Audio recordings of the meeting are available upon request 

Commission Chairman, Steven E. Joy called the special meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 8:00 am on Friday, December 2, 2016 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Brown and Blasi in attendance.

Adjustments to the agenda:

MOTION: To add to agenda 1 (a) Update on recovery program (Brown/ Blasi, 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Brown gave an update on the Hancock County Recovery Workforce Program that they have been working on; it will be available to those in the jail and outside it. There will be a presentation by Joanna Russell at the December Commissioners’ Regular Meeting.


Millard Billings, Unorganized Territory (UT) Supervisor presented the UT budget and explained the maximum expenditure amounts that were approved in the TIF; he said we won’t get this amount of money outside the TIF because of the 30% credit. TIFS must be in the budget but presented by themselves. Commissioner Blasi asked about the turbine depreciation; Billings said that’s not part of the UT budget, and it’s not part of the presented sheet of the TIF budget. Commissioner Joy asked if the sheet showed actual revenues from the TIFs; Billings said not on the presented sheet, but it will show in TRIO. Billings said he inquired about not receiving the TIF payments from First Wind. The problem was with the electronic transfer: Maine Revenue Service changed the payment format and it was rejected, so interest started to accrue. Maine Revenue Service was holding up payment to us because of the accrued unpaid interest. We have not received our payment as of today. Supervisor Billings explained that we will keep 30% of the received payment- we will pay First Wind 70%.

MOTION: to approve FY 2018 Unorganized Territory Budget (Brown/Joy, 3-0, motion passed.)

The Commission scheduled the January 2017 Commissioners Regular Meeting at 9 am on January 4, 2017.

Commissioners Budget Workshop

MOTION: to approve Probate Budget Expenses $183,642.00 (Brown/Blasi 2-0-1, motion passed, Joy abstains)


Discussion: Commissioner Joy suggested that a cell phone carrier should be contacted every 6 months or so to seek a better deal.  Sheriff Kane explained that deputies have an actual phone and hotspots for internet access on the road. 

MOTION: to approve Dept 14 Communications expenses of 15-100/ telephone $14,000.00, 15-110/ Internet $4,000.00, 15-115/ cell phones $25,000.00 Budget, total Expenses $43,000.00 (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)


The new labor law injunction affects the decision to give the deputy manager a raise. Commissioners Joy and Brown said it was understood when that raise was decided on that if the law is changed it would not happen.


Sheriff Kane said any cruiser sales will be revenue after January. The estimated revenue is $2,400 for 3 vehicles. Commissioner Brown asked about office supply account. Sheriff Kane said they save some expenditures for the end of the year. There was some discussion on reducing the gas line- Sheriff Kane said he was trying to keep the budget as level as possible over several years. Commissioners Brown and Joy wanted to cut the gas line to $47,500; Sheriff Kane said he would go along with it with the understanding that the fuel needs would be supplied.

MOTION: to approve $47,500 in the gas line 10-200 (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

There was some discussion on the Swan’s Island contract; Commissioner Brown wanted to know the actual price of the contract. Sheriff Kane said the contract is an hourly rate, and within that hourly rate is the $100/wk stipend. Commissioner Brown asked about budgeting cars in town contracts; he thought it was important for the towns to see the impact.

Drug Task Force:

Commissioner Brown asked about the new position; Sheriff Kane said they eliminated the highest position and replaced it. The salaries for MDEA are based on State Police wages. He asked what was driving the 70.28% increase. The difference would be the COLA and the step increases.  Commissioner Brown questioned a K9 related purchase out of a capital account. Commissioner Brown said the Commission approved accepting the money but not implementing the program. Sheriff Kane referenced a recent forfeiture, using that for long range planning; that would offset the cost of the overtime. Commissioner Brown is concerned about the money and how much time it takes to train a dog, and for a deputy. Sheriff Kane said he supports treatment but we also need enforcement and education. Part of his long range goal was to use the forfeiture revenues to pay for this. Sheriff Kane said he contacted Darlings regarding putting the vehicles online, to bring in more money, while satisfying the County’s policy. He sees this as a good opportunity to invest in the drug task force. Commissioner Joy said it’s good that this is all going forward but would point out the $25,000 projected revenue for this year has not been collected.

Sheriff Kane said he would recommend changing DFT forfeitures revenue to 35,000. Kane said again his concern is keeping a budget level. Commissioner Brown said the Commission never approved the program; he did not want to approve that until that issue was resolved- he wanted to reduce the budget.

Joy spoke about the impact of the K9 program in education as opposed to incarceration.


MOTION: to move surplus from 2015 into the health account G1-3012-01 (approx. 75,000) (Joy/Brown   )

Discussion: (approx. 75,000) this reflects budgeted dollars that weren’t spent for 2015 for health insurance. There was some discussion about how the account increased- one way is interest. Commissioner Joy stressed that it is not revenue; it is expense that is taken out of the account as it exists. He said there is no increase in the health account this year, if we put the money there we know it’s there. Commissioner Brown said that is exactly the reason we started that lockbox. Leave the interest in the account, but not the payment.

Commissioner Brown said if it’s in a locked box, a capital account, any surplus in healthcare would go into that account and not be touched. Commissioner Brown doesn’t want to move anything into a checking account; he wants to move it into a lock box.

Commissioner Joy withdrew his motion.

MOTION: to create separate account funded with the $85,000 in G1-3012-01 account and $75,000 undesignated funds from 2015 in a health insurance lockbox (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion continued on the undesignated funds and other funds, such as Community Benefit Funds, that may be used to reduce taxation.

Commissioner Brown expressed concern that there was nothing in the budget for the building; he thought we would need $100,000 for that. Commissioner Brown said he never wanted to use Community Benefit money to pay down budgets.

Next meeting- final budget deliberation will be held at the December 6, 2016 CRM, listed as the last item under County Administrator.

MOTION: to adjourn 11:14 (Brown/ Blasi 3-0, Motion passed)

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton,

Executive Asst. to the County Administrator










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