For a downloadable copy click HERE
Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes May 9th, 2017 #2137
9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci, Tom Davis, and Laura Sanborn. 45°
Approval of Minutes-
• Commissioner Davis made a motion to approve the May 2nd, 2017 minutes. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
Unorganized Territory update-
• Department Head Barbara Veilleux said the public hearing to allow the Seboeis Stream ATV Club to use the UT’s portion of the Mattamiscontis Road has been scheduled for Thursday, May 18th at 6:00 pm at the Chester Town Office. Barbara and Deputy Director George Buswell distributed the notice to Mattamiscontis Twp. residents last week. Barbara noted that based on the conversations with residents, no objections were voiced and many were in favor of granting permission.
• Barbara and George also cleaned and inspected the thirty-one culverts along the Mattamiscontis Road last week. Four of the culverts need to be replaced.
• Barbara commented that George is out sweeping some of the UT’s roads this week. She stated that UT Contractor Jerome Emery recently purchased a sweeper. Barbara communicated that it was cost effective to hire Jerome to sweep the roads in Kingman & Prentiss, than have George rent the sweeping equipment and carry out the task himself. Jerome did a good job.
• Barbara and George have removed weight limit signs in Argyle, Mattamiscontis, Grand Falls, and most of Greenfield. George reports there are still soft shoulders on the County and Myra roads so they have kept those posted signs up till the roads show improvement.
• Barbara stated that George inspected some of the northern UT roads on Saturday following the heavy rains Friday evening. There was very little damage.
• Barbara presented that Fairpoint has applied for a utility location on Crocker Turn Road. They are proposing to install two poles and five feet of conduit. George recently inspected the area and found no cause for concern to grant Fairpoint access. Barbara has received the application fee of $100. Commissioner Davis made a motion to approve the utility easement for Fairpoint. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
• Barbara stated that contractor Larry Ham, who was recently hired to replace the Prentiss Salt Shed metal roof, informed her that the metal used in the specs has a 45 year warranty coating option that would cost an additional $500. The metal coating originally agreed upon in the specs warrantied the metal for 40 years. Barbara asked if the Commissioners wished to extend the metal’s warrantee five years for an additional $500. The Commissioners declined the extension offer.
• Barbara presented a color chart for the Commissioners to choose what color metal for the Prentiss Roof. Barbara suggested either Brown or Burnish Slate. The Commissioners selected Burnish Slate.
• Barbara communicated that Finance Director Judy Alexander has not received the TIF funds from the Maine Revenue Service. Administrator Bill Collins noted he misspoke in last week’s Commissioner’s Meeting. The notice he received simply stated that the funds were going to be released, however did not include the actual date.
• Barbara contacted other Maine counties for information on how they handle the development and execution of the lending and grants for TIF funds. Barbara explained in last week’s meeting that the process of developing an RFP for the project is complicated. None of the counties she contacted bid out that process. Barbara is in the process of developing the specs for the RFP. Commissioner Davis suggested having the TIF committee members and Banker Lew Payne help with the specs. Bill and Barbara explained that purpose of the RFP would be to find an organization that would process the lending and grant paperwork. Then the County’s TIF committee would make their recommendations to the Commissioners to Approve or Deny.
Matagamon Habitat Maintenance & Enhancement Project-
• Citizen Dick Hansen presented information on behalf of Matagamon Habitat Maintenance & Enhancement Project. He stated the project is raising funds to help repair the Dam and Waterworks that are located in the Patten/Matagamon Lake area. Dick stated that the project estimates the cost of repairs to be around $150,000 over the next five years, and an additional $85,000 over the subsequent five years. UT Director Barbara Veilleux stated that this may be a perfect example of a TIF fund applicant and possible use of the grant’s funds. Dick explained that the Dam is owned by the area’s Road Association. This group has reached out to Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, and a member of the Penobscot Nation is looking into identifying Federal Funding for the project. The Commissioners commented that they would definitely be interested in participating if the county could partner with organization(s) to help fund the venture since it would be a great benefit to the lake and surrounding tributaries. Dick noted that if the dam were to ever break, the effect on the surrounding wildlife and recreational locations would be detrimental. Barbara added that if the Association were to receive money from the TIF it would be paid out in yearly installments as oppose to a lump sum. Dick noted that the Association desires to present to the Commissioners at a later date. The Commissioners thanked Dick for his presentation.
• Administrator Bill Collins informed the Commissioners that they are welcome to bring their spouses to the Penquis’ 50th Celebration taking place June 20th. Bill told the Commissioners to let him know if their respective spouses plan on attending.
• Last Friday Bill attended a County Managers meeting in Augusta. MCCA Executive Director Charlie Pray presented a question on behalf of the criminal justice committee, Why Kennebec and Penobscot County have the most need for supplemental funding. Bill explained that both counties have older Jail facilities and are restricted in the number of inmates they can house. Thus with the recent spike in inmate population the two counties have been forced to pay to board inmates at other county jails to ease the overcrowding in their respective facilities. Bill shared with the committee statistics if the state were to lift the jail budget cap and allow the county to fund the budgeted shortage through property taxes the financial impact on property owners would be small. However that is based upon the State providing continued support. Charlie requested that other Maine counties present similar information to share at upcoming meetings.
• Bill stated the county’s weekly payables totaled roughly $300,000. The remaining balance of this year’s TAN is $3.2 million. Last year at this date the previous year’s TAN balance was nearly the same.
• Bill asked the Commissioners their opinion of where on the county’s campus to locate the future Human Resource position/hire. Bill suggested that it be a location that is easily accessible to county’s employees. After considering offices in different departments, Bill suggested using the PRCC training room on the 3rd floor as the location. The Commissioners agreed and asked Bill to contact PRCC to see if that would cause any issues.
