Commissioner Meetings Minutes Archive
Commission Chairman, Percy L. Brown Jr., called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 3, 2013in the conference room of the County Courthouse located in Ellsworth, Maine with Commissioners Joy and Blasi in attendance.
Adjustments to the agenda:
MOTION: to move item 7(RCC) to after the Scenic Turnout discussion, to add item 11a, notification of receipt of a complaint, to add item 3e, authority to move forward with further legal action, to add to the maintenance discussion a waterproofing update and to ask the commissioners approve addendum 1 & 2, (5b) and add to add item 5c to discuss the propane RFP, Add 8d, approval to dispose of a county vehicle. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the minutes of the August 6, 2013 commissioners' regular meeting and the August 16, 2013 commissioners' special meeting. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Hancock County Survey Archive
Kelly Bellis from Horizon Surveying Company updated the commissioners on the Hancock County Survey Archive project and the process of scanning, sifting, pitching, preserving and indexing documents. The Register of Deeds would be responsible for the items and allowing public access to the physical artifacts. Mr. Bellis also discussed the Archive’s Standards and Polices, including an Indemnity Agreement. Commissioner Brown preferred to have the county attorney review the agreement prior to moving forward. The present space need is approximately the amount of room needed to house the UT office, a 4x4x5 closet would do for now. Mr. Bellis was looking for a sufficient amount of space to hold 20 years work of work. A room off of the law library was mentioned. Register Curtis did not encourage destroying the records once scanned. Commissioner Joy considered this valuable information and stated that a place should be found in order to preserve the information. Registry of Deeds books are no longer printed, only the Indices. Space in the Registry of Deeds may become available in the future. Commissioner Joy questioned the relevance of keeping books that have been scanned. The act to destroy books that are already printed are set in law. Commissioner Joy encouraged looking into the room off of the Law Library.
Scenic Turnout MOU Presentation:
Susan Starr, representing the Scenic Turnout committees and the Town of Trenton, presented a presentation on the proposed Scenic Turnout to be located at the Hancock County - Bar Harbor Airport. Commissioner Joy explained the circumstances behind the discussion. Dan Stewart, Program Manager of the MDOT presented an overview of the project, audio of the presentation is available, upon request, from the Commissioners’ Office. Jim Fischer of the Hancock County Planning Commission was also in attendance. An aerial view of the project was disseminated. Public Land was one of the factors in deciding to move forward with the project as a whole, from an MDOT perspective. The MDOT would not necessarily be against a no-cause termination clause, for aeronautical use, as long as there is a commitment to maintain the scenic turnout for 20 years [by the county], should that occur. It was made clear that the MDOT is committed to this project and will fund what needs to be funded. The design included facilities on both sides of the road, Commissioner Joy questioned if the items could be incorporated into one area. A fence would be moved back, thus capturing more space for the park. From the early stages, it was stated that the airport manager previously said that the county would be paving the parking lot. The commissioners were not told of this intention. Mr. Stewart stated that if the bids come in low, the MDOT would not be opposed to paving the parking lot. The cost of grinding and packing the parking is approximately $18,000. There is no expectation that the county would pave the parking lot. The Scenic Turnout may be eligible for paving funding, but the ½ mile of road prior to it would not. The MDOT would have no maintenance responsibility, once the project is completed. There is no requirement from the Town of Trenton for fishermen to use the park. The County would be responsible for who uses the ramp and who doesn’t. The County’s cost for this project, as far as the park is concerned, is zero. The Town has taken the responsibly for the maintenance and care of the facility. The scenic turnout will have oversight from the Parks and Rec Committee. There has been discussion with the new airport manager regarding the airport taking over trash and mowing. The Town is at the will of the taxpayer as to whether the project is continually funded. An addendum will be added to the MOU showing specific responsibilities for the Town of Trenton and the County of Hancock; this will be developed between the Airport Manager and the Committee.
Commissioner Brown was concerned that the MOU did not include a “way out” for other than aeronautical need. In her opinion, item VIII 2 gave the right to discuss any issue. Ms. Starr stated that if an early out clause is included the Town may lose their funding. Mr. Stewart stated that the Town was agreeing to maintain the Scenic Turnout, the MDOT did not want an agreement to back out of the project “for any reason without cause.” If this was a maintenance discussion, he understood, but not for closing the area to the public. Commissioner Brown was concerned that the Town would not be able to fund their maintenance requirement in the future. Mooring revenues could be utilized to fund the maintenance portion of the commitment should tax payer dollars fail. The Harbor Masters responsibility is mostly the monitoring of moorings. Commissioner Joy was concerned with the daily monitoring of the park itself. There were several unanswered questions that should/will be addressed, in writing, as part of the addendum to the MOU. Commissioner Brown reiterated his concern regarding the Town’s failure to maintain the property. $30,000 has been committed by the Town to the floating pier and there has been a commitment to maintain the area per Town vote.
