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COMMISSIONERS REGULAR MEETING

 

Commission Chairman, Percy L. Brown Jr., called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 2, 2015 in the conference room of the county courthouse located in Ellsworth, Maine with Commissioners Joy and Blasi in attendance.

Bid Opening: Propane Supplier.
Maine Energy:   
Base price per gallon as of 4/30/15: $.559
Additional charges per gallon: $.59
Total bid price per gallon: $1.149                             

No Frills Oil Co., Inc.:
Base price per gallon as of 4/30/15: $.949
Additional charges per gallon: $.048
Total bid price per gallon: $.997 

Dead River Company:
Base price per gallon as of 4/30/15: $.5563
Additional charges per gallon: $.4250
Total bid price per gallon: $.9813 

Bids were turned over to the Facilities Director for review and recommendation. 

Adjustments to the agenda:  

MOTION: to add item 9C, a discussion regarding the jail budget and the impact of proposed legislation.(Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

MOTION: to add item 4I, a request to overspend account E-40-20-005 Airport Vehicle Maintenance Account. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

Commission Business: 

Old Business: 

MOTION: to approve the minutes of the May 5, 2015 commissioners' regular meeting. (Joy/Brown 2-1, motion passed, Blasi opposed) Discussion: A brief discussion followed regarding the approval of clear, curt and concise (ccc) minutes or detailed minutes; Commissioner Joy's motion was to approve the ccc minutes.  Commissioner Blasi stated "I'll support the meeting minutes if the information I think we should provide the public is included." 

County Administrator (CA) Conlogue continued his discussion regarding employee sick time; he was asked to return to the July meeting with suggested changes. 

Regarding Section XLIII of the Personnel Policy, CA Conlogue recommended incorporating the Appointed/Exempt Policy into the Personnel Policy and changing the sick time given to acrruals, after further direction and discussion he was asked to present suggested changes at the July CRM. 

Commissioners:

Regarding item 2a, Commissioner Brown stated that his understanding of the agenda item was to discuss expectations of office hours for departments located within the courthouse complex.  Commissioner Blasi read the following statement: "this amendment to the Personnel Policy will basically authorize the County Administrator to charge leave to appointed exempt employees who are not working in their offices during our approved business hours from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m."  CA Conlogue presented the commissioners with an Appointed/Exempt Salaried Employees Core Working Hour’s Policy, the policy included core working hours from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and certain staff should be present during those hours, exceptions were clarified for 24/7 exempt employees.  After further discussion it was agreed that Administrator Conlogue would return to the July meeting with a revised policy. 

Commissioner Joy stated that Hancock County is hosting the MCCA 2015 Convention and requested approval to spend up to $2,000 towards hosting expenses from the Community Benefits account #G3-3025-00.  Commissioner Blasi did not endorse using the proposed account.  After further discussion, the following motion was made: 

MOTION: to approve the expenditure of up to $2,000 towards hosting expenses related to the 2015 MCCA Convention, with funding to come from the Community Benefits Account #G3-3025-00. (Joy/Brown 2-0-1, motion passed, Blasi abstained) Discussion: Commissioner Brown stated that normally he would not approve something like this but he feels obligated to promote Hancock County and this is something that Community Benefit funds can be utilized for.  MCCA is raising their own money through fees and sponsors.  The request for capital expenditure form is required to come before the commissioners for approval. 

CA Conlogue requested approval of the Tri-County Local Workforce Investment Program Transition Agreement.  Commissioner Brown stated that Northern Maine will no longer be the financial advisor; the Chief Local Elected Officials (CLEO’s) decided to use Penobscot County as a flow through.  Penobscot County will be the Fiscal Agent and receive grants, EMDC will be providing the programs.  Commissioner Brown stated that the CLEO's want to combine 5 counties and have a State Workforce Investment Board and that this has been tried before.  Programs will be more business centered rather than the kind of work that is done in Hancock and Aroostook Counties.  Commissioner Brown stated that it is a good arrangement, Penobscot and Piscataquis are meeting today to approve the agreement. 

