The special meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday July 16, 2019 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Clark and Wombacher in attendance.

EMA- Emergency Preparedness Plan:

EMA Director Sankey presented the amended Emergency Preparedness Plan to commissioners for approval and signature.  The plan addresses specific risks that can cause harm to individuals.  The next step is to complete the Continuity of Operations Plan, which addresses risks to the facilities.  Commissioner Clark said he has reviewed the document and is prepared to approve the plan.

MOTION: adopt the Hancock County Emergency Preparedness Plan as revised, updated as of July 16, 2019 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Adjustments to / approval of agenda:

MOTION: add nomination of Greg Lounder to HCPC delegate nominees (Clark/Wombacher 2-1 Blasi opposed)

Public Comment: none

Approval of minutes:

MOTION: Approve the minutes of the July 2, 2019 Commissioners’ Regular Meeting (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve the minutes of the July 9, 2019 Commissioners’ Special Meeting (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: Approve travel expenses for out of state travel for Chuck Carter to attend Spillman Training; on or about September 9-12 in Wisconsin and on or about September 30-October 3 in Utah (Wombacher/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Permission to go out to bid for cruiser (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Sheriff Kane said he expected to wait later in the year to seek bids, when rebates might be better.


Monthly report-

Registrar Coughlin reported that her office is running smoothly with the current staff.  Coughlin updated the commission on new probate statutes.  Due to these changes training will be required. Coughlin estimated $500-$600 and requested permission to overdraw training and travel lines.  Commissioner Clark said YTD on probate revenue is 25% ahead, and overall expenses are where they should be.  The commission agreed to allow the over expenditure. 

Open Door discussion:

Sheriff Kane explained that there is currently no activity at Open Door; the State licensing has been revoked.  He introduced Bob Worrell- a recent addition to the Open Door Recovery Center Board of Directors.  Worrell has a history of working with and revitalizing organizations similar to Open Door.  Worrell said Open Door’s primary objective is to get the state license back and part of the overall plan involves having sound business practices in place.  He said the credibility of the services that have been provided have demonstrated success and suggested strict documentation protocols going forward.  Worrell said Open Door is currently operating with a conditional license but anticipates that there is a possibility to have a license reissued fairly quickly.  Commissioner Clark asked how quickly the funding from the state follows the licensing. Worrell said partial funding could flow almost immediately; it’s unclear how the funding works with a conditional license.  Commissioner Clark expressed concern about providing funding for an organization that may fail to meet its goals. He said staffing and money have been the two issues with Open Door and he is apprehensive that the organization could be successful without adequate staffing and funding, even with the best management.  Sheriff Kane referenced an upcoming meeting with the state and said a letter of support from the county commissioners would be important.  Commissioner Blasi thought the commission should provide the letter, but questioned the accounting.  Commissioner Wombacher said he was not prepared today to approve money and the accounting could be determined later.  He agreed to provide a letter of support and said he would like to see a business plan.  Worrell said it was a priority for the Board of Directors to work on a business plan to take to the meeting with DHHS the following Monday.  The commission agreed to provide a letter of support and expected that representatives from Open Door would report with a plan showing they are capable of operating.  Sheriff Kane said they would report back to the commission after their meeting with the state. Commissioner Wombacher wanted to have a detailed timeline of the application and licensing process.  Sheriff Kane agreed to report regularly on the item.


MOTION: Promote Scott Jackson to temp full time on July 20, 2019 at the rate of pay of $14.00 per hour with the benefit of sick and holiday comp (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Promote Garrett Giroux to temp full time on July 20, 2019 at the rate of pay of $14.00 per hour with the benefit of sick and holiday comp (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approval of Jail Sprinkler Systems Inspection Company’s contract dated June 4, 2019 (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: Accept resignation of Joshua George from full-time status effective September 6, 2019 (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve downward transfer for Joshua George from Lead ARFF step 9G1 to ARFF step 8G1 effective July 20, 2019 until September 6, 2019 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Accept part time employment of Joshua George as part-time-on-call-as needed Airport Maintenance Worker (AMW) effective September 7, 2019 (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

This position will be compensated at the part time rate.

MOTION: approval of upward transfer of Thomas Canavan to Lead ARFF at step 9E, effective July 20, 2019 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approval of updated Airport Rescue Firefighter/Airport Maintenance Worker Job Description (Wombacher/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve Jacobs Engineering Sub-consultant contract for $930.00 regarding detention basin 2019 post construction monitoring (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

Airport Manager Madeira said the funding is built into AIP 47.

Break 9:59 a.m. - 10:07 a.m.

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


Employee Payroll Information- Treasurer Boucher presented a spreadsheet regarding the current grade/step of employees as an information point.


