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

Adjustments to / approval of agenda:

MOTION: to add item 11-g: deliberations for Dedham v. Croce hearing abatement (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to add 11-h: employee review (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

The following items were added later in the meeting:

Item 3-c: approval of the Land Lease agreement between County of Hancock, ME and Biplane Rides Over Atlanta, dba Acadia Air Tours

Item 11-i: Executive Session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(E) to discuss a pending legal suit

Public Comment:

Jim Freeman of Verona Island addressed the Commission. His topic was an ordinance regarding water quality protection and the East/West Corridor.  He gave the Commission a prepared ordinance for their review.  Chairperson Blasi allowed 3 minutes for him to speak, per policy.

Robert Christie, Selectperson and citizen of Lamoine, addressed the Commission.  His comments were in support of adoption of a Water Quality Protection ordinance to prohibit construction of the East/West corridor through unorganized territory of Hancock County.  He was concerned about pipelines and transmission lines.  He requested public education and participation in the East-West corridor issue.  Chairperson Blasi allowed 3 minutes to speak, per policy.

Commission Business:

Approval of minutes:

MOTION: Approve the minutes of the October 3, 2017 Commissioners regular meeting and the minutes of the October 24, 2017 Commissioners special meeting (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)


CA Adkins said this does not need Commission approval as this is budgeted; a capital account is not being use for this purchase.


Airport Manager Brad Madeira gave his monthly report.  There was an incident involving a private aircraft getting stuck on the side of the runway.  The incident was handled and no liability to the County was created. The FAA compliance inspection report was received; the closing letter indicated that there were no findings in their inspection.  The local share for 2018 capital improvement projects will be significantly more than previous years- $82,500. Manager Madeira pointed out that the projected entitlement balance in 2020 is negative, and noted that if the FAA doesn’t kick in discretionary money or enplanement numbers do not improve, future projects may not happen.  There was some discussion on what time of year affects funding for essential air service funding.  Manager Madeira reported that the construction of the Sklizovic hangar is underway.  A draft lease and operating rights agreement has been sent to FJ900 Inc. regarding the future development of a large corporate hangar on the south side of the airport.  Updates will be provided.  Madeira continues to work with civil air patrol to develop a lease; currently the proposed lease is under review with the CAP legal office.   Commissioner Blasi asked if the advisory committee weighed in at all; Madeira said anything with legal liability is more a question for the Commission.  Enplanement update report- Manager Madeira said he thought we would come close but fall short this year.  The airport has exhausted all TSA reimbursements for the remainder of the year; the airport will bear the cost, Madeira looks for costs to increase in the fourth quarter.  Madeira reported that a private hangar tenant has fallen in default on the lease, and the tenant has advised that he would like to sell the hangar to Biplane Rides Over Atlanta, Inc. dba Acadia Air Tours.  Manager Madeira said the Commission has 2 options, either allow the tenant to assign his lease to another, or the lease can be terminated in its entirety, effective November 13, and execute a new lease with the new owner starting on the same day.  Commissioner Brown asked if there should be a possibility for others to take the lease on.  Madeira said that according to the terms of lease, if the board terminates the lease the tenant has 90 days to sell his property (the building).  Madeira’s recommendation is to terminate the lease and execute a new one.  There was some discussion of placing a lien the property, as money is owed to the County.  

MOTION: to terminate the Madore Private Hangar Land Lease effective November 13, 2017 (Clark/ Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Unorganized Territory:

UT Supervisor Millard Billings gave his monthly report.  Billings referenced an email from Aurora VFD about a structure fire on 10/28 that they responded to.  Milford and Greenbush were already there and contained the fire.  Milford wanted to know who to send the bill to for responding. The County does not have a fire protection contract with Milford, but we do with Aurora.  Supervisor Billings recommended that Milford bill Aurora, and the County will pay Aurora.  Commissioner Brown said he did not think mutual aid was addressed in any of the contracts.  Supervisor Billings said this has not come up before.  He was concerned that not paying for mutual aid may affect the willingness of fire departments to engage in a contract with the County.  Commissioner Brown was concerned about resistance from the State for charging more for fire contracts.  Supervisor Billings reported that the check from Bull Hill has been received- $200,001 of community benefit money. Commissioner Blasi asked about the Starvation Brook Dam.  Supervisor Billings said it is in sad shape, but if it broke it would not flood any roads; the water level would simply go down. Supervisor Billings said he believed the dam was owned by the Lower Lead Mountain Pond Lot Owner’s Association.  Commissioner Brown thought all dams in the UT should be identified. Supervisor Billings reported that he had contacted the guidance counselor at EHS to identify interest in secondary education for those in the UT.  There is only one senior in the UT this year.

