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Penobscot County Commissioners' Meeting Minutes for May 1st, 2018

For a downloadable copy click HERE

Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes May 01, 2018 # 2187

9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci, Laura Sanborn, Tom Davis (absent) 50°

Approval of Minutes -

Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve the April 17th, 2018 minutes. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 2-0.

Plan Scanner/Copier/Printer Bid Openings –

Commissioner Baldacci opened up the bids for the Registry of Deeds request for proposal on a Plan Scanner/Copier/Printer. The following three vendors submitted their bids by the April 30th deadline.

1. Budget Document Technologies

o Black and White + delivery and installation $10,995

 Lease 60 months $216

 Lease 36 months $335

o Color + delivery and installation $20,395

 Lease 60 months $409

 Lease 36 months $634

2. Spiller’s

o Black and White after trade $14,930

 Lease 60 months $288

 Lease 36 months $450

o Color after trade $23,495

 Lease 60 months $446

 Lease 36 months $707

3. Transco Business Technologies

o Black and White $12,495

 Lease 60 months $285

 Lease 36 months $387

o Color $19,999

 Lease 60 months $520

 Lease 39 months $762

Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to take the bids under advisement. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Moved to approve passed 2-0.

Sheriff’s Department Update –

Sheriff Troy Morton stated that today’s jail population is 193 inmates; 156 males, 37 females and 54 boarded out to other county jails. There are currently 55 inmates in pre-trial services. There are no federal inmates and there is one county swap.

Sheriff attended a meeting last week with Eastern Maine Health Care and St. Joseph Hospitals. Eastern Maine does not want anyone being transported to the hospital with mental health issues that have pending criminal charges. Doctors, ER nurses from both hospitals and psychiatrists from Acadia and CHCS and management attended. The meeting was informative so all parties could get a better understanding of what the jail has available for services. This was an eye opener. The Sheriff shared our mission is public safety while the hospitals are for public health. Not everyone with mental challenges need to be brought to jail. There must be an evaluation completed to better understand what the individual is experiencing. Sheriff feels that this was a positive meeting.

Sheriff reports that since Canteen Services has been acquired twice. We do not have a contract with the current owners. Therefore we are looking at other vendors. The Keefe Group has been recommended by other counties. They are a leading provider of automated commissary management services to correctional facilities nationwide. It allows facilities to use self-service kiosks for inmates for banking and commissary needs. Their system would free up time for jail staff.

Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to give Sheriff Morton authority to contact Keefe requesting a proposal for their services. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Motion to Approve passed 2-0

Sheriff informed the Commissioners that in Augusta at the 3rd Annual CIT Recognition Banquet D/S Steven Boyd and C/O Jessica March were presented awards CIT In Action representing Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff reports that the Towns of Greenbush and Winn have signed contracts for supplemental law enforcement.

Detective Robert Jordan was at a K of C event in Old Town and conducted lifesaving CPR on a 70 year old experiencing a heart attack. The paramedics stated that without Detective Jordan’s actions, this man would not have survived.

Some of the members of the Sheriff’s Department participated in the Autism Walk on April 29th.

The Sheriff’s department has partnered this year with AARP and Bangor Police Department in the National Drug Takeback Day and paper shredding on April 27th at the Airport Mall. Kudo’s for Hartt Transportation for their involvement and assistance in making this event successful.

Sheriff spoke to the Commissioners about an elderly man’s passing in the woods. The deputies were grateful to the neighbors who allowed them access on their property to retrieve this man’s body.

Sheriff thanked the Commissioners for allowing him to use a tremendous number of resources during the recent tragedy in Somerset County. Our deputies were made available for all law enforcement calls for service. Our command staff and employees were just fabulous in running the operations here with no complaints. Penobscot County along with all the other counties are still holding guard at the funeral home for the deputy that was killed. This is a ceremonial ritual that takes place when someone from law enforcement is killed in the line of duty.

Sheriff was part of the planning for the memorial for Cpl. Eugene Cole. It will be Monday, May 7th at noon at the Cross Center in Bangor.

Public Hearing – Liquor License for Umcolcus Sporting Camps, T8 T6 WELS

Barbara Veilleux presented the Commissioners with a Liquor License permit to be signed for Umcolcus Sporting Camps. Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve the permit. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Motion to approve passed 2-0. Signed.

