The regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday February 5, 2019 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Clark and Wombacher in attendance.

Adjustments to / approval of agenda:

MOTION: take up the probate registrar’s request for appointment after approval of the minutes as an unnumbered agenda item (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Remove agenda item 4e, add 2 items to the airport regarding the advisory board appointment and the discussion of Caruso Drive, remove discussion of EMDC and add discussion on Orland bike trail and add discussion on nominee for DECP (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move Sealander architects up to when we finish adjusting the agenda (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Mike Sealander of Sealander Architects submitted an agreement for the following project: expansion of the Hancock County Regional Communications Center, interior improvements to support the expansion and exterior improvements.  Sealander said this agreement enables work to begin on measurements and tour the facility and area to find out what options are for moving forward.  Commissioner Clark asked where we would be at the end of this; Sealander said this would set the scale and quality of the project and at that point a preliminary budget should be able to be established.  Questions regarding structural feasibility will be addressed, so we will know how expensive the project will be.  Commissioner Clark said the commission needs to have a discussion on financing- Commissioner Blasi thought the commission could look at an overall picture of what we have for Community Benefits and how those could be apportioned to all projects.  There was some discussion on the liability clause.  Sealander said this was standard language that comes from their professional liability insurer.  Sealander said at this point there is some open-endedness in terms of how long this project will take.  Sealander said his firm typically bills monthly.  Commissioner Clark questioned the clause in the agreement regarding no responsibility for identification of hazardous materials.  Commissioner Clark said his concern was having the expertise in identifying the hazardous material.  Sealander said it would be prudent for the building owner to schedule for an asbestos inspection with a professional; it’s common with buildings that have a history of asbestos to simply add this to the normal course of events.  The funding will come from building improvements.

MOTION: approve the agreement with Sealander Architects for the preliminary design work, not to exceed $3,000 and authorize the chairman to sign the agreement (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Aaron Dority, Executive Director of Frenchman Bay Conservancy, discussion regarding trail along Union River: Dority said part of their efforts to revitalize the city involves exploring the possibility of formalizing the trail, which exists today as an informal river trail.  It crosses County property, as well as City property.  The Garden Club reached out to Frenchman Bay Conservancy asking if they would be willing to hold conservation easements, but had not contacted the County or other landowners to determine if there was interest in placing easements on the property.  Dority said they typically work with land owners to explore voluntary land conservation.  He said the process is just getting started but is going well with other landowners.

Commissioner Blasi asked what the terms of the easement would be- Dority said he is just starting the conversation, but suggested if the County is willing to entertain the idea of a trail easement, he can document that in writing and the Frenchman Bay Conservancy attorney would draft an easement for review. Commissioner Clark said he was interested, but would like to know the city’s long range plan for the area of Harbor Park up to the dam.  Dority said typically a trail easement would be 8 feet.  The commission agreed they would wait to hear back from Dority.

Public Comment: none

Approval of minutes:

MOTION: Approve the minutes of the January 3, 2019 Commissioners’ Regular Meeting and the minutes of the January 22, 2019 Commissioners’ Special Meeting (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve the minutes of the January 10, 2019 Commissioners’ Special Meeting (Wombacher /Blasi 2-0-1, Clark abstained)


Monthly Report- Manager Madeira updated the commission on the project replacing airfield lighting.  The project has temporarily been suspended due to cold weather causing the production rate to slow to the point that it does not make sense for the contractor to continue working in the winter.  Work will resume in the fall, when soil conditions are more favorable. Enplanement report for 2018- air carrier number is 7,512 (this does not include charter numbers) - Manager Madeira would like to see this number closer to 9,000.  He said we are locked in at $1 million for 2020 entitlements, so this year doesn’t matter in that regard, but it is important to look at trends.

Cash management report- estimated undesignated fund balance about $432,351.  Manager Madeira said the target was to have $250,000 in undesignated, and the Commission may want to designate beyond that.

MOTION: Appoint Kelly Bouchard of Orland, Maine to the Airport Advisory Committee, as the advisor from District 2 (Blasi/Wombacher- motion and second removed

Manager Madeira explained that this item does not require a vote of the Board, only Commissioner Wombacher’s official appointment on record.

Commissioner Wombacher appointed Kelly Bouchard of Orland, Maine to the Airport Advisory Committee.  This term is commensurate with Commissioner Wombacher’s term.

