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

Sealander Architects- RCC Expansion- Mike Sealander reported that measurements and photographs were taken during his recent visit to the RCC. He said he is prepared to start working with the commissioners and staff to determine exactly what the county wants to build.  Commissioner Clark said he was hopeful an architect would be able to bring some fresh ideas and suggested a walk-through with the architect.  Sealander said he wanted to understand the intended use of the building for working and visiting, if people were being added and what their functions would be.  Commissioner Clark said the state of the entry stairs should be addressed.  At this point the Commissioners, Sheriff Kane, CA Adkins, RCC Director Conary, Facilities Director Walls, and Asst. Facilities Director Linnell toured the RCC to consider options.

Commissioner Clark left after the tour and did not return to the meeting.

Public Comment: none

Approval of minutes:

MOTION: Approve the minutes of the February 21, 2019 Commissioners’ Special Meeting (Wombacher/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)


Monthly Report- Airport Manager Madeira reported there were no accidents or injuries in February and there were 8 snow removal days.  The RFP for 2019 Airport Roadway Improvements has been released; Manager Madeira said it does not appear that power line poles will need to be relocated for this project, which will save significantly.  Bids will be opened at the March 19, 2019 Commissioners’ meeting.  Manager Madeira reported that all ARFF employees are now EMT certified.

MOTION: approval for all airport ARFF employees to travel out of state (to the New Hampshire fire academy) on April 17th and 18th to attend Live Fire Training  (Blasi/ Wombacher 2-0, motion passed)

This is an FAA Part 139 annual requirement. 


UT Supervisor Millard Billings suggested that the commission consider enlarging the parking lot at Nicatous Lake. 

MOTION: approval of the proposed “Emergency Response Agreement” with the Town of Sullivan (Wombacher/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

This includes an annual stipend of $1,500. 

MOTION: Direct UT Supervisor to proceed with bid project for Tractor Purchase and direct UT Supervisor to proceed with bid project for Equipment Purchase (Blasi/Wombacher 2-0, motion passed)

There will be a mandatory pre-bid conference on April 3.  Bids will be closed on May 1, 2019 at 9:30 a.m., at this time they will be publicly opened by the commission chair.  Billings said the funding would come from one of the TIF accounts for the recreational trails.

MOTION: to hear the Sheriff’s portion of the agenda (Wombacher/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

In the interest of time management the commission agreed to review the Sheriff’s agenda items at this time in the meeting.


MOTION: to sign the law enforcement contract between the County of Hancock and the Town of Swans Island as presented (Blasi/Wombacher 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approval for out of state travel for Luke Gross and Rob Morang to New Hampshire March 24 and 25 for DARE training (Wombacher /Blasi 2-0, motion passed)


The annual commissioner tour of the jail for a walk-through and lunch was scheduled for March 19, 2019.


MOTION: approve the warrants as shown on the Treasurer’s memo to the commission (Blasi/Wombacher 2-0, motion passed)

The Treasurer’s memo listed the following:

February GF, Airport, and Jail Payroll Warrants #19-5, #19-6, #19-7, and #19-8 in the aggregate amount of $333,923.13;

February GF, Airport, and Jail Expense Warrants #18-105, #18-106, #18-107, #19-8,  #19-9, #19-10, #18-108, #18-109, #18-110,  #19-11, #19-12, and #19-13 in the aggregate amount of $848,863.37;  

February UT Payroll Warrants #19-31, #19-32, #19-33, and #19-34 in the aggregate of $1,091.18;

February UT Expense Warrants #19-15 and #19-16 in the aggregate of $26,741.62 

MOTION: approve health insurance expenses in the amount of $152,008.50 (Wombacher/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

Of this amount $28,992.79 is for 2018; $123,015.71 is for 2019.


Facilities Director Walls reported that the existing generator is able to handle the load of the courthouse under most conditions, but the chiller requires a significant amount of energy.  This may change once the chiller is replaced.  In the interim Walls will continue to look for unnecessary loads to shed, as some places will not need power in an emergency situation.  Director Walls presented a proposal from Hammond Electrical for a new transfer switch in the jail electrical room that will power the entire courthouse. 

MOTION: accept proposal for work with Hampden Electrical for $28,350.00 (Wombacher/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Blasi asked about sole source; Director Walls said this is an extension of our vendor.  Walls said he would coordinate this with the jail to make the installation as seamless as possible.

Propane RFP- Facilities Director Walls said this was standard procedure; we are nearing the end of a three year agreement.  The pricing for the airport is also determined in this contract.

MOTION: the RFP for propane be issued (Blasi/Wombacher 2-0, motion passed)

Break 10:05-10:12


RCC Director Conary reported that he recently provided training to Mariaville Fire Department (at their request) on how calls are processed.  911 calls are 23% over what they were at this point in 2018.  Director Conary reported that several county fire departments have started using a third party web-based application called “I Am Responding”.  Text messaging from Spillman interfaces with the program; dispatch observes this on a screen.

MOTION: Approve the annual Radio Console Service contract with Brown’s Communications (Blasi/Wombacher 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve reserve account transfer request for dispatcher chair from account

G-3012-60 (Wombacher/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)


Meritain Letter / Health Insurance Conversion-CA Adkins said after a phone conference with Scott McKee it was apparent that there were still issues to resolve, and should be resolved as soon as possible.  Issues include discrepancies in the comparability of the prescription plans.

McKee advised that the Participation Agreement should be reviewed by a county attorney; the commission agreed to have an attorney review the agreement.  Commissioner Blasi wanted a county-version of a Participation Agreement acknowledging that all employees, including elected officials, will be included and that shall not change going forward.  CA Adkins said he would communicate that to Allegiant Care.

Advertising policy-

MOTION: adopt changes as presented in red in advertising policy (Blasi/Wombacher 2-0, motion passed)

The change included the addition of the following language: “In lieu of a newspaper advertisement a Department Head, in consultation with Human Resources / Administration, may choose to advertise the vacancy on a website that associates with the vacant position most appropriately.  Websites may include, but not be limited to, Maine Municipal Job Bank, Jobs in ME, Indeed.com, or any other site historically used by the County.”

The commission reviewed the Community Benefits Dashboard; they will continue to review this monthly. 

County Administrator:

County Charter Discussion- CA Adkins said this is a request from the League of Towns to determine if the commission had interest in considering a County charter.  The commission agreed that CA Adkins could extend an invitation to the League of Towns to come before the commission.  Commissioner Wombacher said at this point he was not interested in going further with a charter and the League of Towns was able to pursue other options if they chose to; Commissioner Blasi agreed.

MOTION: to adjourn 11:34 am (Wombacher/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton

Deputy County Administrator

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