The special meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 5:00 pm on Thursday, September 28, 2017 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Brown and Clark in attendance.

Amendments to the agenda: none

CA Adkins explained any changes made to the budget books.  The budget is now 3.51% over last year, but .06% under the LD1 growth factor, which is currently 3.57%.  Commissioner Brown said he would not support the budget.  He was concerned about the addition of 5 new positions and the rate of growth to County government.  He said he was opposed to deficit spending in the capital reserve funds for the building.  He referenced the building of the Mr. Waldo tower, which he said was money well spent.  Commissioner Clark said the building reserve account should continue to be funded next year, after the jail bond is paid.  Commissioner Clark said he fully supported the decisions made this year, but was disappointed that 5 new positions had to be added.  Commissioner Brown said the budget was a work in progress at least until December 15.  There was some discussion on the process the Budget Advisory Committee will use.  Commissioner Blasi would like the BAC to receive the minutes from the September 19, 2017 budget workshop, in which the Commissioners voted on each department.  CA Adkins said he met with Chief Deputy Kane regarding the revenues and expenditures in Department 12; they are now balanced.

Review of the Unorganized Territory FY 2019 Budget:

Highlights of the proposed UT budget: $913,521 in expenses, less $671,971 in revenue.  This leaves $241,550 taxation.  UT Supervisor Billings said this was an increase of $2,800 over the prior year, due to an increase in fire services. Supervisor Billings said the budget needs to be finalized and submitted to DECD before December 1, and the legislature will have the hearing sometime in March.  This budget is below CAP, so it does not need to be reviewed by the BAC.   There was some discussion on the turbine assessment. Maine Revenue Service has assessed the turbines at 42% of their originally estimated value.  The developer calculated the original estimation. This resulted in less revenue than anticipated. CA Adkins will check with the Attorney to see what progress has been made, as this is an ongoing issue, and will update the Commission at a future meeting.

MOTION: approve the proposed UT budget for the July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 fiscal year (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

There was some discussion on the part time wages policy.  This will be addressed again at the October 3, 2017 Commissioners’ Regular meeting.

The new wellness program was briefly discussed.  The Commission agreed that the benchmark regarding the PCP visit could be reached anytime between the dates of January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018.  Employees who reach all 3 benchmarks (online health assessment, annual visit with PCP, and are tobacco free or complete a tobacco cessation course) will receive an incentive of $360, or $600 if they subscribe to a family plan and both the employee and spouse reach the benchmarks.

Motion: to adjourn 5:54 pm (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted,  

Rebekah Knowlton

Deputy County Administrator

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