Commission Chairman, Percy L. Brown, Jr. called the regular monthly meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 1, 2013in the conference room at the County Courthouse located in Ellsworth, Maine with Commissioners Blasi and Joy in attendance.


Adjustments to the agenda:

MOTION: to add the opening of propane bids to the top of the agenda and to add to item 11b, a financial health insurance discussion. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to remove item 6b. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the process of advertising for sealed bids will be followed

Bid Opening - Propane Conversion:

Dead River Company: $98,843.59 fixed.

Sullivan & Merritt Constructors: $112,826 fixed.

Commissioner Joy stated that to his recollection, the limit for this project was around $50,000-$60,000.  Above ground tanks were requested.  Commissioner Brown wanted to know the cost split between the propane tanks and the mechanical piping inside.  Commissioner Joy requested information from each vendor in order to reduce the cost.  There is no set timeline associated with the project.  Bids were turned over to the Facilities Director for review and recommendation.

Commission Business:

Old Business:

MOTION: to approve the minutes of the September 3, 2013 commissioners' regular meeting and September 11th, 17th, 20th and September 25, 2013 commissioners' special meeting/budget workshops. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the Community Benefit Application as reworked. (Joy/Blasi.3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi requested when the dates and amounts stricken from the agreement will be filled in.  Commissioner Brown stated that we have not received any funds yet, it is under the commissioner’s purview to decide where the funds will be going when the funds come in.  A Public Hearing will be scheduled once the funds come in.   Commissioner Brown stated that the funds may be used to pay down the budget/taxation, for orthoimagery or other items.  Community Benefit funds should be received in the fall of 2013 and 30 days after the Hancock Wind Project is approved, which is 30 days after the beginning of operations, this will probably be by the end of 2014.  CFO Roy was instructed to research this information.

Town of Trenton Selectperson, Sue Starr presented the commissioners with an updated MOU for the Scenic Turnout project for their review and approval.  The 20 year requirement was questioned and the "forever" was a problem.  Ms. Starr requested that language such as "the commissioners may continue" be included as an option to extend the project beyond 20 years.  Commissioner Blasi was concerned as to where the parking lot begins.  Changes were discussed and made to the document in order for it to comply with the wishes of all parties.  Once the county commissioners are alerted to the immediate need for maintenance, the county clerk will inform the town.  If a problem arises, e-mail the commissioners or county clerk and the clerk will contact the town office.

MOTION: to approve the MOU for the Scenic Turnout with the changes suggested today. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion:  The MDOT will contact the FAA Compliance Officer for the next step in the process.  A $48,000 grant is pending the signing of the MOU.  $20,000 has been received in Community Benefit Funds and the Town has contributed $30,000.  With the inclusion of the $48,000, the funding for the pier would be complete.  Airport Manager Madeira stated that the airport planner did not know about this project until last week.  Ms. Starr stated that the MDOT will work with the FAA on this issue.  The FAA may issue some compliance steps, such as a land release from aeronautical use prior to approving the project, but that is uncertain at this time.  Ms. Starr stated that the MDOT license language was written in compliance with FAA requirements.  Morris Yachts is interested in expanding in the opposite direction of the park and has expressed favor in the floating pier.  Commissioner Joy stated that, in his opinion, the vote of confidence requested by the MDOT was redundant and an additional vote was unnecessary.

Office of Financial Affairs:

MOTION: to approve September General Fund and Airport Payroll Warrants #13-35, #13-36, #13-37 and #13-38 in the aggregate amount of $199,821.58. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve September General Fund and Airport Expense Warrants #13-40, #13-41, #13-42 and #13-43 in the aggregate amount of $314,546.02. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Payroll Warrants #14-09, #14-10, #14-11 and #14-12 in the aggregate amount of $85,200.10. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi questioned how the UT Supervisor is doing on his hourly time.  He is not going over.

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Expense Warrants #14-09, #14-10, #14-11 and #14-12 in the aggregate amount of $104,708.28. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy presented a brief overview of the financial reports.  Jail employee medical is a concern.  Dead River petroleum purchases are tracked by bulk daily purchases, not individual key users.  Over 1-million dollars was deposited on September 30th, most of which was town taxes.  The AR does not show any aging, with regard to town taxes, until after November 30th.  Account #164 is for TSA reimbursement which will be billed once a month.  Paperless payroll should move forward in December/January, it is being held up by 3 people.  One is retiring, one should be taken care of in November and one is adamant that they will not change.  TIF reimbursement money is due to the county by the first of November and is expected to be between $165,000 to $168,000.  CFO Roy stressed that the warrant process needs to run smoothly in order to pay bills on time.

