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Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes November 13, 2018 2214
9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci, Laura Sanborn and Andre Cushing 34°
Chairman Baldacci congratulated the newly elected Commissioners and Sheriff before the meeting started.
Sheriff’s Update –
Sheriff Morton stated that today’s jail population is 180 in house. Sheriff reports that the jail count has been over 200 for the last two weeks. We have been moving inmates out to other counties including Cumberland. He is working on keeping overages to the minimum.
Sheriff pointed out that staffing of correction officers is at a critical situation statewide and not just for Penobscot County.
In-house training has begun for five new correction officers. Sheriff stated there were six that went through the academy, but reports one has since resigned.
The jails phone service, SECURUS, has video visitation available at no additional cost for the county. Video visitation has remarkable upside for all those involved: inmates, staff, legal teams, family and friends. This is a paid service to the person initiating the video call and can be used all day. Sheriff plans on keeping in-house visitation and makes it clear that video arraignment will not replace it. This system easily merges with the Keefe commissary. Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve the video visitation system to be used in the jail. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.
Sheriff states law enforcement has three open positions. The northern spot he thought to be filled by the Bangor hire has decided to pull his application.
Sheriff reported that the patrol vehicles will be ready for auction next week. PRCC is requesting that their vehicle be swapped out for one of the older patrol cars with lower mileage. Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve PRCC taking a patrol car that will be going up for auction and placing the older PRCC vehicle in auction. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.
Sheriff has been invited to the Woodville Town meeting Thursday night. This is in regards to a National Guard facility proposal. Barbara Veilleux states that she was not aware there was a meeting scheduled and that the permit for the military facility has not been filed. Barbara is on the interested parties list and should receive updates when they are available. She and George Buswell checked on it recently and the only work being done at that site is geological testing.
UT Update –
Barbara Veilleux presented a special event permit from Crow Athletics for the Millinocket Marathon and Half which will be held on Saturday, December 8th. The route is the same as last year and we have received the certificate of liability insurance.
Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve the special event permit to Crow Athletics for the Race. It was seconded by Commissioner Cushing. Motion to approve passed 3-0.
Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve Grant TIF monies in the amount of $45K to Mt. Chase Volunteer Fire Department for the rapid response vehicle. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. Signed.
George Buswell stated the plows are out today in Greenfield and north.
Administrative Update –
Judy Alexander told the Commissioners everything is all set for the Budget Meeting for tomorrow night and your budget books have all been updated; agenda sent to department heads; and the food has been ordered and ready to go.
Judy informed the Commissioners that Delta Dental will have a 7.95% increase for the coming year. What that means is the costs for individuals will go up .50 cents to $2.00 a week depending on their plan. The Commissioners discussed on increasing what the county pays for the employees from $13 to $15 a month. Judy will get back to them with figures.
Machias Savings Bank notified Judy that the current letter of credit wouldn’t cover what we had in the bank and they increased the credit line an additional $600K for two weeks to make ensure everything is covered.
HR Director and Probate clerical specialist position have closed.
There will be a new baby to our department tomorrow.
Payroll change notices: Nicholas Mitton, Jennifer Sanford & Mark Lloyd – Payroll changes; Tina Morrison – Comp Time
Payroll Warrant to be approved for: $ 214,280.52
Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for: $ 278,908.32
Unorganized Territory Warrant to be approved for: $52,312.88
Public Comment –
Doug Dunbar, citizen of Hermon invited the Commissioners to an open house on Friday of a Men’s Sober Living house on Ohio Street. Doug also invited the Commissioners to an open house on November 29th with Maine Mental Health Connections on Union Street.
Executive Session---Commissioner Cushing made a motion to go into Executive Session at 9:35 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (A) Personnel Matter. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve 3-0. Present were: Judith Alexander, Dan Tremble and Sheriff. Session ended at 10:04 a.m. No votes taken.
Executive Session---Commissioner Cushing made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:05 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (E) Contract Matter. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve 3-0. Present were: Judith Alexander, Dan Tremble, Sheriff Morton, LT Hotaling, Brian Thibeau and Rob Frank. Session ended at 10:55 a.m. No votes taken.
After reviewing the three options presented by WBRC, Commissioner Cushing made a motion to move forward with Option three, a 300 bed, stand-alone Jail facility with a future add-on option. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.
Commissioner Cushing moved to adjourn the meeting at 12:00 noon with no further business on the agenda. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0
Finance Director, Judith Alexander
Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman
Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner
Andre E. Cushing, III, Commissioner