Bull Hill Generator- Facilities Director Dennis Walls reported that the generator is running and operating as desired, however the generator is operating far beyond what it is designed for.  There is still no information regarding how long the Tower 11 outage will last.  Walls recommended replacing the generator.  There was some discussion about investing in a solar array as an additional power source.  CA Adkins suggested determining the requirements involved before purchasing a new generator.

MOTION: allow Facilities Director to go out to bid for new 8,000 KW generator for the Bull Hill Tower (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: authorized to develop specs and seek costs for a solar array at Bull Hill (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioners’ Meeting Room flooring-   As a follow up from the meeting on July 2, Director Walls submitted a quote from The Family Floor Store for $4,307.00.  There was some confusion about the language in the first section of the quote that read “installed underneath the raised platform”.  Director Walls said he was certain that it was understood that new flooring would not be placed underneath the platform, and would follow up with The Family Floor Store regarding the wording.

MOTION: approve the purchase from The Family Floor Store for Shaw Camden Harbor II for the platform and for the Vinyl Composition Tile for the remainder of the floor minus under the platform and the Johnsonite mopboard for a price not to exceed $4,307.00 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Parking discussion- The commission received a request from the Registrar of Probate for a designated parking spot.  CA Adkins said the Registrar of Deeds communicated to him that she would like a designated parking space in the parking garage.  CA Adkins suggested changing the Deeds parking spot in the lower parking lot and establishing two spaces in the parking garage for Deeds and Probate.  The Maintenance Director does not currently have a designated spot; the spot in the lower parking area that is now the Registrar of Deeds spot would be designated for that position.

MOTION: permit two additional designated parking spaces underneath the garage; the one vacant space facing the river to is assigned to Registrar of Deeds; the one closest to the entry is assigned to Registrar of Probate (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

The commission agreed the parking spot in the lower parking lot would be designated for the Maintenance Director.


2018 Financial Statements-

CA Adkins said the audit was complete and unless the commission objected he would process the management letter and he and the treasurer would sign it.  CA Adkins said the auditor will compose and send him the letter; he would put it on commissioner letterhead. There was some discussion on whether the Chairman should also sign the letter.  Commissioner Blasi thought the letter should include acknowledgement from the commissioners that they have reviewed and accepted it.  Commissioners Clark and Wombacher agreed that this was the auditor’s report and did not need a commission signature. 

Appeal Request / Brooks vs. Town of Cranberry Isles- CA Adkins reported that the town’s attorney called to say that the town is continuing to look into Mr. Brooks’ concerns and hope to have a response within 60 days.  Commissioner Clark said waiting for this period was not unreasonable and if Mr. Brooks and his attorney did not contest the fact that the commission chose to wait, then they should wait.  Commissioners Blasi and Wombacher agreed.

Constantine vs. Dedham Tax Appeal – Approval of deliberation minutes-

MOTION: issue the order as drafted that denies the abatement request for Timothy and Janet Constantine (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Orthoimagery – Approval and signature on Letter of Intent to Participate

MOTION: County Commissioners sign the notification of intent to participate in the Maine Library of Geographic Information 2017-2022 Orthoimagery program (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

Hancock County will be acquiring orthoimagery at 18” resolution; the County share is $32,587.

HCPC appointment of delegates to the Executive Committee / Considerations for appointment: Ian Schwartz of Mount Desert; Jim Fisher of Blue Hill; Greg Lounder of Otis.

Commissioner Clark said a vote was taken on July 2 for two delegates.  Subsequently a residency requirement or violation of by-laws occurred with one of the appointments.  He suggested that any appointments made in the future for any boards or commissions include the process of bringing nominees before the board prior to the meeting so the commissioners are all aware of the nominations.  He said although nominations will be taken at the meeting they should make all efforts to get the names on the agenda prior to the meeting.  Commissioner Blasi agreed.

MOTION: rescind the vote taken on July 2, 2019 with regards to the Hancock County Planning Commission appointments (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Wombacher wanted to delay voting on appointments because he has not had time to seek potential nominees.  Commissioner Clark said he would respect that request but the commission had the opportunity today to appoint two members who have experience with the HCPC and could improve the stature of the board.  Commissioner Blasi agreed with Commissioner Wombacher and said the names discussed today should still be available.  The commission will review nominees during the August 6 meeting.

MCCA Dues – discussion and approval of Option 8:

Commissioner Clark explained that the MCCA needed an improved funding method for their organization.  A committee suggested several formula options.  Commissioner Clark recommended approving formula 8.  Using this formula Hancock County’s dues for 2020 will be $12,188, if all 15 existing counties agree to this.  Commissioner Clark said it was unclear if Washington County would approve the formula.  Hancock County’s fee could be $13,000 if Washington County withdrew.  He suggested approving formula 8 as given, within the parameters of not to exceed $13,000.

MOTION: MCCA dues formula 8 be accepted for Hancock County up to the amount of $13,000 (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: adjourn 11:49 a.m. (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton,

Deputy County Administrator

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