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Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes July 18th, 2017 # 2146
10:00 AM Commissioners Tom Davis, and Laura Sanborn. 75°
Commissioner Baldacci (arrived 11:02 am).
Sheriff’s Department Update-
• Sheriff Troy Morton stated that today’s jail population is 180 (149 males, 31 females) with 29 boarded out to other county jails (none of which the county is paying for). There is one federal inmate and 75 inmates in Pre-Trial Services. While the Sheriff is very thankful for the high number in Pre-Trial Services, he feels we are on the edge of how many they can manage. If the numbers were to grow, the service may have to hire an additional employee.
• Troy expressed his frustration of the lack of staffing for the jail’s in-house medical provider CHP. He understands it is hard to staff these type of positions, however the lack of nurses, doctors, & HSA’s on site have been prevalent since the vendor began servicing our facility. In a recent meeting with CHP and the county’s mental health provider CHCS, CHP expressed not wanting to accept the prescription recommendation that the CHCS staff provides. Instead CHP wishes to have their Psychiatrist issue every single prescription of the jail’s inmates. Sheriff Morton said that this would increase our cost significantly versus continuing to have CHCS recommend prescriptions for CHP to write and administer.
• Administrator Bill Collins noted that due to CHP not having the proper staffing of nurses, doctors, etc. the County would have the right to terminate their contract and go out to bid with another vendor. Bill suggested notifying CHP of the department’s frustrations and that the County may start to contact other vendors to see if there is interest in bidding for this service.
• Bill is waiting to hear back from Charlie Pray of the MCCA if there has been any more news on Jail funding. Bill stated there has been no more movement on the supplemental funding of last year’s budget shortfall ($1.5 million total) and this year still remains at roughly $15.2 million funds for county jails ($12.2 + $ 3 million of supplemental.)
• Bill has been contacted by Scott Ferguson of the DOC asking if an administrators or Commissioners would serve on a special jail committee in regards to finding a State wide solution to the jail overcrowding and funding issues. Bill felt that the committee should include a finance person such as our county’s Finance Director Judy Alexander. Judy said she would be willing to serve on the committee if asked.
• The Department of Corrections recently inspected the county’s Jail. The facility passed 99.7% of the 266 standards, and approximately 96.7% of the Essential inspection items. The one item the jail received a write up was for not having adequate housing for the separation of male and female inmates in the intake/observation areas. They have asked the Sheriff to request a variance of how our department will handle the lack of sight/sound separation of female/male inmates.
• Sheriff Morton asked what the status was of hiring a Human Resource employee to help take some of the work burden off of the jail’s administrative staff. Bill answered that in light of the jail funding and the time of year before tax revenues come in from towns, this a poor time of year for the county’s cash flow position. Bill noted he is also waiting for the remodel of the 3rd floor office space to take place so that we would have a location to house the HR employee. Sheriff Morton responded that if housing is a concern he could make room over in the Sheriff’s Department until a permanent solution is found. Troy asked if the Commissioners and Bill could rethink, examine, and compare what payroll, injury reporting, and other administrative tasks are done for other department and see if there is any way to lessen the work load of the jail’s admin staff. Finance Director Judy Alexander noted that our county’s payroll due to the volume of employees and amount of departments is a more complicated process than what most bystanders would understand. Sheriff Morton asked that if the county needs to delay the hiring, could we at least have a meeting to address the process of how to make the workload more reasonable.
• Troy stated that the Commissioner Chair and Treasurer need to sign the CCA Expenditure reports that Judy had completed to turn into the State. Judy stated that there should now be no excuse to not grant the county any jail funding since the reports and information they have asked for has been submitted. Report Signed.
DA’s Office Update-
• Office Manager Kristine Higgins stated that the department is looking to hire Rebecca Woodard and Olivia Smith to fill two open positions. The two new hires are filling the spots of Jody Currier Smith who is becoming the new Victims Witness Coordinator, and Jessica Guy who is resigning from her current role. Kristine discussed the qualifications of the two employees to which the Commissioners expressed their support and signed the respective payroll change notices.
• Kristine stated that the office has had a couple of interns working in the office which has been helpful.
• Department Head Cap Ayer and Building Mechanic Terry Sullivan explained that the City of Bangor’s Water Works Department has had trouble opening/closing the correct valves when repairing the Hammond Street main this morning. Bill was notified by the water works department that the county would be without running water from 6:00-10:00 am. Cap and Terry explained that the jail had a temporary water line installed to prevent any loss of water during the repairs. However Cap and Terry found that the temporary line was not properly supplied before the shutoff took place. They then notified Bangor Water Works that another valve must be closed. The Water works department opened the correct valve so that the jail would have water during the shut off. Unfortunately this delayed the water outage and has pushed back the timeframe from 10:00 am to approximately 1:00 pm that the county main building will be without water. The Commissioners commended Cap and Terry for finding the oversight. Commissioner Sanborn told Cap to ensure that they write this down for any future water works repairs/issues. The Commissioners and Bill had previously approved a late opening to miss the water outage and brought a portable toilet to have on campus for the 24/7 county employees, now Bill has notified department heads to plan on being without water until early afternoon.
• Administrator Bill Collins presented that the MCCA officially announced Charlie Pray as the new Executive Director of the MCCA. Bill noted that all of the counties that were present at last week’s meeting praised Charlie for his work as the interim director.
• Bill, PRCC Department Head Chad LaBree, and IT Department Head Cliff Warren recently presented information and answered question at a Hancock County Commissioners Meeting on the possibility of our county taking over Hancock’s PSAP services. Bill stated only one of their Commissioners stayed for the presentation. Chad commented that the Fire and Police Chiefs that were in attendance noted there would be no change in service/coverage if the transition were to take place. Hancock County Commissioner William Clark stated that the Commissioners will plan to make a final decision during July 25th’s Hancock Commissioner’s meeting.