MOTION: to approve the Tri-County Local Workforce Investment Program Transition Agreement with Penobscot County. (Joy/Blasi, the motion was voted on and adopted later in the meeting) The Term of Agreement was questioned.  Commissioner Joy stated that due to several errors in the document, corrections should be made prior to commissioner approval, he preferred to table the agreement until corrections were made.  Commissioner Blasi preferred to vote to approve the agreement contingent upon amendment and to sign it when received.  The matter was tabled until later in the meeting. 

Office of Financial Affairs: 

CFO Roy discussed a check the amount of $944 for an airport drain back-up that had underlying issues.  After further discussion it was agreed that the bill would be included in the airport warrant but will be held until approved. 

MOTION: to approve May General Fund and Airport Payroll Warrants #15-18, #15-19, #15-20 and #15-21 in the aggregate of $202,536.21. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

MOTION: to approve May General Fund and Airport Expense Warrants #15-24, #15-25, #15-26 and #15-27 in the aggregate of $390,077.90 with the holdout of the ABM check. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion:Commissioner Blasi questioned the expenditure of $105 from account 13-20-005 because the transaction caused an overdraft in the account; Civil Process revenue will account for the overdraft.  This dealt with repair of springs for the pick-up. 

MOTION: to approve May Jail and UT fund Payroll Warrants #15-44, #15-45, #15-46 and #15-47 in the aggregate of $84,740.24. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

MOTION: to approve May Jail and UT Fund Expense Warrants #15-52, #15-53, #15-54 and #15-55 in the aggregate amount of $70,231.65. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed) 

CFO Roy presented financial reports and an update on AR.  A cash flow situation is imminent therefore CFO Roy requested as needed expenditures beginning in July.  UDAL and DHHS funds are being held by the State until July 1, 2015, there is over $1,400 owed to the county from serving papers for DHHS.  Forceful Right of Entry and Detainer paperwork is being filed with the court system on the Montague airplane tie down; a court date may be scheduled for July. 

MOTION: to approve May expenditures in the health account in the amount of $103,982.45. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: there were three check runs in December; 2014 was closed at the end of March 2015.  Commissioner Joy requested the 2014 budget amount, actual cost and the employee contribution paid toward 2014 health insurance and requested that the numbers be presented in a public meeting. 

MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3011-01 in the amount of $793.55 for the purchase of a new computer. (Blasi/  Motion withdrawn; motion failed for lack of 2nd.) Discussion: The commissioners expressed their concern/aggravation with approving this request prior to purchase.  More information was requested prior to approval of this item. 

Commissioner Blasi inquired about the audit report.  CFO Roy stated that the 2014 audit has been completed and is scheduled for presentation in August.  Commissioner Brown stated that end of year capital accounts have not yet been designated and that this should be done prior to the auditors visit.  The commissioners requested an audit report at the July CRM. 

Commissioner Blasi asked the following questions:
1) Does our Trial Balance balance? yes. 2) Have all county checking account statements for the prior month been reconciled, without error? no. 3) Are the "due to/due from" accounts in balance? yes. 4) Do revenue and expense accounts reconcile to the control accounts? no. 

11:52 a.m.: Break for lunch
12:22 p.m.: Back in session 

Airport:

Bid Opening: Main Entrance Sign:

Bangor Neon: $56,450. The bid was given to the airport manager for review and recommendation. 

The airport monthly report included the ARFF after action plan in response to recommendations made by Clemsford EMS and Fire Consultants, the closing of AIP 34 (Design of Terminal Building), the terminal building warranty list as of 5/12/15; Commissioner Blasi questioned if #11 needs to be included and expressed his concern regarding a water leak in/near a light fixture; Commissioner Blasi suggested removing the light due to potential fire hazard.  Cracks in the laminate at the rental counter is an issue; Commissioner Blasi questioned #5, the doors possibly need adjustment but all in all the door is not ideal for the situation and is a constant problem; #6 is a negative indicator for craftsmanship; the AIP 37 expected closeout deadline for the FAA is July 13th. 

