The regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 8:30 am on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioner Brown in attendance.

Adjustments to/approval of agenda:

MOTION: to add item 5 C approval to hire Lucas Hanscom as a PT corrections officer (Brown/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

This was an addition requested by Jail Administrator Richardson.

Public comment: none

MOTION: to approve the promotion of Deputy Corey Bagley to Patrol Lieutenant effective September 9, 2017 at Step 14 K $27.93 per hour (Brown/Blasi 2-0 motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the promotion of Deputy Frank Jennings to Detective effective September 9, 2017 Step 14 D $22.71 per hour (Brown/Blasi, 2-0 motion passed)

Commission Business:


MOTION: to approve the minutes of the August 1, 2017 Commissioners’ Regular Meeting, the minutes of the August 24, 2017 Commissioners’ Special Meeting (Brown/Blasi 2-0 motion passed)


DA Foster informed the Commission of a grant that District 7 has been approved for, to hire an impaired driving prosecutor.  The grant pays for everything the prosecutor needs. The Counties would need to provide initial funding to be reimbursed.  Total needed up front is $16,000- each county (Hancock and Washington) would pay half.  DA Foster said that in 2016 his office processed over 400 impaired driving cases.  The grant is approved annually.  Commissioner Brown said he wanted to be sure the grant sunsets and that we are reimbursed, because we are taking on more responsibility from the State; other than that he does not have a problem with it.  CA Adkins said he would recommend running this through a G account so it is not run through the budget.  If Washington County does not want to be included, the upfront price would be $16,000, although the full cost will be reimbursed. DA Foster will communicate with Washington County to see if they are willing, and the Commissioners will be updated. Commissioner Brown said he was in favor of this program.  Commissioner Blasi said he would feel better if both counties were behind it.

MOTION: to support the grant program for a special OUI prosecutor (Brown/Blasi 2-0 motion passed)


Airport Manager Brad Madeira updated the commission with his monthly report. 

2017 enplanement report- Madeira said without Elite it will be nearly impossible to match the numbers from last year.  The FAA informed Madeira that BHB did reach the goal of 10,000 in 2016. Madeira reported that PenAir filed chapter 11 bankruptcy.  At this time they owe us $17,283.48 in fees (does not include August); they are temporarily protected from having to pay those fees under the chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.  The airport appears to have no avigation easement protecting the approach path to the primary runway with the exception of the protected area under the approach lights.  Manager Madeira believes the county may have to purchase easements.  Commissioner Blasi would like to see a report that an easement does not currently exist.  Manager Madeira said that would involve hiring an attorney. 

B-17 was here in August, which brought positive attention to the airport.  The new tractor was finally delivered on August 21.  Manager Madeira believes it will serve the airport for many years.  Manager Madeira is working with a large corporate hangar developer; this structure would create the largest building on the airport property- 40,000 square feet.  They are in the process of developing a lease and operating rights agreement.  Currently the impact fee is unknown, our engineer will determine that. Manager Madeira said there was no release required if it is for aeronautical use.  Commissioner Blasi asked how zoning applies.  Manager Madeira said this was zoned for airport use already, and this is airport use.  The Sklizovic hangar is underway.  Detention basin project should be beginning on September 18. 

MOTION: to approve the part-time Lead ARFF Job Description (Brown/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

Madeira said the reasoning is that he believes the best organizational structure is to have a part time Lead ARFF position and 2 full time ARFF positions.

MOTION: approval to advertise for a part-time Lead ARFF (Brown/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)


The Commissioners opened the cruiser bids.  The results are as follows:

  • Darlings: $21,423 (reflects trade allowance of $10,500 for 2011 Chevy Crewcab)
  • Quirk: $18,500 (reflects trade allowance of $15,980 for 2011 Chevy Crewcab)

Sheriff Kane will review the bids and come back to the Commission with a recommendation.

