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Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes August 29th, 2017 #2152
9:00 AM Commissioners Tom Davis and Laura Sanborn
Commissioner Peter Baldacci was absent.55°
Approval of Minutes-
• Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve the August 22nd, 2017 minutes. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 2-0.
Registry of Deeds Update-
• Susan Bulay, Register of Deeds, had presented in a previous Commissioners’ meeting a request to update her department’s website due to consistent complaints from citizens on the user-friendliness of the current system. She has received estimates for the transition and has had a chance to talk over the process with IT Department Head Cliff Warren. The department currently has a contract with First Light for computer services that is close to the end of year three of a five year contract. If the department were to switch the website system they would no longer need First Light’s service due to the new website system comes with its’ own security and support service. After reviewing the contract with First Light, Susan believes the county has to right to terminate the contract after 3 years (which the county is near that time frame) with a 60 day notice. Susan requested that the county’s attorney review the terms and ensure that is the case. Commissioner Sanborn motioned to have Susan forward the contract onto Bill and he would then share it with the county’s attorney. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 2-0.
Susan then stated that she had initially thought the county would have to buy two new servers to process the more user-friendly web software. However, IT Department Director Cliff Warren explained that because the new software is a windows based system one of the county’s server is already compatible. Susan’s department would only have to purchase one new server in order to expand the county’s current server’s storage. Cliff explained that additional storage would not only benefit Susan’s department but would provide a better opportunity to backup/restore all of the county’s digital files in the event of a system stoppage/failure. Susan noted that her department currently pays approx. $51,000/year for the current website system. Of that amount 30% is paid out of the Deeds Surcharge account and 70% from her department’ budget. The new system would cost $48,912/year for a 5 year software license renewal for the website licensing and support, $16,638/year for 2 years for hardware purchased for the system through the current IBM contract, and $8,500 for the one time purchase of the additional server. Commissioner Davis asked how much funds are in the Surcharge account and if Susan would consider contributing more than 30% of the purchase from that account. Susan and Finance Director Judith Alexander believed there is roughly $260,000 currently in that account. Susan noted that she would evaluate if a higher percentage of the project cost could be paid out of the surcharge account versus her department’s budget. The Commissioners agreed to move forward with the process and wait to hear what the county’s attorney has to say about dropping the before mentioned contract.
• Commissioner Sanborn noted that Piscataquis County had expressed their appreciation to Cliff and his staff for helping their county get back online after lighting had struck and destroyed a fair amount of their IT equipment. Each Commissioner thanked Cliff and his team for their efforts.
• Administrator Bill Collins presented he has been in communication with the county’s Health Insurance contact, Mark Gagne of Cigna. Via the Commissioners request Bill had asked for a two year price freeze on the county’s health insurance premiums. Mark replied that Cigna would hold the county’s premiums for one year and that Cigna would pay the Affordable Health Care Tax charged to the county for the plan. The county’s insurance agent Dick Hansen noted that the tax amount is a significant surcharge the county will avoid. Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to accept Cigna’s terms for next year’s contract. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 2-0. The Commissioners thanked Dick for his work with the contract negotiations.
• Bill and Judy will be meeting with Sheriff Morton tomorrow to work on the Sheriff’s Department Budget for next year.
• Bill noted that the jail is severely overcrowded. The facility has been forced to send out twelve inmates to other facilities in order to reduce our population.
• Bill communicated that Stan MacMillan’s Construction Company will be delivering cement barriers to be placed in certain sections of the county’s parking lot at 127 Hammond Street. The Commissioners asked Bill to thank MacMillan and his crew for bringing in the barriers and for the cleaning up the lot the county allowed them to use during their recent Hammond Street renovations.
• Bill reported that PRCC Director Chad LaBree notified him last night that Bangor Police Chief Mark Hathaway had contacted Chad asking if the county would consider taking over Bangor’s PSAP service. Chief Hathaway had expressed wanting to reach an agreement within the month. Chad communicated to Bill that this news has not even been discussed. He feels a change should not happen until our department can properly staff and plan for the additional work load. Chad has contacted the 911 bureau to gather statistics from 2016 and this year on the volume of calls. Chad has asked that his department’s 2018 budget plans be placed on hold until these details are finalized. Bill and Judy will meet with Chad this week to re-examine the impact of this change to his budget. Commissioner Davis explained that the City has expressed plans to do this many times in the past but nothing has ever materialized. He hopes that the City will take into account the added cost this will present to the county and negotiate their respective offer accordingly.
• Last week Maintenance Department Head Cap Ayer discussed changing over light fixtures in the jail to a more secure and vandal-proof style. The Commissioner had asked Cap to gather more quotes from other vendors for the project. Bill stated he had emailed the Commissioners all of the quotes that Cap had received. Commissioner Sanborn motioned to award the job to the lowest bidder Gillman Electrical Supply. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 2-0. The Commissioners thanked Cap for his efforts.
