The regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 8:30 am on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 in the conference room of the county courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Brown and Clark in attendance.

Bid opening- siding building materials for Airport Terminal Building: Two bids were submitted for this project; the results are as follows:

Viking Lumber, Hancock base bid- $3,596.23

Hammond Lumber Base bid- $3,558.00

MOTION: accept bid from Hammond Lumber for $3,558.00 (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Bid opening- Access Control System: One bid was submitted for this project; the results are as follows:

Cincinnati time of Maine- prox card system $14,137.68

Commissioner Brown questioned why we are taking on this project if the state is not paying for any of it.  Maintenance Director Walls said this would enhance our own security and fewer keys would be issued.  Commissioner Brown expressed concern that this will make it more difficult for the public and our own personnel to pass in and out of this building; for that reason he is opposed to doing this.   Commissioner Clark said he agreed somewhat with Commissioner Brown but his hesitancy was with the court monitoring system and he wanted to know more about that.  He suggested putting this off until the next meeting and Director Walls should come back with the best argument for accepting this.  He would like to understand better how the court component interacts with our own personnel.  Commissioner Brown said he hasn’t accepted the argument that the cards will make the courthouse more secure than the keys we have currently.  Commissioner Clark expressed concern about who was controlling access to the building.

MOTION: consider this at our next meeting, at which time Facilities Director Walls will come back with a full presentation on why we should accept this (Clark/Brown 2-1, Blasi opposed)

Commissioner Blasi said he was in favor of access and screening.

Adjustments to / approval of agenda:

MOTION: Move item 12 a and b before item 11 (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move probate to right after approval of the minutes before Airport (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Public Comment: none

Approval of minutes:

MOTION: to approve the minutes of the August 7, 2018 Commissioners’ Regular Meeting (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the minutes of the August 21, 2018 Commissioners’ Special Meeting (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)


Airport Manager Madeira gave his monthly report.  The DOT conducted the traffic study but Manager Madeira has not seen a report yet.  The project to replace lighting is set to begin on September 10.  The Airport Advisory Committee met and reviewed projects in Airport Master Plan; 4 projects were identified as those to make requests to the FAA for supplemental funding.  Manager Madeira said he will submit requests for all of them, but he is not optimistic all will be chosen.  Madeira reported that on August 22 TSA established another option for screening employees, making it unnecessary to enter into the MOU with Bangor Airport. 

MOTION: approval for the airport manager to go out to bid for a new ¾ ton pickup with V-plow and utility body to replace 2011 Chevy Silverado 2500HD with plow (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Clark expressed concern about allowing this when the vehicle currently owned has only 57,000 miles.  Commissioner Brown said he would recommend something that was heavy duty in the vehicle front, especially with a v-plow.  He said he did not have a problem with this.  Manager Madeira said the airport vehicles are always going to be low miles, due to the nature of their use.


Register Coughlin reported that she asked Treasurer Eldridge to move $4,944.72 from the Probate Equipment account, but to leave $1,500.00 in the Probate Copier account, to purchase a copier.    Commissioner Brown asked Register Coughlin why she did not take the copier purchase out of account G1-3014-40.  

MOTION: Move $4,944.72 from G1-3014-40 to G1-3014-42 (Clark/ Blasi 2-1, Brown opposed)


MOTION: approval to promote part time corrections officer Kaeley Spinney to temporary full time effective September 8, 2018 at the pay rate of $14.00 per hour with accrual of sick time and holiday comp benefit only (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approval to hire Ashley Rickel of Franklin as part time corrections officer effective September 8, 2018, on call as needed at $14.00 per hour with no benefits and not to exceed 29 hours per week (Brown/Blasi 2-0-1 Clark abstains)

Commissioner Clark said he abstained because this applicant is a close relative.


MOTION: approve the resignation of full time patrol deputy Michael Southard, effective September 8, 2018 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve the resignation of full time patrol deputy Shane Campbell, effective October 5, 2018 (Brown/Blasi 2-0-1 Clark abstains)

Commissioner Clark said he abstained because the employee is a close relative.


RCC Director Robert Conary gave his monthly report.  He submitted a rough draft of costs for adding one station and necessary equipment.  A basic workstation comparable to what we have now is $13,000-$15,000.  Director Conary said we need to upgrade the radio console operating system, as the current system is not compatible with new equipment.  

MOTION: Recognize Brown’s Communications as sole source for the $12,000 upgrade to RCC radio system (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

We have a maintenance contract with Brown’s Communications for the system.

MOTION: RCC Director be authorized to have Brown’s Communications complete upgrade to radio system for $12,309 (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Director Conary explained the issue with the lack of ambulance services in Hancock County. An EMS meeting was held to facilitate talks for a potential mutual aid agreement. Director Conary reported that the towns of Bar Harbor and Mount Desert inquired about allowed use of Hancock County’s EMS frequency as an emergency backup for fire and EMS paging; an MOU may follow. 


Review of snow plow bids: Two bids were submitted; the results are as follows:

Michael Barry of Barry’s Trucking- Route #179 (Ellsworth city line to Waltham town line) $17,960 (or $17,950- it was impossible to determine the written figure)

RF Jordan - Route #179 (Ellsworth city line to Waltham town line) $38,200 ($19,100 per year)

No bids were submitted for Route 193. The commissioners authorized Supervisor Billings to contact the contractor who has held the Route 193 contract for the last 12 years to determine if he is willing to continue to perform the work for the same price as last year. 

MOTION: Contract with Barry’s Trucking for snow removal for route 179 in the amount of $17,950 per year, a two year contract (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Unorganized Territory Supervisor Millard Billings gave his monthly report.

County ambulance closure- Billings has contacted Capital Ambulance; they have agreed to cover this.  The northern part of Hancock County has not had an agreement with an ambulance service, other than LifeFlight. 

