For a downloadable copy of the meeting minutes click HERE
For a downloadable copy of the 2017 County Used Vehicle Bids click HERE
Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes October 24th, 2017 #2160
9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci, Tom Davis, and Laura Sanborn 60°
Approval of Minutes-
• Commissioner Davis made a motion to approve the October 10th and 17th, 2017 minutes. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
Sheriff’s Department Update-
• Sheriff Troy Morton reported today the jail population is housing 183 (40 of which are females) in house. We have 71 inmates boarded out (25 of which are at Two Bridges) and have 67 in Pre-Trial services. Sheriff Morton is trying to always keep 25 at Two Bridges. Two Bridges did have to send one inmate back to us due to a destruction of property incident.
• We shipped one inmate to the State Prison maximum unit.
• The county’s medical contractor (CHP) continues to struggle with keeping positions properly staffed. They did not have anyone show up this past Saturday. The Sheriff had to call a doctor in Auburn to come up to pass out medications. The Sheriff would like to go out to bid immediately for the service. The proposed RFP is requesting 6-8 hours extra coverage for nights and weekends. After 7:00 pm is the time when inmates are taken to the hospital. CHP states that they are having difficulties employing nurses. Sheriff Morton will forward the RFP to Administrator Bill Collins once finalized.
• DOC standards state that all inmates must have a full physical once incarcerated for 14 days. This is a major burden on county jails. The Sheriff would like to see this standard changed to only be a “medical” assessment.
• The video arraignment equipment is out of order due to an inmate that didn’t like the judge who decided to break the TV. The TV estimated cost to replace is $15,000-$20,000. We are working with the State for a temporary fix so that we don’t have to keep transporting the inmates to the court.
• A Deputy struck a deer with his car and did quite a bit of damage. The deputy was out for four days because of an airbag injury.
• Sheriff Morton reported that the domestic violence walk was a success. Troy spoke at the event and we were well represented by our deputies.
• Hermon Kickoff with a Cop had a tremendous turnout by the public. Positive feedback from people saying how wonderful it was to see law enforcement interacting with the crowd. Mike DeVito (ex-Kansas City Chiefs player) was there signing autographs.
• Law enforcement had a cruiser inspection last week. Afterwards there were group pictures taken at the Forest Rangers Station by the river in Old Town. Pictures will be shared at a later date.
• The Maine Sheriff’s Association held a meeting upstairs on the third floor this past Thursday. Troy was pleased with the great turnout of Sheriff’s, State Legislators and Commissioners. Tours of the jail were given to those wishing to attend. However,
Troy was very disappointed with the MSA’s agenda. He wished the jails financial crisis would have been one of the focal points of the meeting. Unfortunately, it was not.
• The State Correctional Training Academy has recently come up with new rules stating that we can no longer run a new hire training class with less than ten correction officers. The Sheriff feels that having new hires start on site prior to training when they begin employment is a terrible idea for the safety of the new officer. We run these classes and we also pay for the instructors. The only thing the academy provides is testing the new employees which we pay for too.
• Troy will be meeting with all four of the jail’s correctional day and night crews this Tuesday and Thursday for their quarterly meeting. He hopes to inform the staff of the progression of the county’s 127 Hammond Street property and the possible jail expansion the building presents.
PRCC Department Update-
• The project committee met last week in regards to the radio infrastructure analysis by contractor Norm Boucher. Last Tuesday’s meeting was very productive. Norm explained that our infrastructure is at a critical point. The committee is meeting again Wednesday to discuss the possibility of a system wide improvement. We currently are buying repair and replacement parts on eBay and are storing them. These replacement parts are no longer manufactured. Due to the infrastructure limitations, our ability to communicate is diminishing. On a positive note now that we have new consoles in both communications centers as well as the State, we are now able to patch channels.
• There will be county wide training conducted by multiple agencies. This is a great joint effort including EMA, Forestry, DPS, as well as PRCC.
• Chad asked if the commissioners would allow him to go out for a RFQ on a Infrastructure Improvement Project. This RFQ would be just for the infrastructure – not towers. The state has put another six month moratorium on allowing use of their towers. Thus the county would have to find alternative means to attach any upgraded equipment. Chad reached out to private company “American Towers” who is in our county. They are looking at alternative locations and possible lease pricing.
