The regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday December 17, 2019 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Clark and Wombacher in attendance.

Healthy Acadia/HC Jail Recovery Resource Fund and Data report

Denise Black of Healthy Acadia provided an update on the program.  Black said the data supports that the program has been successful and reported that the program has served 23 inmates.  Of those 20 are still in recovery and living and working in Hancock County.  Black reported that $13,202 has been spent and estimated the amount of funding saved on incarceration for 20 participants is $344,505.  Black said this is the only known model of this type of grant funding in Maine.  She thanked the commission for supporting the work and said an entire model for recovery coaching has sprung from this program.  Commissioner Wombacher asked how the project helps those recovering to get in touch with other social services.  Black said the program and recovery coach acts as a resource broker and the catalyst to get participants where they need to be. 

Adjustments to / approval of agenda:

MOTION: include discussion on purchase of a copier as item 4c (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Public Comment: none

Approval of minutes:

MOTION: Approve the minutes of the December 5, 2019 Commissioners’ Regular Meeting (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)


Monthly report- Airport Manager Brad Madeira reported the airport experienced a sizeable fuel spill that was contained and cleaned up immediately.  DEP was notified and inspected the cleanup the same day.  Manager Madeira reported that AIP 41 and AIP 42 have been closed out; he is waiting on payment from the State.  AIP 45 lighting project is nearly done. Night work on the primary runway may not be finished until spring, dependent on weather. 

MOTION: Airport Manager be authorized to purchase Personal Protective Equipment from Fire Tech and Safety in the amount of $11,390.00 from an account to be determined (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

Madeira explained that the purchase is AIP eligible; the AIP accounts for next year have not yet been established.

Fiscal Sponsorship of A Climate to Thrive Grant Application to USDA REAP Program

Representatives from A Climate to Thrive -Kevin Buck, board member and Lawson Wulsin, Program Manager- requested that the County act as a fiscal sponsor as they apply for FDA grants for energy auditing and improvements to energy usage countywide.  The FDA provides funding through the grant and the county would administer it.  The county will need to pay the invoices submitted, then be reimbursed.  Buck explained that A Climate to Thrive is an IRS 501(c) (3). A contribution to them is tax deductible but the organization is not a governmental entity; they do not qualify for the grants without a government fiscal sponsor.  Wulsin explained that the bulk of the grant would fund energy audits.  A professional energy engineer will work with small businesses to reduce their energy loads.  He said the mission of A Climate to Thrive is about environmental sustainability and reducing impact on climate change; they are interested in reducing fossil fuel usage.  The maximum grant is $100,000; Wulsin said it is renewable.  Commissioner Clark expressed concern about developing a program where the commission embraced and supported a political stance on issues. He said he wanted to avoid political controversy and focus on approving an activity that is in support of energy audits.  Commissioner Wombacher said this would benefit the county and other concerns; he does not see this as politically charged and does not foresee political consequences.

MOTION: Hancock County approve becoming the fiscal sponsorship for A Climate to Thrive grant application to the USDA reap program (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)


Continuing the discussion regarding the approval of contractual services with Barbee Business from the December 5 meeting, Commissioner Blasi said the loan committee should be an established and stipended body, whose mission was to track and collect the loans.  Barbee said the commissioners have the ability to build the plan however they choose.  Barbee said the loan committee typically approves the loans and can set guidelines.  Commissioner Blasi expressed concern about who would enforce collection if a loan were to default.  Supervisor Billings wanted to clarify what applicants were eligible to apply and how the loan would benefit the UT.  Commissioner Blasi said he would favor loan applications that used TIF funds to support a business loan where the general economic conditions include sustainable practices or development.  Barbee will meet with CA Adkins and UT Supervisor Billings to develop specifics and report again.

Break 9:56 a.m. – 10:05 a.m.


Cruiser bid opening- three bids were submitted; the results are as follows:

Darlings Ford of Bangor:

2020 Ford Interceptor $36,452

Darling’s Chevrolet of Ellsworth:

2020 Chevrolet Traverse $29,796

2019 Chevrolet Tahoe $40,975

2019 Chevrolet Silverado $26,279

Quirk Auto Group:

2020 Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab $24,758

2020 Ford Interceptor $37,803

Chief Deputy Kane took the bids for review and will come back with a recommendation.

MOTION: Approval to purchase updates for cameras in cruisers from Watch Guard in the amount of $12,013.00 from account 10-20-100 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION:  Sheriff be authorized to purchase from Transco a copier in the amount of $6,836.00 using the following accounts: $2,750 from G 3011-50; $2,000 from E 10-70-250 (using the 2020 budget); $2,086 from G 3014-00 SO Technology (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: Request approval to hire James Williams, Jr. of Ellsworth as a part time on call as needed corrections officer, at the part time rate of pay with no benefits, effective December 14, 2019 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Request approval to hire Rina Nadeau of Hancock as a part time on call as needed corrections officer, at the part time rate of pay with no benefits, effective December 14, 2019 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Request approval to hire Jeanette Dunham of Stetson as a part time on call as needed corrections officer, at the part time rate of pay with no benefits, effective December 14, 2019 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Administratively remove PT corrections officer Nicole Matthes from payroll (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Administratively remove PT corrections officer Christine Walsh from payroll (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)


RCC Expansion Project update:

RCC Director Bob Conary updated the commission on the recent move of the dispatchers so work could begin on the expansion project.  Conary described the efforts made by several entities and reported that the RCC is fully functional and operating.  The Commission recognized IT Director Carter, RCC Director Conary, Facilities Director Walls and their staff for outstanding efforts resulting in the successful transition to temporary placement in the training room. 

County Administrator:

MOTION: Executive Session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(A) for exempt employee evaluation – IT Administrator (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

After evaluating the first six months of employment, the commission agreed that IT Administrator Chuck Carter has met and exceeded expectations, and they were very pleased with his performance and his progressive plan for the next year.

MOTION: establish an annual salary of $67,000 for IT Administrator Chuck Carter for 2020 (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

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

After the executive session, Commissioner Clark reported that Hancock County Employee Kathy Zerrien requested assistance with a personal equipment need.

MOTION: approve a short term advance to Kathy Zerrien in the amount of $5,000 to be repaid in a period no longer than 104 weeks (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)


Commissioner Clark agreed to continue to serve as the representative to both MCCA and MCCA Risk Pool for 2020.  Commissioner Blasi agreed to continue to serve on the Eastern Maine Development Corporation Board for 2020.  Commissioner Wombacher agreed to continue to serve as the Workforce and Investment Board Member for 2020.

MOTION: The current appointments for Workforce Development Board, EMDC, and MCCA and Risk Pool continue for 2020 (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Purchase from Darling’s the 2020 Chevy Traverse at $29,796, and to purchase from Quirk in Augusta a Chevy Silverado for $24,758 for a total of $54,554; taking $2,677 from G 3014-60 and taking $51,877 from the Sheriff’s 2020 Reserve account 70-300 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

The Commissioners acknowledged that account 70-300 will be overrun by $1,877.

MOTION: to adjourn 11:40 a.m. (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton,

Deputy County Administrator

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