COMMISSIONER AGENDAS & MINUTES
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, July 7, 2015 in the conference room of the county courthouse located in Ellsworth, Maine with Commissioners Joy and Blasi in attendance.
Adjustments to the agenda:
There were no adjustments to the agenda during the beginning of the meeting; an emergent adjust occurred after lunch break.
MOTION to approve the minutes of the June 2, 2015 commissioners' regular meeting and June 19, 2015 and June 29, 2015 Commissioners Special Meetings. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
County Administrator (CA) Conlogue presented an amendment to the Personnel Policy under Section XV Leaves, §2, Sick Leave. CA Conlogue stated that the new items are in red and the updates are in green. Page 26 2B(1) states that any need to use sick leave must be approved by the supervisor. At the top of the page under 2A, weekly increments accrue the earned time starting with the first week of employment. A max of 90 days (720 hrs) and unused balances are carried forward into the next calendar year. Commissioner Brown said that the policy does not state this and Commissioner Joy said that there is no more accumulation past the 90 days. Commissioner Joy stated that sick time needs to be approved by the supervisor even by email or phone if the supervisor is not available. In item 2B(3), and employee will have the amount of sick time used deducted in quarter hour increments. A discussion followed regarding the 7/8 minute rule. When an employee arrives 7 minutes early, their time is rounded to the nearest 15 minutes going forward; when an arrives 8 minutes early, their time is rounded to the nearest 15 minutes going backward; for example if an employee left at 7 minutes to 4 their time would be rounded to 4:00. Personnel Coordinator DePrenger clarified that the 7/8 minute rule has been utilized consistently for several years prior to the utilization of Time Trak. Employees who are not required to punch in/out are also obligated to report their sick time used to their supervisor.
Under F, employees must have a doctor’s certificate if the employee is out sick longer than 3 days; discussion followed allowing the department head to ask for a doctor’s note for any length of sick time use. Commissioner Brown was concerned with the use of the word “habitual” and asked that it be changed; upon further discussion the work habitual was deleted. CA Conlogue will bring the proposal back to the commissioners at a later date.
CA Conlogue requested the inclusion of the Appointed/Exempt Employee Policy in the Personnel Policy under Section XLIII; a discussion followed regarding maximum accruals for all employees. CA Conlogue was asked to research accrual maximums for all employees and report his findings. CA Conlogue introduced language that would allow appointed/exempt staff to carry forward 20 vacation days as an alternate idea. Current policy for vacation time (for appointed/exempt employees) is use it or lose it. Commissioner Brown asked about retirement and employee separation – the revision included an “up to 20 days pay out”. CA Conlogue stated that this is not current practice. The changes to the current policy are mostly the items that are already in practice. The Appointed/Exempt Policy has been revised three times over the last few years and now we are trying to keep the same language as the new policies are added and the old policy is amended or changed or deleted. More discussion is needed as this policy is still in the “reworking” stages. Commissioner Blasi asked if the other commissioners were okay with the changes thus far – Commissioner Joy said this still needs work and he is not ready to approve any changes or amendments. Commissioner Brown agreed that this policy is not complete and still needs work, he also wanted to know the fiscal impact of the proposed changes with regard to vacation time buyout. There should be another special meeting to address these changes; nothing was approved today.
MOTION: to table the amendments to the Personnel Policy and to schedule a special meeting for July 17, 2015 at 8:15am to further discuss the revisions and additions to the Personnel Policy. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
The courthouse is open at 8am to 4pm Monday through Friday but there are 3 offices that operate from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm. There are also departments that operate 24/7. Upon further review, it was found that the proposed Core Hours Policy only affects three employees: the CA, the Personnel Director and the Deputy Treasurer. Discussion followed regarding the difference in courthouse hours and departmental operational business hours. Questions were raised such as can you register a deed or probate a will at 7:30 am? Are employees ready to work and serve the public at 7:30 am or is that their report to work time and the public is served after 7:30 am? Commissioner Brown asked if the DA wanted to have the office open 8am to 5pm would the employees be asked to work those hours. He was not aware that the hours for that office had been changed to 7:30 am to 4pm. Commissioners Blasi and Brown asked that these issues be addressed at another meeting as there is no time to do this today. Courthouse hours can be found in the Management & Procedural Policy and in the Personnel Policy. Commissioner Joy stated that the core working hours should be the same as the regular office hours. Commissioner Brown questioned if the courthouse was open for business before 8am and asked if there is a policy in writing for this? CA Conlogue stated that the offices are open at 7:30 and the Registries are open to the public at that time (maybe not for copying or recording documents). The courthouse is locked at 4pm. CA Conlogue questioned the need for this policy if the three individuals affected are already in operation at 7:30 a.m.