Reimbursements and the cost of 2012 health insurance being paid in 2013 was discussed.

MOTION: to approve August expenditures in the health insurance account in the amount of $94,778.80. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, Motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account #40-70-100 in the amount of $6,484.36 for repair work done on the airport AGCO tractor. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Manager Madeira stated that the Airport Maintenance Director feels that they can get another 3 years out of the AGCO tractor tires.  The airport manager will budget for the purchase of a new tractor for the future.

MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account #G1-3011-00 in the amount of $35,150 to clean exterior windows and brick surfaces on the courthouse. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account #G1-3011-00 in the amount of $6,484.36, this is the balance of the cleaning and waterproofing contract with addenda. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy stated that he will be discussing 2-3 checking accounts every month.  The Camden National Bank account should be kept due to a depositary relationship that allows the county to make change conveniently.  The Bangor Savings account allows county employees to have free checking accounts, we do not get charged any fees for this account.  EFT’s also come through Camden National as well.

10:45 a.m.: Break

10:50 a.m.: Back in session


Enplanements are currently up and 2012 enplanements totaled 10,006.  The charter enplanements brought the numbers above 10,000.  Airport Manager, Brad Madeira presented an overview of the airport construction status.  Airport projects included construction fencing, work on the original and new leach fields and the marking of underground utilities has been completed.  The contractor is formulating a plan to repair the damage to the existing leach field with will likely involve the placement of filter fabric, clay soil and French drains in the vicinity of the damaged leach field.  Commissioner Brown questioned if the old septic tanks have been tested for cracks.  Karen Frink was supposed to check on this.  CFO Roy stated, with regard to financing of the terminal project, that the vendors are satisfied with the financial plan.  Due to the government shutdown, the airport may have to front approximately $150,000 for the terminal expansion project.  Commissioner Joy encouraged submission of the appropriate paperwork when requesting payment.  October 21-23 is the FAA inspection.  A walkthrough of the hangers is not part of a normal inspection.

Registry of Deeds:

MOTION: to approve the hire Andi Noddin of Surry as a temporary part-time clerk to do restoration work, paid from the part-time line and be reimbursed from the surcharge account at the rate of $12 per hour, effective October 5, 2013.  No benefits are included and hours will not exceed 20 hours per week. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi questioned if it was proper to pay from the surcharge account.  The number of hours per week will be varied and the employee will likely not work during regular business hours.  CFO Roy clarified that the employee is paid out of the part-time account and reimbursed by the surcharge account.  This position will exist until the work is complete.

ADDENDUM TO THE MOTION: to be paid from the part-time line and be reimbursed from the surcharge account. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Unorganized Territory:

Bid award for the Martin’s Ridge Road Reclamation Project.  Commissioner Blasi stated that due to the recent rains, the commissioners are compelled to include the extra 3” of material on the road.  Supervisor Billings explained the road reclamation process.  Commissioner Joy was concerned with making the road flat.  UT Supervisor Billings stated that the recommendation was to grade the road evenly but to make the pitch toward the natural grade.  Calcium Chloride will be added to the road once the work is complete, it should last for several years.  The addition of Calcium Chloride should be included as regular road maintenance.  The biggest concern with the project is the slope of the hill.  Commissioner Brown was confident with the current plan.  Commissioner Blasi suggested the addition on asphalt/paving in the future.  Rough numbers were discussed.  Rip Rap and check dams were installed on the Martin's Ridge Road.

MOTION: to award the Martin's Ridge Road Reclamation Project to Lane Construction at a total cost of $67,695. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

The Unorganized Territory Monthly Report included updates on the Martin's Ridge Road clearing, ditching & culverts project, an update on the rain damage to the East Spring River Lake Road in T10 which has been repaired by the State.  Rocks on the Nicatous Road in T3 have broken through and have since been removed.  Ditching and the addition of 10” of material on the Nicatous Road was suggested as a road project for 2014.  The UT budget will be before the BAC on October 16, 2013.  A letter requesting proof of insurance related to snow removal bids has been created.  UT Supervisor Billings stated that he did not know if that would pass the Workers Compensation Board.  CFO Roy stated that, in this case, a pre-determination or a liability certificate is needed, per the auditor.  Commissioner Joy questioned if it was needed under a “sole proprietor” status.  CFO Roy stated that a pre-determination is needed by the Workers Compensation Board as of 2013.  UT Supervisor Billings would prefer that vendors go the Workers Compensation Board for the pre-determination rather than utilizing the proposed letter.  Supervisor Billings will be contacting the WC Board regarding the sole proprietor question.  Commissioner Blasi expressed concern that the county has awarded contracts for snow removal without the proper insurance.  Commissioner Joy questioned the county’s WC rate with regard to snow plowing.  Commissioner Blasi was concerned with vendors plowing without proof of insurance.

