by their own tabs with revenues and expenses from the last two years listed along with the proposed 2017 figures.

CA Adkins and Commissioner Brown asked if there is any questions from the BAC at this time. Jo Cooper said she would like to review the Budget in its entirety before she asked questions. Kathleen Billings asked if the Audit was ready and CA Adkins said yes, it is ready and it will be presented to the public at 4PM on October 12th just before the BAC meeting.

Rep. Ralph Chapman again stated (as he had last year), he would rather see Community Benefit money saved for investment instead of using it to cover the excess in taxation. Commissioner Brown stated that he would not, as it saves the residents of Hancock County in taxes. The RCC needs to upgrade its equipment along with a new tower in order to communicate with the entire County. Director Wellman commented to the group that the equipment for the RCC is long lasting (20 to 30 years) but Rep. Chapman commented that if that money was invested for the long term goal, money would be there for an upgrade when it was needed. Jo Cooper asked if the initial contract with the wind tower companies stipulated how the money could be used and Commissioner Brown stated that there is no restrictions, as long as it benefits the residents of the County.

Jim Schatz asked about the 3rd party donations and the discussion from last year in regards to opening up the application process to other organizations. Commissioner Blasi stated that he had put forth a motion at a meeting earlier this summer but the motion failed due to a lack of a 2nd. Commissioner Brown stated that at this time, we have all we can do to fund the donation requests for the organizations and we certainly do not need any further requests. More organizations applying for the same pot of money would mean less for those that already received funds.

 Commissioner Brown closed the hearing at 6:35 p.m.

 Respectfully submitted,

Pamela J. Linscott
Finance Assist/Admin Clerk

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