Regarding proposed General Reserves accounts, Commissioner Brown wanted to understand the usage of Undesignated Funds from CFO Roy’s report of 12/31/14. According to the 2014 Audit the balance in Undesignated Funds is $24,599; the question was whether to apply the funds to a Capital Account or leave them as Undesignated Funds. CA Conlogue stated the he and CFO Roy first discussed proposed capital accounts in March 2015 – he was looking to move $41,000 into 10 or 11 accounts. $310,000 was proposed to be moved but that actually was in this year 2015. In the previous year (2014), only $55,000 was used so there is really $145,000 to the good that was not to be used. The projected balance was $142,000 but the report was inaccurate as the figure was for the upcoming year and was not real. The Auditor will go over this later when she presents the final report today. Commissioner Blasi asked if the GASB rules have been violated as we don’t have the required minimum amount of $100,000 set aside for undesignated funds as we have often been previously told. CA Conlogue stated that he asked the Auditor if this was correct and again, she will explain this later as well. Commissioner Blasi stated that it was his understanding that only when all the municipal assessments are received (the revenues are in) do we look that good – otherwise we have more on paper in reserves than we do in the Bank. He added that if this is correct, just leave the $24,000 alone and not use it up. Commissioner Brown reminded the group that we have spent a lot of money on the building this year and he is not concerned the dollar amount is so low- it is what it is and that is OK. We can just move it into next year or establish a fluid account. Commissioner Joy does not want to designate it and Commissioner Brown asked how long do we have to just leave it alone? Commissioner Blasi also stated there is still $100,000 in contingency that does not have to be spent. The commissioners agreed they just want to leave it alone for now. Commissioner Brown reminded us this is now July and we need to start the “belt tightening” as budget season is coming up very soon.
2014 County Audit Presentation:
Auditor Kathy Tyson of Runyon Kersteen Ouellette began with the statement that last year they (Runyon, Kersteen & Ouellette) had presented all three entities (Unorganized Territories, Jail & County) but this year is only one to present at this time (County). The UT and Jail will be done later this year. The field work was done in early April of this year and the audit team was here for an entire week. May 15th, the draft reports were issued and the final reports were sent to the CFO on June 12th. Commissioner Blasi asked it the reports were sent to the State Dept of Audit at the same time and Auditor Tyson responded that “Yes, they were”. The time frame of the audit was much quicker than in previous years and Auditor Tyson was very appreciative of the team effort. The reports she presented were the Financial Statements and the Opinions of the Auditor. The single audit report is under A133 which controls what needs to be followed. The Management Letter and Communication Letter are also included. There were only 2 audit findings: one finding was with the Airport AIP project and the other finding was the SEFA (schedule of expenditures of federal awards) letter for the FAA. Davis Bacon was not fully complied with (federal funds projects must pay federal wages). The Airport had no problems in following the laws, but the timeframe that it took to be documented and submitted was late. It should be done monthly or quarterly but certainly not at the time of the audit. The engineering company is responsible for this filing. Commissioner Blasi asked about the A133 report – who is responsible for filing?? It is both the Auditor and the County’s responsibility and last year (for 2013) it was submitted too late in October. We are way ahead of it for this year (2014). There are no financial ramifications for this finding and as for the Davis Bacon finding, there is no violation by Hoyle Tanner, other than it was late. This just means that we will be followed more closely we are now a “high risk”. Commissioner Brown stated that the County was in violation for any of the findings, just “written up” on these two circumstances. Auditor Tyson also stated that the difference between a material weakness and a significant deficiency is that a significant deficiency causes the financial statement to be “misstated”. The County has no material weaknesses but there are two items that could be seen as significant deficiencies. But, because of the Internal Controls set within the OFA, they are minor. Commissioner Blasi asked Auditor Tyson if there is any steps the OFA could take to better the internal controls and she replied there could be more audit prep done but the County would have to consider a “cost benefit analysis” of using employee time to prepare. In the Management Letter, it is preferred by the “profession” that the preparing for the audit and adjustments should be done by the employees of the County. The Auditor would then only be doing the year end monitoring. This will account for doing less year end journal entries in order for the Auditor to close out the books. The yearend trial balance is entered into the Auditors system and they go from there with NO MORE ENTRIES coming from our Office. There were only 7 entries for this year with a total of 17 subentries which is broken down by the auditor client or client entries. The amount this year was minor compared to last year which was 33 and should not be of any concern. Commissioner Blasi asked about the repeated journal entries between two different inter-funds (01 & 02 and 02 & 05, for example). Auditor Tyson stated that these transactions are OK because they are technically the same “fund” (Airport revenue) but are two separate accounts (funds). The due to/from accounting system is used in this way as the money is deposited to one account but needed in the other account for expenditures.