Discussion: Caruso Drive Road repair between Baxter Ledge Road and Ramp Road and possible paving of Ramp Road- Manager Madeira said the portion from Baxter Ledge Rd. to Ramp Rd. is in need of repair, but it is not eligible for FAA money because it is not exclusively used by aeronautical traffic.  There is no reason to wait for FAA funding.  The section of road beyond Ramp Rd. in to the terminal building is eligible, and is on the ACIP with the FAA to do that project in 2023.  Madeira would like to focus now on the section that in ineligible; it is approximately 900 linear feet of road, with full width cracks approximately every 40 feet.  The project estimate, including utility pole relocation, proper road ditching, and reclaim, re-grade, and paving is $99,187.61.  Manager Madeira said he was able to generate the bid specs, and asked if the commission wished for him to put this project out to bid.  He suggested adding an alternate bid option to pave Ramp Rd between Caruso Drive to where Hinckley’s is- about 600 linear feet.  The rough estimate for this is $30,000.  Commissioner Clark asked about funding the project.  Manager Madeira said there is $180,000 to designate.  He recommended the project first goes to bid, and adding $120,000 to what we currently have in our road reserve account.  He recommended putting the balance in unspecified AIP local share.

MOTION: authorize Airport Manager to go out to bid for road improvement for Caruso Drive between Baxter Ledge Road and Ramp Road with an option to pave Ramp Rd (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Blasi asked if Manager Madeira had any information on Caruso Drive reconfiguration to the entrance at Route 230.  Madeira said he received an estimate of $1.2-$1.3 million; it is not eligible for FAA funding.  We may be successful in obtaining a Business Partnership Initiative Grant from MDOT, in which case the state would pay 1/3 of that cost, leaving the county to come up with 2/3, possibly using CB funds.  Madeira suggested 1/3 may possibly come from private funding.  Commissioner Blasi said this leads him to wanting to look at Community Benefits as an overall dashboard; we know we have big projects and this would show how much of CB can go towards them.


MOTION: approve the hire of Ada Wentworth of Milbridge as full time probate clerk, at step 5a $12.42, effective date February 9, 2019 (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)



Monthly report- UT Supervisor Billings explained that the town of Burlington communicated to him that they did not want to have two contracts- one for fire and one for emergency response- and they requested discontinuance of the existing Fire Protection Agreement and approval of the Fire Protection and Emergency Response Agreement.  The new agreement is for $2,250- there is a service fee attached in addition to the stipend; this is based on calls. 

MOTION: terminate the existing “Fire Protection Agreement” with the Town of Burlington per Article Seven of said agreement (Blasi/Clark 3-0 motion passed)

MOTION: approve the proposed “Fire Protection and Emergency Response Agreement” with the Town of Burlington (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Supervisor Billings reported he received notice from Attorney Bearor that all documents have been filed regarding the CB agreement with the developer of Hancock Wind for an amount per megawatt capacity and this may be going to court in June.  The term “megawatt capacity” has been in question- it’s a difference of $18,000+ in the annual Community Benefit stipend, which over 30 years is $360,000.

The cost for the ad for the public hearing regarding the Water Quality Protection Ordinance on 2/7/19 –

UT Supervisor Billings asked the commission what account they wanted this expense to be posted to.  The County has been cautioned by the state regarding what is being put through the UT budget.  The budget is approved by the state legislature, so there is only so much that can come out of specific lines.  Billings said this invoice would not cause the advertising line to overdraft, but he was concerned about what this meant for future spending as he did not yet know the expenses for the remainder of the year.  CA Adkins said his recommendation was to discontinue using the UT budget for this.  He suggested the commission could add the advertising expense only, then no more.  Commissioner Blasi said he agreed to that.  Supervisor Billings said he wanted to stress that the budget only held $500 for legal fees, and this would generate legal fees at some point.  CA Adkins and Supervisor Billings asked that the commission recognize that the UT budget has parameters that need to be kept in mind.  The commission recognized that.

RFP for boat ramp dredging discussion-

Supervisor Billings displayed the maps showing the boat ramp in Fletcher’s Landing.  The existing boat ramp is listed as CI-“carry in”.  IF&W is aware of the issues and it has been on their radar, but does not want to do anything until the water level of Graham Lake is set.  A meeting will be scheduled with Supervisor Billings and IF&W after the ice goes out to completely relocate the boat ramp- this would eliminate any dredging.  The land is owned by Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.


There was some discussion on what qualifies for “higher learning”.  Supervisor Billings thought this would be determined case by case, depending on what applications come in.  The commission agreed that first year students should be prioritized, but if none applied other students could be accommodated.