The possibility of putting dumpsters in strategic locations for UT residents on Route 182 was mentioned in the UT Monthly Report.  There was no change in fire contacts.  A notation regarding rural broadband access for Fletcher's Landing Township was included in the UT Monthly Report, this is part of the TIF project.  Supervisor Billings stated that the state is building commercial fire trucks and selling them to towns for approximately $70,000 through the forestry service.

The base cost of Orthoimagery is $96,000, the cost to the county is $32,000 which could come from Community Benefits and an additional $16,500 from TIF funds.  Implementation is a onetime cost, but the cost of updating would be revisited 5-years from now.  Commissioner Brown questioned the pixels required.  The UT would get the base of 24”.  CFO Roy stated that there will not be enough TIF funds to fund the project this year.  Commissioner Joy stated that he was in favor of taking the $32,000 from Community Benefits for the Orthoimagery project.  CFO Roy stated that if the commissioners entered into a contract, they could expend TIF funds, otherwise they cannot.  Commissioner Joy questioned that if the imagery people were going to try to fly this in the spring and when the commissioners would be committing to the project.  Once the county commits, the company will be going to the towns for pixel resolution.  He stated that a commitment is needed in the near future.  All of the commissioners were in favor of committing to the project through Community Benefits and TIF funds but questioned when the funds would become available.

12:00 p.m.: Break for lunch

12:30 p.m.: Back in session


The Maintenance Department monthly report included a brief summary of recent activity to include an update on the building sealing project, propane conversion status and a progress report on the waterline/steps project.  It is not anticipated that propane will be needed in the near future due to the current fuel oil reserve status.

MOTION: to approve an extension of the courthouse/jail snow removal contract with KJ Dugas. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: this is a one year extension.  Commissioner Blasi questioned the perception from the public.  The facilities director stated that, in his opinion, it is in the best interest of the county as past bidders have been lethargic.

Facilities Director Walls recommended Dead River Company as contractor for the propane conversion project. $45,000 of the bid was for inside work.  The remainder was intended for the propane field.  Bids include ground work, removal, fencing, slabs, piping, permits and seeding.

Dead River Company plans to convert the existing oil burners, they are not planning to line the chimneys.  Sullivan & Merits bid included chimney liners.  A discussion ensued regarding “Webster” burners.  Commissioner Blasi was concerned with finding someone to line the chimneys if the commissioners choose to go with the Dead River bid.  Commissioner Brown was hesitant to make a decision due to the liner and dual fuel issue.  He preferred to have both contractors bid on the same items and include lining of the chimneys and gas only burners.  Duel fuel allows for use of the existing chimney but the chimney liner is already compromised.  CFO Roy reminded the commissioners that if the project is in excess of $100,000 it would have to be bonded, the commissioners can choose to waive bonding but they have to do so in a public setting.  CFO Roy suggested sealing the bids until a decision is made.  Commissioner Brown stated that they are not negotiating, they are requesting the same services for the same contract as that is not what they received in the two bids.  A discussion followed regarding public documents and sealing of bids.  Commissioner Joy stated that he would like to go back to Dead River Company and request the cost of lining the chimneys and providing a gas only burner.  Commissioner Brown stated that the commissioners could accept the low bid and talk to them about the chimney and gas only burner.  If the county went with the new burners, the liner would be needed.

MOTION: to accept Dead River Company as low bidder for converting the courthouse and jail to propane. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

1:00 p.m.: Acadia Benefits - Health Insurance Presentation.

Scott McKee of Acadia Benefits presented the commissioners with health insurance options/information for 2014.  A copy of the presentation and audio of the discussion is available, upon request, in the commissioners’ office.  Mr. McKee will return with more information at the November regular meeting.  Teamsters Business Agent, Joe Piccone stated that Northern New England Employees Benefit Trust only works/provides quotes through the bargaining unit.


