The regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 8:30 am on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Brown and Clark in attendance.

8:30 a.m.  Employee appreciation/recognition of Corrections Officers

Chairperson Blasi recognized the following employees for their prompt response to an inmate’s medical situation in the Jail:

Sgt. Jonathan Merchant, Cpl. Shane Gross, Lt. Frank Shepard, CO Patricia Rossi, CO Michael Butters, CO Heather Sullivan, CO Richard Bronson, CO Anthony Moore

Chairperson Blasi recognized the following employees for their service to the County of Hancock:

Registry of Deeds - Tracey Higgins – Deeds Clerk - 15 years of service

Sheriff’s office – Corey Bagley – Sheriff’s Deputy - 25 years of service 

Adjustments to/approval of agenda:

MOTION: remove 6A from agenda (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move item 11B to the last agenda item, becoming 12C (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: add brief Executive Session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(D) union negotiations (Clark/Brown, 3-0 motion passed)

Public Comment: none (at this point)



MOTION: To approve the minutes of the June 6, 2017 Commissioners’ Regular Meeting (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: To approve the minutes of the June 20, 2017 Commissioners’ Special Meeting (Brown/Clark, 3-0 motion passed)


Airport Manager Brad Madeira gave his monthly report.  The MMA grant application for one new SCBA bottle was not awarded, but Madeira said he would apply again in the fall.  Madeira reported that the FAA would be at the airport for a land use compliance inspection July 26th and 27th.   

Commissioner Blasi asked what the contingency plan was for what county commissioners would do if non-aeronautical release is mandated.  Commissioner Brown said we would have to be in compliance.  Madeira said he could not say what the FAA would do; that we would have to cross that bridge if we come to it.  Commissioner Blasi suggested we budget for the release.  Manager Madeira suggested we wait and see what their findings are and then react appropriately.  Madeira reported that the airport health insurance account will almost certainly be overspent this year; at this point 77% has been spent.  The training budget is also overspent.  Madeira estimates that this account will go over budget by about $2,000.  The Commission agreed to allow this account to be overspent.  Madeira reported that Logan airport has experienced several construction projects, causing delays that have had an impact on our passengers, and our air carrier enplanements.  Madeira was asked by Commissioner Blasi to update the Commission on underperforming airport revenue accounts.  Madeira referenced several accounts, including the TSA LEO Reimbursement Grant revenue account.  A grant modification had been received from TSA pertaining to the 2017 award; the award was reduced- $3,040 less than what was expected.  He anticipated that the cost of security will be shifting more to the airport.

MOTION: To approve the private hangar land lease agreement (renewal) with Jerry Blandford, Parcel P-10 (Brown/Blasi, 3-0 motion passed)

Madeira said this was a typical 20 year lease, and he recommended approval.

MOTION:  To approve the 20 year non-aero land lease with Northern New England Telephone Operations LLC (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION:  To authorize the Chairman to sign the grant offer from the FAA for AIP No. 3-23-0006-042-2017 

(Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

This is for the airfield remarking project; it should begin in September, and it should take about a month to complete. 

MOTION: To authorize the Chairman to sign the grant offer from the FAA for AIP No. 3-23-0006-043-2017

(Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Madeira said this was the 2017 project to repair the detention basin; the culvert height is also being adjusted, in order to avoid the basin holding fresh water.  The FAA is concerned with a possible fresh water wildlife attractant.  The Commission agreed that the local share account

E-40-5620 could be overspent by $10,000 for this project.

Item 2f was discussed in a regular session. 

Madeira requested that the pay for his administrative assistant be raised to $13 per hour.  There was some discussion on the impact of this.  Commissioner Clark asked CA Adkins to put together a list of part time employees, their positions and their rate of pay.  The figures will be brought to a future meeting for review. 


UT Supervisor Billings gave his monthly report.

