The regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 8:30 am on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioner Clark in attendance.  Commissioner Brown was not able to attend.

Adjustments to / approval of agenda: none 

Sheriff Scott Kane recognized 12 year old Emmett Moshier and 14 year old Logan Leighton for assisting an elderly citizen in distress. 

Employee recognition: The Commission recognized Michelle Cote, Sheriff’s Admin Asst., for 20 years of service to the County; Richard Gray, Airport Maintenance Director for 30 years of service to the County; and Ronald Fortier, Airport Maintenance for 20 years of service to the County.

Public Comment: none 

Commission Business:

Approval of minutes:

MOTION: To approve the minutes of the January 2, 2018 Commissioners’ Regular Meeting and the January 16, 2018 Commissioners’ Special Meeting (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)


Manager Madeira submitted his monthly report. TSA issued a modification to our TSA LEO reimbursement grant, appropriating $12,240 to support law enforcement/airport security. This is for the first quarter of 2018. A liability claim was filed because a tenant’s building materials were damaged during snow removal operations. AIG is prepared to make the tenant whole.  The airport truck sustained some damage during the January 5 storm while plowing.  After the $1,000 deductible the cost of damages is around $1,700.  Manager Madeira recommended we use account G 2-3010-36 for unexpected auto damage.  After the receivable the net effect will be a $1,000 loss to that account.

MOTION: approve appropriation from account G 2-3010-36 for damage to the airport truck (Blasi/Clark 2-0, motion passed)

Regarding the FAA inspection, Manager Madeira reported that an inspection discrepancy rectification letter has been submitted to FAA, and he believes they have been satisfied. Commissioner Blasi asked about insurance coverage for tenant property. Madeira said tenants are responsible for maintaining their own policies for their buildings and property. 

MOTION: approve Manager’s recommendation of reappointing to the Airport Advisory Committee Leroy Muise, Barbara Butler, Mike Allen, and Karl Warner to 2 year terms, retroactively from Jan 1, 2018- December 31, 2019 (Blasi/Clark 2-0, motion passed)

The DOT received four proposals for seasonal air carriers; the AAC met and endorsed the Silver Airway’s proposal. One proposal was withdrawn, and two of the others were contingent on also being selected to providing service to other markets.  It does not appear that the DOT is going to select those two carriers, leaving only one proposal, Boutique Air, on the table. Manager Madeira explained that the Commission could endorse Boutique Air if they chose.  The advisory committee supported the Silver Airways proposal, knowing this may cause the DOT to put out another RFP.  Manager Madeira understands that Silver is planning to re-submit a stand alone, non-contingent bid.

MOTION: accept the Manager’s recommendation and for the Chairman to sign the letter supporting the Silver Airway’s proposal dated February 6 to Michael Martin of USDOT (Blasi/Clark 2-0, motion passed)

This supports the advisory committee’s recommendation.


Unorganized Territories Supervisor Millard Billings submitted his monthly report. He reported that all insurance certificates are current.  Billings reported that a January storm caused some damage to the Nicatous and Martin’s Ridge roads.  Governor LePage has issued a moratorium on new windmill permits, and is proposing that an advisory commission study the impact of windmills on tourism.  Billings expressed concern that the commission will be closed to the public and not subject to Maine’s Freedom of Access Act.  Commissioner Blasi asked about Starvation Brook.  Supervisor Billings said Friends of Lower and Middle Lead Mountain ponds received 2 grants toward repair work on the dam.  Hancock County Soil and water is still interested in the project.  Attorney Ed Bearor has reviewed the question Supervisor Billings sent regarding the CBA underpayment.  He is of the opinion that the TIF and the CBA are separate agreements and are not to be tied together.  Withholding TIF reimbursements to offset underpayments of the CBA would place the County in default of the CEA agreement.  Commissioners Blasi and Clark decided to revisit the issue when Commissioner Brown could be present.

Benefits Advisor Scott McKee of Acadia Benefits was consulted through a conference call.

Deputy County Administrator Rebekah Knowlton explained that a situation arose leaving her office unsure of how to apply the Working Spouses policy. An employee wished to add his spouse to the County health insurance policy; her employer provides coverage, but she declined coverage during open enrollment due to the cost, and according to her employer, was not eligible until the next open enrollment period.  The advice from Meritain was to enroll her. McKee said the language in the policy says that an employee’s spouse is not eligible for County health insurance if his/her employer offers coverage.  The intent of the policy is in question, and needs clarification.  The Commission decided to move to item 7B to discuss the issue with the employee present.