• Chad explained the upgrade would be very expensive. Since there are no grants or homeland security funds available. We also need someone to develop the specs in order to go out to bid. We could extend Norman’s contract and authorize him to do this service at half the cost. ($6 K) Commissioner Davis made a motion to authorize the RFQ with Mr. Boucher. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
DA’s Office (Dept. 5) Budget Presentation-
• District Attorney Chris Almy and Administrative Assistant Kristine Higgins presented the DA’s department budget for the 2018 year. Kristine noted that a part-time clerical specialist position is being requested to be made full time.
• Chris explained the department bumped up their parking permits fees line by $500 ($4000) total as compared to last year’s budget for five parking permits at the courthouse.
• The department is in dire need for a copier which was included in the budget. ($4,500)
• Mr. Almy commented that he has been working diligently in trying to move inmates out of the jail. Chris voiced his frustration with how often inmates will appeal and stall sentencing to avoid going to the State Prison.
• Commissioner Davis made a motion to approve the budget presented. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
2017 County Used Vehicles Bid Opening
• Commissioner Baldacci then opened bids on a number of used county vehicles. The highest bidder for each vehicle was announced. Commissioner Davis motions to take the bids under advisement. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0. Please find the attached copy of the bid results. (Click HERE )
EMDC (Dept. 30) Budget Presentation –
Mike Aube and John Farley from EMDC thanked the county for our continued support in aiding EMDC promote county wide economic and regional development. As well as support them with the recent workforce development funding crisis. Mike and John recently received news from the Governor’s office the workforce investment board that oversees operations will cease as of October 31st. They will be holding meetings this week to see the impact of the operations here. Losing the Northeastern Workforce Development Board creates doubt for the longevity of EMDC. Mike and John are not only concerned for the hundreds of job seekers currently in training programs, but for the many businesses that secure funding for training.
• Mike and John explained that EMDC is asking for a $5,500 increase ($60,500 total). The increase is in large part to cost of health care for EMDC employees. Mike and John noted they have exhausted all legislative contacts in regards to Board funding cuts.
• They explained Maine will be the only state in the nation not participating in the federal workforce investment act and receiving federal dollars.
• Commissioner Davis moved to approve the increase of $5,500 for a total of $ 60,500. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
Executive Session – Commissioner Davis motioned to go into Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter at 10:30 am under 1 MRSA §450 (6) (A). Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0. The Commissioners, Administrator Bill Collins, and Sheriff Troy Morton were in attendance. Executive Session ended at 10:39 with no votes taken.
Third Floor Renovations Update-
• Department Head Cap Ayer stated three commercial grade doors were inadvertently omitted from the renovation quote. Cap would like to get three new doors to match the rest of the building that has taken place over time. Commissioners Sanborn and Baldacci along with other Administrative Staff then toured the 3rd floor project. Upon their return, Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve the purchase of the three commercial doors. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
• PRCC Chad LaBree stated he has a meeting this week to discuss furniture changes for his department. Commissioner Baldacci stressed the importance of the county to analyze all costs and options if PRCC were to move or expand. Cap and Chad will have the county’s vendor get a quote to upgrade the lighting in the current PRCC space while they are renovating the 3rd floor office space.
Maine State Retirement (Dept. 18) Budget Presentation –
• Judy Alexander presented the Maine State Retirement (Dept. 18) department budget for the 2018 year. Judy noted that she has increased the Retirement budget to $2,025 from $1,750 in the previous year’s budget.
• Commissioner Davis motioned to approve the Maine State Retirement budget. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
Health/Safety (Dept. 19) Budget Presentation –
• Judy Alexander presented the Health/Safety (Dept. 19) department budget for the 2018 year. Judy noted budget request is the same. ($6,000)
• Commissioner Sanborn motioned to approve the Health/Safety budget. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
Insurance-Retirees (Dept. 22) Budget Presentation –
• Judy Alexander presented the Insurance-Retirees (Dept. 22) department budget for the 2018 year. Judy noted that she has decreased the budget to $43,000 from $45,000 in the previous year’s budget.
• Commissioner Sanborn motioned to approve the Insurance-Retirees budget. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
Bridges (Dept. 24) Budget Presentation –
• Judy Alexander presented the Bridges (Dept. 24) department ($100).
• Commissioner Davis motioned to approve the Bridges budget. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
Loan Interest (Dept. 31) Budget Presentation –
• Judy Alexander presented the Loan Interest (Dept. 31) department budget for ($18,000)
• Commissioner Sanborn motioned to approve the Loan Interest budget. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0. Judy noted the last TAN payment was made.