Another comment from Auditor Tyson came about the Restitution Account that is held in the DA’s office - it should be a part of the County audit but at this time, it is not held in our office and we have no control over it. If the DA’s office wants to keep it, it should not be in the County’s Federal ID# (but in the DA’s Federal ID# through the State). There must be a decision as to who will be responsible for the money coming & going out of the account but if something goes awry, at this time, the County could be held responsible. Commissioner Joy stated that it is not tax related funds for the County, the DA’s office should really check with the State as to how it should be managed.
The final comment from Auditor Tyson was that the County is getting better at keeping track of the ARs and the funds that are in those accounts. The only other finding was in reference to prior journal entries into older ARs from the prior years.
The Letter of Communication stated that basically the County had no issues with the Auditor while they were here in our Office and that there was no accounting program issues that they needed to address.
Finally, Auditor Tyson passed out papers that represented were the final numbers for the financial results. Exhibit A on page 27 & 28 shows the actual changes in the accounts and the same information in regards to GAAP practices. The bottom of Exhibit A has the change in the reserve accounts of $187,000 – schedule 1 shows the committed fund balance and then where they ended. The handout shows the “ins & outs” for the reserves for the Commissioners to review. The account # and the beginning balance, activity of $337,000 & ending balances are shown on this handout. Revenues & expenditures are “tested” by the Auditor and those are also listed. Commissioner Blasi noted it does not show the contingency account and Auditor Tyson stated that was done on purpose. It does exist at $100,000. Statement 4 shows the fund balance in the General Fund is derived from the fact that revenues have always exceeded spending. On Page 8, the General Fund went down $222,000 with the remainder left in the reserves as the $187,000. All the other components are listed as unassigned, the contingency of $100,000 and the reserves & non spendable account. The net, net, net correction for the prior period adjustment (not this year) was $55,218 but it needs to be reflected in this manner so the total is correct- the revenues that came in was over what was expended (at the bottom of page 28). If everything had gone according to budget, there would have been a surplus of $222,000. The County has a surplus of money that was already on the books. The $24,599 unassigned amount and the $100,000 contingency amount leaves a very “skinny number” to use in an emergency, but the best news is that there is $3,600,000 in reserve accounts that the Commissioners mostly have control over. Commissioner Blasi asked where the overdraft of line items come into play and Auditor Tyson said that the revenue and expenditure lines always go up or down and anything that exceeds the budget line has to be listed as a footnote as long as the bottom line is not overspent. Commissioner Blasi asked if there is any way the OFA can measure the ongoing fund balance before the yearend. Auditor Tyson did not think it was a very wise use of personnel time to try and figure out what is still left as the AP and AR are not totaled until the end of the year and there is no magical way to know where exactly you are. Commissioner Brown stated that the monthly TRIO reports are pretty accurate on the % of what money is still left in the Budget. Commissioner Blasi questioned if the report is “real” because it does not show all the money we have. Auditor Tyson said there is no snapshot report at any time during the year. It is more important to realize that the yearend figures are accurate and this is the money you really have left over to do what you want with. Commissioners Joy & Brown stated that the TRIO reports are “real” and shows what has been spent out of each budget line. Commissioner Blasi was more concerned about what was remaining in the capital accounts. Auditor Tyson stated that the reports the Commissioner get monthly are “pretty good” for keeping them up to date as to where they stand at this time of the year. Another simplified approach would be to see if we really needed all the separate reserve accounts. Commissioner Blasi asked if GASB required a minimum dollar amount to be kept in these accounts and Auditor Tyson stated there is nothing specified but the County should follow other accounting agencies (Moody or Standard/Poors) in order to keep a couple of months in reserve. We are OK with all we have in undesignated and contingency funds. Audits and handouts are available for the public and any further questions for the Auditor can be addressed to her. Commissioners Brown, Blasi and Joy thanked her for the time she spent at the meeting today.