Approval of UT Supervisor as the contact for US Census data for Unorganized Territories: MOTION: to appoint Millard Billings as the contact for US Census data for Unorganized Territories (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion and possible approval of an Off-Premise Liquor License for the new owner(s) of the Airline Snack Bar: The business is in the process of being sold.  An application for an off-premise liquor license has been submitted to the County by the new owner; however the deed has not yet been recorded. 

MOTION: approve the liquor license application submitted by Ladima, LLC for a period of 60 days pending sale of property (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Chairperson Blasi recognized Airport Manager Madeira.  He requested an addition to the agenda.

MOTION: add item 3c-approval of the Land Lease agreement between County of Hancock, ME and Biplane Rides Over Atlanta, dba Acadia Air Tours (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve the Land Lease agreement between County of Hancock, ME and Biplane Rides Over Atlanta, dba Acadia Air Tours (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve the Hancock County Hazard Mitigation Plan- 2018 update (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve the hire of Leslie Duncan of Deer Isle as part time on call as needed corrections officer, rate of pay $12.00 per hour with no benefits, not to exceed 29 hours per week, effective November 11, 2017 (Brown/Clark 3-0, Motion passed)

9:55 break


MOTION:  to approve the November GF, Airport, and Jail Payroll Warrants #17-39, #17-40, #17-41, and #17-42, in the aggregate amount of $336,892.99 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION:  to approve the November GF, Airport, and Jail Expense Warrants #17-70, #17-71, #17-72, #17-73, #17-74, and  #17-75 in the aggregate amount of $567,353.06 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION:  to approve the November UT payroll Warrants #18-13, #18-14, #18-15, and#18-16, in the aggregate amount of $915.03 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the November UT expense Warrants #18-7 and #18-8, in the aggregate of $5,448.77 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve November expenditures in the Health Insurance account of $115,874.69 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the following expenditures from capital reserve accounts G1-3015-20 Cascade reserve $8,802.12 for purchase of new breathing air compressor, G1-3014-90 Building Reserve $3,180.65 for purchase of new breathing air compressor, G1-3014-89 Prevention $1,711.48 for purchase of new breathing air compressor, G1-3015-00 Radio Reserve $2,275.75 purchase of new breathing air compressor total of $15,970 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)


Facilities Director Dennis Walls submitted his monthly report.  The front steps repointing project has been completed.  New carpet squares have been installed in the auxiliary courtroom on the first floor.  Director Walls reported that he inspected the Mt. Waldo site. The generator is in place. Four 100 lb. propane tanks were placed there. 

Request approval of RFP for EMS software:

MOTION: approval of RFP for EMS software (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

This involves the energy management system that operates the jail, one of the systems to eventually be expanded to include the courthouse.  The current software is unsupported and unreliable. 

Disposal of old County truck: This is to replace the vehicle formerly used by Major Bishop; Maintenance now has the key.  The Commission will need to approve the transfer of $10,000- it will go into a reserve in 2017, in 2018 it be transferred into the budget from reserve as revenue.

The Commission agreed that the old truck should be sold, with an asking price of $1,000. 

Key custody protocol: there has been a personnel change in Drug Court. Director Walls did not think a written policy existed, but one could be drafted, as there is already a process.  Every key holder has been interviewed and the keys tracked. There is a master list showing the holders of each key, which is updated with each key transfer.  Director Walls will draft a key custody policy and bring back to the Commission for approval.

MOTION: Approve the extension of the snow removal contract with RF Jordan for one year (Clark/ Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Director Walls reported that the jail’s generator stopped working, and a replacement had to be rented for 2 weeks.  There were some service issues; the service was $1,000, and the rental was $2,700.  Director Walls was able to get a reduction of about $800. He asked the Commission how to pay for the rest of the expense. Commissioner Clark and Commissioner Brown agreed the expense should be paid using the 20-200 equipment account.


RCC Director Renee Wellman gave her monthly report.  She has one new hire who is doing well in training and will be put in position soon.  Director Wellman is looking at different uniforms; protocol on that is being updated. Commissioners Blasi and Brown expressed interest in reviewing the updated protocol.  ARC electric has completed work on Mt. Waldo; we are now waiting on CMP. They said new services are delayed due to the recent storm. 


CABT Local Communities Letter- the commission received a letter from Josh Collins, an organizer with Coalition Against Bigger Trucks. 

MOTION: to acknowledge the information received from Coalition Against Bigger Trucks and take no action (Clark/Blasi 2-0-1, Brown abstains, motion passed)

Action on BAC recommendations for 2018 budget:

Commissioner Brown suggested the Commission hold a budget workshop on November 21.  He said there are issues here that overlap, and to keep under CAP, it was important to take some time for the Commissioners to dedicate to the budget.  Commissioner Clark agreed, saying time and attention needs to be applied.