• Bill was notified by the Sheriff’s Office that the U.S. Marshalls Office is upset that the county’s risk pool has not responded to a recent lawsuit that had been served. Bill explained that the Sheriff’s Chief Deputy brought the served papers to him, which Bill then forwarded onto the county’s risk pool. Bill discovered though that the county’s risk pool never made contact with the U.S. Marshalls Office after receiving the served papers. Commissioner Baldacci commented that since the papers were served to a proper authority within the department, a department head or administrator, it is important the county (or in this case the county’s risk pool) responds in a timely manner. Sheriff Morton has already spoken to the Marshall’s Office and apologized. Commissioner Davis suggested that Bill should call and explain the mishap along with echoing the apology.
• Bill informed the Commissioners that a PRCC employee was taken to the hospital during a shift yesterday. It was determined he was dehydrated. The employee missed today’s shift, but Bill was told the employee is on the mend.
• We have learned a vendor contacted us asking why the recent Radio Proposal was already awarded to another vendor. The caller wished to bid on the services and said he had been monitoring the website for postings and meeting minutes but never saw the RFP. Chad told Bill that the RFP has not been removed from PRCC’s website since its original posting.
• Commissioner Baldacci stated that there is a MCCA monthly meeting tomorrow and Penquis Steering Committee meeting scheduled tonight.
Executive Session- Commissioner Sanborn motioned to go into Executive Session to discuss a Legal matter at 9:38 am under 1 MRSA §405 (6) (E) Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3 – 0. The Commissioners, Administrator Bill Collins, Treasurer Dan Tremble, and Administrative Assistant Tyler Thompson were in attendance. Executive Session ended at 9:50 am with no votes taken.
Administrative Update Continued-
• Bill spoke to Lindsey Young of the Buxton estate whom the county recently bought the newly acquired 127 Hammond Street property from. She informed Bill that she contacted Bangor Water/Sewer department and notified them that the building was sold to the County. Bill informed the Commissioners that he has contacted the Water/Sewer department. Do we want to turn off the water supply to the building. Commissioner Davis responded that since the county has to pay for the sewer to the building, we should continue to have water supplied in case there is a need. Treasurer Dan Tremble commented that it is important to maintain power in the building due the fact that if power is shut off for such a length of time, the building’s electrical system would need to be inspected to reinstate service. Bill noted he has not contacted Emera or Bangor Gas yet. Bill stated that the gas supply has been turned off to the building. Bill will also be contacting our insurance company to get the building insured in the near future as well. Lindsey also informed Bill that the pest control vendor that the Estate used contacted her asking if the County planned on maintaining the service. Dan noted that he believed the county currently has a different vendor that services the jail for around $60/month. Commissioners would like to continue with our service vendor.
• Commissioner Davis stated he recently made contact with Joel Butler who had previously inspected the 127 Hammond Street Building years ago when WBRC was making renovations to it. He notified Commissioner Davis that he would be interested in looking at the building again for the Commissioners if they needed his services. Bill commented that Jim Ring, whom the county recently hired to inspect the building, was able to tour the building for the first time yesterday. Bill, alongside employees and department heads from the Maintenance and Sheriff’s Department, walked through the building as well. Bill provided Jim with Joel Butler’s number. Jim commented that it may be a while before he has a chance to inspect the building in more detail. Commissioner Baldacci asked if Jim provided any preliminary thoughts in regards the building’s condition, specifically what to do with the Pool inside. Bill answered that Jim didn’t share any thoughts yet, but was able to see the parts of the building that are separating from itself. Commissioner Davis stated that Joel suggested filling the pool with crushed concrete that is retrieved from the existing premises.
• Commissioner Baldacci expressed that the Commissioners need to exercise great care in the planning of the 127 Hammond Street remodel. He explained all options need to be thoughtfully considered in order to make the most financially responsible decisions to satisfy the short and long-term needs of the county’s campus. Commissioner Davis reiterated the importance of considering all of the campus’ needs in the event that areas in other campus buildings need to be moved or remodeled in the expansion project. Bill felt this would be a good reason to have Jim Ring examine the county’s current campus in addition to the new building so that he can comment on the array of options for remodeling the existing infrastructure. Commissioner Baldacci would like to keep the costs of the renovation under $5 million, but noted the cost will depend on the extensiveness of what sections of the campus and new building are remodeled. Commissioner Davis is concerned that if certain areas of departments are moved or extensively remodeled costs could climb as high as $20 million. Commissioner Baldacci noted that the remodel will ultimately save a significant amount of money as opposed to building a brand new jail compound. Commissioner Baldacci stated that the county should start an advisory committee consisting of around 6 or 7 members who can analyze the best and most cost effective plan to expand the county’s campus options. Bill noted that Brian Thibeau, who assisted Penquis with their property expansions, offered to provide his services to the county. After Bill, Dan, and the Commissioners discussed potential committee members, they arrived at the following names to inquire if they have an interest: Brian Thibeau, John Roman, Steve Rich, Harry Sanborn, Jim Ring, and Matt Carter. The Commissioners also commented that Sheriff Morton should choose an individual that he would like to have serve on the committee.
• Payroll Warrant to be approved for: $ 206,841.92
• Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for 05/04/2017: $ 2,500.00
• Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for 05/09/2017: $ 95,944.93
• Unorganized Territory Warrant to be approved for: None
• Payroll change notice signed for: Stacy Labby, Rachel Libby, Jennifer Sanford, and Frank Tibbetts – Hired Part-Time. Michael Smith – Discharged, Blake Miller, John Fiske.
• Compensation notice signed for: None
Meeting Adjourned- The meeting was adjourned at 10:25 am with no further business on the agenda.
Penobscot County Administrator
Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman
Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner
Thomas J. Davis, Jr., Commissioner