Airport Manager Madeira stated that he was defensive of any airport funds going out when there is no incoming funds. He felt that this was a difficult project for him to “wrap my arms around.” Commissioner Joy stated that he was always looking for funds for the road and the parking lot, he would like to see the privy and bike rack moved to the other side, he also requested to see a budget for maintenance, a budget for the park and boat launch and the hours of operation. He also wanted to remove the airport manager from the process and the include of one of the commissioners instead. Commissioner Joy stated that the airport is not paid for through taxation, he would like to keep it that way but it is a fine line. Every space at the airport could create revenue and not go to taxation. A charge for parking or using the ramp was a suggested as an income revenue by Ms. Starr. Commissioner Blasi requested that the Addendum be added to the MOU rather than a separate document, he also questioned if the airport manager could be taken out of the committee responsibility. Ms. Starr stated that the airport managers participation was not mandatory but invited. Commissioner Brown would like to see the manager and Commissioner Liaison utilized as co-contributors. Commissioner Joy preferred that he as liaison and Commissioner Blasi as District III Commissioner be part of the process. Commissioner Brown suggested mediation language be added to the MOU regarding to the Town’s maintenance responsibility, prior to commissioner agreement. The MDOT needs a show of faith from the County that they want to move forward with the project. Mr. Stewart stated that he felt this is what he received today. Commissioner Brown stated that the County has awarded $20,000 toward the project and that in his opinion that is a show of good faith. Paragraph 2 will include mediation language that should satisfy all parties. Commissioner Blasi questioned if the State could decommission the project. The answer was no. This would be between the Town and the County. Mr. Stewart will request boiler plate language from the State of Maine regarding the early out "without cause" language. The matter will be discussed further once this language is added.
The RCC monthly report containing year-to-date 9-1-1 calls and EMD call counts were distributed. RCC Director Wellman stated that the RCC is now receiving “all” cell phone calls.
Brown Communications: 1 year $23,034.45 - 3 years $69,103.35.
The bid was turned over to Director Wellman for review and recommendation.
MOTION: to postpone scheduling a workshop regarding the scheduling of exempt employee work hours until after the budget is finalized. (Joy/Brown 2-1, motion passed, Blasi opposed)
Commissioner Blasi requested to contribute to exempt department heads evaluations prior to the BAC convening on October 2, 2013. Employee evaluations are usually done in executive session and are to be kept confidential. Items included in evaluations are not public record. An executive session for each exempt employee was requested for the October 1, 2013 CRM. Commissioner Brown stated that in his opinion, the criteria for evaluations were worthless to him. He cautioned using personal criteria due to Maine Human Rights violations. Commissioner Joy agreed but suggested moving them to January/February 2014. Commissioner Brown agreed.
Commissioner Blasi stated that in the auditor’s report on page 14, there was a write-up concerning the mitigation grant. He questioned if the account should be closed and how to fund the debt. He made this request after listening to the audio recording of the August 16, 2013 meeting in which CFO Roy stated that he needed to write off the account. CFO Roy stated that the auditor agreed that this should have been removed during the 2012 audit and that it should be written off. This is an administrative function that should have been taken care of. It will affect the General Fund. In 2011 it was understood that it would come from the Undesignated Fund Balance. The account number affected is 6-3021-22.
Commissioner Blasi questioned which department manages the LP tank. Commissioner Brown stated that when the bill was received he directed the Maintenance Director to pay the bill out of the maintenance department and to move it where it should be at a later date. After clarification, he determined that it should be shown in the UT TIF funds. The UT would be managing the LP tank on Bull Hill under account E-07-02-43-4305. The TIF account already exists but nothing has been budgeted in that account yet. TIF funds are due in to the County within the next 30-35 days, TIF funds are in their own fund, exclusive of any other account. TIF funds have not been received yet.