Trail work and UT tractor discussion- There is a road in Fletcher’s Landing that connects to the Sunrise Trail, which now crosses the property of a landowner who has always advocated for public use of their land.  Billings thought the Sunrise Trail could be connected to the Northern Trail system.  Supervisor Billings said if we are going to build and maintain trails, and for other reasons, it is time for the UT to have a tractor.  Much of the work we contract we could do ourselves; if we eliminate one grading of the Nicatous road that would save around $2,000.  Billings said he was looking at a 50HP- the prices range from $45-$60k.  The TIF references costs related to maintenance.  The tractor would need a cab so it could be used in the wintertime.  With the trailer and all required equipment the cost may be $80,000K.  The commission agreed Billings should start looking for equipment that would serve the need. 

The town of Gouldsboro did some work on the Gouldsboro Point Road and sent the County an invoice for the township 7 portion.  UT Supervisor Billings believes the invoiced amount is excessive and the County should not be held to this amount, particularly because we were not notified of the work.  Billings said he appreciated the work being done, but would have liked notice and approval.  Commissioner Blasi suggested sending a letter to communities so that this kind of misunderstanding does not happen again.  Commissioner Wombacher agreed a letter should be sent to Gouldsboro.  He suggested that Billings negotiate on the price and then asking for an explanation of the pricing if they did not agree.  Commissioner Clark said Gouldsboro simply passed along the price they paid for this section of road; if we don’t pay they will have to pick up the difference.  Supervisor Billings will communicate with the town of Gouldsboro and report back to the commission.


MOTION: approve the warrants as shown on the Treasurer’s memo to the commission (Blasi/Wombacher 2-0-1 Clark abstains, motion passed) Commissioner Clark said he abstained on the grounds that this does not require action, because final action was taken when two commissioners signed the warrants.

The Treasurer’s memo showed the following:

January GF, Airport, and Jail Payroll Warrants #18-52, #19-1, #19-2, #19-3, and #19-4 in the aggregate amount of $438,480.88;

January GF, Airport, and Jail Expense Warrants #18-99, #18-100, #18-101, #19-1 and 19-4, #19-2, #19-3, #18-102, #18-103, #18-104, #19-5, #19-6, and #19-7 in the aggregate amount of $902,364.49;  

January UT Payroll Warrants #19-26, #19-27, #19-28, #19-29, and #19-30 in the aggregate of $1,019.32;

January UT Expense Warrants #19-13 and #19-14 in the aggregate of $26,937.86 

The commission considered labeling the Peninsula Airways AR as uncollectible; CA Adkins cautioned that he wanted to review this with the auditor before action was taken.

MOTION: approve health insurance expenses in the amount of $170,304.42; of this amount $71,375.56 is left over from 2018 and $98,928.86 is from 2019 (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

Lunch break 11:50-12:00 pm


MOTION: approval to remove Sydney Cough, Juwan Leftridge, and Isiah Davis from payroll (Clark/Wombacher 2-0, motion passed) Blasi not present

MOTION: approval to hire Deborah Sears-McDonald of Sedgwick as a part time on call as needed corrections officer, at the rate of $14.00 per hour with no benefits, effective February 9, 2019; not to exceed 29 hours per week average (Clark/Wombacher 2-0, motion passed) Blasi not present

MOTION: approval to hire Christine Walsh of Bangor as part time on call as needed corrections officer, at the rate of $14.00 per hour with no benefits, effective February 9, 2019; not to exceed 29 hours per week average (Clark/Wombacher 2-0, motion passed) Blasi not present

MOTION: approval to work part time corrections officer Daniel Cox as temporary full time, at the rate of $14.00 per hour with the benefit of holiday and sick time (Clark/Wombacher 2-0, motion passed) Blasi not present

MOTION: approval of Ashley Smith’s resignation as full time corrections officer effective February 6, 2019, and approval of part time status (Clark/ Wombacher 2-0, motion passed) Blasi not present

Discussion: nursing position in the jail-

JA Richardson said this would provide a part time employee on contract- not a county employee.  This position would be 3 days a week and would oversee medications and take med calls; this would be a flexible schedule. JA Richardson said at this point he was asking the commission if they would support this.  Commissioner Clark said the concept is great; the issue is how to fund it.  JA Richardson said inmate medical is increasing rapidly, and he is worried about the County’s liability regarding medication handling and disbursement.  The commission agreed JA Richardson should proceed with exploring this option and report back.


