COMMISSIONER AGENDAS & MINUTES
COMMISSIONERS SPECIAL MEETING
Commission Chairman, Percy L. Brown Jr., called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, June 29, 2015 in the conference room of the county courthouse located in Ellsworth Maine with Commissioners Joy and Blasi in attendance.
Adjustments to the agenda:
MOTION: to add item 2a, an executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6a, to discuss an ongoing legal matter. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
County Administrator (CA) Conlogue stated that we are down to the final two days of the fiscal year and vocalized the need to meet jail payroll for the weeks of July 2nd and July 9th, 2015. The approximate amount of cash available for the two payrolls after the control panel encumbrance is $36,673; the estimated amount of funds needed to meet the payrolls is between $35,000 and $36,000. Payroll for July 2nd is anticipated to be approximately $25,000 and $11,000 is anticipated in payroll costs for July 9th, he requested to “allow us to use the remaining monies in the reserve after the encumbrance for the panel, for the purposes of payroll for the next two periods and that we also withhold any payables or encumbrances for payment until after July 1st when you get the $139,000 monthly allocation from the local tax monies.”
A warrant last week was for $16,551.30 in payables, when adding in the encumbered bills in the amount of $27,336.13 and the panel encumbrance in the amount of $47,919, total bills as of June 29th amount to $91,806.43; the only other offset will occur in July with an anticipated reimbursement in the amount of $12,000 for Federal Prisoners. JA Richardson stated that a re-calculation estimates we should not receive $19,000; this will be used in fiscal 15 budget to offset cost. Administrator Conlogue requested to use the balance of the reserve funds for the panel and the remainder for meeting payroll expenses for this week and next.
Commissioner Brown questioned, given the July 1st cutoff date, how much more revenue could we expect for this year; the answer was none; revenue sources have been worked on already. Commissioner Joy questioned the amount of CCA funds that are expected around mid-July, the amount was approximately $189,000. Commissioner Brown questioned if the county should be getting the same amount of CCA funds even though the new bill has been approved. JA Richardson stated that Hancock County should be receiving $266,000 and $187,000 from the Department of Corrections. It was mentioned that Jonathan LaBonte has stated that the counties may “just get” the 80%, the remaining 20% will/may be scrutinized.
Commissioner Joy expressed his concern regarding the $84,592 listed in reserve funds compared to the checkbook amount of $73,000. He requested that the $11,000 difference be researched as this is an outstanding question. JA Richardson questioned how the $84,592 grew by $1,100 over the past month. Commissioner Joy stated that if we applied the $139,000 on July 1st we could cover the payroll and added that he would rather see us take a loan from the Community Benefit Fund in the amount of $49,000 for one month and pay it in a month; he did not want to expend reserve funds because we will not get them back. Community Benefit Funds could also be repaid with interest. Commissioner Joy stated that capital funds should not be used towards operations and there may be questions of whether we can use Community Benefits funds for this purpose; we are the ones paying the $139,000 to ourselves. Commissioner Blasi stated that he had requested further information on December 30, 2014 regarding the jail reserve account and didn’t receive it; this will influence his decision today. Commissioner Joy checked with Deputy Treasurer Atwater to make sure the cash on hand balance was $73,000; she stated that it was.
Commissioner Brown did not agree with Commissioner Joys request to take a loan out of the Community Benefit Funds; he stated that jail funds must be segregated and if we end up suing the State to get the money for this it may weaken our case, he questioned going outside to obtain the money adding that it doesn’t come from the tax payers but once it is in our accounts it is tax payer money, it may weaken our case and may be looked upon as illegal given some of the recent actions of the State. Commissioner Brown stated that he does not want to take funds from reserves but is willing to do so to make payroll. Commissioner Joy stated that he also thought that denying the request for the panel by the State was illegal also; we are going to have to go to the taxpayers if something goes wrong with the jail; as long as the paperwork is correct and kept track of what has been done, he though it could be done. Commissioner Joy added that taxpayers will not have spent any more money either way. Commissioner Brown still believed that it was illegal and stated that he will be suing the state; he stressed that he did not want to spend reserve funds but we have to make payroll. Commissioner Joy stated that it would be okay if we funded the $139,000 on July 1st. It was explained that the $139,000 is the monthly disbursement to the jail of tax dollars.
MOTION: to take the money for the July 2nd payroll out of the jail reserve. (Brown/ Blasi 2-1, motion passed, Joy opposed) Discussion: Commissioner Joy verbalized that, in his opinion, this weakens our case more so than strengthens it. Commissioner Blasi stated that he did not plan to sue the State and requested an explanation of a $32,000 medical bill. JA Richardson explained that he did not have access to protected health insurance information and therefore could not give Commissioner Blasi an explanation. Commissioner Blasi stated that he thought it was ludicrous that they (the parties) could not have some kind of paper trail with no information on it but just a vendor and a quoted price for the service that we can see. Commissioner Joy stated that would like to have seen someone talk to Meritain about holding off on issuing a check prior to cutting the check for this expense.
CA Conlogue stated that the motion did not include the July 9th payroll. Commissioner Brown stated that he meant that all of prior year payroll would be paid with reserve funds. CA Conlogue explained that part of the July 9th payroll is included in FY15 payroll. This is a common accounting practice. The amount needed would be less than the $36,000 and the remainder would go back into the reserve account. CA Conlogue stated that the $19,000 from Federal Prisoners could be applied back into the FY15 year and the remainder would be applied back to the reserve account.
MOTION ADDENDUM: to cover half the payroll on July 9th. (Brown/Blasi 2-1, motion passed Joy opposed) Discussion: CA Conlogue explained the payroll weeks.
Commissioner Joy requested that someone try to figure out where the $11,000 reserve account difference is for the July CRM and asked if there were other capital accounts from 2013 or 2014 that are unaccounted for that might make up the $11,000.
MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA 30-A, Title 1, §405 6a to discuss an ongoing legal matter. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Brown called the meeting back into regular session at 9:33 a.m. with nothing to report.
MOTION: to adjourn. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)