• Bill stated that the county’s EMA department, alongside Brewer PD, are conducting a two-day school/workplace violence course to educate emergency agencies of how to handle violent acts.
• Bill asked the Commissioners if they have identified individuals to serve on the county’s jail expansion committee. The Commissioners are still waiting to hear back from individuals they have contacted and will hopefully have more information on possible members next week. Bill had suggested that each Commissioner select two and also invite Jim Ring, who has assisted the county with the planning process so far, to serve as the seventh member of the committee.
Unorganized Territory Update-
• Department Head Barbara Veilleux and Deputy Director George Buswell presented the contract for the pavement reclaim project in Mattamiscontis TWP that was recently awarded to B & B Paving. Contract signed.
• The contractor with whom the county has hired to mow along the sides of the UT’s roads has started. The mowing has been delayed due to the contractor dealing with some personal health problems. George noted that the contractor has done a good job for the localities he’s mowed already.
• Barbara stated that she has been having difficulty placing orders for salt with Morton’s. Barbara explained that her contact responded that the company is in the process of merging with a business from Germany. Now all the paperwork must get funneled overseas to be processed. Barbara investigated this claim and noted Morton was purchased by a German company in 2009 but has found no literature of any recent acquisition. Barbara and George have also received a complaint from one of the county’s contracted road crews stating that there is moisture in the salt that was recently delivered. Barbara and George will be testing the moisture content of the salt and deducting the appropriate amount from the invoice if the tests indicate as such as outlined in the UT’s contract with Morton.
Greenfield Culvert Project RFP Bid Opening-
• Commissioner Davis opened two bids in regards to the Greenfield Culvert Project paving project in the County’s Unorganized Territory of Greenfield. The following are the results of the costs/estimates as outlined in the bid’s RFP sorted by Total Project Cost:
Contractor Total Project Cost
A & G Dirtworks $ 35,900.00
SunkHaze Project Solutions $ 52,510.16
Barbara and George noted that they have worked with A & G Dirtworks in the past and that the company has installed these types of culverts before. Barbara stated that the department had budgeted $35,000 for the job and would recommend awarding the bid to the low bidder. Commissioner Sanborn motioned to award the culvert project bid to A & G Dirtworks for $35,900. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 2-0.
TIF Committee’s Financial Services RFP Bid Opening-
• Commissioner Davis opened one bid in regards to a vendor providing financial services for the UT’s TIF. The bid had asked for a quote for the processing of applications each year for three years (with an additional price per application if the County Committee sends more than ten applications per year), and a price for the servicing/collection on the loans and grants of the committee. As with the application portion, the servicing/collection bid was a yearly quote for three years and then an additional price per closing if the vendor were to process more than six closings per year. The following are the results for the application costs of the financial service:
Vendor - Year 1 Year 1 (each addl. app over 10) Year 2 Year 2 (each addl. app over 10) Year 3 Year 3 (each addl. app over 10)
Mainstream Finance $ 9,600 $ 600 $ 6,000 $ 600 $ 6,000 $ 600
The following are the results for the servicing/collection of the loans & grants of the service:
Vendor - Year 1 Year 1 (each addl. closing over 6) Year 2 Year 2 (each addl. closing over 6) Year 3 Year 3 (each addl. closing over 6)
Mainstream Finance $ 9,000 $1,500 $ 9,000 $1,500 $ 9,000 $1,500
Commissioner Davis expressed concern that the costs of the service(s) are high and worries that the county would have to pay these costs for every application that is put in for TIF loans/grants. Barbara explained that the TIF Committee would first screen each application so the only loans/grants being forwarded onto the vendor will be applicants who have been pre-screened to proceed by the committee. Bill and Barbara explained that during the pre-bid meeting many TIF Committee members expressed how much work the entire service is and were in favor of having a financial service carry out these processes. Commissioner Sanborn motioned to award the TIF financial services to the lone bidder Maine Stream Finance for the costs outlined in the above proposal. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 2-0.
Administrative Update Continued-
• Bill shared that Finance Director Judy Alexander wanted to inquire if the Commissioner would lift the Moratorium of Capital Expenditures that was placed in July when the county’s cash position was low. Judy noted that the county has received more tax checks from our localities and that coupled with the jail funds from the state, our cash position is healthy. Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to lift the Moratorium on Spending. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 2-0.
• Payroll Warrant to be approved for: $ 211,551.30
• Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for: $ 1,377,805.36
• Unorganized Territory Warrant to be approved for: None
• Payroll change notice signed for: Melissa Boyle, George Buswell, Michaelle Day, Kendrick McCarthy, Tina Morrison, Emily Morrow, and Donna Smith.
• Compensation notice signed for: Terry Sullivan – 6 Hours, and Barbara Veilleux – 3 Hours.
Executive Session - Commissioner Sanborn motioned to go into Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter at 9:44 am under 1 MRSA §405 (6) (A). Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 2-0. Commissioners Davis and Sanborn, 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.
Public Comment- None
Meeting Adjourned- The meeting was adjourned at 9:51 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