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

Lt. Frank Shepard was recognized for receiving the Next Step 2019 Community Service Award.

Adjustments to / approval of agenda:

MOTION: add to agenda item 4(c) TIF proposal for services; add to agenda 11(g) discussion on the Salmon Federation Resolution; add to agenda 10(f) a discussion on Sierra Server Upgrades (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Public Comment: none

Approval of minutes:

MOTION: Approve the minutes of the November 19, 2019 Commissioners’ Special Meeting (Clark/Blasi3-0, motion passed)


Sheriff Kane requested permission to advertise to fill the new deputy position in the 2020 budget, and said it is likely that a currently filled deputy position will be open soon.

MOTION: Sheriff be permitted to advertise for applications for a FT Deputy (Clark/ Wombacher 2-0-1, Blasi abstains)

Commissioner Blasi said he was abstaining for all of the reasons he gave regarding the hire of a deputy in 2018.  Commissioner Clark said abstaining should be reserved for conflicts of interest, and if Commissioner Blasi was opposed to this, he should vote no.  Commissioner Blasi said he was not opposed, he said there is another employee that could be used for the position.

MOTION: approval to go out to bid for cruisers (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

Sheriff Kane said he would like to be ready for purchase in January.  He will bring the bids back to the commission for review.

Sheriff Kane said one of the cruisers is in need of maintenance estimated at $12,000.  Rather than spend that on an older cruiser Commissioner Clark suggested selling the vehicle.

MOTION: Authorize Sheriff to seek bids for sale of the disabled cruiser (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)


Monthly Report- UT Supervisor Billings was absent due to a scheduling conflict; CA Adkins presented his agenda items.

MOTION: approve the expenditure of $4,810.00 from Brown’s Communication to replace the backup batteries for Bull Hill RCC Tower (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve contractual service with Barbee business services to provide TIF District and development program (Clark/Wombacher 2-0-1, Blasi abstains, motion passed)

Commissioner Clark expressed that Barbee’s background and expertise are exactly what the commission had been looking for.  He suggested approving the plan and having Supervisor Billings and Barbee come back to the commission with a plan.  Commissioner Clark said he would like to establish the program before looking at applications.  Commissioner Blasi said he was not prepared to vote today; he said his concerns lie in the area with the loan committee and the underwriting standards.  Commissioner Blasi wanted to see specifics before signing a contract.  Commissioner Wombacher said they were establishing a relationship and there would be flexibility.  The control will lie with the commission; Barbee will offer advice and consultation.  Commissioner Blasi said he was voting on the side of caution.


MOTION: Approval to hire Stacey Bagley of Hancock for a temporary part time position, effective November 30, 2019 to be paid $12.50 per hour from account 09-01-300 and reimbursed monthly from the surcharge account (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)


Deputy Registrar of Probate Velma Jordan asked for approval to overdraw the postage account.  Commissioner Clark thought this was a simple a matter that should be worked out between the County Administrator, the Department Head, and the finance office.  The commission agreed that the Treasurer should work with Department Heads to monitor accounts; if a significant amount is expected to drive the budget over the commission should be involved.  Treasurer Boucher and CA Adkins will work on revising the current overdraft policy.


MOTION: Accept resignation of FT corrections officer Amanda Clemons effective November 26, 2019; approve employment as PT corrections officer effective November 27, 2019 (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Administratively remove Tyler Cookson from the county payroll, effective November 8, 2019 (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve the hire of Ernie Fitch, Jr. of Bucksport as PT on call as needed corrections officer, not to exceed 29 hours per week, at the part time rate of pay with no benefits, effective December 7, 2019 (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve the funding of the repointing of the cracked interior mortar joints in the amount of $3,500 to be funded from account G4-30-100-20 (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

Update on corrections officer vacancies and contracted nursing staff- JA Richardson reported that the jail staff currently has three open positions; he is hoping by the first of the year to be up to full staff but until the end of this year OT will have to be used.  JA Richardson needs to continue to advertise, resulting in overdrawing the advertising budget line.


MOTION: approve the November warrant memo as presented by the County Treasurer (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

The Treasurer’s memo listed the following:

November GF, Airport, and Jail Payroll Warrants #19-44, #19-45, #19-46, and #19-47 in the aggregate amount of $372,438.81;

November GF, Airport, and Jail Expense Warrants #19-79, #19-80, #19-81, #19-82,  #19-83, and #19-84 in the aggregate amount of $516,479.59;  

November UT Payroll Warrants #20-18, #20-19, #20-20, and #20-21 in the aggregate amount of $809.81;

November UT Expense Warrants #20-8 and #20-9 in the aggregate amount of $33,527.20

MOTION: approve expenditure of $637.65 for Meritain run out expenditures (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)


Monthly report- RCC Director Bob Conary reported that he attended several meetings during November, including with Area Maritime Security Council; it is expected that cruise ship visits will increase next year.  Conary said he has been coordinating with various entities to prepare the RCC for the Expansion Project. 

MOTION: Approval for RCC Manager to advertise for a FT Dispatcher; position would begin January 1, 2020 (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION:  approve the Drug Free Workplace Policy as presented to us today (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

This will be moved toward the beginning of the Personnel Policy.  The policy included the observed behavior checklist and the acknowledgement form.


Facilities Director Walls reported that Architect Sealander has plans ready to submit to the contractor; the contractor will begin next week.  There will be options for various aspects of the project.  When a decision for these options is required, Walls will send the information to the commissioners and recommend whether or not it needs formal action.   

Bull Hill- the generator that was recently purchased is not functioning.  A warranty does not apply because of the high amount of hours on it; the generator is being used beyond its capacity.  The cost to replace the motor is approximately $1,700.  Facilities Director Walls discussed drawing power from another tower; this would involve running a cable over the ground in a conduit.  Walls said he will look into it and recommended the purchase of a newgenerator at a price of $2,738, with a cost of $900 to install it and dispose of the old one. 

The commission discussed replacing the desk surfacing on the commissioners’ dais.  Commissioner Wombacher suggested laminate countertop rather than a more expensive product; the commissioners agreed to review prices and options.

MOTION: Approve the request of transfer from G1-3011-00 in the amount of $25,000 to R06-911 for the upgrade of the generator (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve the request of transfer of $350,000 from G 3-3025-00 to R 06-904 for the RCC Renovation (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve the request of transfer of $14,809.79 from G 1-3011-00 into R 06-903, R 06-906, R 06-907, and R06-901 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: approve the IT Director to spend $20,000 to contract with Sierra for labor to move two servers that we’re disabling to existing servers, Sierra quote #11160, using account G1-3011-01 Technology and Reserve Fund (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Break 10:39 a.m. - 11:39 a.m.


MOTION: approve the Life Insurance policy as presented today (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve the PT wage policy as presented to us with an amendment to include the SO auto mechanic as a Tier I PT employee (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve the 2020 Holiday Calendar (Wombacher/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve the Hancock County 2020 Buy Out/Buy Down Policy to run through June 2020 (Wombacher/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Clark said that when the rates are revisited he would like to develop an established policy that states how the figure is determined- either what the percentage of the premium is or a specific rate that can be adjusted annually. 

MOTION: approve the following employee health insurance contributions for non-union employees effective January 1, 2020: single $50 per week; employee/child $55 per week; employee/spouse/family $60 per week (Wombacher/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

CA Adkins asked the commissioners to consider amending the Appointed/Exempt employee policy to allow vacation time to be carried forward, rather than expire at the end of the year.  The commission agreed to consider the issue at the next meeting.

MOTION: to adjourn 11:50 a.m. (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton,

Deputy County Administrator

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