The regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday October 1, 2019 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Clark and Wombacher in attendance.

Discussion - call sharing with Maine State Police - Sheriff Kane reported that the State Police intend to adjust the call sharing agreement to reduce coverage in Hancock County.  They submitted an agreement to him for signature; he said the agreement was unreasonable and he would not sign it if he had ten more people on staff.  Commissioner Clark said he understood the sheriff’s frustration, but signing it would compel the State Police to patrol at least one-third of the county; if it is not signed, they are not compelled to patrol any of the county.  Commissioner Wombacher asked Sheriff Kane what the financial implications were.  Sheriff Kane said his department would need a minimum of two new people to cover the additional slots.  Commissioner Clark said the immediate impact of this is not going to be budgetary, as they would not approve funding for two more people January 1, but the impact will be in the reduction of services.  Commissioner Clark suggested sending a letter from the commission to the Dept. of Public Safety Commissioner and the State Police.

MOTION: Commissioners sign the letter dated October 1 to Col. John E. Cote, Chief of the Maine State Police and  Dept. of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

Adjustments to agenda:

MOTION: add approve the hire of PT jail cook Joanne Jodrey of Waltham effective October 5, 2019 to the agenda under Jail as letter g (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: remove Airport monthly report, at the request of the Airport Manager (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

The agenda items Employee Recognition and Courthouse Site Evaluation with Architect Mark Carter were moved to future agendas.

Public Comment: none

Approval of minutes:

MOTION: Approve the minutes of the September 17, 2019 Commissioners’ Special Meeting and approve the minutes of the September 25, 2019 Public Hearing (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)


UT Supervisor Millard Billings reported that he received a proposal from a Fletcher’s Landing resident for funding for a private business in Fletcher’s Landing.  He said this could be funded using TIF funds; the Route 179 corridor is within the TIF district.  Supervisor Billings suggested calling EMDC, as they have provided this type of service in the past.  Commissioner Blasi said it could also be private business funding and referenced broadband- it was a private company but it provided a benefit to the public.  Supervisor Billings said the proposed business plan discussed transporting clients to the Sunrise Trail, and thought the county might be of more help in providing a connector trail to the Sunrise Trail. 

The applicant, Monica Jackson of Fletchers Landing, said she was asking for a grant for start up funds for Happy Trails ATV Guided Tours.  The funds would be for equipment.   CA Adkins asked Jackson if she would be open to a loan arrangement, for some or all of the funds.  Jackson said she was open to discussing that.  Commissioner Clark suggested requiring an entity to invest in their start up, Wombacher and Blasi agreed.  The commission agreed to have Billings check with EMDC for what assistance they could provide.

Supervisor Billings reported that work has begun on the Nicatous Parking Lot. 

MOTION: sign the snow removal agreement between the County of Hancock and Randy Perry for the Beddington Route 193 and the Back Road (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: sign the contract between Hancock County and the Gouldsboro Fire Department for Fire Protection coverage in township 7 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve the On Premise Liquor License for Airline Snack Bar (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Supervisor Billings reported that they have not found any definite metes and bounds for Myra Road but found a petition to the commissioners in 1886 to construct a road from Greenbush to Great Pond, and the commission approved it.  The commission agreed to discontinue the construction project and simply continue with routine maintenance. 

Supervisor Billings reported on recently passed legislation and suggested the language be added to all bid packets.  The legislation stated any public works project that is contracted out, is funded all or in part with State funds, and totals more than $50,000 will require provisions for paying construction trade workers at least the prevailing minimum wage and benefit rate set by Maine Department of Labor.

The commission reviewed the Unorganized Territory Budget for July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

MOTION: approve the Hancock County Unorganized Territory budget for the fiscal year July 2020 through June 2021 with a tax assessment in the amount of $236,850 (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

The budget includes an overall decrease of $2,200. 