UT Update –

Barbara Veilleux informed the Commissioners that Wade Rackcliff has been summoned to court for operation of an illegal junkyard in Prentiss with a court date of June 6th.

Barbara stated that Neil Bonneville is requesting to move the trash collection day for Argyle and Greenfield from Friday to Tuesday beginning July 1st. This would allow Neil to pick up the trash himself rather than hiring someone to do it.

Barbara and George Buswell attended the MRRA Conference. Barbara states that it was very well attended and informational. Our presentation on budgeting went well and many questions were asked.

Barbara has heard from John Raymond from Millinocket who has requested to make a presentation to the Commissioners on Tuesday, May 22nd. Mr. Raymond is interested in applying for TIF funds to add an ATV/Snowmobile crossing (siding) to a bridge that may be upgraded by DOT.

Commissioners Baldacci and Sanborn stated they received a letter from PERC offering a discount to current contract holders for fees. Barbara says she hasn’t received such a letter yet. PERC will have a new tipping fee of $75 which is less than the current price.

Tax Abatement Appeal Hearing-Smith

Present were:

o Lisa Whynot, Supervisor of the Unorganized Territories, State of Maine

o Justin McMann, Property Appraiser and Field Rep for the State of Maine

o Marcus Russell, Property Appraiser and Field Rep for the State of Maine

o Andrea Lubejko, Property Appraiser and Field Rep for the State of Maine

o John Michael Smith, Property Owner from Massachusetts was on telephone

The property is located at Grand Falls Township, Map Reference PE037 plan 01 lot 12.1

This is a fourth generation, remote piece of property with a small camp on it. The only access is a 1.5 mile hike through a rough trail in the woods or depending on the time of year a small boat or canoe can cross the pond. There is no public boat ramp and only carry-in only. This property has about 75 feet of pond frontage and the rest is riverfront. This is a pond not a lake, and it is not swimmable due to the clarity of the water. It is not a game pond; not stocked for fishing. There is no running water, power or septic at this camp.

On the States Exhibit "D", Mr. Smith noted a piece of land that has more acreage, water front coverage and drive accessibility valued for $35,000 where his remote, secluded piece of land is valued at $57,940. Another property on Exhibit "D" has a camp that has waterfront access to the lake as well as a drive to the camp is valued for $56, 410.

The assessed value in 2017 was $76,180 on 1.38 acres. Mr. Smith states his taxes have almost doubled since 2015.

Commissioner Baldacci asked Mr. Smith what is this camp’s use. Mr. Smith replied that the family tries to come up every three months. In November it is used for hunting. It is mostly used for taking a break and bonding with family.

Justin McMann, Property Appraiser for the State of Maine had no questions for Mr. Smith, but did understand his concerns. Justin explained the methodology used in assessing the taxes and states he has given a 10% abatement reduction which was fair. Mr. Smith had asked for a 40% reduction. We give 50% to unbuildable properties.

Justin commented that the State is unable to evaluate every year. We can understand the "sticker shock" when it was assessed and taxed.

The Commissioners stated that they would make a decision and get back to all parties

Hearing concluded at 10:22 a.m.

Tax Abatement Appeal Hearing-Mosca

Present were:

o Robert Mosca, Camp Owner

o Alfred Mosca, Brother to Robert, Neighboring Camp Owner, Broker

o Lisa Whynot, Supervisor of the Unorganized Territories, State of Maine

o Justin McMann, Property Appraiser for the State of Maine

o Marcus Russell, Property Appraiser and Field Rep for the State of Maine

o Andrea Lubejko, Property Appraiser and Field Rep for the State of Maine

The property is located at 11 Birch Point Road, Indian Purchase Township 4, ME 04462 Map PE033, Plan 15, Lot 37

The camp was built in 1947 and was previously leased from Great Northern Paper Company. In 2003, these lots were placed on the market and at that time was purchased from Mr. Mosca for approximately $80,000. Mr. Mosca purchased two lots at that time. Mr. Mosca was leasing the property at $10 per lot giving him 200 foot shore frontage.

