Commissioner Meetings Minutes Archive
Commission Chairman, Percy L. Brown, Jr., called the regular monthly meeting to the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 3 2013 in the conference room at the County Courthouse in Ellsworth with Commissioners Joy and Blasi in attendance.
Janitor, Corrections Sergeant Jeff Howard was recognized for his 10 years of service, respectively, Janitor Virginia Hauger was recognized for her 20 years of service to the citizens of Hancock County.
MOTION: to approve the minutes of the November 5, 2013 Commissioners' Regular Meeting and November 20, 2013 Informational Meeting and November 26, 2013 Commissioners Special Meeting. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
The following cruiser bids were opened.
Quirk: 2014 4WD Chevrolet Crew Cab Pick-up Base price $33,583, trade-in of a 2009 pick-up $10,963 – Final cost $22,620.
Darlings: 2014 4WD RAM 1500 Crew Cap Pick-up 4x4 Base price $24,264, trade in of a 2009 pick-up $15,000 - Final cost $11,264. Delivery date 10-12 weeks from award of bid.
Darlings: 1500 Silverado Pick-up, Base price $33,680, trade in of a 2009 pick-up $13,000 - Final cost $20,680. In stock subject to availability at time of award.
Bids were turned over to the sheriff for review and recommendation.
Adjustments to the agenda:
MOTION: to remove item 10d and to add item 7c, to provide a 30-day unpaid leave of absence to a jail employee, this may be discussed in executive session under MRSA Title 1 ss. 405 6a. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to add item.7d to look at purchasing a cruiser for the sheriff’s department. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Brown stated that conducting exempt employee evaluations take approximately 1/2 hour a piece, he requested to conduct exempt employee evaluations at special meetings beginning in January. Commissioner Blasi requested the inclusion of an agenda item to schedule exempt employee evaluations at the January 7th CRM, evaluation will be conducted at a special meeting later in the month.
DA Bassano stated that she knew that the 2014 budget has not yet been approved but requested to “get started early” on the hunt for a vehicle for the DA Detective. A reliable vehicle is needed but not necessarily a cruiser. A Subaru Forrester and Chevrolet Equinox, both 4WD vehicles, have been scouted. Commissioner Joy questioned when Detective McFarland would need a 4WD vehicle. DA Bassano stated that Mr. McFarland “has to go when he’s called to go” no matter the weather. Commissioner Joy suggested answering the question “what do we need” before purchasing. An SUV/station wagon type of vehicle is needed due to the type of equipment needed to do the job. Commissioner Joy stated that the county has purchased new vehicles, which are not 4WD, for the funds that may be available. He also questioned if the sheriff will be paying for gas for the vehicle adding that this is something that has crept over the years. His goal was to minimize the creeping. Specifications will be presented at the January CRM.
Commissioner Joy stated that the reason to hold a Community Benefits Public Hearing was to gain public opinion and ideas; he preferred to get going on this. It was stated that presentations are not necessary, they are looking for more for ideas. Charitable organizations, municipal taxation help, veterans exemptions are some of the items they are looking at. This meeting is to hear suggestions of how to use the funds. City Hall will be contacted for availability and brought to the commissioners at the December 13th CSM. A date during the first part of January will be requested at 6:00 p.m.
Discussion: Orthoimagery MOU.
Commissioner Blasi stated that he was able to procure the Orthoimagery MOU that it looks good to him. He spoke with Jim Fisher about Woolpert, contractor for the State of Maine, and relayed that Mr. Fisher stated it was a reputable outfit. Commissioner Brown stated that he made a couple of changes, under #5 Deliveries: Images Spring of 2014 rather than 2012. Commissioner Joy stated that the MOU has a total of $45,000 but is not broken down. He questioned the meaning of the “political jurisdiction of Hancock County.” The agreement referenced pixel resolution but does not state what the county gets for their $48,500.00, it is not spelled out. the UT is done at one meter. Commissioner Joy stated that the document does not specifically state directly what the County is getting. The state did not tell us what our pixels will be as they did in the Ellsworth document. CFO Roy stated that one MOU will work for the County and the Unorganized Territory. Clarification of if the document is a MOU or a contract was questioned. Commissioner Joy requested a breakout of the Municipalities resolutions and the UT resolution pixels, stating that the terms need to be specific. Commissioner Blasi stated that once municipalities decide to move forward with the project they should call Joe Young (Maine GIS) at 624-2664 or Jim Fisher at 667-7131 at the Hancock County Planning Commission, for assistance. Commissioner Brown stated that the pixel resolution needed to be changed prior to signing the agreement. The project area should also be specifically stated as the UT’s. 2ft or 1 meter resolution for the UT’s would need to be specified/clarified.
