The regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday April 2, 2019 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Clark and Wombacher in attendance.

Life / AD&D Insurance- The new Allegiant Care health insurance plan that the county will be transitioning to in July carries a life insurance policy for every member of $25,000 for employee; $5,000 for spouse; and $2,500 for dependent.  The county currently provides a life insurance policy to active employees who are enrolled in the Meritain health insurance plan- the benefit of that life insurance is 1x the employee’s annual salary.  The estimated annual cost to the county for 2019 is $14,392.  The commission considered terminating the current life insurance policy and thereby reducing the life insurance benefit for some employees.  Commissioner Clark asked the employees present how much this would affect them.  Registrar of Deeds Julie Curtis said this was substantial because employees understood upon hire that they had this benefit.  They may have made different decisions about purchasing life insurance policies at a younger age had they known their benefit would be reduced; employees who have been here a long time have depended on this.  CA Adkins suggested stopping the benefit for any new hires going forward.  He also reasoned that it made sense to continue with the current life insurance plan at least through the end of the year, as we will have already paid half the cost and the transition in health insurance will cause enough confusion. The commission agreed to continue the conversation at the April 16 meeting. 

Public Comment: none

Approval of minutes:

MOTION: Approve the minutes of the March 19, 2019 Commissioners’ Special Meeting (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)


Monthly Report-Airport Manager Madeira reported there were no incidents or workplace injuries.  The annual Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan training was completed on March 12, 2019.  Aircraft excise tax bills for 2019 have been issued. 

After reviewing the bids for the 2019 Airport Roadway Improvements that were opened on March 19, Manager Madeira recommended accepting the low bid; this was from KJ Dugas of Surry.  The base bid was $99,187 and the Alt-1 bid option was $30,000, for a total bid $107,166.  Madeira said KJ Dugas has done work at the airport in the past to satisfaction.

MOTION: award the airport improvement bid to KJ Dugas in the amount of $107,166.00 (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: authorize the chairman to sign the contract with KJ Dugas for the work at the airport (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Move $100,000 from undesignated airport fund balance to account G2-3010-20 (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Move $80,000 from undesignated airport fund balance to account G2-3040-00 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Airport Manager Madeira invited the commission and any others interested in attending the Business After Hours / Airport hosting on Thursday April 4 from 5-7 pm.  Madeira said this usually draws quite a bit of public support.

Wage rate adjustment for current dual role airport employee- Airport Manager Madeira explained that an airport employee currently holds two part time positions- janitor at $12.50 per hour and administrative assistant at $13.00 per hour.  Due to the way the payroll system works, it is impractical and cumbersome to track and manage the different wage rates.  Madeira recommended that her part time hourly wage be set at $12.75 per hour, for both positions.

MOTION: approve the rate of $12.75 for this specific combination of positions at the airport effective April 6, 2019 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

The commission agreed that this applied only to this specific combination of positions.


MOTION: Approve the proposed “Fire & Emergency Response Agreement” with the Town of Milford (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

This is predicated on the contract being signed by the selectmen of Milford.

UT Supervisor Billings was unable to attend the meeting; the commission reviewed his monthly report in his absence.


MOTION: approve the warrants as shown on the Treasurer’s memo to the commission (Wombacher/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

The Treasurer’s memo listed the following:

March GF, Airport, and Jail Payroll Warrants #19-9, #19-10, #19-11, and #19-12 in the aggregate amount of $331,312.02;

March GF, Airport, and Jail Expense Warrants #19-14, #19-15, #19-16, #19-17,  #19-18, #19-19, #19-20, #19-21, and #19-22 in the aggregate amount of $685,653.34;  

Mar UT Payroll Warrants #19-35, #19-36, #19-37, and #19-38 in the aggregate of $1,125.50;

March UT Expense Warrants #19-17 and #19-18 in the aggregate of $281,692.11 

MOTION: approve health insurance expenses in the amount of $309,788.83 (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

The commission agreed that any reserve account requests should be brought to the commission first for approval, rather than to go through the treasurer first.


MOTION: Approval to hire Cameron Shaw of Bangor as part time, on call as needed corrections officer at the rate of $14.00 per hour with no benefits, effective April 6, 2019, not to exceed 29 hours per week average (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approval to hire Tyler Cookson of Bangor as part time, on call as needed corrections officer, at the rate of $14.00 per hour with no benefits, not to exceed 29 hours per week average (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: Approve and sign the Town of Stonington contract for 2019 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)


The selectboard of Frenchboro has communicated to Director Conary that they will no longer pay for dispatch services, as they do not have a department to dispatch. Director Conary explained that we are still their PSAP.  Conary reported that the legislative committee agreed that the proposed Emergency Police Dispatch Protocols should be sent to the full legislature for consideration, despite the significant amount of opposition.

MOTION: Sign Proclamation recognizing Hancock County RCC for 2019 National Telecommunicators Week (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)


Monthly report- a legislative delegation will tour the jail Thursday.  Work continues on the jail yard lock.  Facilities Director Walls has contacted a vendor to get a price for covering some exposed wires on the side of the courthouse building near the employees’ entrance. 

RCC plan discussion- Facilities Director Walls reported that a meeting was held with Sealander last week. Sealander is now working on a plan with clear direction; he will present to the commission April 16.  Commissioner Clark said at some point the commission needs to get an estimate on the cost.  CA Adkins said he hoped to have a productive discussion at the April 16 meeting.  Walls said we need to decide on potential costs, and we are close to finalizing our design and nailing down the concept.

MOTION: sign the Request for Expenditure from Reserve Account form for HVAC Mechanical Services for repairs related to EMS upgrade from G1-3011-00 in the amount of $3,048.49 (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Chiller update- Facilities Director Walls has contacted 3 vendors; they will provide quotes and he will bring those to the commission.  Commissioner Blasi asked about a timeline for the project.  Walls said this may have to be built, we need more information but as of today we are set for the summer with the current chiller.  Walls said he may have a vendor recommendation on April 16.

The vending machines have been moved in preparation for the access screening. 

Break 10:12-10:23


Community Benefits expenditures- Commissioner Blasi wanted to list all potential projects that could use Community Benefits.  CA Adkins said the commission could create a “wish list”, but cautioned against designating beyond what the county currently has in funds, as this would create a negative undesignated balance. Items discussed were grants, budgetary transfers, workforce recovery, RCC expansion, and Caruso Drive Entrance Reconfiguration.

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

HAN System Discussion- EMA Director Andrew Sankey explained that this is a mass notification system that the county could use to notify county employees of special events such as a weather closing.  MEMA makes use of this system, which is how he discovered it.  The system is available for the county to use at no cost.  Employees can choose what method they would like to be notified by- text, email, or phone call. 

MOTION: join Maine HAN network, assuring all personnel get information related to courthouse campus operations and Bar Harbor Airport operations (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

County Administrator:

Monthly report- CA Adkins updated the commission on the recently held IT Systems Administrator interviews; he will have a recommendation for a new hire soon.

Corrections Union Contract negotiations will be held Tuesday April 16.

MOTION: to adjourn 11:45 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton

Deputy County Administrator

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