Airport Bid Opening: 4-WD Pickup Truck
No bids were received.
Airport Manager Brad Madeira arrived at 10:15 a.m. and stated that he was just handed three bids for the airport pick-up truck that were received after the bid deadline. Discussion followed regarding moving forward with the bid opening or rebidding the purchase. Commissioner Blasi made a motion to re-advertise (it was not seconded); Commissioner Brown stated that he did not think it needed to be re-advertised and that the bids could be resubmitted. Commissioner Joy stated that if we are asking for a resubmission, not everyone gets the chance to bid; he preferred to re-advertise the bid. The company that submitted the three bids will be notified.
MOTION: that we re-advertise for the truck for the airport and give the airport manager the leeway to put a bid deadline. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion; Commissioner Joy stated that if Manager Madeira wanted to contact the original bidder, we would need a letter that says “that’s still my bid, just so that at least we have something that designates that it’s their new bid.”
Break at 10:22
Back at 10:35
MOTION: to appoint Vanessa Young to the Board for a three year term. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to eliminate the current organizational structure of the OFA and ask the administrator to look at the reassignment of duties in that office. (Joy/Brown 2-0-1, motion passed, Blasi abstained) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi stated that the CFO position should be removed from the chart, for the prospect of the reorganization that the administrator is now undergoing. Commissioner Joy stated that, for him, the first step is to remove the current structure and then have the administrator look into reassignment of duties and added that the title itself, in his opinion, does not make any difference as the statue states who will report to the commissioners.
Update on the Commissioners' priorities for the County Administrator:
Commissioner Blasi stated that in April, he asked for quarterly reports form the CA-this is the first month of the quarter. CA Conlogue stated that he placed a packet in the commissioners’ books regarding their goals and his response to the individual items. (A copy is available, upon request, in the County Administrator’s office) Commissioner Brown stated the he and CA Conlogue meet weekly on Thursdays to discuss emergent items, the jail & State of Maine issues, and any other changes ongoing within the County. Commissioner Blasi stated that he and CA Conlogue have been working on a County wide capital improvement plan and projects that will be further into the future. Commissioner Brown reminded us that with the ongoing changes in the RCC, County wide capital investments is very important. Commissioner Blasi stated that going forward he has another priority, a County Wide Capital Improvement Plan; he would like the CA to perform a formal systematic study which may take several months (fiscal plans) that he believes could include the jail. This is similar to the 5-Year Plan but can change from year to year according to CA Conlogue. The plan would include everything from cruiser purchases to roof repair. Commissioner Brown stated that it is very important to have a plan for the Sheriff’s Department and RCC due to potential large expenses down the road. It was clarified that the intention was a County Courthouse (County Government) Wide Capital Improvements Plan, not a “County Wide” plan. Commissioner Blasi was looking at a broader perspective, or an expansion over the 5-Year Plan. CA Conlogue stated that capital projects would be listed in the budget process for that particular year.
Commissioner Joy stated that whether it is the Commissioner’s Office, the Registry of Deeds or Registry of Probate they physically need a place to store documents; it does not necessarily need to be here due to digitalization of records; this is a project for the future. Commissioner Brown suggested talking with department heads about the idea in order to form a 5-Year Plan in their department(s).
Tax Appeal Hearings for Beverly N. Woodcock vs. Town of Hancock and the John A. Woodcock Family Trust vs. Town of Hancock were scheduled for July 24, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. Commissioner Blasi declared a conflict as an elected employee because he is a Planning Board Member for the Town of Hancock. He stated that he will “show up” if it were part of a Regular Meeting but not vote. Commissioner Joy questioned if Commissioner Blasi thought he was biased because he was a member of the Planning Board. Commissioner Blasi stated that he was an employee of the Town as he is paid to be on the Planning Board. Commissioner Joy will need to leave by 11:30 a.m. on July 24th.
