The special meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 8:30 am on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 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: add 5h Jail Yard project discussion and move maintenance to the end of the agenda (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Public Comment: none 

Commission Business:

Employee appreciation:  The Commission recognized and thanked Lieutenant Tim Cote for 30 years of service to Hancock County.  Lt. Cote was presented with a certificate and 30-year County pin. 

EMS Bid Opening: Commissioner Blasi opened the one bid received for the Emergency Management System project. The bid was submitted by Maine Controls from Portland ME.  The base bid was $39,900.00, with Alternate 1: Annex $7,400.00 and Alternate 2: Replace ASD with BACnet Controllers $3,000.00.  The bid was given to Facilities Director Dennis Walls for review.  He would return to the meeting for a recommendation. 

District Attorney:

MOTION: to approve the promotion of Bruno DaSilva to full time Legal Secretary III, Step 5-B, a rate of $12.80 per hour, effective January 20, 2018 (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve the purchase of replacement laptops out of E-10-70-100 Equipment (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Sheriff Kane said he wanted to purchase refurbished units; the total request is $32,545.95. 


MOTION: Approval to hire Leslie Duncan and Lucas Hanscom as temporary full time corrections officers at the rate of $15.00 per hour- sick and holiday comp time are the only benefits- effective January 20, 2018 until no later than February 24, 2018 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: Approval to hire Patrice Crossman of Waltham as General Clerk at step 8-C, a rate of $15.43 per hour, effective January 13, 2018 (Blasi/Brown 2-0-1 Clark abstains)

Commissioner Clark abstained from the vote; he explained that Crossman is a relative.

Draft letter to municipalities regarding County services for consideration in the 2019 budget:

The Commission reviewed the draft letter. Commissioner Clark suggested that we categorize the types of organizations that the Commission would be considering.

Amount to save for operations; amount to distribute- The applications for department 17- third party funding were discussed; the Commission agreed that they would like to review them before budgeting for them.  Commissioner Clark said after they were seen, the Commission could determine what would come from Dept. 17 and what would come from CBA.  Commissioner Clark said we should take applications for grants, and then review the total monetary amount requested and determine what the Commission wanted to fund.  Commissioner Blasi thought we should have a figure in mind before requesting applications.  Commissioner Brown thought we needed a list of spending priorities, given the state of the jail and improvements needed.  Commissioner Blasi suggested that we could continue with operations and use the amount of $75,000 for distribution.  Commissioner Clark wanted to decide how much of the CBA funds should be dedicated to projects such as the jail before deciding a figure. Commissioner Brown wanted to determine the amounts of each grant.  

MOTION: establish $75,000 for 2018 grant cycle (Brown/Blasi 2-1, motion passed, Clark opposed)

Commissioner Clark said he was not opposed to the specific amount of $75,000, but was opposed to setting the amount until the Commission decided what they wanted to do.

Commissioner Blasi suggested having a specific deadline for Dept. 17 applications. Commissioner Brown said he was not in favor of increasing Dept. 17 expenditures. Commissioner Blasi wanted the Commission to see all of the applications, and then discuss funding.  July 30 was discussed as the date for application submission; and the Commission will review them as part of the budget process.

Jail Fund Deficit relief; Fund 8 transfer: This involves the Sheriff’s grants and non-budgetary lines. The grant monies should be in and out; at the end of the year the fund balance should be closed out to zero. CA Adkins suggested we determine what grants are still active- after that, if there are additional revenues, they should be added to the Sheriff’s revenues, and that will funnel down at the end of the year to the general fund.  Commissioner Blasi suggested using these funds for jail fund deficit relief.  Commissioners Clark and Brown wanted to revisit the item once the true fund balance is determined. 

Break 9:49-9:56

MOTION: to enter Executive Session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(A) to discuss a personnel issue (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to hire Charles McInnis of Old Town as Hancock County RCC Director at an annual rate of $60,000, with an increase to $62,500 annually after 6 months based upon an acceptable performance, effective February 10, 2018 (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Coastal Counties Workforce Inc. legal case discussion: Coastal Counties is asking each county to contribute $2,500 to defray some of the costs of the legal case. This group finances career centers, puts people back to work, and has a significant financial impact on Hancock County.

MOTION: give $2,500 for the legal case that Coastal Counties Workforce is involved in from account 3011-06 Professional Services Reserve (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Van Dusen vs. Town of Brooksville / Abatement Appeal Extension: Mr. Van Dusen will not be able to be here before May, and has requested an extension for the hearing. The Town of Brooksville has not expressed opposition to an extension.

MOTION: approve the extension of the Van Dusen v. Town of Brooksville tax abatement appeal hearing (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Opiate Lawsuit – Discussion / approval to join the growing list of Counties and municipalities in the suit against the pharmaceutical companies: The distribution of the money (if the suit is won) was discussed. Commissioner Brown thought this should occur on a municipal basis rather than a county basis.  He suggested sending a letter from the Commission to the municipalities informing them, and asking them if they have been contacted.

MOTION: to send the information to towns in Hancock County (Brown/Blasi 2-1, motion passed, Clark opposed)

Commissioner Clark questioned sending the letter to towns. CA Adkins said it would be due diligence, keeping them informed and providing contact information to them.

MOTION: for Hancock County to join this effort on behalf of residents in the Unorganized Territories (Blasi/Clark 2-1, motion passed, Brown opposed)

Commissioner Brown indicated that he did not want to join at this time. Commissioner Blasi said by doing this we show that we are not sitting idly by, but are providing a model.


Jail wall project- Commissioner Clark would like to go out to bid again with the original specifications. Facilities Director Walls thought if we removed the tank and the chiller, it creates an entirely different look to the job. He suggested doing that, then have Lewis and Malm put a price together for just the wall, without the alternatives.  Commissioner Brown agreed.  Commissioner Clark said if that happened there was no way to determine if the bids for that were better than the original bids. He wanted to rebid now, with a May 1 construction date.

MOTION: to immediately rebid the jail wall project with the same specifications as the original bid, including alternates (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Facilities Director Walls will contact Charles Earley from Lewis & Malm for details such as advertising and a bid deadline. The same accounting used the first time the bid went out will be used again.

MOTION: to purchase from Maine Controls of Portland the EMS system base price $39,900.00, with Alt. 1 annex $7,400.00 and Alt. 2 upgrading software $3,000.00 for a total of $50,300.00 using account #3011-01 Courthouse Maintenance (Clark/Blasi 1-2, Brown and Blasi opposed, motion failed)

Commissioner Brown thought the cost of Alternate 1 was too high; he opposed this part of the motion, but was in favor of the rest. Facilities Director Walls said this could be added at a later time if necessary.

MOTION: to purchase from Maine Controls of Portland the EMS system- base price $39,900.00, with Alternate 2 for $3,000.00, for a total of $42,900.00 using account # 3011-01 Courthouse Maintenance (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Comprehensive Access System- Facilities Director Walls gave an update on the proposed plan for the installation of card readers; he said the State would cover the camera monitoring of the public access places, and the County would pay for the installation of the card readers. There was some discussion on integrating the previously discussed project of the installation of cameras outside the Commissioners’ meeting room with this project. Facilities Director Walls is still gathering information at this point.  He will report again to the Commission on February 6.

MOTION: to adjourn 12:26 pm (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton

Deputy County Administrator

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