Manager Madeira stated that the Town of Trenton has a concern regarding the tipping fee.  The Town of Trenton has voted to stop paying the airports share of the "tipping fee" for any waste associated with the 2 yard dumpster located at the terminal building.  The dumpster has since been removed and returned.  Manager Madeira distributed a spreadsheet noting the cost of the airports pro-rated calculation of the Trenton Tipping Fee.  Commissioner Brown questioned how Selectman Ehrlenbach could have the airport dumpster removed.  Manager Madeira stated that Gott has weighed the airport dumpster and determined at the airport had 160 lbs of dump; an assumption of 200 lbs per week totaled to 20,800 lbs per year.  The Town of Trenton pays by the ton annually, the fee totals $133.75 per ton.  The BHB proration of the town tipping fee is $1,391 annually.  The managers of EMR of Southwest Harbor does not believe that the airport generates 10.4 tons per year.  Pine Tree was contacted but the town would still incur a fee.  Special arrangements can be made with Evergreen and Pine Tree but it was discouraged. 

MOTION: to pay whatever they want down there. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Joy stated that if it were 160lbs the cost would be less.  Commissioner Brown stated that if they want to get paid, let’s pay it.  Commissioner Blasi suggested a timeline for renegotiation; Manager Madeira suggested an interval of 3-years.  Commissioner Brown suggested paying the Tipping Fee from account 40-45-100 Trenton VFD.  Manager Madeira had difficulty supporting the suggestion. 

Manager Madeira requested permission to go out to bid in order to repair Ramp Road, and to fill pot holes between gate 3 and Ramp Road. MOTION: to grant permission to go out to RFP in order to repair Ramp Road and to fill pot holes between gate 3 and Ramp Road. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

Manager Madeira requested permission to go out to bid for a new Airport Truck in June.  Commissioner Brown stated that to the county may be able to purchase the red truck for the UT and/or Maintenance Department.  MOTION: to grant Manager Madeira permission to go out to RFP for a new airport truck and that he get a price to include trade-in and without a trade-in. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) 

Manager Madeira requested permission to go out to bid for a 1,000 gallon diesel storage tank.  MOTION: to grant Manager Madeira permission to use G2-310-35 to go out to bid for that kind of tank. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed) 

Manager Madeira requested pre-approval to spend reserve funds from account G2-2010-35 for the following items: 1. Retread Grader #1 - Estimated cost: $1,700, 2. Purchase a Ditching Bucket - Estimated Cost $1,300 and 3.Purchase Mower Support Wheels - Estimated Cost - $2,200.  The extra wheels were optional at the time of purchase.  MOTION: to approve the expenditures in the total of $5,000 out of account G2-2010-35. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi questioned what would happen if the purchases exceeded the requested cost; Manager Madeira stated that he will keep it under the amount requested. 

Manager Madeira requested pre-approval to spend $8,235 from account G2-3015-10 Network Communications Reserve, payable to Fairpoint Communications in connection with the EDIA Agreement for Fiber Service and specifically in reference to the recent conduit installation across Caruso Drive to the Terminal Building.  This was just installed and once installed the benefit would be incurred immediately.  Commissioner Joy thought that this had already been approved; Manager Madeira will research the issue. 

Manager Madeira discussed the FAA response to Airport Sponsor Federal Obligations in regards to Trenton MOU.  Manager Madeira stated that Selectpersons Starr and Ehrlenbach preferred to encourage the FAA to visit the County in order to discuss their request.  Commissioner Joy stated that he would like to encourage the Town of Trenton to send the $20,000 (Community Benefit Grant Funds) back to the County and that he is done with this project adding that he did not want the airport manager to work another minute on this project.  Commissioner Brown agreed with Commissioner Joy.  Commissioner Blasi stated that this is the majority opinion but he thought the commissioners should try one more time.  Commissioner Brown stated that he did not want to jeopardize airport FAA funds, Commissioner Joy agreed.  Manager Madeira stated that the FAA is very clear in their opinion.  Commissioner Joy stated that if the Town of Trenton wanted to pursue the project it up to them but he did not want the airport manager to spend one more minute on this project. 