MOTION: to approve the Orthoimagery MOA with the office of Maine GIS with the discussed changes. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to nominate Commissioner Joy as Hancock County Representative to MCCA. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi questioned who was the current MCCA Director; and if he wanted to continue. The answer is Commissioner Joy and his response was yes.
Office of Financial Affairs:
MOTION: to approve November General Fund and Payroll Warrants #13-44, #13-45, #13-46 and #13-47 in the aggregate amount of $220,842.80. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve November General Fund and Expense Warrants #13-48, #13-49, #13-50, #13-51, #13-52, #13-53, #13-54, #13-55 and #13-55 in the aggregate amount of $424,520.47. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Payroll Warrants #14-18, #14-19, #14-20, and #14-21 in the aggregate amount of $101,570.41. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: The jail payroll warrant has increased due to the use of overtime, vacations and comp-time buyouts.
MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Expense Warrants #14-18, #14-19, #14-20, #14-21 and #14-22 in the aggregate amount of $140,141.34. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
CFO Roy presented a brief overview of the financial reports stating there have been questions regarding Dept. 52, Community Benefits Funds are reported under 42-800 revenue. Community Benefit expenses are coming out of the capital reserve account. EMA is always one quarter behind. Expenses should currently be at approximately 90.5% expended. TIF revenues have come in in the amount of $385,781. $272,034.53 has been spent year to date. A journal entry will be applied from prior year payables and will take it down to approximately $72,000. These funds will be rolled over as Undesignated Funds or be moved into a capital reserve account at the end of the year if there is a balance left in the TIF Fund. This includes all of Fund 7.
Projection wise, the jail is already in trouble but Federal Board Funds are up. Currently the sheriff is utilizing those funds to offset jail operations. It is up to the county commissioners to decide what to do with these funds. The BOC is yet to agree on the county’s budget for FY13-14. Commissioner Blasi questioned how to the jail compared this year to last year at this time. Further background and analysis is needed to answer his question. Commissioner Joy clarified that, in looking at the financials presented, the jail is “right on” at the present time. CFO Roy stated that overall, they are fine. Federal Board is skewing the revenues by offsetting expenses. Commissioner Joy questioned the shortfall for last year. CFO Roy reported that the number is approximately $6,000 and clarified that approximately $80,000 was requested to balance the jail budget. Commissioner Brown questioned if in Federal Board $50,010 was being used to pay down the budget. The answer was yes. If the sheriff continues to take in Federal Board as he is currently doing, the budget should come in at approximately $15,000 to the good. Federal Board is considered county funds but is not necessarily considered as operating expenses for the jail. This is not “new found money.” The funds cannot go to the county coffers and cannot be used to pay down jail debt, it could be used to offset jail operations.
Commissioner Joy questioned if there is still funds owed to the county for the fiscal year just completed. The answer was yes approximately $6,000 is still owed from the BOC. The difference was made up from Undesignated Funds, contingency and other checkbook funds. Commissioner Joy clarified that the county portion is capped at 1.67 million and questioned how additional expenses are paid. Commissioner Joy stated that we are capped through taxation and we should not be paying for expenditures out of Undesignated Funds, contingency or other means. CFO Roy stated that there is an outstanding receivable in the amount of $6,000 that could be added to the AR to show the amount due from the BOC. Commissioner Brown clarified that the CFO is not the county spokesperson to the BOC but can do the billing. Commissioner Joy requested for the CFO to remind the BOC of the request.