Office of Financial Affairs:
MOTION: to approve June General Fund and Airport Payroll Warrants #15-22, #15-23, #15-24 and #15-25 in the aggregate of $207,229.12. (Joy/ Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve June General Fund and Airport Expense Warrants #15-28, #15-29, #15-30 and #15-31 in the aggregate of $416,248.25. (Joy/ Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve June Jail and UT Fund Payroll Warrants #15-48, #15-49, #15-50 and #15-51 in the aggregate of $87,559.70. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve June Jail and UT Fund Expense Warrants #15-56, #15-57, #15-58, #15-59, #15-60 and #15-61 in the aggregate of $117,494.67. (Joy/ Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Deputy Treasurer Atwater presented the financial reports and an update on the AR. Questions were asked about the Municipal amounts owed to the RCC/911 and amounts due from several towns; they are current and not overdue. The Registry of Probate has a couple of attorneys who owe fees that are past 120 days. The Airport has one customer who is passed due on his rent and Steve Montague is being taken to court for unpaid rent. There is $720 for Atlantic Landscape that Deputy Treasurer Atwater will research. Commissioner Blasi asked the four questions suggested by the Auditor about the General Ledger (GL) being in balance, the bank statements reconciled, the due to/from accounts in balance and the revenue & expense accounts reconciled – Yes, to all of the above.
MOTION: to approve June expenditures in the health account in the amount of $117,001.90. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve request for expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3014-90 in the amount of $251.47 for the purchase of propane for the North Tower. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve request for expenditure from capital reserve account G2-3030-20 in the amount of $354.11 for the Local Share of the Runyon Kersteen Ouellette Invoice #31034 for the A-133 Audit (AIP 37 Proration). (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Airport Manager Madeira explained this is the amount due from the proration of the AIP37 project (Local Share) only.
MOTION: to approve request for expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3014-40 in the amount of $1,919.95 for the purchase of three file cabinets. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Lunch break 11:59
Back to meeting 12:31
Adjustments to the agenda on an emergent item:
MOTION: to add executive session under MRSA Title 1 405 (6)(a): to discuss personnel matter under New Business. (Joy/Brown 2-0-1, motion passed, Blasi abstained)
Manager Madeira requested approval for the chairman to sign the MDOT Agreement regarding Interpretive Sign Panel installation at the airport. A clause was added to the contract that states the airport would not be responsible for the replacement, repair and/or vandalism but the maintenance (cleaning off the signs) will be our responsibility. Manager Madeira explained that the State was looking at various locations to have Way Finding signs which is part of a trail that begins in Ellsworth and loops around the Island.
MOTION: to grant approval for the chairman to sign the MDOT Agreement regarding Interpretive Sign Panels installed at the airport. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi stated that addition of the signs are puzzling to him but one way to look at it is that it’s good public relations. Manager Madeira stated that the reason why he entertained the idea is because the airport is so significant to the tourism market; the information on the panels will consist predominantly of the history of the airport. The panel located at the Sea Plane Ramp will provide the history of the Ramp especially during World War II.
Manager Madeira requested signatures for the Notice of Award to Bangor Neon for the fabrication of the new entrance sign at the airport, pending approval from the Town of Trenton. Installation will be prior to the end of the summer. The airport will have the ability to make changes to the sign from any location using software and a keyboard.
MOTION: to grant approval for the chairman to sign the Notice of Award to Bangor Neon for the fabrication of a new sign to be installed at the airport. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the Notice of Award of Contract to Axtell's Inc. in connection with the 2015 Pavement Maintenance Project (AIP #40) (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: This contract will cover the entire area of the Airport except three small areas (he showed the Commissioner on the wall map) and will include crack filling, recoating, etc.). The last time this type of maintenance was done was before Mgr. Madeira was hired, maybe 8-10 years ago.