• Finance Director Judy Alexander reported that the County has roughly $ 800,000 dollars left in the TAN. Judy explained that if the State does not provide funding soon, she is worried that county will have to discuss what bills should be paid. The Commissioners asked if Attorney Ed Bearor can investigate if there are any other venues the county could pursue in borrowing additional funding.
• Bill informed the Commissioners that union rep Jim Mackie still needs to sign the PRCC contract. Deputy County Clerk Dianne Bowden and Judy will be working on reimbursing the department’s employees for any retro pay and wage adjustments due to the contract’s new terms.
• Bill had shared in last week’s meeting that he had received a complaint from a local citizen against the DA’s office who is frustrated that the DA will not press charges on a bad check cashing case. Bill informed the citizen that the Commissioners hold no supervisory capacity over the District Attorney and that he would best be served to share the complaint with the Attorney General’s office.
• Bill reminded the Commissioners that Joanna Russel, Director of the Northeastern Workforce Development Board, has invited the Commissioners and their spouses to Lobster Mania taking place July 27th 6-8:00 pm at the BARN.
• Bill presented a Memorandum of Agreement of a contract with the Town of Mattawamkeag for the use of their Transfer Station for $200 a month. Commissioner Sanborn motioned to approve the contract. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 2-0. Contracts signed.
• Bill presented the Community Corrections Act paperwork that was prepared by Finance Director Judy Alexander and Sheriff Morton. Treasurer Dan Tremble and Commissioner Davis signed the document on behalf of Commissioner Baldacci.
• Bill informed the Commissioners on behalf of UT Administrators Barbara Veilleux and George Buswell that PERC is holding an open house on July 22nd to tour the PERC facility.
• Bill was contacted by Bangor Natural Gas informing him that the county’s recently acquired building on 127 Hammond Street account has not been paid up to date. They informed Bill that the county owes $79 for gas supply from April 10th – 27th. Treasurer Dan Tremble noted that when the county acquired the building there should have been no appliances using up any gas from that point forward. Bill stated he or Cap would look further into the issue but that some of the tenants may have still used some gas during the process of cleaning up and moving out.
• Bill was informed that former County Commissioner Steve Stanley would not be eligible to serve as the county’s representative on the LUPC. Barbara has run an ad in the Bangor Daily advertising for the position. Commissioner Sanborn commented that she has been in communication with an individual that may be interested in applying. Bill and the Commissioners explained that the county needs to appoint someone to the committee or the Governor will have the right to fill the appointment.
• Bill has reserved rooms for the Maine County Convention taking place September 8, 9, & 10 at Sunday River Resort.
Franklin Street Building Roof Project, RFP Bid Results Discussion-
• Maintenance Department Head Cap Ayer and Building Mechanic Terry Sullivan presented some details in regards to the contractors that bid on the county’s Franklin Street Property Roof Project. Cap explained that he researched jobs that the lowest bidder ($87,000) JB Roofing Systems had done in the area. Cap stated the business is located in Pennsylvania and that they have not done flat roofs in Maine. The type of roofing job that he had found the business had done locally were shingle jobs. Cap stated he was concerned that the contractor did not send a rep up to look over the job. He said seeing the project onsite wasn’t a requirement for the bid, but considering the extensiveness of the project, the fact that the company didn’t see the job first hand is concerning. Cap explained the next closest bid in price is Roof Systems of Maine ($89,100) whom the county has had a lot of experience with. Commissioner Davis commented that he has never seen a flat roof installed that the contractor has not had to come back and fix a seam or repair a minor issue in the install to prevent/fix a roof leakage. He is concerned that the county will need to call out a service call to do a repair in the middle of the winter and have to wait until the firm from Pennsylvania could send someone to repair it. Terry explained a flat roof, especially considering the amount of changes we wish to make to the roof, is a very complex job and the other vendors came to see the site first hand for that purpose. Based on the location of the vendor and the fact the company did not view the site first hand, Commissioner Sanborn motioned to grant the bid to Roof Systems of Maine for $ 89,100. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 2-0. Cap said he would notify the respective parties.
Commissioner Baldacci then entered the meeting.
Executive Session - Commissioner Davis motioned to go into Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter at 11:05 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, PRCC Department Head Chad LaBree, and Administrative Assistant Tyler Thompson were in attendance. Executive Session ended at 11:32 am with no votes taken.
Administrative Update Continued-
• Payroll Warrant to be approved for: $ 240,479.69
• Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for 2016-2017 Budget Year: $ 11,808.53
• Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for current Budget Year: $ 79,069.24
• Unorganized Territory Warrant to be approved for: None
• Payroll change notice signed for: Miscellaneous – Jonathan Chiasson. Hired – Olivia Smith and Rebecca Woodard. Resigned – Jessica Guy and Johannah Sirois. Temporary Position Ended – Marcella Ouellette.
• Compensation notice signed for: None
• Citizen Dick Hansen stated that the Matagamon Dam Association will be applying for the Unorganized Territory’s TIFF grants for the association first year needs. Dick asked the Commissioners if a For-Profit business would be able to apply for any TIF Funds. The Commissioners answered that For-Profit businesses would not be eligible for any grant funds. However, they would be eligible for low interest rate loans if the committee found that the business loan would be used to further develop the local economy and create new jobs.
• Dick expressed his opinion that the reason our county’s jail has had problems with its healthcare provider is that it is difficult for an outside business to come in and properly recruit and staff that type of service. Dick felt a local health service company would perform that duty better and be able to recruit more efficiently.
Meeting Adjourned- The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 am with no further business on the agenda.
Penobscot County Administrator William Collins
Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman
Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner
Thomas J. Davis, Jr., Commissioner