The regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 8:30 am on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Brown and Clark in attendance.

Vote: to elect a chairman

Commissioner Blasi asked for nominations for Chairman. Commissioner Blasi nominated himself for Chairman. He asked for other nominations; there were none. The vote was called (2-0-1Brown abstains

Adjustments to / approval of agenda: no adjustments 

Public Comment: none

Commission Business:

Approval of minutes:

MOTION: to approve the minutes of the December 5, 2017 Commissioners’ Regular Meeting, and December 19, 2017 Commissioners’ Special Meeting (Brown/Clark 3-0 motion passed) 


Airport Manager Brad Madeira reported to the Commission that the airport is running in good shape; most of the equipment is doing well. He still predicts that we may fall just short of 10,000 in enplanement numbers; the final number has not been tallied yet. Regarding the essential air service reselection process, the DOT issued an extension and moved the deadline for proposals to Jan 3; Manager Madeira said he was anxious to see which carriers submit proposals. He will have a recommendation from the advisory board on February 6.  Commissioner Brown asked about the outstanding balance for Peninsula Airways- a total of $19,299.  Manager Madeira reported that in a recent meeting the Chief Operating Officer of Peninsula Airways assured him that the President of Peninsula Airways was committed to paying everyone owed in the bankruptcy claim.  Commissioner Blasi asked about navigation easements and the timeline for that project. Manager Madeira said this was a multi-year project.  This year an obstruction analysis will be done, as part of the 2018 grant submission.  The environmental assessment will happen in 2019.  In 2020 easements will be purchased if necessary, and the actual clearing is projected to happen in 2021. 


MOTION: to renew the Small Animal Clinic contract for 2018 (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Ortho Imagery Mapping Program Funding Request- at the last meeting this was approved, but the amounts submitted to the County were incorrect. The County share will be $32,587; the UT share will be $15,000, which will come out of TIF funds.  The County portion is coming out of CB funds.

MOTION: to fund the Ortho Imagery mapping program with $32,587 from Community Benefit funds and$15,000 from TIF funds (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Scholarship application: Commissioner Blasi asked if some kind of apprentice program would qualify for this. Commissioner Brown said most community colleges have certificate programs, any of those certified by the state would fall under this scholarship.  An entirely different set of criteria would need to be developed.  Commissioner Clark wanted to see tuition cost identified individually as part of the application.  

MOTION: approve the scholarship application (Brown/Blasi

Commissioner Brown amended the motion to include the total cost of tuition only, with the second line reading “total college costs”; amendment seconded by Commissioner Blasi.

MOTION: approve the scholarship application with the following added: the top line should be tuition cost only, the second line total college cost, including tuition (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

UT Supervisor Billings reported that he sent a letter to Attorney Ed Bearor, asking his advice about the Hancock Wind, LLC situation; he has not heard back, presumably because of the holidays.

The liquor license for the Airline snack bar has been taken care of- the deed was recorded and the license application was returned to the applicant.

Supervisor Billings explained that unspent funds from prior year fire suppression contracts funnel into undesignated funds, and suggested the Commission appropriate funds from the UT undesignated fund balance to create a new account named UT Fire Suppression Reserve account. This would be used to pay off any incurred fire expenses.  There was some discussion on the percentage of undesignated funds that can be kept. Commissioners Blasi and Brown agreed that this account should be established.

MOTION: to designate $15,000 from UT undesignated funds for a Fire suppression reserve account (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed) 


MOTION: to approve the December GF, Airport, and Jail Payroll Warrants #17-48, #17-49, #17-50 and #17-51 in the aggregate amount of $327,558.67 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed) 

 MOTION: to approve the December GF, Airport, and Jail Expense Warrants #17-85, #17-86, #17-87, #17-88, #17-89, #17-90, #17-91, #17-92, and #17-93 in the aggregate amount of $730,353.06 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the December UT payroll Warrants #18-22, #18-23, #18-24, and #18-25, in the aggregate amount of $1,022.69 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

MOTION: to approve the December UT expense Warrants #18-12 and #18-13, in the aggregate of $23,351.46 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed) 

MOTION: to approve December expenditures in the Health Insurance account of $196,584.33 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the following expenditures from account G1-3021-35: FHCDC for Monthly rent for drug court client- emergency payment per request of Richard Dimond MD check payable to Mobile Crescent home park $350.00 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Treasurer Eldridge reported that municipal taxes are paid in full for 2017. 2018 bills will go out in February.


MOTION: permission to seek bids for carpet replacement of the Jail Administrator and the Asst. Jail Administrator’s office (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

JA Richardson would like to have tile installed. He does not anticipate that this will be over $2,500, but would like to go out to bid just in case it does exceed that amount. 


MOTION: Approval to hire Michael Southard of Dedham as full time patrol deputy at step 12-C $20.24 per hour, effective January 6, 2018 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: permission to solicit for applications the position of a full time deputy (Clark/Blasi 2-1 motion passed, Brown opposed)

This is to fill the new deputy position in the 2018 budget. Commissioner Brown said he was opposed to this because he opposed the increase in the 2018 budget. 

MOTION: permission to go out to bid for 2 SUV cruisers (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

One is to replace a cruiser being phased out of rotation, another will be for the new deputy. Chief Deputy Pat Kane said there were funds for 3 cruisers in the budget.


Monthly report- given by Asst. Facilities Director Dave Linnell

Commissioner Blasi asked about the condition of the old jail and the work needed to repair it to fair condition. He said the Commissioners need to be aware of this, and that the building was going to cause some harm.  Commissioner Clark said this was an issue for the historical society, not for us.  Commissioner Brown said the situation should continue to be monitored.  Commissioner Blasi asked the maintenance department staff to report monthly. Commissioner Clark said that was unreasonable- the deterioration was subtle.  He said until something develops that shows a true public safety concern, it should simply be monitored. 

Sheriff’s flooring discussion- Linnell reported that he attempted to get multiple quotes for this job. One bid was from the Family Floor Store for $5,514; another was a phone quote, site unseen- a minimum of $5,200, with the price rising from there.

MOTION: approve the bid for $5,514 from the Family Floor Store for flooring in the Sheriff’s department (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Brown suggested that the flooring not be installed until the cause of the plumbing issues was identified. Commissioner Blasi agreed. 

Break 9:54 – 9:59


MOTION: to approve the Ellsworth Dispatching contract (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

The Commissioners signed the contract; there were no changes from the prior year.Commissioners:

MOTION: to pay travel expenses for Commissioners living over 5 miles from the county seat (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed) 

MOTION: to set the mileage rate for FY18 at .44¢ per mile (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to authorize the Chair to sign warrants (Brown/Clark 2-0-1, Blasi abstains)

Commissioner Blasi said he abstained for the same reason he abstained in 2017, but he did not oppose the policy.

MOTION: Authorization for the Treasurer and Deputy County Administrator to issue checks up to $1,000 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Brown said going into the coming months we should start thinking about our grant program, using Community Benefit funds. Also, we should consider security in the courthouse, and look at installing security cameras outside of the Commissioners’ room and in the hallway; and look at security issues in the jail.  Commissioner Blasi asked the Commissioners to think about how they would like to fund that. 

County Administrator:

Monthly report- CA Adkins reported that all of the job ads went out- dispatcher, general clerk, IT Systems Administrator, and RCC Director. CA Adkins said a part time RCC Director may be advantageous.  CA Adkins said he would start focusing on the QA duties being filled.  Commissioner Clark suggested hiring a dispatcher, and to assign QA duties to a dispatcher.

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

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton

Deputy County Administrator




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