MOTION: move to item 7B Working Spouses Policy complaint (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

McKee advised that the Commission could change the policy at any date, but in order to avoid liability, it should be applied consistently while in place. There may be a past situation where the same accommodation was not made.  Commissioner Clark suggested rewriting the policy to allow employees to address the Commission for review if there were extenuating circumstances.  When asked his opinion on this, McKee advised the Commission to consult an attorney. 

Corrections Officer Troy Frye addressed the Commission. After discussion, the following motion was made:

MOTION: support that Officer Frye’s wife is ineligible for coverage through her employer, and is eligible for the County’s coverage (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed) 

Information Technology / Vendor RFP opening:

Commissioner Blasi opened the two bids submitted. Rollins Technology and Sierra Communications submitted the bids.  The bid documents are attached.

MOTION: take the bids under advisement and report at the next meeting (Blasi/Clark 2-0, motion passed)

CA Adkins will review the bids and present a recommendation to the Commission.

MOTION: move to item 5c Jail wall job (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

Jail wall job (Lewis & Malm): In a previous meeting, the Commission discussed going out to bid with the exact specifications as the original bid. Facilities Director Walls consulted with Charles Earley of Lewis & Malm and asked him to address the Commission.  Earley said the project had 3 elements of difficulty, the wall itself, access to the area, and the location of the chiller. He said removing the existing oil tank prior to releasing the bid would be advantageous.  Originally, removal of the tank was not part of the bid; pricing was acquired separately for its removal.

MOTION: instruct the Maintenance director to go out to bid for removal of the fuel tank under the jail (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

The removal of the tank will not be part of the re-bid; this will be reflected in the bid documents.

The project re-bidding is written into 3 parts. Part A is the project re-bidding; the fee is $5,500. 

MOTION: authorize Lewis and Malm to go out to bid for the jail wall for a fee of $5,500 with a 4 week bidding period (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

Bids will be opened on March 20.


MOTION: to approve the January GF, Airport, and Jail Payroll Warrants #17-52, #18-1, #18-2 and #18-3 in the aggregate amount of $345,942.25 (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the January GF, Airport, and Jail Expense Warrants #17-94, #17-95, #17-96, #18-1, #18-2, #17-97, #17-98, #17-99, and #18-3, #18-4, #18-5, #17-100, #17-101, #17-102, #18-6, #18-7, #18-8 in the aggregate amount of $550,685.59 (Clark/ Blasi 2-0, motion passed) 

MOTION: to approve the January UT payroll Warrants #18-26, #18-27, #18-28, and #18-20, in the aggregate amount of $1,103.46 (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the January UT expense Warrants #18-14 and #18-15, in the aggregate of $11,625.57 (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed) 

MOTION: to approve January expenditures in the Health Insurance account of $59,127.10 (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: To approve the expenditure from Capital Reserve Account G1-3011-06 Professional Services for Print ad employment – Bangor Daily News in the amount of $1,600.00 (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed) 

MOTION: To approve the expenditure from Capital Reserve Account G1-3-015-00 Capital Radio Reserve for Radio Space on Cadillac Mountain in the amount of $1,189.92 (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to sign the 2018 recapitulation sheet with the following figures: 2018 State valuation total $13,174,750,000.00, 2018 County tax total $5,834,979.00 (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed) 

Treasurer Eldridge asked about the future of the Treasurer’s position. Commissioners Clark and Blasi agreed to discuss this when Commissioner Brown was present.

MOTION: move to Sheriff’s report (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: for the Commissioners to authorize the contract with Swan’s Island for patrol services (Blasi/Clark 2-0, motion passed)

Sheriff Kane updated the Commission on the forfeited items that had previously been accepted, and asked for permission to retain the side-by-side. Commissioner Clark suggested that the item go to bid first.  There was some discussion on auctioning the remainder of the items rather than putting them out to bid.

MOTION: allow the sheriff to dispose of this property with the consideration of auctioning, and the option of bidding if that is more feasible (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Blasi opened the two cruiser bids received. The results are as follows:


Option 1- 2017 Utility Police Interceptor, Sport Utility $31,468

Option 2-2017 Utility Police Interceptor, Sport Utility $31,391

Option 3-2018 Utility Police Interceptor, Sport Utility $33,021

Quirk Ford of Augusta:

2018 Ford Police Interceptor Utility $33,416

2017 Ford Police Interceptor Utility $35,040

2017 Ford Police Interceptor Utility $28,915

MOTION: accept the bids from Quirk for 2 cruisers for $28,915 each (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approval of transfer of forfeited assets: State of Maine v. Jeremy Cruz in the amount of $2,860.00 and State of Maine vs. Ronald Golden in the amount of $1,162.00 (Blasi/Clark, 2-0, motion passed)


Facilities Director Dennis Walls gave his monthly report.

EMS update- the job has been accepted by Maine Controls; they are currently building the system off site and will have it ready to install within 60 days.