RCC Expansion

Dave Nazaroff of the Penobscot Company explained the progression of pricing and plans to produce a set of construction drawings.  The preliminary cost is $664,000, which contains a contingency of $50,000.  Architect Mike Sealander said the final cost may include a 1-3% increase.  The design was discussed.  Dispatch will have three stations ready to go, with the potential for four.  There will be a small office for QA, as well as the ability to add one or two more consoles.  Commissioner Clark said this number is 1/3 higher than what he had in mind; he questioned whether we could invest this substantial cost in another location or another plan.  Commissioner Blasi said we did this with the jail and the public supported and absorbed that expenditure.  Commissioner Clark said the jail project was critical; this is not so critical as to warrant this kind of an expense.  Commissioner Wombacher said he would be interested in seeing how changes to the design would affect the cost, and said building a new building to house the RCC would cost significantly more.  Commissioner Blasi agreed.  The canopy construction was discussed, and how changes to that may change the cost.  There was some discussion of the call volume and the uncertainty with the State Police call sharing agreement. Architect Sealander suggested revisiting the work he had done in the beginning- a renovation only option.  He will bring this back at the October 15 meeting, along with a price with the canopy over the stairs removed.

Break 10:23 a.m. -10:33 a.m.


MOTION: Approval to promote Corrections Officer Travis Young to the rank of Corporal, effective October 5, 2019 at Step 10-D (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve the promotion of part time Corrections Officer Garrett Giroux to full time corrections officer, at Step 9A, effective October 5, 2019 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve the promotion of part time Corrections Officer Amanda Clemons to full time corrections officer, at Step 9A, effective October 5, 2019 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Accept the resignation of Corrections Officer Scott Jackson, effective September 20, 2019 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Jail Break Room discussion- JA Richardson proposed plans for a break room for the jail staff; he shared an estimate from Richard Henderson & Sons in the amount of $8,750.  CA Adkins suggested funding this through building capital reserve. 

The commission reviewed the inmate pharmacy prescription fulfillment services agreement with Bangor Drug. 

MOTION: sheriff be authorized to sign the contract with Bangor drug for pharmacy needs at the jail (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve the hire of part time jail cook Joanne Jodrey of Waltham at $12.50 per hour effective October 5, 2019 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)


RCC Director Conary reported that he successfully completed the Center Manager Certification program.  He reported on various meeting he had attended during the month.  Conary continues to work on updating departmental policies and procedures. 

MOTION: Approval to promote part time Dispatcher Brandon Eugley to full time Dispatcher at step 9B, effective October 12, 2019 (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)


Facilities Director Dennis Walls reported on various projects, including the new flooring in the commissioners’ meeting room.  The commission discussed replacing the desk material on the dais; Walls said he would work on this project over the winter.  The heat pumps have been installed; two require wiring. Walls said he thought they could go at least until the end of December before they would have to turn the steam boiler on. Walls reported that Dugas has begun the foundation repair work. Director Walls scheduled a round table discussion for those involved in the RCC Expansion project for next week to compose a renovate vs. new construction analysis.

Bull Hill update- the generator has stopped working; the solar install will start next week and we should be running on solar by October 11.


CA Adkins attempted to contact Attorney Bob Granger for potential representation but has so far been unsuccessful.  He will contact him again and invite him to a meeting.

CA Adkins reported that the County Convention was well attended and reported on the sessions he attended.


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

The Treasurer’s memo listed the following:

September GF, Airport, and Jail Payroll Warrants #19-35, #19-36, #19-37, and #19-38 in the aggregate amount of $357,151.66;

September GF, Airport, and Jail Expense Warrants #19-64, #19-65, #19-66, #19-67,  #19-68, #19-69, #19-70, and #19-71 in the aggregate amount of $563,945.88;  

September UT Payroll Warrants #20-9, #20-10, #20-11, and #20-12 in the aggregate of $1,001.95;

September UT Expense Warrants #20-4 and #20-5 in the aggregate of $26,406.10 

Commissioner Blasi asked about our ability to repay the UT at this point.  Treasurer Boucher said our cash flow is struggling; approximately 38% of the taxes have been collected. 

MOTION: pay the amount of $5,621.58 to Meritain for health insurance expenses (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve the transfer request from G1-3011-00 County Building Escrow in the amount of $5,500.00 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

County Administrator:

Update on Cranberry Isles vs. Brooks- CA Adkins reported that through his communication with the parties it appears that they will settle the matter among themselves.

MOTION: CA Adkins be permitted to spend $495 for an online training course from the Professional Development Academy (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

NACO is the sponsor of the training.

MOTION: to adjourn 12:56 p.m. (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton

Deputy County Administrator

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