TIF agreement expenditures for Mount Waldo project

There was some discussion on correspondence to Maine Department of Economic and Community Development regarding the use of TIF revenues.  Supervisor Billings said they are trying to establish a link between the Mt. Waldo communications tower and the Bull Hill TIF district.  There is a possibility that we would have to change the Bull Hill TIF agreement.  Commissioner Brown said according to the agreement, we could not use the funds to purchase radio equipment, but we could use the funds in the lease. Commissioner Brown said he would rather use community benefit money for the tower, rather than change the terms of the agreement.  We would pay for the project using Community Benefit money now, then transfer TIF money when it comes in.

The new “Welcome to Hancock County” sign has been installed on Route 1A.

Commissioner Blasi asked about a dam in Township 7, which was referenced in the EMA report.  Supervisor Billings said he thought the dam in question was in Gouldsboro, and he would contact EMA Director Sankey.

MOTION: to approve the Solid Waste Agreement for T10 with Town of Cherryfield

(Clark/Blasi, 3-0, motion passed)

Supervisor Billings said there was no rate change.

Franklin fire contract:  Billings reported the Franklin has requested a $1,500 stipend to cover Township 16.  Commissioners Brown and Blasi agreed that if Aurora would do that for $1,200, to leave that in the Aurora contract.  Supervisor Billings said he would take that decision back to Franklin to discuss.


MOTION: Approval of Sheriff’s, Chief Deputy and Patrol Deputies’ Bonds

(Brown/Clark, 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion of forfeited assets from drug case:

Sheriff Kane said the assets included 2 vehicles, several guns, 2 gun safes, snowmobiles and cash, among other things.  There was some discussion on how to dispose of them, including involving an auto dealership.  Sheriff Kane stated he wanted to get the highest value that we could.  Commissioner Brown said he would like to see some kind of trade on the vehicle with a high value.  Sheriff Kane said he would talk with the auto dealers to determine how to get the highest value.

Discussion of distributing funds from drug forfeiture:

Sheriff Kane said he would like the Commissioners to consider sharing some of the cash with the departments that were instrumental in solving these cases.  He suggested Bucksport, Ellsworth, Mt. Desert- $2,500 each. 

MOTION: in recognition of their assistance we award to the police agencies of Mt. Desert/Bar Harbor $2,500, Town of Bucksport $2,500, City of Ellsworth $2,500 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Payment will be made after the funds are received.

Review retirement notice of Richard Bishop:

Major Bishop’s 33+ years of service with Hancock County will commence at the end of the work day on November 3, 2017. He will be receiving one week of severance pay.

MOTION:  Approval to hire Zachery Allen of Ellsworth as full time patrol deputy at grade 12 step A $17.64 per hour, effective July 22, 2017 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Blasi noted that the Hancock County Community Reparations Board will be meeting and starting its mentor training July 11. 


MOTION: Approval of the contract for Chelsea Howard, NP to provide the medical service for the Hancock County Jail for the period of one (1) year, beginning July 1, 2017 and ending July 1, 2018

(Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Jail funding

Commissioner Blasi said he would like to keep the public appraised.  Jail Administrator Richardson explained that some of this year’s funding was used to cover last year’s shortfall.  He said right now we should be at 50% expenses spent, we are at 51%.  66% of our revenue has been received, including an August payment.

MOTION: Approval to remove from payroll Jeff Hall, Michael Scruggs, C. Lillian Charron, and Casey Meyers

(Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION:  to approve the June GF, Airport, and Jail Payroll Warrants #17-21, #17-22, #17-23, #17-24, #17-25 in the aggregate amount of $385,088.67 (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION:  to approve the June GF, Airport, and Jail Expense Warrants #17-40, #17-41, #17-42, #17-43, #17-44, #17-45, #17-46, #17-47, #17-48 in the aggregate amount of $559,135.56 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed )

MOTION:  to approve the June UT payroll Warrants #17-48, #17-49, #17-50, #17-51, #17-52 in the aggregate amount of $1,298.54 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the June UT expense Warrants #17-22, 17-23, in the aggregate of $6,697.30 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION:  to approve the June expenses in the health account of $165,817.10 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the expenditure from the Capital reserve account #G1-3014-90 Building Reserve for 101.6 gal Propane for North Tower $192.67 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the expenditure from Capital reserve account #G1-3011-01 General Fund Technology for AOD time equip, set up fee, training, Less: time clock trade in $8,865.00 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Eldridge gave the Commission an updated monthly listing of MSB account balances.  She notified the commission about the Machias Savings Bank interest rate increase of .9% to 1.5% for three years, effective July 3, 2017.

PILT discussion:  Treasurer Eldridge reported that the payment of $28,106.00 was received on June 27; Eldridge said this was the largest we have received.   There was some discussion on the account this should be credited to.

Break 10:46


MOTION: To approve the office construction for Register of Deeds in the amount of $2,000 for materials

(Clark/Brown, Clark withdrew motion, Brown withdrew 2nd

It was agreed that UT Supervisor Millard Billings would be moved back to his old office space, and the mylar maps would be moved to his current office.  


MOTION:  To approve the hire John Stutz of Otis as a full time janitor at grade 4 step C $12.03 per hour effective July 15, 2017 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Facilities Director Dennis Walls explained that he was asking for grade 4 step C, as opposed to the starting rate, because Stutz had cleaning and janitorial experience, as well as IT experience, and he is familiar with the building.


RCC Director Renee Wellman gave her monthly report. 

Update on Mt. Waldo project:

The Mt Waldo checks are payable to 5 collective landlords.  Payment will be issued the first day of each quarter (as opposed to the first day of every month); Director Wellman will amend the proposed contract to reflect that.

MOTION: to approve the lease between GM Allen and Son’s Inc; Ruth Allen-Gray; Gertrude Allen; Michael Robinson, personal representative for the Estate of Freeman Robinson; Bernard Madden; David Madden; Rhonda Madden and Hancock County as amended by article 3 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

There was some discussion on the bid from Sinclair Builders for the Mt. Waldo building.

Three vendors have been contacted for this project; several of them declined the opportunity to bid.  The following was submitted by Director Wellman in reference to the bids:


June 6 -                  Fax to Earl Anderson inquiring about a quote for the communications building.

June 16 -               Inquired about a the quote, will get to it today and get back to me.

June 19 -               Cannnot accommodate or assist us at this time.

June 22 -              Spoke with Dick Harriman, Harriman and Son's Construction 745-1454 and explained that I was looking for a communications building at the top of Mt. Waldo.  He said he's

                          been up there a number of times and would have to decline the opportunity to bid.

Scott Adkins email (cc to Pat Kane)

That gives two rejections and the offer to build from Sinclair Builders.  I still have the information request out with regard to the email I sent you the other day.

I'm in the process of contacting two more electrical bids, other than the request reference the email as well.

See attachments


June 27                  MAC Electric Belfast, sent quote

                             Bickmore Electric, Bangor - left message, tried calling - no longer in service

                            Jack Staples, left message

June 28                 Jack Staples - not taking on new customers                 

June 30                 Integrity Electric (Dennis Walls recommendation) pass - does more repairs than new installations.

July 5                     Made contact with Gary Taylor - quote/estimate (travel) $55/hour per man (x2) will work on getting me a quote.

                            Spoke with Greenway Equipment - will loan a side by side, SO has trailer, CD Kane will tx to site and we can meet with CMP representative for install.


Waiting on two signatures for the tower lease before we sign the agreement with KLove.

John Hamer has put together a land lease (in your packets) ready to be sent out to landowners for signature.


Ordered, 2nd payment due in the amount of $17,048.00 requesting permission to pay out of Community Benefits money

MOTION: we contract with Sinclair Builders to construct a communications building on Mt. Waldo for a price not to exceed $6,647.00 (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

The Commission was satisfied that the bid process had been properly followed.

