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Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes June 20th, 2017 #2143
9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci, Tom Davis, and Laura Sanborn. 70°
Approval of Minutes-
• Commissioner Davis made a motion to approve the June 6th and June 13th, 2017 minutes. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
Sheriff’s Department Update-
• Sheriff Troy Morton presented three new supplemental law enforcement contracts to the Commissioners to review. The contracts are from the Town of Howland, Milford, and Bradley. Troy noted that the Town of Howland debated signing a full time service contract but the proposal was voted down. Howland elected to increase their supplemental coverage instead. Commissioner Sanborn motioned to approve the Administrator to sign each Contract. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0. Contracts signed. Administrator Bill Collins also signed supplemental contracts that were presented in last week’s Commissioners meeting.
• Sheriff Troy Morton stated that today’s jail population is 189 (154 males, 35 females) with 29 boarded out to other county jails. The jail is housing one federal inmate and there are 71 inmates in Pre-Trial Services.
• Troy stated that compounding the current jail staffing hardship, there are 12 Correction Officers currently on limited duty. The officers have received independent medical exams and most have been limited to no overtime duties. The department has three new hires in Correction’s Academy and the Sheriff is attempting to get one hire waived of their training mandate due to their federal corrections training. Troy is currently attempting to hire for the next Academy Training session in August. Commissioner Baldacci asked if it would be easier to retain and attract more employees if the jail had shorter work shifts. Troy felt that officers overall prefer the 12 hour shifts. Troy feels the department is doing everything possible to hire.
• Troy noted that the labor management meeting with the Correctional Officer’s line union went very well. As discussed in last weeks’ Commissioners’ Meeting, Troy brought up the idea of adding a secondary overtime sign-up sheet that clerical, civil, transport, and supervisory employees who are C.O. certified can sign up for. The secondary sign-up sheet will widen the employee pool in which the jail can fill vacant shifts and thus prevent the same officers from continually being ordered out to fill scheduling holes. Troy noted there was no resistance to the idea in the meeting.
• Troy commented that a patrol deputy is undergoing a medical issue that will force the employee to miss two months. Troy plans on having a couple Sergeants help fill the position until the deputy can return.
• Troy recently testified to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights as part of the Maine Advisory Panel. Troy spoke of the jail’s struggle to best serve the mental health needs of our jail’s facility.
• Sheriff presented a recap of the bids that were opened for the jail’s mental health service contract in last week’s meeting. The proposals consisted of two prices quotes, the first was to provide 50 hours a week for on-site service, and the second consisted of 81 hours a year of psychiatric coverage on site or via Tele-Video conferencing as defined in the RFP. Troy then listed the combined costs for the two vendors that placed a bid: Acadia Hospital and Community Health and Counseling Services (CHCS).
50 Hours/Week of On-Site Services & 81 Hours/Year of Psychiatric Coverage
Years of Contract Acadia Hospital Cost CHCS Cost
1-3 $ 132,130 $ 112,525
4-5 $ 157,559 $ 115,914
Troy recommends that the County choose CHCS as the jail’s mental health service provider based on cost and for some added benefits they have outlined in their bid. Troy explained CHCS has provided staffing options to help treat inmates on campus that need to be evaluated in the middle of the night. The current process requires the jail to take two C.O.’s out of the facility and transport the inmate to the hospital where they receive evaluations there. Troy is also impressed that CHCS will provide the jail with validated screening tools that will assist with the facilities Stepping-Up initiative. Troy explained CHCS has been heavily involved with some of the jail’s diversion groups and the vendor will provide data collection that can be used to help more effectively assess and treat the jail’s mental health population. Commissioner Baldacci asked how many hours the jail has spent on Psychiatric Coverage in the past. Troy replied that based on how that service was invoiced with the past vendor, he is unsure of the exact amount.
Commissioner Davis made a motion to grant the jail’s mental health service contract to CHCS. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0. Sheriff Morton asked if the Commissioner would approve him negotiating with CHCS to add additional service hours to the current contract. Sheriff explained CHCS’ current bid is less than what the county is paying for now and there are significant funds remaining in the budgeted amount for mental health services. Commissioner Baldacci responded he does not mind if the Sheriff discusses the option with CHCS, but based on the current funding crisis, the department should keep the contract’s cost as low as possible until the question of state funding amounts are resolved.