Jail AR court ordered fees/names have been forwarded to the DA for further proceedings. They may end up being collected through Small Claims Court. The court is not ordering these fees much anymore. Historically, these people have been taken to Small Claims Court for collection.
Specific AR Receivables were questioned by Commissioner Blasi. He was encouraged to e-mail the CFO for specific information. Paperless Payroll is currently at 100% and all towns have paid their County taxes, Aurora was the last town to pay.
For the last 18 months the CFO has been working on a 2010 medical bill in the amount of $19,000 for the jail. He was happy to report that as of last Wednesday, the State of Maine has agreed to pay the bill. Assistant Jail Administrator Frank Shepard in the procuring of these funds.
MOTION: to approve November expenditures in the health insurance account in the amount of $79,093.14. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Black means credits, red means debits, in the 2012 outstanding column.
MOTION: to approve an expenditure from Capital Reserve Account G1-3015-00 in the amount of $162.75 for standby services at the Cadillac Mountain tower site. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: This item has already been paid in the warrant.
MOTION: to expend $17,312.20 from Reserve Account G1-3012-60 for the Bull Hill Tower Project. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Joy questioned why this was not coming from TIF funds. CFO Roy explained that they are utilizing the Capital Account first as it is the easiest way to keep the documentation. TIF funds were slated for Orthoimagery, the tower project and from the capital account. The TIF account will be audited by the state, and for documentation purposes, this is a much cleaner way to show expenditure of the funds. Commissioner Joy questioned the advantage of expending the funds from the capital account first. The balance of the TIF funds will be rolled into a capital account. For documentation purposes, it would be nice to have all documentation spent out of a capital expenditure account vs. the warrant process. Come January, any expense will be paid out of the TIF account. The project should hopefully be done by the end of February or the first of March. The jail audits were distributed for commissioners review.
AIP 37 Construction Update. The foundation is done but the slab is not poured. The project may be shut down for 6-8 weeks while obtaining the structural steel. If the project is shut down, there will be a cost to the county. Commissioner Blasi questioned why they waited until September 9, 2013 to start the project. The commissioner’s process and FAA delayed the starting of the project. Commissioner Joy stated that the company lost their place with the steel fabricator due to delays. Mobilization and demobilization, changing of the “super” adds cost to the project. The new Super is Fred Mason. There is some administrative cost associated with the change. If more money is requested, a breakdown of the cost will be required. Manager Madeira will keep the commissioners posted on the progress.
AIP CP approval process. Manager Madeira requested that the airport liaison (Commissioner Joy) approve “airport share” of Change Orders under $2,000. Commissioner Brown questioned if the FAA will approve payment for change orders if the commissioners approve their share. The answer was yes.
MOTION: to authorize Commissioner Joy to approve up to the expenditure of $2,000 in ‘county funds” in change orders, anything above that would have to come before the commissioners for full board approval. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Manager Madeira stated for CP 29, for Marvin Windows, during the Value Engineering (VE) process, the exterior curtain wall was deleted and changed to a full panel of windows. The savings in the VE was estimated at $151,906 in VE 17 to cut it out. VE 18 was to add in the cost of buying the windows, per the change. At the time it was estimated that to purchase the windows it would cost $40,960 under VE 18. Since then Nickerson O'Day has issued a change proposal because of elevated cost that were not captured in VE 18, essentially saying that VE 18 was not enough, $40,960 does not cover this, it should have been $57,351, with that, their profit and incidentals it ends up being an $19,014 Change Order. The County share is $1,901.40 because we have to pay 10%. It has to be done, the question is, who has to pay for it. Commissioner Blasi questioned why EBS is the only provider quoted. The contractor chooses the provider. Commissioner Brown questioned who changed the windows and the pricing? The answer was the contractor. By signing the change order it obligates the county to take on the debt. The VE was a joint effort between the architect, Nickerson O’Day and Hoyle Tanner. Commissioner Joy requested clarification as to why a $20,000 mistake was made from Rick, Karen and Nickerson O’Day. Commissioner Brown suggested that Commissioner Joy work on this question and report back. Commissioner Blasi stated that "they figured they would buy the windows when they were doing the VE, so having worked at EBS myself, I know a price fluctuation on windows could be pretty good. So by the time they go to need the windows, the price is up from what they thought." Commissioner Joy felt that the contractor did not have the correct design and didn’t order enough windows or Nickerson O’Day didn’t know the design elements to begin with. Commissioner Blasi stated that we are only quoting EBS and requested another quote from another company. Currently the county cost of the project is $240,462.