Program Donations (Dept. 34) Budget Presentation –
• Judy Alexander presented the Program Donations (Dept. 34). She has increased the budget from $63,500 in 2017 to $73,500 in 2018. The increase is due to a $10,000 recent donation to the Holden Land Trust.
• Commissioner Sanborn motioned to approve the Program Donations. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion for the purpose of discussion. Vote to approve passed 2-1 with Commissioner Davis voting in opposition.
County Extension Services (Dept. 35) Budget Presentation –
• Judy Alexander presented the County Extension Services (Dept. 35). She has increased the budget from $69,982 in 2017 to $72,782.
• Commissioner Sanborn motioned to approve the County Extension Services. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
Penquis (Dept. 36) Budget Presentation –
• Judy Alexander presented the Penquis (Dept. 36) department budget. Judy requests the same. Funding. ($18,500)
• Commissioner Davis motioned to approve the Penquis Budget Request. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Motion to approve passed 3-0.
Soil Conservation (Dept. 38) Budget Presentation –
• Judy Alexander presented the Soil Conservation (Dept. 38) department budget. It is a 2.75% increase ($48,918 total request).
• Commissioner Davis motioned to approve the Soil Conservation Budget. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Motion to approve passed 3-0.
Labor Negotiations (Dept. 39) Budget Presentation –
• Judy Alexander presented the Labor Negotiations (Dept. 39). Judy has decreased the Labor Negotiations budget to $8,000 in 2018 from $12,000.
• Commissioner Sanborn motioned to approve the Labor Negotiations Budget. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Motion to approve 3-0.
Wage Adjustment (Dept. 40) Budget Presentation –
• Judy Alexander presented the Wage Adjustment (Dept. 40) ($30,000).
• Commissioner Sanborn motioned to approve the Wage Adjustment and have yearend surplus transferred to the county’s general fund. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Motion to approve 3-0.
Update on PRCC Dept. 4 Budget –
• Finance Director Judy Alexander asked on behalf of PRCC Director Chad LaBree if the start date for the three new hires take place in April not July. Commissioner Baldacci suggested shifting the start date of three additional new hires (Six total) start in February vs January to offset hiring three sooner. Judy will verify with Chad if the change of dates work logistically with operations. Judy asked if the Commissioners would approve this department’s budget with these changes. Commissioner Sanborn made the motion to adjust the PRCC budget based on the hiring needs as discussed. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Motion to approve passed 3-0.
• Malcom Ulmer shared his comments on the utilization of nurses from Eastern Maine Community College and Husson University at the Jail.
• Bill presented an offer from WBRC to analyze the county’s 127 Hammond St property for expansion. WBRC had been previously approved to carry forth the analysis but there was no discussion/approval of cost. Commissioner Davis made the motion to approve the service with a not to exceed cost of $2,500. Commissioner Sanborn seconded. Motion to approve passed 3-0.
• Bill presented a letter received from Joanna Russell that was written from the Governor’s office. The correspondence stated that the Northeastern Workforce Development will be shut down on October 31. An internal letter was also sent to the Department of Labor staff informing them that the State will be taking over these programs effective October 31st.
• Bill Collins met with Charlie Pray and Aaron Frey last week. They felt the county and Maine Sheriffs Association missed a great opportunity to discuss the funding crisis at the recent MSA meeting.
• The SALT Resolve was signed and sent out last week. We have learned the US Senate has voted to eliminate the SALT deduction on a 51-49 vote.
• The Flexible Spending Program can be increased from the annual contribution of $2,600 to $2,650. Commissioner Davis made a motion to approve the increase. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Motion to approve passed 3-0.
• Bill’s tentative date to meet with the Patrol Unit Labor Negotiations is November 17th.
• There is a TIF committee meeting this Friday.
• Thursday, November 16th will be the county’s budget meeting at 5:30pm.
• Carmel Electric was the lowest bidder for electrical work for the 3rd floor renovation project at $5,500. Bill approved the quote in order to not hold up the project.
• The IT bid that was approved last week did not include any renovation cost of the potential PRCC move to the county’s 3rd floor.
• The County received a Notice of Claim from a former jail inmate.
• Payroll Warrant to be approved for: $ 229,472.85
• Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for: $ 1,214,604.48
• Payroll changes: None.
• Compensation notice signed for: None.
• Introduction of new hire Mary Anne Hesseltine, Administrative Assistant.
Public Comment - None
Meeting Adjourned- The meeting was adjourned at 11:38 am with no further business on the agenda.
Administrator, William Collins
Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman
Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner
Thomas J. Davis, Jr., Commissioner