top of page

Penobscot County Commissioners' Meeting Minutes February 20th, 2018

For a downloadable copy click HERE

Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes February 20, 2018 2177

9:10 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci, Tom Davis (10:10 am) and Laura Sanborn 36°

Sheriff’s Department Update –

Chief Deputy William Birch stated that today’s jail population is 195 inmates comprising 164 males, 31 females and 50 boarded out to other county jails. There are currently 58 inmates involved with pre-trial services and there are no federal inmates.

NWDB Update –

Joanna Russell has received notification from Maine Department of Labor that she will be receiving a contract for FY17. The State Workforce Board voted and approved a new training policy which requires the local boards to allocate 70% of the total contract for training with 30% for operations. DOL told Joanna to submit her budget and then she would receive her monies which was done. Joanna had been told that this now has to go through process and that Commissioner Butera had signed our contract and forward to purchasing. Joanna has since found out that Commissioner Butera did not sign our contract.

Joanna is told that State of Maine is required to submit the modification to their four year strategic plan to USDOL. We can’t get any monies from US Department of Labor until this new plan is submitted. There is a draft of a plan made up from Department of Employment Services and Garret Oswald, President of the State Workforce Board whom have come together to make modifications. In their writing they stated that the workforce boards have come together to submit these modifications, which is not true. Monthly meetings have taken place without Joanna, Jeff Sneddon (CWMWIB) and Michael Bourret. Joanna and others stopped attending back in August stepping away from the steering committee.

Bureau of Employment Security will stop being the service provider for the local boards as of July 1st. This means Joanna and the four counties have procure new services by June 30th.

Joanna will be attending a meeting tomorrow in Augusta with the other boards to discuss coordinated services. Commissioner Baldacci was very helpful in assisting Joanna prepare for this meeting.

Joanna states that Representatives’ Ryan Fecteau from Biddeford and Amy Volk from Scarborough have been advocates and have voiced their displeasure with the State plan.

Joanna states Machias has been chosen to be their new service Center due to cost considerations.

UT Update –

Barbara Veilleux and George Buswell presented the new contract for the Town of Millinocket solid waste. After discussion Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve the contract. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Moved to approve passed 2-0.

Barbara told the Commissioners that she has received the signed contracts for PERC.

Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve the ambulance service contract with the Town of Millinocket for a five year period with an annual 3% increase. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Moved to approve passed 2-0.

There was much discussion on the Town of Millinocket Fire protection contract which is expiring. The Chief would like to renew for another five years with an annual 3% increase. They are also proposing to change the prevailing union wage rate from $27.03 with a minimum of one hour to $30.56 with a minimum of four hours per man. It was suggested by Bill that the term be reduced to three years and add language that clarifies we would not begin paying for calls until the annual stipend amount has been "billed down". The Commissioners asked Barbara to present those terms to Millinocket and report back.

Barbara said the owner of the home in Greenfield with the defective chimney has reported that the tenants are being evicted. The state has agreed to allow the property owner until the end of May to repair the chimney when the weather is warmer.

There was a question from a contractor that placed a bid on the Millinocket Lake Road plowing job in 2016. It was asked if the current contractor was not able to complete his five year contract, would the contract be award to the second lowest bidder. The Commissioners stated that the contract would go back out to bid.

George Buswell reported that all the sheds are low on sand.

EMA Update –

Michelle Tanguay from EMA informed Bill Collins that EMA and Emera Maine are currently working on a Critical infrastructure list for the County. Chief Higgins of Bangor Fire is doing the City while Michelle is working on the rest of the County.

EMA is also holding ongoing training with all departments on "CONOPs" and "RegionNets". They are holding a couple trainings a month in different locations which is showing a good turnout with approximately 20-35 people attending the training.

All towns that needed to apply for FEMA monies for October’s windstorm have submitted their applications. We assist now with Questions and Answers going forward.

"Until Help Arrives" is a program that EMA is hosting. Dispatcher, Betty Stone, will be assisting Michelle in instructing classes. Their first class was in Lincoln and a private business has made a request for them to teach for their annual training about 70 people.

EMA is also being included on press releases with Bangor on the Flu epidemic and Coast Guard ice breaking. It is a Good Partnership with the City that keeps getting stronger.

Michelle continues to educate seniors in towns on preparedness and updated plans in case of power outages.

EMA and DHHS are sponsoring an Active Shooter workshop that will be held at Jeff’s Catering on March 8th. Currently there are 60 people registered to attend.

EDMC Update –

Michael Aube and Jon Farley came before the Commissioners’ with three items to share. In regards to the workforce development initiatives, Mike and Jon Farley are determined to work on those efforts despite the challenges brought forth by changing program delivery mechanisms. Hopefully within the next couple weeks we can sign a contract which will allow us to expand the resources and bring staff back. The game plan is to be thoughtful in bringing the staff back on board by bringing the right people in the right position. Our design is a fresh look into economic development because of the changes taking place.

Next, LignaTerra out of Charlotte, North Carolina is planning to build a factory in Millinocket. They will be employing about 100 positions. LignaTerra engineers are making wood building material as an alternative to traditional materials like steel, concrete and masonry. Another company out of Montana is also looking at expanding as well in Penobscot County.

EDMC is celebrating their 50th year anniversary this year. In 2014, EMDC created an "Employee of the Year" award in honor of Commissioner Davis. Mike and Jon presented Commissioner Davis a plaque with the recipients names engraved on it to be hung in the Commissioners’ chambers.

Executive Session---Commissioner Davis made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:22 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (A) Personnel Matter. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0. Present were: Bill Collins and Chief Deputy William Birch. Session ended at 10:55 a.m.

Administration Update:

Bill forwarded emails regarding the MCCA breakfast from last Thursday. There was some displeasure expressed in regards to the venue not being formal enough. Commissioner Baldacci said it was a good turnout with good conversations.

District Attorney Chris Almy and Kristine Higgins are requesting to rescind Rebecca Woodard’s resignation. Approved.

Bill updated the Commissioners on the Staff that will be going out on vacations this month: himself, Michelle Tanguay, Chad LaBree, Dan Tremble, and Susan Bulay.

Bill received correspondence from the town assessor from Old Town questioning last year’s values for the town. Mike Rogers of Maine Revenue has addressed the concerns raised.

Our Deputies responded to the Hermon snowmobile fatalities the other night of a father and ten year old son.

Judy Alexander is working on financials and should be presenting to the Commissioners with her recommendations.

It was decided to hold a meeting next Wednesday with the members of the building committee to go over the two RFQ responses that were opened at last week’s meeting.

Reminder that there is a Tax Abatement hearing that will be heard at next week’s Commissioner meeting. Ben Birch will be representing the Town of Eddington.

Payroll change notices signed for: Rebecca Woodard – Rescinding Resignation; Tyler Thompson – Comp Time.

Commissioner Davis made a motion to approve a sudden emergency withdrawal of Voya Funds request once all paperwork is completed. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3 – 0.

Payroll Warrant to be approved for: $ 212,533.55

Account Payable Warrant to be approved: $ 43,482.07

Unorganized Territory Warrant to be approved: $ 47,233.41

Public Comment--- None.

Meeting Adjourned-

Commissioner Davis moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:21 am with no further business on the agenda. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Moved to approve 3-0.

Certified By:


Administrator, William Collins

Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman

Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner

Thomas J. Davis, Jr., Commissioner

bottom of page