Plumbing in the Sheriff’s office- The new flooring should be installed at the end of March.

Action is being taken to identify and fix the trouble spots in the plumbing.

MOTION: To accept the resignation of janitor John Stutz effective February 9, 2018 (Blasi/Clark 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approval to hire Madysen Robichaud of Orland as full time janitor, at step 4-B $12.14 per hour, effective February 10, 2018 (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed) 


Appointed Exempt merit pay- Commissioner Clark said that merit raises do not work in government.   Commissioner Blasi said his idea is that the proposal would come from the appointed exempt employee.  Register of Deeds Julie Curtis said the pay scale needs to be adjusted for everybody, and that the pay scale should be applied equitably.  Commissioner Blasi suggested setting a pay scale for appointed exempt employees, with a salary cap of $85,000.  CA Adkins suggested conducting a salary survey.  Commissioner Clark said he would like to see if a method for determining exempt employees pay could be developed.  Facilities Director Dennis Walls said the frustrating part is the spontaneous and arbitrary nature of the process.  The discussion will be on future agendas. 

Approve survey letter to municipalities- the Commission agreed to send out the letter regarding services to municipalities along with tax bills.

Community Benefits Grant cycle – review grant application form: the Commission reviewed the existing application and changed the amount available to $25,000, along with changing some dates. CA Adkins suggesting sending it out after the jail wall project was completed. 

MOTION: to release application as amended for CB funds, to be effective April 1 (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

Fund 8 balance discussion- CA Adkins reported that this was still in process; he had spoken with Chief Deputy Kane, and everything is all set. The Commission will act on a transfer in the future; the discussion will be ongoing.

ACA mandate removal ramifications- Deputy CA Knowlton reported that there is no change to ACA regulations regarding the employer mandate. Any change made to the tax code did not affect the employer mandate, and the County must continue to track variable hour employees.

Discussion: MEPers Plan 4C details- There was some discussion about the SO union contract, and which MEPers plan (plan AC or special plan 4C) employees in that bargaining unit qualified for. Michelle Cote said after speaking with MEPers, she agreed to stay in the MEPers plan AC, rather than Plan 4C.  Commissioner Clark said when the Commission agreed to the change in the contract, they did not intend to leave any employees out of that benefit.  There was some discussion on the County’s contribution to a Voya plan, if the employee was qualified for plan 4C and chose Voya rather than MEPers as a retirement plan.  Commissioner Clark said the contribution rate should match that of the MEPers plan the employee was eligible for.

MOTION: amend the policy regarding Voya contributions to reflect that the contribution rate will be determined by the MEPers plan that the employee is eligible for (Clark/Blasi 2-0 motion passed)

Commissioner Clark said in no way did the Commission try to change the intent of the benefit.

Buy Out /Buy Down policy minor revision: A minor typo was discovered in the policy; the typo was corrected and the Commission agreed to include the policy in the Personnel Policies manual.

MOTION: to adopt the revised policy and place the policy in the Personnel Policies manual (Blasi/Clark 2-0, motion passed)


CA Adkins presented the Commission with a chart showing communications from the Mt. Waldo tower with portable radios. The results so far have been good. 

EFD training- fire protocols- The program will be installed next week and over the next couple of months training will be held.  CA Adkins said this would increase the QA time.

Director update- CA Adkins reported that there is some interest in the Director position from a current employee. The Commission will revisit this topic at the next meeting.

County Administrator:

Corrections Contract – we have received the 120 day notice to bargain from the Union. The current contract expires in December of 2018.  Commissioner Clark wants to begin negotiations in the fall. 

70 Accounts/Carry Forward recommendations to Escrow (G accounts) - CA Adkins gave the Commission a list of expense accounts that he recommended to transfer to specific G accounts.

MOTION: to approve the transfer of budgeted funds in the amount of $14,323.27 from the 2017 budget items to the G accounts (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

A listing of the accounts is attached.

National Park Service/GIS Mapping proposal- Commissioners Blasi and Clark did not express interest in providing more funding for better imagery resolution; they are satisfied with the decision made previously.

Information Technology position- the Commissioners looked at the resumes of 4 IT applicants. They agreed to schedule interviews.

Commissioner Clark suggested the elected treasure will receive a salary of $20,800, based on 40 hours at minimum wage.

MOTION: Hancock County Commissioners will compensate the 2019 elected treasurer $21,000 annually and that their duties may not necessarily increase over those required by law (Clark/Blasi

Commissioner Blasi said he was not ready to vote on the motion.

MOTION: enter Executive Session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(A) /Annual Employee Review/Andrew Sankey-EMA Director (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to adjourn 3:35 pm (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton

Deputy County Administrator

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