MOTION: to pre-authorize the chairman to sign the contract with Axtell's Inc. for $597,935 for the 2015 Pavement maintenance Project (AIP #40) (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: this entire project is $597,935; grant funding allowed for $590,150 of which the FAA is responsible for $560,642, MDOT is paying $14,753 and the airport will pay $22,538 from account E40-50-620. The signed preauthorization will be forwarded to Hoyle Tanner and they will issue the actual contract to Axtell Inc.
Commissioner Blasi started off by asking UT Supervisor Billings about the depreciation of the Bull Hill project which involves the Federal Production Tax Credit that is nontransferable to the development’s second owner. In the initial TIF Agreement for Bull Hill, there is a mil rate factor of 5.92 for entire 30 years with no depreciation until after the 4th year. Maine Revenue Services has revised the agreement: a 5% depreciation for the first 13 years to get it down to 30% and then it will bottom out for the remainder of the project. There is also a functional obsolescence factor of 10% in the 1st year, 20% in the 2nd year and this year we are moving into (the 3rd year), and it will go to 30% and will remain at 30% for at least the next 10 years. This will make the entire revenue from the project come in at 42% of what was initially estimated (which was a ball park estimate in the first place). Commissioner Blasi asked if all these formulas are in the TIF Agreement. No, they are not as these guideline are set by the State of Maine Revenue Service. Commissioner Joy asked if because this wind project was the 4th or 5th already in place within the State, that First Wind would have already known about the depreciation schedules set by Maine Revenue Service. The agreement could have been written correctly. Maybe we should send a copy of the Agreement to Eric Stumpfel to have his opinion of what First Wind could have known, should have known and or did they know and we were misled. Commissioner Blasi agreed.
MOTION: to approve the agreements with the City of Ellsworth for Fletcher’s Landing Townships use of the Ellsworth Transfer Station and Townships 10, 22, 28, 32 & 34 use of the Ellsworth Transfer Station. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
UT Supervisor Billings stated that the summer roads are the worst roads in the area. He is asking to have money to mill, grind and grade the roads so they are passable and keep them maintained for now. Further on down the road, we will need to look at what is going to happen with the Back Road, across to the bridge and into Lower Lead Mountain Pond; it has not been maintained and the trees are growing in; it is a short section of road out onto Route 9 and in the next 20 years, how much money do we want to spend to keep it open? When you replace a bridge, there is much more money involved than just replacing a culvert but the road would become shut off and residents would have to use the other road (with no bridge.) Commissioners asked why we can’t just let the road deteriorate and post it with signs that the bridge will be closed in the far future. MDOT does inspect the bridge but UT Supervisor Billings does not know how often but in 10 yrs, it may need work. Commissioner Blasi asked what the MDOT is speaking about when referring to “the guardrails & cables on the bridge have failed”. UT Supervisor Billings will investigate the MDOT report and get answers to that report.
Director Walls requested authorization for a single vendor to provide Aluminum Stair Treads for the sheriff’s entrance. The maintenance department has already cut out the old crumbling steps. The treads will be purchased for $3,500 and will be installed by maintenance personal so no extra labor is involved.
MOTION: to purchase aluminum stair treads for the sheriff’s entrance. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed).
Director Walls requested a onetime payment of $3,041 to purchase the propane fuel tanks from No Frills of Hancock ME, to be paid from account #G3-3011-00. We will own the large jail tank, the 2 tanks at Bull Hill and two tanks at the DA’s office (we will get a credit of $400 for the other 2 tanks). We will be getting our propane from Dead River but the tanks belong to No Frills Oil. Commissioner Brown does not want to use money from the capital reserves as we don’t know what the upcoming year will bring. He would prefer to use the funds that are already set aside in the regular fuel expense account# E06-15-150. Commissioner Brown asked why the 2 tanks at Bull Hill weren’t charged to the UT and that is something to consider. We should not use the General Fund for the purchase of all four tanks. The County can pay for all four but the UT would reimburse the two at Bull Hill.
MOTION: to approve a onetime payment of $3,300 to purchase propane fuel tanks from No Frills of Hancock ME, to be paid from account #E06-15-150. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Director Wellman requested approval for the commissioners to sign the updated contract with the State OIT for Cadillac Mountain. The contract has been upgraded for 20 years by the State of Maine as we are “co-located” with them. The only change is the frequency of payment from quarterly instead of monthly.