Regarding the Scenic Turnout Project, Manager Madeira stated that he spoke with a consultant from Hoyle Tanner who is well versed with the land release process. The FAA will need a great deal of information but there is a cost associated with the release per parcel that has not been budgeted for in the process. The Town of Trenton has not been notified as of yet. The land that the scenic turnout will sit on has to be released for aeronautical purposes. This is a 6 month process for legal review and paperwork. Commissioner Joy requested acknowledgement from the FAA that “they are okay with the process.” This project is not associated with an AIP project. There are four parcels in total that are being discussed. Manager Madeira stated that if the airport releases the property, the bill would go to the airport.
Manager Madeira stated that the Morris Yacht existing land has not been released from non-aeronautical use and is currently in violation of FAA use. It is an existing potential liability. The Town of Trenton should be notified regarding the delay in process. The land would be released for non-aeronautical use. An avigation easement would be wise if airport property were to be sold.
UT Supervisor Billings distributed an approved Notice of Appeal Rights from the State of Maine Workers’ Compensation Board for Randy Perry. He is now in compliance with the required Workers Compensation paperwork. We are still awaiting proof of Workers Compensation insurance from Roland Robinson. Rowland Robinson maintains that they do have workers Compensation. Proof of Liability Insurance was provided. Commissioner Brown questioned why a sole proprietor has to prove Workers Compensation insurance. Theft of E-9-1-1 signs has become an issue in the UT. Commissioner Brown suggested that UT Supervisor Billings borrow a game camera from the Sheriff’s Department to record on sign theft. Commissioner Joy suggested posting a warning stating that “these signs are 9-1-1 signs and theft will be fined.”
The possibility of extending cable service through Fletchers Landing Township is being investigated. Commissioner Joy requested "real numbers." Commissioner Brown questioned extending cable coverage into other parts of the UT's. Commissioner Blasi stated that after consulting with RCC Supervisor Wellman, she has stated that you can't broadcast off of a tower, only radio. Commissioner Brown agreed due to the interference, he stated that it can be done but other things would have to be done. UT Supervisor Billings stated that the Town of Mt. Desert contracted with Red Zone, they use "line of site" wireless. As long as you can get repeaters, it works. Commissioner Brown stated that within a few years people will be able to get direct satellite access, a quality upgrade will be needed thought.
Director Walls stated that the snow removal contract extension has been received from JK Dugas and requested that the chairman be authorized to sign the extension.
MOTION: to renew the contract with JK Dugas for snow removal for 2013-2014. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: The cost is $45 for plowing, $59 per sanding.
Director Walls met with Representative Henthorn from the State of Maine regarding the State renting 425 sq. ft. of space at the DA’s office at the same rate as is now charged for space in the rest of the county ($10.70 per sq. ft.). The space will be used for storage and heated as cold storage. A caveat was included “as is” and any improvements will be made at the State’s expense.
MOTION: to offer the State, particularly to Director of Court Facilities, Jeff Henthorn, a proposal to use space in the Peters building as presented by the maintenance director. The space is 425 sq. ft. in the Peters building at the current rate ($10.70). (Blasi/Joy 3-0) Discussion: the change will be sent to Jeff Henthorn and a revised lease will be drawn up by the State to include the additional square footage.
The waterline/stairs project is ongoing. Commissioner Brown was concerned with the settling of the hot top due to the late installation. Director Walls will address this with the contractor prior to making the final payment. Currently the sleeves for the heating pipes have been run in the stairwell but the pipes are not. Heated coils will be included in stairs to help with snow/ice melt.