The RCC monthly report contained of brief overview of year-to-date 9-1-1 and EMD call counts, a dispatch security update, the directors recent attendance at the Spillman Conference in Utah, a reminder that the Emergency Medical Services Representative to the HCRCC Advisory Committee expires at the end of the year and a nominee is needed from the commissioners, (Memorial Ambulance and PAC will be contacted) and a request to receive e-tips for the Under Aged Drinking program.  The cost for setting up the e-tip program is free for the first two years.  The cost going forward is unknown.  There is no obligation to maintain the program after the first two years.  Commissioner Brown was concerned with the impact this would cause to the dispatchers working in the RCC.  Commissioner Joy suggested that the e-tips should be set up to go to several agencies in order to be automatically broadcasted to the proper entities.

Director Wellman recommended moving forward with Phase 1 of the tower plan and to purchase equipment at a cost of approximately $115,000+, funds would come from the TIF.  Installation of broadband was questioned.  This was originally looked into during the original tower study.  It was not feasible at that time.  The commissioners preferred to wait to receive the TIF funds prior to moving forward with the project.  CFO Roy stated that the funds have been requisitioned by the UT Fiscal Administrator as of last week.  An official contract/agreement will be needed in order to expend TIF funds.  Access is still available to the Cadillac Mountain tower site during shutdown.

RCC Director Wellman's recommendation for the RFP for the 2014 Radio Maintenance Contract was to continue with the coverage we currently have ($8,056.59 per year) on the equipment and to purchase new equipment as it is warranted for the control stations/repeater.

MOTION: to pay the $8,056.59 for 2014 Radio Maintenance in the RCC for a one year contract. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Director Wellman requested commissioner approval for a Leave of Absence Without Pay for an RCC employee, to begin November 22, 2013 for approximately 105 days.  The commissioners questioned if the absence could be filled with part-time personnel.  The director will review the request.  Commissioner Brown was concerned with the generation of overtime as well.  Director Wellman was asked to come back to the November meeting with a recommendation and plan to fill the position.


MOTION: to approve the hire of Tammy Coombs of Orland and Kody Carlisle of Prospect as part-time/on call/as needed corrections officers at the rate of $12 per hour, effective October 5, 2013. No benefits included, with a caveat of no more than 29 hours per week after January 1, 2014. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: CFO Roy requested clarification with regard to the caveat of 29 hours per week.

MOTION: AMENDMENT: with a caveat of no more than 29 hours per week after January 1, 2014. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the promotion of Shane Gross of Brooklin and Brooks Deans of Orrington to the position of temporary full-time corrections officer at the rate of $13.50 per hour, effective October 5, 2013, benefits to include sick time and holiday benefits. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the previous hires to not replace the hire of Gross and Dean.

New Business:

MOTION: to appoint Howard Willinghan of Winter Harbor to fill an unexpired term on the WHCA Board of Directors. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Blasi requested the selection of an exempt employee performance evaluation form.  Commissioner Brown requested an opportunity to review the form.  Commissioner Brown suggested researching NESB and Commissioner Joy suggested obtaining a copy of  the MCCA Directors evaluation form prior to the next meeting.

Discussion: Inclusion of public comment section on the monthly agenda.  Mr. Hendrik Gideonse stated that after researching all Maine Counties, he has learned that 12 of the 16 include a public comment section on commissioners' agendas.  Commissioner Joy questioned the kind of public comment that would be allowed.  Mr. Gideonse stated that the commissioners would make the decision as to what would and what would not be heard.  Commissioner Joy stated that normally public comments are welcomed but he did not feel it needed a specific agenda item.  Mr. Gideonse suggested a brief section for public comment at the beginning of the agenda.  Commissioner Brown stated that there is a difference between policy and procedure and preferred to list the item(s) on the agendas but not to include it in the policy.  Commissioner Blasi disagreed and requested that public comment be reflected under "responsibilities" on the Meeting & Agenda Policy.

County Clerk:

MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(a) to discuss a two separate employee requests. (Joy/Blasi3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Brown called the meeting back into regular session at 3:03 p.m. with nothing to report.

Sheriff Clark requested to continue the Union Grievance Hearing until the November 5th meeting.

MOTION: to continue the Union grievance hearing until November 5th. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(a) to discuss a personnel matter. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy left the meeting at 3:07 p.m.

Commissioner Brown called the meeting back into regular session at 3:26 p.m. with nothing to report.

MOTION: to adjourn. (Blasi/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

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