MOTION: to sign the updated contract with the State OIT for Cadillac Mountain. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Regarding the Jail, Sheriff Kane and Admin Richardson stated that we are still under the previous Legislation with the State of Maine - $12.2 million opposed to the $14.6 million MSA budget is the word from Augusta. The County is now floating the Jail until the State makes a decision and the Governor signs the bill. Commissioner Joy asked about the actuals – we over spent $113,966 but we have an increase in revenue of $15,225 with the June payment (Federal Board) of $18,753 coming in mid-July. We are $80,000 in the hole like CFO Roy had projected and the Sheriff had thought. The employee medical account was the part of the budget that we had no control over. The reserve funds from the Jail covered this deficit and paid the bills that are still due. The payroll for the end of June has been covered in this past fiscal year figures. Administrator Richardson wants to be able to run his own jail without the State but we need the Jail Board revenue. The money follows the inmate so wherever he/she goes, the revenue will follow. Options are out there for a food service and how can we try to control the employee medical. Sheriff Kane will be working in the upcoming weeks to deal with these issues. A payment of $108/day per inmate is the allowed board rate that we can charge but there is a freeze on all expenses except the utilities, food and payroll expenses. The employee medical line is the line that absolutely crucified this budget but if there is something else the jail can control, it will be done. Administrator Richardson wants to talk with Washington, Penobscot, Piscataquis and Aroostook Counties to see if we can come to a common board dollar amount. Of course, the budget for 2015/16 is beyond our control but we can look into the future to see if we can negotiate what we can get. We are living day to day and we will just see what comes from the Governor’s office in the next few weeks.
Jail Administrator (JA) Richardson requested permission to place Corrections Officer Matthew Saucier Gilbert at Step 9C on the union pay scale due to completion of Level C training as a full-time officer. We don’t have the funds for post academy training and if the officer is already trained, he should start at the higher rate. Currently, Step 9A is $14.84 and $15.75 is Step 9C. After a year of employment, the County gave him the training that they need and we pay for.
MOTION: to approve the placement of Corrections Officer Matthew Saucier Gilbert at Step 9C on the union pay scale due to completion of Level C training as a full-time officer. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi asked what is budgeted for the upcoming year and JA Richardson said the step increase is already budgeted for.
MOTION: to approve the hire of Jonathan Mahon of Ellsworth as a part-time, on call, as needed patrol deputy at the rate of $12.50 per hour, effective July 11, 2015. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to grant a onetime waiver to initiate health insurance coverage for a new hire, effective August 1, 2015. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion failed) Discussion: Commissioner Joy wanted to change his hire date back to June 22, 2015 so that his policy will start August 1st
MOTION: to approve the hire of Eric McLaughlin effective June 22, 2015. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Sheriff Kane stated that they have been working diligently to make Civil Process revenue neutral; with the work that Major Bishop has been doing they have hours available for the Civil Process Secretary to perform Q & A work for the RCC; he asked for permission to share this employee with the RCC. Commissioner Blasi stated that he did not want to approve this as a permanent arrangement, he would like it to be invertible; Sheriff Kane stated that he will reassess the arrangement when compiling his annual budget.
RCC Director Wellman stated that previously she was approved for someone in this position at $13/hour, it was not easy to fill this as a part time position. Commissioner Brown asked where the OT would come from, as she already works at the Civil Process rate of pay. The discussion needs to be worked out in regards to the OT – she will only work 40 hrs per week and if she is dispatching for the RCC, she can collect OT at her time and a half rate. CA Conlogue stated that he would rather see this type of qualified employee work between two departments instead of hiring someone that does not have the training. Commissioner Joy asked about the current PT position that is in the budget and only 4hrs per week at this time is used. The RCC needs a more trained employee in order to be in compliance with EMD. Commissioner Joy & RCC Wellman discussed the union contract that she is currently covered under and what her legal obligations will be when this change occurs. The RCC wants her for 10 hrs per week and she would continue to work 30hrs for the SO. Anything beyond that would be OT as a dispatcher. Her rate of pay ($15.95 Civil and $17.72 RCC rate) would be reflected in what position she was working for at the time of OT. Commissioner Brown made it clear that the only way he would go along with this is if the overtime was monitored closely. He did not want this to drive up the overtime in the RCC.