MOTION: authorization to purchase four tasers and associated equipment from line 70-305 in the amount of $6,238.00 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve the transfer of drug funds $2,964.80 in the matter of Forfeited Assets State of Maine vs. Wayne Sudborough  (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve the transfer of drug funds in the amount of $2,964.80 in the matter of Forfeited Assets State of Maine vs. Co-defendant Kenneth Ortega (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

The previous two motions reference one forfeiture with 2 people named; Sudborough and Ortega are codefendants. 

Discussion: establishing reserve fund for the purposes of paying for new hires who have been less than five years out of Maine Criminal Justice Academy-

Commissioner Clark said he would give his assurance that when and if the best candidate was found we would find the money.  Sheriff Kane thanked him for his support.

Commissioner Clark said he wanted a public discussion with Joe Piccone about Allegiant Health Care.  Piccone said non-union employees will be covered.  Piccone said Allegiant Care would provide retirees health insurance.  Piccone said he does acknowledge that Allegiant Care is comparable to the plan the County currently has, however the members would be the ones who would vote.  Commissioner Clark asked if he should be concerned that deterioration in relationships because of contract negotiations would adversely affect our relationship with Allegiant.  He asked Piccone how closely the Teamsters people who represent employees are aligned with Allegiant people who manage the health insurance plan.  Piccone said he would leave that for the trustees to answer.  Piccone said the County would have to have a Teamsters bargaining unit in order to contract with Allegiant Care; at least one of the bargaining units would have to remain Teamsters.  Commissioner Blasi asked about representation on the Board of Trustees- Piccone said that would be a question for the Trust but the board has been the same board for the duration of the Trust. 

The commission agreed to meet with Scott McKee, and have a meeting with Allegiant Care representatives on February 21.


Facilities Director Dennis Walls updated the commission with the monthly report.  The new entrance does not need to be complete before the screening starts. Jeff Henthorn, Director of Court Facilities is able to commit up to $2,800 for the employee entrance. 

Access control update- the key card system is operating well; now the doors open and lock automatically.  Director Walls would like to see this on every door eventually.

5 Year plan update- Director Walls reported that he and CA Adkins will continue to be in discussion about this.  The chiller continues to be an issue and Director Walls said he intended to submit a plan for an RFP next month.

Discussion- shed and canopy design- the canopy would be for the portable generator.  Director Walls said his plan was to build a cowling over it which would still allow for ventilation.  The commission discussed leaving the EMA generator beside the chiller, and build on the existing pad.  Director Walls will bring the drawing design to the next meeting.


Request permission to post for a part-time clerk; position to be paid at a rate of $12.50 per hour to be paid out of E09-01-300 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Register of Deeds Julie Curtis suggested the commission consider creating a policy that allows an employee to buy out a week of sick time or vacation time once a year.


Monthly report- RCC Director Conary said there was a radio upgrade on January 10; at this point everything is fine with that.  Director Conary updated the commission on positive feedback from the public to dispatchers doing a great job.  Commissioner Blasi said to send the support of the commission to the dispatchers.  Public utilities released the report for Emergency Police Protocols- they did not adopt a recommendation for or against the protocols but said it is a policy call for the legislature.  The overall call volume in January 2019 experienced a 24% increase over January of 2018.


Community Benefit Grant scoring and funding discussion-

Commissioner Clark questioned the method Commissioner Blasi used to determine awards.  Commissioner Blasi said we need Community Benefits for other uses.  Commissioner Clark said we would score applicants based upon criteria. The commission reviewed the scores.

MOTION: award $100,000 to the top 7 recipients in Community Grant applications (Clark/Wombacher 2-0-1 Blasi abstains)

The following are the top 7 applicants, with awards:

Healthy Acadia $20,000

Friends in Action $10,000

Ellsworth Free Medical Clinic $20,000

Beth Wright Cancer Center $10,000

Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries $10,000

Families First Community Center $25,000

Acadia Area ATVers $5,000

There was some discussion on the Maintenance / Building & Grounds Capital Plan.

Coastal Workforce –Reimbursement of donation for legal expenses-

MOTION: accept the Coastal Workforce lawsuit reimbursement in the amount of $491.82 deposited into 30-1106 professional services (Blasi/Wombacher 2-1 Clark opposed)

Commissioner Clark wanted to donate it to the Coastal scholarship fund.

MOTION: Support the Great Pond Mountain Trust in their effort to get grant funding for a bike trail contingent on approval by the town of Orland (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

There was some discussion on meeting twice a month and assigning departments to a specific week.  The commission agreed it was best to address business as it arose.

MOTION: to adjourn 2:46 pm

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton

Deputy County Administrator

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