The propane conversion is underway and the tanks will be moved in next week. Next week the burners will be roughed in and delivery is 3 weeks away. It should be up and running at about a month from now. Fuel oil is being ordered on an as needed basis. The bid for a propane provider will be on the January agenda.
Director Walls did not have information regarding electricity. CFO Roy has contacted Maine Power Options and reported that prices are going up. Currently prices are in the 6.6 to 6.8 range. Airport usage is marginal to medium. The Standard Offer will increase soon. Director Walls clarified that Bangor Hydro has nothing to do with Standard Offer. CFO Roy countered that they do. He felt that the savings have been lost due to waiting. Director Walls suggested taking the hypothetical cost and compare it to the next 6 months of usage. Commissioner Blasi stated that the airport manager was told that he could experiment with the terminal building meter and it is on record. CFO Roy discouraged this. Somerset County is doing this through Constellation Energy. CMP is the delivery and Constellation Energy is the supplier. The PUC only offers the Standard Offer for 6 months.
Commissioner Blasi requested an update for the roof project for the 5-year plan. A new 5-year plan was distributed. Building Reserve fund balances have not been researched. Boiler replacement, the jail retaining wall, the jail roof, the heating and cooling system in the Peters Building, were included in the 5-year plan. Commissioner Joy requested to move up the plan to fix the gutters and ramp behind the DA’s office and to incorporate steps.
MOTION: to accept the Tremont contract for 2014. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to accept $2,141 in U.S. Currency for the Hancock/Washington County DTF in the case of the State of Maine vs. Matthew H. Wright. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: This money, through the county, goes to the Hancock County DTF.
MOTION: to accept $1,776 in U.S. Currency for the Hancock/Washington County DTF in the case of State of Maine vs. JonPaul Fatallah Haddadd. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Sheriff Clark recommended the purchase of a 2014 Dodge Ram pick-up with a purchase price of $11,264 from account G1-3011-70. Commissioner Joy requested to transfer approximately $15,000 to cover professional services rendered to coincide with this request. Sheriff Clark suggested transferring $10,000 from technology and $5,000 from radios.
MOTION: to accept the RAM 1500 at a net selling price of $11,264. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: The 2009 trade-in has approximately 120,000 miles, it's a crew cab and is a Chevy half ton. The warranty is 36 months on everything and 100,000 miles on the drive train.
MOTION: to move $10,000 from 3014-00 and $5,000 from account 3011-30 into the commissioners professional services account 3011-06. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6a to discuss a personnel matter. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Brown called the meeting back into session at 1:15 p.m. and the following motion was made:
MOTION: to schedule a termination hearing for Girard Pinkham at our January 7th 2014 meeting, the reason for which is that he has reached the end of his Unpaid Leave of Absence and there is also some issue of back insurance payments that needs to be paid. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
The RCC Director Wellman distributed a letter from Geoffrey W. Miller indicating his interest in continuing to serve on the RCC Advisory Board. The Town of Stonington has not paid their RCC bill for fire dispatching and MAC for dispatch services.
MOTION: to appoint Geoffrey W. Miller to the HCRCC Advisory Board for a 3-year term. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
RCC Director Wellman stated that data transmission from Houlton has interfered with the RCC EMS Channel in Hancock County. Browns Communications was on site during the frequency transfer at the Cadillac Mt. site. Currently the RCC IT room temperature is at 70 degrees.
MOTION: to approve the 2014 Holiday Schedule. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Clerk DePrenger requested approval of 2014 employee health insurance contributions. Retiree contribution are budgeted for a 1.5% increase over $34.67 to $35.20.
MOTION: to approve the 2014 Buy-out/Buy-down policy. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
CFO Roy requested that the commissioners set the retiree health insurance contribution for retirees with 20 or more years of service at $35.20 per month for 2014.
MOTION: to set the retiree health insurance contribution at $35.20 per month for 2014. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to adjourn. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)