Office of Financial Affairs:
MOTION: to approve August General Fund and Airport Payroll Warrants #13-30, #13-31, #13-32, #13-33 and #13-34 in the aggregate amount of $248,944.61. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve August General Fund and Airport Expense Warrants #13-35, #13-36, #13-37, #13-38 and #13-39 in the aggregate amount of $472,252.98. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve August Jail and UT Payroll Warrants #14-04, #14-05 and #14-06 in the aggregate amount of $110,178.01 (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Expense Warrants #14-05, #14-06, #14-07, #14-08 and #13-59 in the aggregate amount of $157,017.55. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Brown questioned if the airport would have enough funds to fund the airport projects. Yes, the funds are available.
Unexplained anomalies with the Jail/UT TRIO module were discussed; after extended research the cause of the problem was not found but the Journals have been restored and the “books are balanced.” July payroll for the jail is encumbered during the prior fiscal year. Towns have been steadily submitting their annual tax checks. The airport is now utilizing AR! Paperless Payroll is still waiting for one individual in the jail, one elected official and one retiree coming off in November. Once these employees move to direct deposit, Paperless Payroll can move forward.
MOTION: to approve July expenditures in the health insurance account in the amount of $130,745.73 and August expenditures in the health insurance account in the amount of $126,658.07. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: $18,428.94 is included as jail past expense for FY12/13 for July and August. The Board of Corrections has just approved an actual budget submittal which is millions of dollars above approval and appropriation. Hancock County submitted a balanced budget. Most counties refused to submit balanced budgets. CFO Roy was confident that the numbers were accurate.
MOTION: to approve a capital expenditure request in the amount of $322.50 from account G1-3011-00 to Hedefine Engineering for the waterline/stairs project addendum. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve a capital expenditure request from the HCVFFA in the amount of $45.00 from account G1-3015-10 for the purchase of three fiberglass axe handles. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
CFO Roy distributed General Ledger information noting that the General Ledger is in balance.
CFO Roy requested to seek further legal action on Jonathan Austin with regard to an unpaid airport tarmac parking fees and to move forward to disclosure in small claims court.
MOTION: to grant the CFO’s request to move forward with further legal action regarding Jonathan Austin. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: This is for tarmac parking fees.
Manager Brad Madeira requested approval to pursue the reconstruction of parallel taxiway “D” and taxiways “E” and “F”. The FAA is currently deciding what projects to fund using 2013 discretionary money. This project, originally slated for implementation prior to the terminal building expansion project, is ready and only lacks the funding. The FAA may implement this project using discretionary funding, which is separate from entitlement money which is determined by enplanements. The FAA needs the assurance of the County that it will pay its share cost of 5% or $75,650.00 providing MDOT participates. If MDOT decides not to participate, then the share cost is 10% or $151,300.00.
MOTION: to approve the chairman to sign the grant application for reconstruction of parallel taxiway “D” and taxiways “E” and “F” using discretionary funding if the FAA chooses to fund this project and pay our share of 5% ($75,650) or 10% ($151,300.00) if MDOT does not participate. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the chairman to sign the Hoyle, Tanner and Associates Contract for AIP 36 Pavement Remarking to approve the chairman to sign the Hoyle, Tanner and Associates Contract for AIP 37, Terminal Expansion Project. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the chairman to sign the contract with Nickerson & O’Day, Inc. for the Renovation and Expansion of the Terminal Building (AIP 37). (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: The airport manager is working to adjust the design flow of the new terminal building. The commissioners will be updated once these issues have been resolved. Commissioner Joy did not want the design changes to be seen as a Change Order. The current design does not work efficiently, in his opinion. After further discussion Manager Madeira stated that “this is the best way he can fix this without spending a lot of money.”
MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign the Change Order #1 with regard to the construction contract with Nickerson & O’Day, Inc. for AIP 37 as long as the numbers are the same as the negotiated contract price. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the chairman to sign the Notice to Proceed with Nickerson & O’Day, Inc.; authorizing the start of construction for AIP 37 September 9, 2013. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: work to begin September 21st or 23rd.
12:00 p.m.: Break for lunch.
12:32 p.m.: Back in session.