Manager Madeira requested permission to overspend account E40-20-005 currently this account has a balance of $9.  The Chevrolet truck will not pass inspection due to an airbag module replacement and a right tire pressure sensor.  MOTION: to allow the over expenditure of account E-40-20-005 to make repairs to the truck prior to it being sold. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) 

Registry of Deeds: 

MOTION: to accept the resignation of full-time Clerk Calla Lane effective April 17, 2015. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Brown questioned why the request for acceptance of the resignation took so long, Register Curtis replied that she was on vacation during the May Commissioners Meeting.  Commissioner Brown stated that Ms. Lane was an excellent employee. 

MOTION: to approve the hire Kathy Zerrien of Franklin as a full-time Clerk, at Step 6C $12.97 per hour, effective June 6, 2015. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: this position was advertised in-house, in the news paper and on the website.  Her experience included data entry, customer service, phone, billing, and law office experience. 

Maintenance: 

Director Walls stated that switching to propane was an excellent move.  A propane report submitted by Director Walls contained cost data as to what we might have paid in oil based on the State rate.  Our total usage of LP was 51,802 gallons compared to 37,297 gallons of oil for a total expenditure from oil of $94,758 compared to $63,922 in propane costs, a savings of approximately $30,000.  Director Walls stated that this was a win, win plus a win because we don’t have the emissions and the tanks do not have to be cleaned this year.  Purchasing our own tanks was also a good move.  The current delivered price is .87¢ per gallon. 

Director Walls requested authorization to go out to RFP for removal and replacement of the sheriff entrance stair set; he was encouraged to look further into the project and make recommendations based on his findings. 

Director Walls recommended Dead River Company as the county propane vendor and added that the county has a history of really wonderful service with No Frills Oil Co.  Commissioner Joy stated that we have the right to reject any and all bids, Dead River Co. also has a service department. 

MOTION: to accept the Dead River bid for propane delivery. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi stated that we have really pried into this and thought we needed to make a decision today.  Director Walls stated that we could wait; Commissioner Brown cautioned waiting due to the price offered.  Delivery will cover the courthouse, airport, jail and Bull Hill facility, the term is for 2 years. 

MOTION: to allow installation of a kitchenette in the District Court Clerk's Office as long as there is no expense to the county. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) 

Sheriff: 

MOTION to approve a transfer of forfeited asset in the amount of $2,456 in the case of State of Maine vs. Sarah Lynn Gardner. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the deposit of the funds will be in the DTF reserve account. 

MOTION: to approve a transfer of forfeited assets in the amount of $508 in the case of State of Maine vs. Gary Reynolds. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

MOTION: to approve the hire of Brian Archer II as a part-time, on call, as needed patrol officer, at the rate of $12 per hour, no benefits, not to exceed 29 hours per week. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

Chief Deputy (CD) Kane presented a draft agreement with the Town of Swan's Island to provide law enforcement service.  Commissioner Brown was concerned with the stipend paid by Swans Island, 42.5 hours per week and associated overtime and stated that the union would need to be notified.  After further discussion CD Kane stated that he will return with an approved agreement by the Town of Swans Island at the June 19th Commissioners Special Meeting. 

Sheriff Kane presented the jail update.  A packet is being compiled for submission to the State for supplemental funding, $58,530 is needed.  Schedule changes have made a big difference.  Inmate medical took a recent hit resulting from a trip to Portland.  The jail will be laying off two corrections officers for the months of June, July and August; these employees have volunteered for the layoff and the move will save approximately $6,000.  Other than food and day to day items, money is not being spent.  The State will be looking at our $84,000 in reserves.  Sheriff Kane will be asking for between $40,000 and $45,000.  The State has not made any money available to Hancock County.  Sheriff Kane did not want to use the reserve funds. 