• Administrator Bill Collins stated that he received an email from MCCA Director Charlie Pray. He explained that the State has reduced the 2017-2018 jail additional funding request from $3.8 million to $3 million. Coupled with the proposed $12.2 million CCA funds, it would bring the total funding for county jails to $15.2 million. Charlie is unsure why they reduced this but noted that the state offered to discuss supplemental funding for counties at a later date if the need arose. Charlie also stated that there had been zero discussion for giving county jails $1.5 million of supplemental funding for the 2016-2017 budget shortfalls. Troy commented our problem with this year’s jail’s budget is almost entirely due to the lack of projected revenue. Treasurer Dan Tremble noted the medical cost that were recently paid out for the jail totaled nearly $10,000. Troy explained $6,000 of that amount are for two inmates. Troy stated the DA’s office has been helpful in getting inmates moved who have high med costs in the past, but the Sheriff has been unable to get these two inmates out of our facility.
• Bill had received word from Maintenance Department Head Cap Ayer that the City of Bangor plans to install a temporary water line to the county’s jail within the next couple of weeks. The temp line is a result of the water/sewer work that is being performed on Hammond Street.
• Bill informed the Commissioners that a representative from MPERs was on campus last Thursday discussing the changes to the county’s Law Enforcement Officer’s retirement plan. Finance Director Judy Alexander is following up with the county’s financial software company TRIO for any changes to the system that will need to be made.
• Finance Director Judy Alexander shared that the jail’s expenditures are right in line with the current year’s budget. While there are two weeks left in the fiscal year, she feels the expenditures should be very close to the budgeted amount. Judy commended the Sheriff and his staff for keeping the department’s costs in-line. As previously stated by the Sheriff, the jail’s budget shortfall is a result of a lack of revenue by the State for operational costs and a decrease in federal boarding revenue.
• Judy noted that the county’s other departments’ revenues and expenditures are right in line with their budgeted amounts. The EMA department’s revenue is not where it should be at this point in time, however Judy clarified this is due to normal delays in when the department receives reimbursements from the State.
• Judy stated that the remaining balance of this year’s TAN is $1.8 million. Last year at this date the TAN balance was $2.015 million. As long as the jail receives its State funding in July, she doesn’t believe the balance is a cause of great concern. If, however the State does not fund our correction facility, then Judy will have to ask department heads to reduce their spending.
• Judy recently attended a CRAS training that was more of a discussion on reporting county budgets into the State’s financial system. It was shared at the meeting that Representative Gerrish is looking to reduce the $ 3.8 million supplemental jail funding over time. Bill Collins said there has also been more talks about raising the jail cap from 3% to 4%.
• As previously mentioned Judy is working with the county’s financial software TRIO, in processing the recent changes to our county’s Law Enforcement retirement plan through Maine PERS.
• Judy has a meeting with Machias Savings Bank later today in regards to renewing the county’s letter of credit.
• Next month Judy plans on reporting on the position of the county’s reserve accounts.
Unorganized Territory Update-
• UT Department Head Barbara Veilleux presented that Deputy Director George Buswell has completed the culvert cut measurements for the culvert replacements on the Greenfield Road. They are now ready to go out to bid for the paving project for the road.
• George informed the Commissioners that S.W. Cole was supposed to drill test borings on the Mattamiscontis Road last week. However, the project has been delayed to this week and George expects the job to be completed in the near future. Once the borings have been tested and analyzed, George and Barbara will present ideas for future repairs/upgrades to the problematic portions of the road.
Unorganized Territory’s Solid Waste Collection for Argyle/Greenfield RFP Bid Opening-
• Commissioner Baldacci then opened four bids in regards to the Solid Waste Collection service for the county’s Unorganized Territories of Argyle & Greenfield. The results/prices as outlined in the RFP/Bids were as follows:
Vendor Price Price Price Price Price
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
J. T. Trash Disposal 41,500 41,500 41,500 45,650 45,650
Ireland's Rubbish 40,000 40,000 40,000 40,000 40,000
Schoodic Curbside 30,640 31,865 33,139 34,465 35,843
Maine Waste Systems 34,500 35,000 35,000 35,500 35,500
• Commissioner Baldacci notated that some of the bids included a fuel clause, others did not. Commissioner Davis made a motion to take the bids under advisement and have Barbara and George review and report back to the Commissioners their recommendation. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
• Administrator Bill Collins brought to the attention of the Commissioners that he had received a complaint regarding the DA’s office. Administrative Assistant Tyler Thompson who originally fielded the concern explained a gentlemen was unhappy that the DA’s office wouldn’t refund some of his restitution payments so he could pay some personal bills. Tyler informed him that he would relay his concerns onto the Commissioners but the matter would have be resolved through the DA’s office. Commissioner Baldacci answered that if the individual returns to direct them to their personal legal counsel for any similar types of requests.
• Commissioner Baldacci asked if Bill would reach out to Stan MacMillan to inquire about his company’s extensive use of the county’s parking lot at 127 Hammond Street. Commissioner Baldacci asked if Bill would ask MacMillan what form of compensation would be reasonable and fair for the use of the lot.
