Audio recordings of the meeting are available upon request

 The regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 8:30 am on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Brown and Clark in attendance.

 Chairperson Blasi opened the bids for the Sheriff’s Cruisers. The results are as follows:


2013 Ford Explorer 97,000 miles

2013 Ford Explorer 101,216 miles

George & Jen Rice



Daryl Astbury



Jerry Blackburn



Wayne Moon

$1,500 for either vehicle


Gordon Workman



Chicago Motors



Yousef Dabbagh



Andrea Workman



Berzinis Garage



Acadia Towing



Robert Hamblen, Sr



Ron LaPlante



Grace Quality Used Cars

$13,128 for both


Asia Motors



Commissioner Clark would like the Sheriff’s Dept. to contact Asia Motors and let them know they gave the high bid. They will come back to the Commission later in the meeting with a bid for approval.

Adjustments to agenda:

9(b) DA’s office copier replacement was addressed after the Acadia Benefits Wellness program presentation. 

Scott McKee from Acadia Benefits gave a presentation for a proposed Wellness Program for Hancock County, and about how this plan can benefit the County’s Health insurance program. The program involves an incentive of $400-$600/year, with the following program requirements:

  1. Complete an annual health risk assessment
  2. Visit their PCP for a routine physical
  3. Participate in a disease management program if identified with a chronic condition
  4. Be tobacco free (members addicted to tobacco can also qualify by completing an annual tobacco-cessation course)

He also spoke about the 3 levels of the program, walk, jog, and run.  Commissioner Brown expressed concern about how to keep employees engaged in a health care program.  McKee said the next step would be to budget this for 2018, and work to roll it out January 1.   

Commissioner Brown would like to see some numbers for the “jog” program, including the non-union employees.  McKee will work with CA Adkins and Exec. Asst. Knowlton towards the next step of the program implementation. 


DA Foster expressed the need to purchase a new copier for his department. 

MOTION: Recognize Transco as the sole source because of our maintenance relationship (Clark/Blasi 2-1, Brown opposed)

MOTION: to authorize the DA to  purchase the new copier from Transco for the District Attorney’s office for a total of total of $6,100 from accounts  G1-3012-40 $4,000, Dept. 3 70-250 $500 and from Dept 3.70-200 $1,600 Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Public Comment: none

MOTION: To approve the minutes of the February 2, 2017 Commissioners’ Special Meeting, the February 7, 2017 Commissioners’ Regular Meeting, the February 21, 2017 Commissioners’ Special Meeting, and the February 28, 2017 Commissioners’ Special Meeting (Brown/Clark, 3-0, motion passed)


Airport Manager Brad Madeira gave his monthly report, and invited the public to the upcoming Airport Advisory Committee meeting.  Manager Madeira reported that a portion of Caruso Drive would need repair soon.  Commissioner Blasi asked if a copy of plans should be filed at the Courthouse, Madeira said yes, and they have been.  Commissioner Blasi also asked if the ramp potholes had been filled in, Manager Madeira said they were waiting for spring.  Manager Madeira spoke about 3 upcoming projects, 1) repairs to the detention basin that is west of the runway 4 threshold  2) full airport re-marking and 3) trees on the NE end of the airport that may be a visibility problem.

MOTION: Approval to extend operating rights by Biplane Rides over Atlanta, Inc. dba Acadia Air Tours to HK Helicopters, LLC (Clark /Brown, Blasi opposed 2-1, motion passed)

Discussion:  Manager Madeira said this operator (Acadia Air Tours) has operating rights and would like to use a subcontractor to provide helicopter tours. Manager Madiera reminded the Commission of the 3 criteria that the FAA allows for the denial of an aeronautical service operator: for reasons of safety and efficiency as they affect the airport, a provider who has not complied with the airport’s minimum standards, or operation rules for safety to the airport property.  His recommendation is that the Commission approves the extension of operating rights to HK Helicopters through Acadia Air Tours.  Commissioner Brown asked about the public objection to this. CA Adkins said 25 or 30 people contacted his office yesterday regarding this issue, and the general complaints dealt with noise and invasion of privacy.  Commissioner Blasi is opposed, saying he is trying to save municipalities from adopting local ordinances regarding helicopter traffic over residences. Manager Madeira noted that if this board voted against this request, they would be putting the airport sponsor (the County of Hancock) at risk of a compliance violation. Fred Erlenbach, town of Trenton Selectman chair, said the town has addressed this in a land use ordinance in the Town of Trenton.  He said he does not see anyone in the Town of Trenton moving to change anything in the ordinance.

MOTION: Approval to go out to bid on a new 4WD tractor with a boom mower for ditch maintenance including a trade-in on a 1993 Agco Model 8610 (Brown /Clark, 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Manager Madeira said they would trade in the currently used tractor if that was financially advantageous.