Emergency legislation will take effect on July 1, 2015.  We will need to make up $100,000 if the emergency legislation goes through.  Sheriff Kane feels that we should be managing our own facility; commissioner Joy stated that we have always managed our own facility.  The state has not mentioned federal boarding funds, we are currently using approximately 90% of Community Corrections Funds for operational needs, Sheriff Kane also suspected that the Tax Cap will be increased.  Our shortfall will come at the end of Fiscal Year 2016.  CFO Roy stated that cash flow wise we may be able to squeak by through June 30, 2015.  $40,000 of reserve funds is designated for the control panel, we will probably run out of budgeted cash during the 3rd week of June.  Commissioner Joy encouraged paying items towards the end of the month after rethinking his statement Commissioner Joy said that we may want to use the capital funds and pay all of our bills in June in order to get a true number.  Commissioner Brown preferred to wait until our last breath prior to spending reserve funds.  Hancock County needs Community Corrections funds in order to operate.  Utilizing reserve funds now hurts us in July and August.  The 2016 jail budget was approved by the BOC.  The majority and minority report is coming out of the legislature; the minority report revises the BOC with a different form of cabinet positions.  The Fowle amendment is DOA.  The majority report contains the ability to cap up to 3% for LD1 but restricts the raising money for boarding out inmates if the state pays the 14 million dollars.  Hancock County could be a receiver of these inmates but different counties are not making a move until the amendment passes.  The LePage report is also going to be pushed through and from what is being heard the 14 million will not go through.  The Thibedeau bill may be pushed through by the governor’s office.  Commission Joy was concerned with the 70/30 CCA formula, stating we need 100% this time and the criteria can be developed later.  The jail operations fund includes CCA funds and allows the commissioner of the DOC to be the disbursing agent, the criteria is still unknown and has to go through rule making.  MCCA is advocating for the 17 million dollars instead of the 14 million dollars, they are supporting the return of the jails to the county.  MCCA has talked about the boarding rates with no cap open, there is no boarding rates.  We have fixed budgets for the next year or two.  Commissioner Joy stated that he believed that MMA will not want the cap opened because that is how we got there in the first place.  If the cap is opened Penobscot County will go ask for 2 million dollars so that they can board inmates.  Commissioner Joy stated that if you put it to a public vote, he did not think it will pass adding that not everyone has the same opinion, our job is to advocate for Hancock County.  Commissioner Joy stated that there are two things to do, ask for more money and cut expenses throughout the building; there are expenses that we are going to have to manage and tax dollars that we are going to have to ask for.   

County Administrator: 

MOTION: to approve the Tri-County Local Workforce Investment Program Transition Agreement with Penobscot county. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

CA Conlogue requested a special meeting to discuss the Swan’s Island LEO contract.  The meeting was scheduled for June 19th at 8:30 a.m.  The meeting will include the Swan’s Island contract, review of the Personnel Policy, and review of the audit. 

CA Conlogue introduced proposed revisions to the Personnel Policy.  The county commissioners retain jurisdiction of hiring, terminations and financials.  Commissioner Blasi stated that in April the commissioners stated their work priorities for the CA.  He would like to see the OFA analysis by the July 7th meeting.  CA Conlogue stated that he was operating under an all inclusive operating plan to include all departments, not just the OFA.  An organizational chart was also requested.  Should the RCC consolidate, Commissioner Joy would like to see the expense and income side in terms of what would be raised in taxation.  Commissioner Brown reiterated curbing spending in July and researching the cost of the SO stair project. 

MOTION: to curb spending and to stop large expenditures over $1,000. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

Respectfully, 

C. DePrenger
Personnel Coordinator

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