Discussion to purchase jail van:

Commissioner Blasi opened a bid from Darlings for a Dodge caravan - $24,185 (includes $2,905 in “government/municipal discounts”)  Sheriff Kane thought this price was high, and said he would do more research, and was open for discussion if the Commission wished to address the issue again. Commissioner Brown said he was concerned about the cost.  Sheriff Kane agreed.  Commissioner Brown said he was not ready to do purchase a van in 2017; that it needs to be researched more with more options presented.  Sheriff Kane said the jail was not in dire need right now, but it was something that needed to be brought for discussion.


MOTION: to accept the resignation of FT Corrections Officer Abiel Martinez effective September 23, 2017 (Brown/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the promotion of Noah Lewey to temporary full time effective September 23, 2017 for a period of two weeks (Brown/ Blasi 2-0 motion passed)

JA Richardson said this would allow time to advertise and conduct interviews for the position.

MOTION: to approve the hire of Lucas Hanscom of Bucksport as a part time corrections officer (Brown/Blasi 2-0 motion passed)

Hanscom was recently hired as a part time RCC dispatcher; JA Richardson said he would work with RCC Director Wellman to track hours.

9:33 am- Commissioner Clark arrived.


MOTION:  to approve the August GF, Airport, and Jail Payroll Warrants #17-30, #17-31, #17-32,  #17-33 and #17-34, in the aggregate amount of $379,185.83 (Brown/Blasi 2-0-1 Clark abstains, motion passed)

MOTION:  to approve the August GF, Airport, and Jail Expense Warrants #17-58, #17-59, #17-60, #17-61, #17-62, and  #17-63 in the aggregate amount of $547,733.97 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION:  to approve the August UT payroll Warrants #18-4, #18-5, #18-6, #18-7 and #18-8, in the aggregate amount of $1,298.55 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the August UT expense Warrants #18-3 and #18-4, in the aggregate of $2,297.56 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve August expenditures in the Health Insurance account of $95,168.23 (Brown/Clark 3 -0, motion passed) 

MOTION: to approve the expenditures from Capital Reserve account #G1-3015-20 Cascade Reserve for new license application for Breathing Air Compressor $10.00 (Brown/Blasi 3 -0, motion passed)

Commissioner Clark suggested that approval for Capital Reserve expenditures come under department business.  CA Adkins said the discussion generally comes under Dept. head and then Treasurer Eldridge brings the documentation to the Commission for signature.

County tax update- Treasurer Eldridge informed the Commission that we have collected 35% at this point.


Facilities Director Dennis Walls gave his monthly report.

Old Jail completion: trouble spots that were identified have been repaired.  Facilities Director Walls said Mrs. Cormier from the Historical Society was pleased and said she was planning to do some additional repair on lower sections. 

Jail yard:  Commissioner Brown said the window is closing on the project- Director Walls said it would need to be next year. Commissioner Brown said next year it would not be cheaper, and pointed out that it was more of an engineering project than an architectural project.  Commissioner Blasi asked if we could work with the plans Lewis & Malm had provided.  Director Walls said we would use those for the project, unless the scope of the job was changed.

Front steps discussion: Facilities Director Walls reported that the project is currently out to bid- some interest has been expressed.  Bids should be opened at a meeting in September.  The bid deadline is 2:00 pm Friday September 15, 2017.

Capital improvement plan- Commissioner Brown asked if the previous 5 year plan was brought into the current one- Director Walls said most that had been completed; what wasn’t was carried over.  Commissioner Brown was concerned that no money had been put into the account for 3 years; he does not want to take more from the account that is put in.  Commissioner Blasi wanted to take action on the plan. The Commission agreed that no action was needed at this point. Director Walls said he thought we should have the outline of the plan but have the flexibility to address the needs should the unexpected occur.  Commissioner Blasi said he thought the Commission should be systematic in approach, such as looking at the plan every quarter, or monthly.  CA Adkins said nothing would be done on the plan without detailed approval from the Commission. Commissioner Blasi said he wants to begin courthouse security soon.  Director Walls briefly explained what that project would entail.  Commissioner Brown asked if there has been a problem with security.  Director Walls reported that any issues were minimal. The Commission agreed that the plan would be referenced monthly in the Maintenance report. 