The assessed value of property in 2017 was $107,320 for land and $46,470 for the building. Mr. Mosca feels that this appraisal is inflated as he doesn’t have a sandy beach or mountain view. Mr. Mosca feels the property should be adjusted 20% less.

Alfred Mosca feels that the State is contradicting license appraisers who have valued both pieces of his brother’s property at $80,000. Alfred states that this piece of property is not at market value. Brokers are the ones that set market value, not the State.

Alfred brought in pictures to show the Commissioners and the State when the lake is drained in September. It shows his dock, watercraft and float out of water. Mr. Mosca feels the State should take in consideration that the lake is drained and that the 700 camp owners are unable to enjoy the fall months at the lake on the water.

Mr. McMann wanted to know if it was only their camp affected by the lake drainage, or are all 700 camps affected? The reason for that question is because all the camps values are the same. It was an understanding when purchasing the lots, that in September the lake is drained anywhere from three feet to six feet.

Mr. McMann then spoke of how assessments are handled. The States looks at the "just value" or "market value" of the property. Mr. McMann used the cost approach by analyzing comparable sales on a yearly basis as mass appraisal to be as fair as possible.

The Commissioners stated that they would make a decision and get back to all parties.

Hearing concluded at 11:15 a.m.

NWDB Update –

Joanna Russell stated that Bureau of Employment Services gave notice that they were no longer providing services in Washington County. The NWDB sole sourced the PY18 contract to Eastern Maine Development Corporation. EMDC will start providing WIOA Title 1B services for four counties – Penobscot, Piscataquis, Washington and Hancock Counties.

Joanna is expecting new program funding allocations to come out from US Department of Labor. The strategic plan modification was submitted to USDOL by the State Workforce Development Board March 15, 2018, USDOL is required to respond within 30 days making June 15 the date we should hear something. There are three possible scenarios that could impact the County of Penobscot based on how USDOL responds.

o If USDOL approves the plan modification, the local boards will most likely dissolve due to the lack of operational funding. The plan modification contained a policy that requires the NWDB to allocate at least 70% of the entire PY18 WIOA funding to training leaving 30% to be allocated to operations. There is potentially a lawsuit that would result if this scenario happens.

o If USDOL does not accept SWB’s strategic plan modification, the Governor will most likely refuse to sign the Notice of Agreement accepting the contract for WIOA PY18. That means NWDB will have to struggle to stay open until 2019 without additional funding.

o If USDOL does not accept SWB’s strategic plan and the Governor accepts the PY18 contract, the training policy will need adjustment and the issues with MDOL will continue until a new Governor is seated. The service providers will continue to work on rebuilding the system and managing the services.

Commissioner Baldacci recommended to speak to Daria Daniels who is a contact person for NACo to raise awareness of the current state of affairs here in Maine.

Administrative Update –

Bill reported on the meeting that he attended in Augusta with MCCA Executive Director Charlie Pray. Charlie’s believes our jail funding crisis will go until June. Everyone he spoke in the Legislature understand Jails need for the funding.

The Sheriff and Bill will be meeting with FOP Patrol Supervisors Unit for negotiations this Thursday.

Bill and the Sheriff will attend mediation on June 7th in regards to an employee that has filed a Maine Human Rights complaint.

Investigator Garry Higgins was called to the Probate Office due to a disgruntled citizen.

Bill informs the Commissioners he will be away from May 23rd until Memorial Day.

Bill mentioned that former Penobscot County Commissioner Dick Blanchard and United States Federal Magistrate Judge Eugene Beaulieu passed away this past Saturday.

Payroll change notices signed for: Tyler Thompson, Michael Azevedo and Barbara Veilleux – Comp time; Nichole Dudley – Resignation; LaNiece Sirois – Hired P/T from F/T

Payroll Warrant to be approved for: $ 238,634.18

Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for: $358,904.29

Unorganized Territory Warrant to be approved: $ 21,767.05

Public Session – None.

Meeting Adjourned-

Commissioner Sanborn moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:50 am with no further business on the agenda. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Moved to approve passed 2-0.

Certified By:


Administrator, William Collins

Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman

Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner

ABSENT Thomas J. Davis, Jr., Commissioner

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