Facilities Director Dennis Walls has received a quote from F.W. Webb Company for a 3 boiler configuration which is very close to the needs of the courthouse and will produce 1 million BTU’s per hour. The low fire efficiency is 96% and high fire efficiency is 91% with a cost estimate of $45,000.00. Commissioner Brown wanted to make sure that RFP applicants had the proper licensing and liability insurance with a 2-million dollar total policy and a Workers Compensation binder addressed to the County of Hancock. The source of propane is supplied from New Jersey and Canada. References and a description of warranty will also be requested; shop drawings should be included. Commissioner Joy wanted to “get going” on the project. Boiler modulators compatible to convert to Natural Gas should be included in the RFP. Tank setter, piping and installation licensing of $1million+ is required. Purchasing of propane tanks was discussed. A maintenance agreement with the propane provider could be obtained.
MOTION: to advertise/send out an RFP for the Propane conversion project. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Brown requested to see the RFP prior to distribution. Commissioner Blasi questioned if the propane conversion project would interfere with the waterline project. The answer was no. Dig Safe will be contacted prior to digging.
Facilities Director Walls stated that the waterproofing project should be completed by the end of the week. An addendum to the project included the washing and sealing of concrete surfaces, washing of interior windows, washing and sealing granite surfaces and re-caulking failed joints at a cost of $2,499.
MOTION: to approve addendum #2 to the contract with Richard Bell in the amount of $2,499. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to add to the contract with Richard Bell, Addendum #1 in the amount of $3,950. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Supervisor Millard Billings stated that the Martin's Ridge Road clearing project has been completed, an additional culvert was placed in an area to prevent overflow. An RFP to reclaim the Martins Ridge Road was distributed which included an additional 3” of asphalt.
MOTION: to authorize the UT Supervisor to go out to bid for a Martin’s Ridge Road Reclamation project. (Joy/Blasi, 30-0) motion passed.
Worker’s Compensation insurance was discussed. It is mandatory to have Worker’s Compensation insurance unless you are excluded by the Worker’s Compensation Board.
Snow removal sand/salt bids were opened on August 28, 2013; UT Supervisor recommended the following for approval, see monthly report for specific bids received:
MOTION: to award the FY13/14 snow/sand contract for Fletchers Landing Township to R.F. Jordan in the amount of $12,000.00. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to award the T9 FY13/14 snow/sand contract to City Line Sand and Gravel in the amount of $3,494.00. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to award the T22 & T28 snow/sand contract to Randy Perry in the amount of $13,000.00, conditional upon providing both liability and workers compensation insurance. (Joy/Blasi 2-0-1, motion passed, Blasi abstained)
Discussion: Commissioner Blasi questioned what would happen if liability and workers compensation insurance were not received. It was stated that Mr. Perry was under the impression that as a sole proprietor, workers compensation insurance was not necessary. CFO Roy stated that he was sure that the county is in possession of Mr. Perry's proof of liability insurance.
Regarding snow removal award, Commissioner Joy was not positive that a sole proprietor needed worker compensation insurance. CFO Roy warned the commissioners against approving a vendor who does not have workers compensation insurance.
MOTION: to award the FY13/14 snow/sand contract for T7 to Rowland Robinson in the amount of $4,000.00, upon proof of liability insurance and that no employee is doing this work. (Joy/Brown 2-0-1, motion passed, Blasi abstained)
The Town of Cherryfield has approved a one year solid waste contract as proposed in the August meeting. The Aurora Fire Chief has been contacted regarding providing fire protection to Townships 16 and 22. They were interested in obtaining a smaller fire response vehicle. The cost would be between $70,000 and $100,000. Currently, there is no existing fire contract with the Town of Burlington. The Town of Cherryfield and City of Ellsworth fire contracts are renewed annually.
Sheriff Clark introduced the Jail Administrator Tim Richardson.
Sheriff Clark requested that the commissioners reconsider his request to go out to bid for a contract cruiser stating that “obviously we cannot have contracts without cruisers” and to also replace Jeff McFarland's pick-up truck.
MOTION: to approve the sheriff request to submit request for proposals for a replacement cruiser(s) from account G1-3011-70. (Blasi, failed for lack of 2nd)
Sheriff Clark requested approval to dispose of a Ford Pick-up that had been signed over to the Drug Task Force; this vehicle will currently not pass inspection.
MOTION: to approve the sheriff’s request to dispose of a Ford Ranger Pick-up truck from the sheriff’s department. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Sheriff Clark assured the commissioners that the sale will be “fair to the public.” Commissioner Blasi reiterated that this has been done a few months ago.