MOTION: to allow the RCC and Sheriff’s Department to share an employee; that employee cannot be used for more than 10 hours per week in the RCC, to be paid at the Civil rate. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Overtime was discussed. Commissioner Joy stated that this may be the best way to have a qualified person. Commissioner Brown asked if this was going to be covered in writing under an MOU. Director Wellman stated that she could make that happen with commissioner permission to speak to the union. Commissioner Brown was not sure that he wanted to do that. This was not done the last time this was done. Commissioner Blasi added that the arrangement was subject to periodic/monthly (financial) evaluation by the two department heads.
Sheriff Kane requested approval of MOU for Cadillac Mountain Co-Location Agreement between State of Maine and Hancock County Sheriff’s Department. The tower is open for the SO to use until October but there is no equipment up there. Bar Harbor and Mt Desert are willing to buy the needed equipment (see next motion) and SO can use the equipment as well but we will maintain the equipment.
Sheriff Kane requested approval of an MOU between the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department and the Towns of Mount Desert and Bar Harbor for permission to use radio frequencies associated with the transmitter located on Cadillac Mountain.
MOTION: to accept the MOUs. (Joy/ Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi questioned the intertwining of the two agreements. Sheriff Kane explained that they are two separate agreements, one is with the Sheriff’s Department and the State of Maine to use the tower, the other is between the Sheriff’s Department and the Towns of Mount Desert and Bar Harbor to add equipment. Commissioner Blasi stated that the MOU between the State of Maine and the Sheriff’s Department contained a maintenance protocol that the Sheriff maintains. Sheriff Kane stated that the maintenance will be assumed by Mount Desert and Bar Harbor.
MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 § 405 (6)(a) to discuss a personnel matter. (Joy/Brown 2-0-1, motion passed, Blasi abstained)
Commissioner Brown called the meeting back into regular session with nothing to report.
CA Conlogue requested signatures for the Flexible Benefit Plan amendment(s) required to meet ACA compliance. Group Dynamics administers our 125 Cafeteria Plan as Acadia Benefits does not offer this service. The changes that need to be authorized are: if an employee’s hours fall below 30, this plan can be utilized in order to keep their benefits with the County; election for coverage under Major Medical has time frame changes and spousal changes. This notification was amended January 1st, 2015 but we are just receiving it now. Commissioner Joy asked what we pay them ($500 a year) and this is the updated the qualifying document that needs to be signed to keep us in compliance.
MOTION: to sign the Actions Taken and Resolutions Adopted by the County of Hancock regarding the Flexible Benefit Plan amendment(s) required to meet ACA compliance (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
CA Conlogue also presented an analysis of the OFA with regards to meeting with Commissioner Blasi and his prior requests: 1) that the Deputy Treasurer should become the PHI and become familiar with the medical spreadsheet & the healthcare vendors, 2) that the Deputy Treasurer should remind the Department Heads of monthly TRIO reports that show the available funds within the budgets; and 3) even though there is no way of knowing, the OFA has too many hours allocated to operations. Commissioner Blasi stated that the $57,000 salary for a CFO should be eliminated. He accepted the report and encouraged the CA to get the Deputy Treasurer up to speed on the complete OFA operations.
The CA will be sending a letter to the Commissioners re: the upcoming money needed for the operation of the jail for the upcoming fiscal year.
Commissioner Brown asked the other Commissioners what their thoughts are on limiting of expenses for the remainder of this fiscal year. Commissioner Blasi stated that cell phone usage should be monitored more closely and has CA Conlogue considered making changes to the current plan- what do we now have for a plan? Commissioner Joy said he has never seen a US Cellular bill or any info in regards to what we have for a plan. Commissioner Brown has seen the monthly spreadsheet and knows that the CFO has consolidated three cell phone accounts into one County plan.
Commissioner Joy says that he agrees with Commissioner Blasi that CA Conlogue should be notified by any Department that a line item is going to be overspent .CA Conlogue says that a memo previously sent out had a $1000 limit before needed approval but now we shall freeze all expenses. Commissioner Brown said that today he has approved some Department changes and he knows that will cost us money – it never saves us anything.
MOTION: to adjourn. (Joy/Blasi, 3-0 motion passed)
Financial Asst. / Clerk