MOTION: to approve Chief Deputy Kane to cover RCC Director’s position while she is out of state on vacation from August 16- August 26, to be paid a stipend of $600.00

 (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


Old Jail lawn paving quotes review

A quote was submitted by RF Jordan for $13,700 for the top and the bottom half.  Commissioner Clark thought that netting around the building, with periodic maintenance would allow time for the Historical Society to raise funds to repair the building. 

MOTION: to enter Executive Session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(A) to review Appointed/Exempt employee evaluation to conduct County Administrator one year review (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to enter Executive Session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(D) to review union negotiations (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Public comment:

Mary Blackstone, Chair, City of Ellsworth Green Plan Steering Committee asked the Commission to place a hold on further plans to pave the lawn in front of the Old Jail pending review by the City of Ellsworth Historic Preservation Commission and the City of Ellsworth Green Plan Steering Committee and pending a public forum to discuss the issue, including alternative parking arrangements.

12:30 Auditor Report

Parker Madden of RKO presented by telephone the 2016 audit findings.  Madden said one item that may stand out is that the 2016 auditor’s opinion is much shorter.  He referenced that the jail had changed fiscal year end. Madden pointed out only one significant deficiency- the preparation of the financial statements.  He said this was standard for any of their clients who have RKO prepare the financial statements.  Madden reported that the County is in compliance with all laws and regulations that they were required to test for.    Madden commented that the journal entry approval process was discussed with CA Adkins; that has been adjusted.  He also referenced old outstanding checks in the District Attorney’s Restitution account.  He said the checks should be released to the State of Maine as unclaimed property to eliminate large numbers of old items being carried from month to month. Referencing the 2016 budget, Madden said a minor find was the use of unassigned fund balance for the county and the jail were out of balance by the same amount.  He said the use of unassigned fund balance should have been increased on the jail side, and decreased on the county side. He said this only reflects how it was put into TRIO.  This did not have any effect on the reporting or the audit- it was simply a suggestion.  Madden said he understood CA Adkins was not involved in budgeting for that year, and was satisfied it would not be an issue going forward.

Madden explained how GASB 77 will affect the UT financial statement for the 2017 audit.  He said they want disclosure in detail of credit enhancement agreements that are attached to TIF agreements.  GASB is defining credit enhancement agreements as tax abatements. Two paragraphs will be required- one that describes in general what credit enhancement agreements are used, and a second that discloses specifically the credit enhancement agreement that we have, the total amount that was returned to the developer, and if the developer performed any services to receive the credit enhancement agreement. 


County Administrator Adkins gave his monthly report.  The health insurance account was discussed; CA Adkins gave the Commission a report showing that May was a big month that pushed our current loss ratio to 155.24%.  For the last 12 months, we are at 104.15%.

There was some discussion on the proper use of benefit time when FMLA is involved. 

MOTION: to interpret family medical leave for a family member of the employee to only include the 5 days annually deducted from the sick leave (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

PSAP discussion

Commissioner Clark asked Commissioner Brown to list his reasons for outsourcing PSAP.  Commissioner Brown listed space requirements and purchasing a building. He said that hasn’t panned out because we have not been able to take on any more dispatching services.  Commissioner Brown said that there are often bills in the Legislature concerning consolidation, and he believed that it was going to happen eventually. At this point Commissioner Brown left the room. Commissioner Clark said we would not need to expand to keep PSAP.  He also said the most objective data we got (on June 20) from the people who objected proved that there is a potential delay.  Commissioner Blasi said constituents want PSAP here in Hancock County.  He suggested the Commission work up a budget with higher dispatch pay, and present that to the Budget Advisory Committee.

MOTION: to adjourn 1:52 pm (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Brown was not present at this time.

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton

Executive Assistant to the County Administrator

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