There was some discussion of the process with LongRoad to negotiate a community benefit agreement.  The transmission lines are coming into township 16, but the turbines are not in Hancock County.  Supervisor Billings will draft a letter requesting Hancock County consideration for a community benefit agreement with Weaver Wind.  The letter will also state that Hancock County would like to be named on the application. 

MOTION: authorize UT Director to consult with the prior contractor to determine if he is willing to negotiate a contract for snow removal at last year’s price (Clark/ Blasi 2-0-1 Brown abstains)

Commissioner Brown said this was already approved and did not require a motion.

Supervisor Billings presented the July 1, 2019- June 30, 2020 budget to the commission.  Commissioner Brown asked why there was no COLA for the UT supervisor’s wage; he thought the position was entitled to the COLA. The COLA would have no effect on the budget as presented.  Commissioner Blasi asked if the GIS could be included in the UT budget.  Some of it is funded through TIF and some through community benefits.  Anything that was not UT portion was paid for through CB funds. Supervisor Billings said he would add the UT portion into UT budget, rather than use TIF funds.

Break 10:21 a.m. - 10:31 a.m.

District Attorney:

MOTION: Accept the resignation of administrative assistant Terry Campbell, effective October 5, 2018 (Brown/Blasi 2-0-1, Clark abstains, motion passed)

Commissioner Clark said he abstained because the employee is a close relative.

DA Foster expressed concern about staffing in his office, and suggested hiring a temp. Commissioner Clark said he would like to discuss the rate at which the administrative assistant is compensated; he indicated that the grade should decrease.  DA Foster said an extreme amount of technical information is required for this position, and it would be difficult to fill this position at the current pay rate.  Commissioner Brown said he understood Commissioner Clark’s concern, but this is a highly responsible position.  DA Foster cautioned that reducing the pay rate would significantly reduce the applicant pool.  Commissioner Brown suggested asking DA Foster to come back to the next meeting because this issue was not on the agenda.

Budget workshop:  DA Foster said the availability of VWA funds may be in jeopardy.  Several new requirements have been established that will be difficult to comply with. Other counties have taken on this cost as part of the county budget.  Discussion on the budget continued; DA Foster will return to a future meeting for continued discussion.

DA Foster said the county received a bill from State Risk Pool- a deductible for legal services for a lawsuit involving a former assistant district attorney and asked if the commission would authorize payment.  Commissioner Brown asked why risk pool did not pay this; he did not think we should pay it.  Commissioner Clark said we bought a policy from risk management for liability insurance and we are required to pay a deductible.  Commissioner Blasi thought we should send it back, as other counties have.  Commissioner Brown wanted to have input from MCCA’s risk pool. 


MOTION:  to approve the August GF, Airport, and Jail Payroll Warrants #18-30, #18-31, #18-32, #18-33, and #18-34 in the aggregate amount of $421,724.80 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION:  to approve the August GF, Airport, and Jail Expense Warrants #18-58, #18-59, #18-60, #18-61, #18-62, #18-63, and #18-64 in the aggregate amount of  $631,598.44 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION:  to approve the August UT Payroll Warrants #19-4, #19-5, #19-6, #19-7, and #19-8 in the aggregate amount of $1,190.83 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the August UT Expense Warrants #19-3, and #19-4 in the aggregate of $1,567.20 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve 2018 August expenditures in the Health Insurance account of $170,779.08 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Treasurer Eldridge reported we’ve collected nearly 32% of municipal taxes at this point.

We are now prepared to pay the UT back; total amount due $500,554.79, with interest due through September 5. 

MOTION: Pay off loan to UT in the amount of $500,554.79 (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Treasurer Eldridge reported that the office has worked very hard to pull items together, and according to the timeline, we should have received the audit by May 30.  The auditor continues to ask for documents to be sent.  Commissioner Blasi said it is difficult to engage a new auditor, and perhaps the next audit would be easier.  CA Adkins expressed frustration with the lack of timeliness and customer service with the current auditor.  Commissioner Brown expressed dissatisfaction with all the difficulties and suggested we put this out to bid next year.    


Facilities Director Dennis Walls gave his monthly report.

MOTION: approve the hire of Devon Zerrien of Franklin as part time janitor at $12.50 per hour with no benefits, effective September 8, 2018, not to exceed 29 hours a week (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Length of service record for Assistant Facilities Director David Linnell- Director Walls explained that when Linnell was promoted to his current position in 2012, his length of service was not recognized in his step. Commissioner Clark suggested that if an adjustment to his pay occurred, it would be with his anniversary date of November 10.  CA Adkins and Deputy CA Knowlton will research the circumstances and the issue will be revisited at a future meeting.

Break 12:37 pm-12:44 pm

RCC Budget workshop:

Budget- Director Conary presented his initial budget to the commission.  Commissioner Clark expressed that any contract rate increases should come from the recommendation of the department head with counsel from the advisory committee. He said it seemed that the amount of work the dispatchers are now doing has increased significantly, and this has not been reflected in the cost of the contracts.  There was some discussion on an equitable way to calculate an increase to contracts.  Director Conary said the call volume is so high right now that it justifies another position.  Commissioner Blasi was in favor of adding a dispatcher.  Commissioner Brown said he was in favor of adding a dispatcher if it cut down on overtime.  There was some discussion on reserve accounts and equipment / computer purchases.

The commissioners indicated that with the requested revisions, they had no issue with the new CGI videos.

Agenda items that were not addressed will be moved to a future meeting.

Motion: to adjourn 1:34 p.m.  (Blasi/Clark 3-0 motion passed)

 Respectfully submitted,

 Rebekah Knowlton

Deputy County Administrator

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