The regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 8:30 am on Tuesday, April 24, 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: none

Public Comment: none


Chair Blasi opened the bids for the Replacement of Airport HIRLS (High Intensity Runway Light System), MITLS (Medium Intensity Taxiway Light System), and Ramp Lights project.  Three bids were submitted.  The results are as follows:

 RF Jordan & Sons Construction Inc:

Total base bid- $1,894,051.00

Total Alternate One- $39,600.00

Total bid $1,933,651.00

 KOBO Utility Construction Corp:

Total base bid- $1,399,465.50

Total Alternate One- $206,300.00

Total bid- $1,605,765.50

 Moulison Heavy Electrical:

Total base bid- $1,344,982.00

Total Alternate One- $43,740.00

Total bid- $1,388,722.00

MOTION:  approval for the Chairman to sign the AIP Grant Application for the project to Replace the High Intensity Runway Light System (HIRLS), Medium Intensity Taxiway Light System (MITLS) and Apron Lights at the appropriate time (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)


LUPC- Adjacency Principle discussion-

UT Supervisor Millard Billings explained that the Adjacency Principle is the current standard used for re-zoning- new development has to be within 1 mile by road of existing development. 

A proposal is before the LUPC, we are in the public hearing stage and written comment is being accepted.  Petitions have been submitted to the commission requesting a resolution to the planning commission to retain the current 1 mile Adjacency Principle. Commissioner Brown said this may have some effect on development in T8.  Commissioner Brown asked what effect this would have on our TIF.  Billings said under the Adjacency Principle the TIF money might be limited as far as commercial development.  Commissioner Blasi said in the petition the signers are concerned that resulting sprawl would damage natural resources and place additional burdens on county taxpayers.  Commissioner Brown questioned this; Billings said it would only affect UT taxpayers, not all county taxpayers. 

MOTION: that Commissioners adopt this petition to resolve to the LUPC to retain the current one mile adjacency principle (Blasi/motion fails for lack of 2nd

Commissioner Clark said he was not ready to take a position on this.  Commissioner Brown agreed.  Commissioner Blasi asked if a public hearing was in order.  Clark said he would welcome public comment. Commissioner Brown said he would like to know more about this before taking a position.  Supervisor Billings suggested inviting staff from LUPC to explain their position, as well as petitioners.

Dave Fowler- Grid Scale Solar Energy in T16MD discussion-

Present were Dave Fowler and Stephanie Fowler of Next Phase Energy Services, and Dwayne Jordan, from Elliot Jordan & Son, landowner and partner of the project.  Dave Fowler said he wanted to bring the commission up to date on what he was proposing and ultimately ask for their support.  He said what they are proposing is a grid scale solar farm in the unorganized territory of township 16, likely to be up to 500 acres of cleared area, for 100 megawatts of power.  When the project started solar power was not an allowed use in the UT. Since that time, LUPC has come up with standards, which Fowler said this project meets. Fowler said the stage he was now at was petitioning the LUPC for zoning district change.  Commissioner Blasi asked how often the commission grants zoning changes.  Fowler said it has been done; he fits all the criteria, and meets the standards that they created.  Fowler said this would be the largest project of this kind in the state.  Fowler said he would be interested in how we can work together for TIF and CBAs.  Commissioner Blasi said he would be in favor of a public hearing.  Fowler said at this time he and Dwayne are partners in this; they will look for investors.  Fowler said this presentation is an FYI to the commission, and asked if the Commission would be willing at some point to write an endorsement letter supporting this new commercial district in T16.  Fowler said this would be a zone change just for solar in this location only.  Commissioner Clark said if this isn’t acceptable, how we will produce the power we need.  Commissioner Blasi said he liked that their attempt would include local input and local construction.

MOTION: recognize that Dave Fowler has made a presentation regarding Grid Scale solar energy in T16; we are cognizant of this fact and would like to hear more about the project (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Blasi said a public hearing should be held before the commission at some point during this project.  Commissioner Clark said he would welcome whatever discussion was needed.

Jordan said originally this was bought for blueberry construction, whatever is remaining that is cleared will continue to be put into blueberry production, and so the land will not lay idle.  He said that his land has always been open to the public; he does not foresee that changing. 

MOTION:  Executive Session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(E) for consultation with legal counsel (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Blasi brought the meeting back to open session.

MOTION: County Commissioners authorize the County attorney to contact developer’s counsel to discuss the issues and procedures for questions surrounding the Community Benefit Agreement (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

UT audit / Auditor request for additional work-  

CA Adkins reported that the auditor requested funds for additional work. The commission agreed that no additional work was necessary, and the audit was accepted as submitted.

County Administrator:

LMA /Jail Wall / Supplemental Agreement #2 / Chair Signature-

There were some questions regarding supplemental agreement #2 submitted by Lewis & Malm. 

The commission requested the form submitted in another format, with a clear understanding of the cost of the supplemental work.

MOTION: chair be authorized to sign supplemental agreement #2, on the condition that the contract clearly reflects the cost of the supplemental work (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

This should not exceed $17,800.


Marsy’s Law endorsement discussion- ADA Heather Staples spoke about Marsy’s Law.  She said we already have victim’s rights laws- they are part of statute.  Marsy’s Law involves a constitutional amendment, as opposed to statute change.  ADA Staples said implementation would require more prosecutors, funds, technology and other costs, as well as presenting more roadblocks for getting cases through the system, which is already congested.  ADA Staples said all 8 District Attorney’s in the State oppose this.  Commissioner Blasi asked if any of the requests for support by Anne LePage should be sent to legislative committee. Commissioner Brown asked why he would not want to support victim’s rights; he said victims are not supported enough. Commissioner Brown said he thought it was important that victims do have rights and he is concerned about that.  Commissioner Clark said the biggest pause was that this is intended to change the constitution.  He said he was not prepared to endorse this either as an individual or as a member of the commission.  The commission took no action.

Report on County Behavioral/Public Health Agency Possibility-

Commissioner Blasi reported that he had communication with Elsie Fleming of Healthy Acadia regarding a “navigator”- this person works to coordinate existing public health services.  Commissioner Blasi suggested this could be an agency of county government.  Commissioner Clark said he thought we were looking for a direct service back to the municipalities.  He said this was a valiant effort on Commissioner Blasi’s part, but more than what the commission envisioned.  There was some discussion on the available services in the area, including programs in the Hancock County Jail.  Commissioner Blasi said there was still a potential need for a county wide person who could coordinate all these agencies so there is not duplication of effort, and asked if Elsie Fleming should present. Commissioners Clark and Brown did not think a presentation was necessary. 

Jail yard discussion- storage building

Commissioner Clark suggested the construction of a storage building wall as part of the jail yard project; the storage building would come at a later date.  The north side of the yard would be a solid wall- this would be the back wall of the storage building.  He said there is a problem with inmates having contact with others on the outside of the fenced area. This would prevent the exchange of contraband in that area.  Commissioner Brown wanted to discuss this in advance of the preconstruction meeting with RF Jordan, to be held on April 25.  The commission agreed this should be discussed at that meeting.

MOTION: Executive Session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(A) to evaluate County Administrator and County Administrator contract (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Blasi brought the meeting back to open session, with nothing to report.

MOTION to adjourn 12:29 pm (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton

Deputy County Administrator


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