MOTION: to approve the hire of Michelle G. Hammond of Cherryfield as a part-time, on call, as needed corrections officer at a rate of $12.00 effective September 7, 2013, no benefits included. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi questioned what this would do to staff. Currently there are 4-officers out on medical issues. Part-time Corrections’ Officers are needed to fill those slots.
Assistant Jail Administrator, Frank Shepard, stated that former Jail Administrator Dannenberg authorized the Jail Administrative Assistant to purchase work clothing. AJA Shepard requested a modification to the county personnel policy regarding the clothing reimbursement allowance to include the Jail Administrative Assistant stating that he would forgo his allowance for this year. Commissioner Joy stated that as a one-time item, he would approve the request without it being construed as going forward and as long as the line is not overspent this year. Commissioner Brown stated that the policy clearly states which positions are eligible for reimbursement and which aren’t and provided an example. In the past there has been 2-AJA’s and a Jail Administrative Assistant.
MOTION: to approve the purchase of clothes for Amy Smith as the Jail Administrative Assistant as a one-time issue with a caveat that the expense line not be over expended in FY13/14 with a limit of $150. (Joy/Brown 0-3, motion failed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi did not understand why the employee would need to have the county pay for the clothing. Commissioner Brown was fine with the request until he learned that it was for personal clothing use, not a uniform. Commissioner Joy stated that “at this level, this is not an accepted position to received reimbursement.”
CFO Roy introduced Auditor Greg Chabot of Rudman Kerstin and Ouellette to discuss the FY12 General Fund audit. Audio of the discussion is available, upon request, in the commissioners’ office. There were very few adjusting Journal Entries identified in the audit. Auditor requirements include 1) issuance of a report in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles 2) review and gain an understanding of the internal control systems and focus on possible risks for correction and report significant deficiencies in internal control systems and material weaknesses; of which the number of bank accounts was mentioned as an ongoing issue, but has significantly improved, the sheriff’s employee vending account proceeds have yet to be turned over to the County, these funds are still showing on the General Ledger but the location of these funds are unknown. Commissioner Brown was concerned that the County Tax ID Number was used to open this account. CFO Roy stated that he was told by Michelle Cote that the funds were sitting in the sheriff’s safe as an employee withdrew these funds from the bank just prior to the merging of the accounts. Auditor Chabot suggested an investigation as to where the funds are/went and if they are still around and suggested putting them in the General Fund; and 3) the former airport manager's utilization of a county vehicle for personal use without it being 1099’d. A W2 would have to be re-issued or, moving forward it would be known as a fringe benefit and the personal use of the vehicle would be taxable. There were “no finding” under the A133 audit which means that there were no issues with federal grant administration.
Commissioner Blasi requested a source document or evidence for encumbrance(s) totaling $17,481, stating that in the audit report, there were no assigned encumbrances for 2012. He requested to see the purchase order(s), contract(s), invoice(s), that caused the encumbrance. CFO Roy stated that this was the Beginning Balance Adjustments. Auditor Chabot stated that encumbrances are expenditures for budgetary purposes that are added back for Generally Accepted Accounting purposes, they are real expenditures. Commissioner Blasi questioned if these are part of an Encumbrance Journal and if it is a of a public document. Auditor Chabot stated yes, that there is a year-end list that gets generated showing encumbered amounts.
CFO Roy stated that the beginning balance adjustments is difference from the Encumbrance Journal. $17,400 is the beginning balance adjustment. Commissioner Brown stated that the commissioners know where it came from, it was an issue from 2-years ago. Every year the beginning budget adjustment shows up on the trial balance. There is always items that come in after the closing of the year. Commissioner Blasi questioned page 17 of the audit with regard to Airport Lease / Long –Term Debt and questioned if anyone could see this in the General Fund. There are currently no airport bonds. The closeout of the EMA Mitigation Grant of $4,000 will be written off from Undesignated Funds in FY13. This item will be gone by weeks end. Commissioner Blasi stated that in one of the grant authorizations, which he read this morning, it stated that the airport audit needs to conform with the Single Audit Act of 1984. Commissioner Blasi stated that in preparation for the budget committee, we almost doubled the amount budgeted for the airport audit. When asked, Commissioner Blasi and Treasurer Eldridge agreed that they were satisfied with the auditor’s presentation.
Clerk DePrenger stated that she was in receipt of two complaints, one of which was forwarded to a department head and one that she would like to discuss with the county attorney prior to submitting it to the commissioners.
MOTION: to adjourn. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)