Break 10:35 am

Sheriff Kane brought his bid recommendation for a 2017 cruiser- from Quirk Auto, for $18,500 (with trade in allowance of $10,500 for a 2011 Chevy crewcab truck).

MOTION:  to accept the low bid from Quirk Auto of $18,500, trade in included   (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)


RCC Director Renee Wellman reported that the new hires are doing well with their training.  The building on Mt. Waldo has been installed.  The Commission agreed that Director Wellman would inspect and sign off on the building project.  When asked about shift coverage, Director Wellman reported that there were vacancies and the dispatchers have been working hard to cover the shifts; she has been working herself to keep the shifts covered. 


UT Supervisor Millard Billings was unable to attend the meeting, but provided the Commission with his monthly report. 


MOTION: to annul the motion made on June 13, 2006 with regard to the wages for part time dispatchers and corrections (Clark/Blasi 2-1, Brown opposed)

CA Adkins gave the Commission a document which included the following:

As of the first payroll for the year 2018, the Hancock County Commissioners approve the following wage adjustments to the part time positions in County departments:

SO/ Deputy $16.00

Jail/ RCC Dispatcher $14.00

Part Time I: $12.50 DA; Maint; RCC Clerical; Probate & Deeds

Part Time II: $13.00 /EMA- Admin Asst.; Airport- Admin Asst. & ARFF

The Commission agreed to accept this document and include it with proposed 2018 budget, and approve it in conjunction with the 2018 budget.

MOTION:  approve the side agreement with Teamsters union regarding vacation hour accruals in excess of our limits (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Chairperson Blasi signed the side letter.

Action on the accounts in Dept 16- Debt and Overlay:

Commissioner Clark thought it was premature to commit to paying the jail bond now.  He suggested that we can find $300,000 improvement in the 2018 budget; in using that we would not have to tap in to our CBA money. Commissioner Brown said he was opposed to it.  He wanted to go through the budget and possibly send it back to department heads. Commissioner Clark would like to send the budget back with suggestions of what the Commission would like to see.  Commissioner Brown wanted to give the department heads the opportunity to address cuts in their own budgets before the Commission decides. 

Action on 2018 Budget:

Dept. 14

There is no revenue account this year.

Expenditures: $44,000, these are up 2.33%.

Dept. 17:

Expenditures: $168,139

This includes increases to EMDC and UMaine extension.

Commissioner Brown said he would like to flat fund this department. Commissioner Clark agreed, and said the entities could address the BAC with requested increases. There was some discussion on the process of applying for these funds.

MOTION: to enter Executive session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(E) for the purpose of discussing a lawsuit with our attorney (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Chairperson Blasi brought the meeting back to regular session with nothing to report.

Dept. 20:

Revenues: $116,000

Expenditures: $1,095,000

There was some discussion on how the actuarial report impacted the figures; CA Adkins said according to those numbers we are on target.  The incentives for the new wellness program are included.

Dept. 30:

Expenditures: $85,000

The Commission wanted to take another look at this account after a more comprehensive look at the entire budget.

Schedule budget cycle meetings and hearings:

The next budget workshop will be held on September 19, 2017 at 8:30 am.; the public hearing will be held September 28 at 6 pm, and the Commission will present the budget to the Budget Advisory Committee that same day.


CA Adkins informed the Commission that there was an employee picnic on September 14, and invited the Commissioners to attend.

Croce v. Town of Dedham tax abatement appeal application:  CA Adkins informed the Commission that Mr. Croce had submitted supplemental information for the appeal filed on August 15, 2017.  With the supplemental information an application form was enclosed.  The Commission agreed to accept the supplemental information, but not to recognize the application that had been submitted with it.

MOTION: to enter Executive session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(A) for performance evaluation for Executive Asst. to the County Administrator (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

The meeting was brought back to regular session and the following action was taken:

MOTION: to appoint Rebekah Knowlton to Deputy County Administrator (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

The Commission agreed that this position holds all responsibility and authority that the title implies in county government.

MOTION: to enter Executive session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(D) to discuss RCC Union negotiations (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to adjourn (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton,

Deputy County Administrator

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