UT Supervisor Millard Billings had been directed to look into a Hancock County sign that needed repair; upon reporting his findings, he said there are 10 road signs around the county, 6 of them are in municipalities, not in UT.  They are all MDOT signs.  Commissioner Clark said he was interested in a nice “Welcome to Hancock County” sign to be placed by the Dedham School, entering Hancock County.  Billings said he would research a price for that, and check with the Town of Dedham regarding a local sign ordinance. 

Supervisor Billings said he met with Elgin Turner from Lakeville Shores and is waiting to hear back from him.  Supervisor Billings also met with Zach Steele at Soil and Water Conservation; he had a couple of projects to bring to the Commission, one being the dam at Lead Mountain Pond- it needs to be replaced. He also thought that on some of the paper company roads in the unorganized territory, some of the culverts might need to be improved for fish passage.

There was some discussion on using community benefit funds to repair the Jail wall, and what repairs to that entail.  Supervisor Billings thought that if the Waldo tower required a lot of Community Benefits funds, it would be a long time before we would have enough Community Benefits funds to pay for the wall.

10:51 break

Back in session 11:03 a.m.


MOTION: to approve the February Courthouse, Airport, and Jail payroll Warrants #17-4, #17-5, #17-6, and #17-7 in the aggregate amount of $324,560.02 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the February Courthouse, Airport and Jail expense Warrants #17-10, #17-11, #17-12, #16-30, #16-62, #16-63, #17-13, #17-14, #17-15, #16-64, #16-31, #17-16, #17-17, and #17-18 in the aggregate amount of $622,296.70 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Blasi would like to see budgeting for the Risk Pool done differently, perhaps in one overall account.

MOTION: to approve the UT payroll warrants #17-31, #17-32, #17-33, and #17-34, in the aggregate of $820.85 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the February UT expense warrants #17-14, #17-15, in the aggregate amount of $16,160.39 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve February expenses in the health account of $171,693.06 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the expenditure from Capital reserve account #G1-3011-70 Town Contract Reserve for Caron signs striping Unit 78 $350.00 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the expenditure from Capital reserve account #G1-3014-70 Capital Civil Vehicle Reserve for Brown’s Communication Install Equipment New Truck $741.61 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3021-36 K9 Reserve for collar, lead ID and crate for $177.41 for collar (Brown/Clark 3-0 motion passed)

The expenditure from Capital reserve account #E10-70-300 Sheriff’s Cruiser Purchase for 2 Cruiser Cameras for $9,398.00 was brought to the Commission for their information, it does not need Commission approval.


RCC Director Renee Wellman gave her monthly report.  She reported that the MOU with the city of Ellsworth regarding coverage expired and presented a new one to be signed, to be in effect on the day of signing and expiring January 7, 2018.

To enter into an agreement with the City of Ellsworth for Dispatch at the cost of 23,000, (Brown, motion withdrawn

MOTION: to approve the agreement between the Regional Communications Center of Hancock County and the City of Ellsworth Maine for $23,000 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

There was some discussion on whether to use the word agreement or contract. CA Adkins said later we could clean it up and call it a contract.

CA Adkins told the Commission he is asking for the approval of another fulltime position; without it he anticipates that we would not be able to follow through with the commitment to Ellsworth in the MOU.

MOTION: To approve the hire of Jennifer Bolshaw of Hancock as part-time RCC dispatcher at $12.50 per hour with no benefits not to exceed 29 hours per week effective March 11, 2017 (Brown/Blasi, 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: To accept the resignation of Keisha Keliher of Hancock effective March 7, 2017 (Brown/Clark, 3-0, motion passed)

Wellman gave an update on Mt. Waldo 2; she said that the landowner and the tower owner need to come to an agreement in order for us to be able to go on the tower.  Commissioner Clark said until that is resolved we cannot go further with this project.

MOU- Commissioner Clark questioned whether we should have a contract for services rather than an MOU, referencing the scope of services.  Wellman said she had contracts with towns, and she could have an Ellsworth contract and add the MOU as an addendum. 


MOTION: to authorize the Sheriff to sell the two 2013 Ford Explorer Cruisers to Asia Motors for a combined price $13,996.00 (Clark/Brown 3-0 motion passed)

MOTION: for the proceeds of the Cruisers sale $13,996.00 to go into account Dept. 10-300 revenue account (Clark/Blasi, 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion:  Sheriff Kane requested that $2,400 go into the sale of County assets account and the balance go into the Sheriff’s cruiser ‘G’ account.

MOTION: Approval to authorize the Sheriff to go out to bid for 2 vehicles- a Tahoe and an Explorer (Clark/Brown 2-1, Brown opposed)

Commissioner Brown does not support the purchase of a Tahoe. 

Jail Funding Update:

Sheriff Kane said at the moment we are ok. The supplemental funding from the State does not look promising. 