Main Building Office Space Layout Presentation and Facilities Update-
Maintenance Department Head Cap Ayer and Building Mechanic Terry Sullivan presented rough sketches and square footage totals for the rooms and offices that are on the 2nd and 3rd floors of 97 Hammond St. The purpose of the specs were to discuss the potential relocation the county’s PRCC & UT departments to provide additional dispatch spacing and create room for the county’s future Human Resource Hire. Bill explained that in touring the spaces a couple of weeks ago with the Commissioners, some questions centered on if PRCC has to be moved into the Great Room. Also, should the UT department utilize the office spaces on the 3rd floor next to the Great Room until the move takes place (which would immediately make room for the HR hire without being dependent on where the PRCC resides). The original plan was to use the office space next to the great room for PRCC administrators and have the UT Department utilize two of the current PRCC admin offices. The concern is having to move multiple offices, multiple times. Barbara added she did not feel that would be a problem for her and George. Terry and Cap explained that the renovations to the 3rd floor offices adjacent to the Great Room would need to take place regardless of who moves into what space. Terry added that there are some renovations that would need to happen in order for the space to be brought up to code. The idea of creating an additional door into a proposed conference room in that area was discussed as well due to one would have to enter through an office to get into that space. Treasurer Dan Tremble asked if there would even be a need for a city permit for the renovation. Commissioner Baldacci added that the permit process can be a requirement of the vendor the county chooses to handle the remodel. Cap presented the square footage figures for the following rooms: Great Room – 2,500 sq.ft., Commissioners’ Room – 1,800 sq.ft., and the current Dispatch Communications Center – 1,170 sq.ft. Commissioner Davis felt that even though the Commissioners’ Room would be a 50% increase in area versus the current dispatch center, it would not be an adequate enough room for the expansion of the department. Commissioner Baldacci was concerned with ruining the aesthetics and architecture of the Great Room if it were to be transformed into a dispatch center. Cap commented that he feels a drop ceiling would be needed to better sound proof the room and provide proper heating and cooling. Commissioner Baldacci mentioned the dispatchers currently have stations that provide an independent heating/cooling source and that there are machines that can help sound proof rooms without the need for ceiling or wall modifications.
Commissioner Baldacci added that the Commissioners are in support of the renovation of the Great Room office space so that Barbara and George can utilize the area until plans are finalized of the PRCC transition.
Cap suggested that it would be more financially viable to put out an RFP for the carpentry work and demolition (and that vendor would supply the appropriate permits) and then sub contract out the rest of the services (insulation, plumbing, electrical, etc.) Commissioner Davis noted he doesn’t feel comfortable spending any money on renovations until the State funding crisis of the jail is finalized. Bill recommended putting the RFP piece together for the entire project and then wait to go out to bid when the State funding amount is finalized in the next couple of weeks. The Commissioners agreed and asked Cap to share the plans for the RFP with Bill and Judy once he is finished putting it together.
• Cap presented RFP specs for the roofing project of the county’s building on Franklin Street. Cap asked if the Commissioners are ready to go out to bid for this job. Approved.
• As previously mentioned Cap noted that the City of Bangor plans to install a temporary water line to the county’s jail within the next couple of weeks. The temp line is a result of the water/sewer work that is being performed on Hammond Street. The City’s plan is to hook up a temporary line to a nearby water hydrant and build a ramp over the line so the jail’s delivery trucks can still easily access the facility.
• Cap then explained that Stan MacMillan has never asked him about using the county’s parking lot at 127 Hammond Street. Bill and Dan commented that the county has been provided an insurance document naming the County as insured while the company uses the lot. Commissioner Davis worries that if MacMillan leaves the county’s lot, the company will simply use Court Street and then many of the county’s employees will be out of parking spots.
• Bill noted his was absent from last week’s meeting. He asked if there is anything he should be mindful of based on Jim Ring’s presentation of the 127 Hammond Street property. Commissioner Davis stated that the county should invest no funds into the property until the State Budget is clarified. Commissioner Baldacci agrees but noted that steps need to be taken to winterize the building in the coming months. He feels the Commissioners should weigh any demolition ideas with costs over the next few weeks so the county doesn’t winterize any parts of the building that will potentially be demolished at a later date. Cap and Terry’s main concern would be the 16 roof drains on the building and the risk of them not functioning properly due to lack of heat in the building.
Administrative Update continued-
• Bill discussed a Tax Abatement Request from Soil Preparation and F, F, and G LLC of the Town of Plymouth. In last week’s meeting Commissioner Baldacci stated that he believed the hearing will have to be before the State of Maine Board of Property Tax Review based on the value of the appealed property is over $1,000,000. Bill distributed an email from the county’s attorney Ed Bearor validating that the county will not be required to hold the appeal based on the property value, but have been given notice in the event that the State Board of Property Tax Review concludes the value of the property is less than $1,000,000. Bill added that the document was dated when received and that Tyler had informed the town of Plymouth and Lisa Whynot of Maine Revenue Service that the county had received the abatement request.