Buy Out- Buy Down Policy:

MOTION: to table this item (Brown/ Clark 2-1, Blasi opposed, motion passed)

Reserve accounts review:

The Commission reviewed several reserve accounts, and discussed their intended purpose and the most effective way to organize them.

3010-10 SO Training- used for officer replacement/buyout or receiving of such, balance of $12,000. Commissioner Clark would like to see this account designated specifically for the purpose of officer buyout. Commissioner Brown would like approved use to be broader than that.

3011-00- Renovation County Building- used to fund the Capital Improvement Plan- balance of $1,828,645.70

3011-01 Technology Reserve Fund- used for unexpected county wide technology improvements- balance of $68,051.56

3011-02 Retiree Health Benefit Reserve- balance of $206,456.17

3011-03 Payroll Benefit- balance of $175,403.54

CA Adkins recommended merging accounts 3011-02 and 3011-03. 

There was some discussion of combining 3011-06 Professional Services Reserve, 3011-02 Retiree Health Benefit Reserve, 3011-03 Payroll Benefit and 3011-08 Unfunded Liability Reserve, as CA Adkins said they are essentially all for unfunded liabilities. 

3011-07 Equipment Reserve- Balance of $11,475.23, Purpose is for county-wide improvements/purchases that are unexpected or not budgeted.

3011-09 Court legal- Balance of $15,997, CA Adkins suggested establishing a maximum balance for this account.

3011-40 SO- Underage Drinking Grant- balance of $6,541.23 CA Adkins suggested moving this to fund 8.  It was unclear how this account was established.

3012-35 Health Account Checking Acc, balance of $250,000.  There was some discussion on combing this with account 3012-32 Health Insurance Lockbox.

The Commission agreed to combine 3012-60 RCC-Equipment reserves, balance of $88,935.09 and 3012-65 Benefit Reserve, balance of $42,426.76

CA Adkins advised that changes to the accounts should be made all at once, before the end of the year.  He will consult with the auditor, and relay recommendations to the Commission at a future meeting.

County Administrator:

Hancock County Democratic Committee Resolution:

MOTION: to acknowledge receipt of the resolution by the Hancock County Democratic Committee and take no action (Clark/motion fails for lack of 2nd

Spirit of America: the Commission agreed to add this to the agenda on December 5. 

TIF Valuation discussion: CA Adkins updated the Commission on how other counties were handling the pursuit of adjustments to valuations, including legal action.  Commissioner Brown indicated that he would be willing to engage if an outcome appeared promising. CA Adkins said he would continue to look into the matter.

CGI Hancock County video on website:

MOTION: to approve the 2017 County Video Program agreement with CGI Communications (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MPERS update: Deputy CA Knowlton attended a meeting with MPERS regarding changes to the program, and updated the Commission.  The implementation of Special Plan 4C (effective January 1, 2018 per the SO union contract) was discussed. After discussion, there was no action taken on this item at this time.  The Commission will take action on this as soon as possible. 

Croce v. Town of Dedham tax abatement appeal:

MOTION: to cease deliberations on the Croce abatement appeal and acknowledge the withdrawal of the appeal by Mr. Croce (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Brown would like CA Adkins to check with the County attorney; he is fine with this decision as long as it satisfies legal requirements.

MOTION: add to agenda item 11-i: Executive Session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(E) to discuss a pending legal suit (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Break 1:37 pm

Back in session 1:42 pm

The Commission decided to discuss the employee review in open session, as this was not a performance evaluation.  CA Adkins proposed that the finance asst. / clerk position wage increase to step 9-F-3, receive the COLA (4%) on Jan. 1, 2018, and increase the step to 9-G-1 in November of 2018, when the employee reached her anniversary date.  He described how the position had grown to include many more duties, and described the responsibilities that had been taken on.  Commissioner Brown expressed that he was in agreement with the increase.

MOTION: to approve CA Adkins’ recommendation and promote Pam Linscott to 9-F-3, receive the COLA increase on January 1, 2018, and increase the step to 9-G-1 upon the next anniversary date in November of 2018 (Brown/Blasi 1-2, Blasi and Clark opposed, motion fails)

Commissioner Clark expressed frustration about increasing wages based on individual performance, and said it would be easier to approve an increase if it occurred with a change in title.  There was some discussion about the title of Deputy Treasurer; Treasurer Eldridge said she was willing to appoint Pam Linscott as Deputy Treasurer. 

MOTION: to enter Executive Session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(E) to discuss a pending legal suit (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

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

MOTION: to adjourn 2:19 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton

Deputy County Administrator

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