Sheriff Kane requested authorization for Lt. Christopher Thornton to travel to New York for a conference the week of March 20-March 24, 2017. All expenses will be reimbursed by the Department of Highway Safety

Commissioner Clark thought that we should reconsider what the travel policy says, and have department heads seek permission from the Commission for out of state travel only when the cost of that travel comes from the county budget.  Sheriff Kane said he would keep the Commission apprised of any out of state travel.

MOTION: Sign contract with Sprinkler System Inspection Co. and authorize the Chair to sign (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Brown made a friendly amendment to add “and authorize the Chair to sign” – this was seconded by Commissioner Clark.

MOTION: To approve of Tremont Town Contract 2017 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Sheriff Kane said this has been approved and signed by the Selectmen in the Town of Tremont, and referenced a small change in the contract under the heading financing- the contract now reads “not to exceed 30 hours each week”.


Chairperson Blasi took Maintenance (c) out of order.

Terri Cormier, president of Ellsworth Historical Society spoke regarding the work that needs to be done to the Old Jail, saying the next step would be fundraising.  She said the estimated cost of repairs is $500,000-$600,000.  Commissioner Clark questioned the time frame for fundraising, and access to grant funding.  Cormier said they were looking for more society members, and “bricks and mortar” grants were few and far between. 

It was agreed that the County has a vested interest in the restoration of the building, and it is to the County’s advantage to have our Maintenance Director informed about the process, and that Commission needs to be satisfied that safety issues are being addressed. Commissioner Blasi referenced a “protective barrier” purchased by the County as a temporary fix until the building could be restored.  There was some concern expressed over the County using public funds or personnel on a building that the County does not own. 

Maintenance Director Dennis Walls gave his monthly report to the Commission.

Director Walls introduced Robert Cooper, the EMDC jobs program participant; he has been working for 2 weeks now, and had been picking up good, practical work experience.  The Commissioners welcomed him and said they appreciated the work he has been doing. 

Walls presented a proposal from Maine Controls Mechanical Systems, Inc. to provide an upgrade to the existing Schneider Electric Automatic Temperature Control system.

Director Walls asked the Commission if they were willing to accept the proposal of Maine Controls at a cost of $41,500.00 to bring this system up to date.

Commissioner Brown would like to go out to bid for this. Director Walls will develop some specs for an RFP for the software.  Director Walls will look for some vendors who might be interested in bidding and qualified to bid.

MOTION: To sign service contract with Sprinkler Systems of Maine (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)


Storm Closure Policy discussion-

Commissioner Clark thought it should be left to the County Administrator and the Commission Chair to determine whether the courthouse would be closed.  Commissioner Brown does not think the current policy needs to be changed. It was decided to continue work on the current policy. It will be placed on the next agenda.

Appointed/Exempt Evaluations-

The Commission agreed that the County Administrator will perform the evaluations for appointed/exempt personnel.  Commissioner Clark expressed that he would like to see an evaluation in everyone’s personnel file.

Exercise program update-

Executive Assistant Rebekah Knowlton reported that the current exercise program- Self Defense Innovations- had experienced a lack of interest, and is not being held this session.  Commissioner Blasi asked if the equipment should be sold, and it was agreed to keep the equipment for now, because it is still being used by some employees.  There may be some interest in expanding the programs offered.  Commissioner Blasi thought we may be able to incorporate the exercise program into the developing wellness program.


County Administrator Adkins updated the Commission on the Swan’s Island contract payment to Deputy Morang.  The abatements have been scheduled for April 11.  The existing time clock system- TimeTrax needs to be updated to a newer system called Attendance on Demand.

MOTION: to move forward on the new time keeping system Attendance on Demand (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the new 3 year contract with FairPoint Communications and authorize the Chair to sign (Brown/Clark, 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: the new admin clerk be hired in Commissioners’ office 20 hours (Blasi/motion withdrawn

MOTION: To promote Maryann Allen as a full time employee in the County Administrator’s office as a Clerk at the rate of $13.75/hour   (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

CA Adkins informed the Commission that Maintenance Director Walls will be building some shelving in the Commissioners’ office.

MOTION: Executive Session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(A) to discuss a personnel matter- an employee performance evaluation (Brown/Clark, 3-0, motion passed) 

Commissioner Blasi brought the meeting back to regular session and reported that Rebekah Knowlton has successfully met the Commissioners’ and County Administrator’s expectations for her first 6 months of service.

MOTION: to enter Executive Session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(A) to discuss a Union negotiation issue concerning wages (Clark/Blasi, 2-1, Brown opposed)

Commissioner Blasi brought the meeting back to regular session reporting that the Commissioners discussed the wage scale.

3:23 p.m. Motion to adjourn (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton

Executive Assistant to the County Administrator






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