• Bill reminded the Commissioners that the county will be holding a health/safety fair tomorrow open for all county employees to attend.
• Bill stated that PRCC Department Head Chad LaBree is at Hancock County’s Commissioners’ Meeting today discussing the possibility of our dispatch center taking over some of the services of Hancock’s PSAP. Bill had shared documents that were going to be read at Hancock’s meeting presenting the reasons Hancock’s Commissioner were considering the transition. Commissioner Baldacci asked if there was a lot of opposition to the idea. Bill only knew that a few Hancock’s employees were upset about this change.
• Bill reminded the Commissioners that the Penquis’ 50th Celebration will be taking place later tonight. The County’s re-zoning hearing with the City of Bangor is also tonight. Bill explained that county attorney Ed Bearor said that it is ok for Judy Alexander to go in place of the Commissioners at tonight’s hearing, but one of the Commissioners should definitely attend City Council meeting when the re-zoning request goes before the City Council.
• Bill informed the Commissioners that a new county employee completed an application to take part in the county’s deferred compensation plan through VOYA. The employee was hired in March and thus has not fulfilled the nine month probation period required to participate in the plan. The Commissioners declined the application until the probation period is finished.
Executive Session - Commissioner Davis motioned to go into Executive Session to discuss a contract matter at 10:15 am under 1 MRSA §405 (6) (E). Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0. The Commissioners, Treasurer Dan Tremble, Administrator Bill Collins, UT Department Head Barbara Veilleux, UT Deputy Director George Buswell, and Administrative Assistant Tyler Thompson were in attendance. Executive Session ended at 10:23 am.
For the Minutes-
• Commissioner Davis made a motion to award the Solid Waste Collection Service for Argyle and Greenfield to Maine Waste Systems. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0. The Commissioners awarded the bid to Maine Waste Systems based on the vendor’s prior service references and their full completion of the RFP’s terms.
Department Head Renee Stupak explained that one major concern was that State legislation is considering shifting a significant amount of cases that the Probate Department handles onto District Court. Renee presented a list of all the cases the Department handled in the last six weeks and expressed her concern that legislators don’t have a good understanding of the amount of work load the District Court would be taking on if the transition were to be made. Renee explained that it’s not just the court hearings that take time, it is the subsequent paperwork and interaction with the public that adds to the department’s workload. The Association is assembling a committee which will include a Probate Judge to educate legislators on the workload and potential negative consequences of shifting Probate cases around the State to the area’s respective District Courts. The Commissioners and Renee noted that Representative Stacie Guerin is the only local legislator of the State’s Judicial Committee.
Executive Session - Commissioner Davis motioned to go into Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter at 10:30 am under 1 MRSA §405 (6) (A). Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0. The Commissioners, Treasurer Dan Tremble, Administrator Bill Collins, Probate Department Head Renee Stupak, and Administrative Assistant Tyler Thompson were in attendance. Executive Session ended at 10:38 am with no votes taken.
Executive Session - Commissioner Davis motioned to go into Executive Session to discuss a contract matter at 10:40 am under 1 MRSA §405 (6) (E). Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0. The Commissioners, Treasurer Dan Tremble, Administrator Bill Collins, and Administrative Assistant Tyler Thompson were in attendance. Executive Session ended at 10:43 am.
The Commissioners appointed Elise Tilton to volunteer her services to the County in regards to evaluating how to best reduce the levels of mercury in the Penobscot River system. The efforts are in response to historical releases of the HoltraChem Plant in Orrington. The United States District Court for the District of Maine is assembling a team of engineers and scientists to evaluate and hopefully reduce any threats to human health and the environment. The Commissioner hope that Ms. Tilton can help the research group with the study and report her findings back to the Commissioners so they can best help the project move forward.
Administrative Update continued-
• Payroll Warrant to be approved for: $ 214,167.39
• Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for : $ 70,930.07
• Unorganized Territory Warrant to be approved for: None
• Payroll change notice signed for: Hired Part-Time – Leanna Beavens. Resignation Full-Time & Transfer to Part-Time – Richard Harburger
Miscellaneous – Stephen Boyd, Ray Goodspeed, Mary Ann Hesseltine, Loueen Lovely, Nicole Matthes, Rebecca Merrick, and Adam Orcutt.
• Compensation notice signed for: None
Public Comment- None
Meeting Adjourned- The meeting was adjourned at 10:50 am with no further business on the agenda.
Penobscot County Administrator
Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman
Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner
Thomas J. Davis, Jr., Commissioner