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Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes November 27, 2018 2216
9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci and Laura Sanborn 34°
Andre Cushing – Absent
UT Update -
Barbara Veilleux presented the renewal application for the bottle club license for Northern Timber Cruisers to the Commissioners for signature. Commissioner Sanborn moved to approve the renewal application. Commissioner Baldacci seconded. Moved to approve passed 2-0. Signed.
George Buswell is currently in Greenfield checking the roads due to a few complaints received.
Commissioner Sanborn moved to approve a letter of support for Maine Stream Finance, UpStart of Maine and Business Resource Partners of Greater Bangor grant application with JP Morgan Chase Bank. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Moved to approve passed 2-0. Signed.
Barbara stated that the progress at Matagamon Dam has slowed down due to the weather and will resume in the spring.
NWDB Update –
Joanna Russell informed the Commissioners that she has received from the Department of Labor a signed copy of the PY2018 contract.
There is a meeting December 6th with One Stop Partners who provide services throughout the five counties. The meeting will be held in Presque Isle.
Lee Umphrey, CEO of EMDC is supporting our efforts and will be working on repairing the damage that has transpired over the last few years. EMDC has invited Governor Elect Mills to their annual meeting and if she is unable to attend, he will request another meeting.
Joanna stated that another sober house for men has opened up on Ohio Street in Bangor. Joanna is working with two others to develop additional sober beds.
Probate Update –
Renee Stupak informed the Commissioners that the new hire which they approved never accepted the position. Our second choice has accepted another position. Renee is starting a second round of interviews.
Renee states that there will be a committee reviewing new Probate codes. They expect to t respond back before the July deadline.
Probate Judge elect, Amy Faircloth is spending time acquainting herself with the department.
PRCC Update –
Chris Lavoie informed the Commissioners that Jacob Hammond and Alexis Smith have been promoted from Call Taker to Dispatchers.
Chris stated that there will be additional interviews in the upcoming weeks.
Chris and staff are reviewing standard operating practices as a group.
There will be a Board of Directors meeting tomorrow. Chris also invited fire and police chiefs that were affected with the radio project who did not receive updates.
PRCC will participating with Wreaths across America on December 15th at Togus in Augusta.
The new Deputy Director of PRCC, Josh Lilley, will start his position on January 1st.
Administrative Update –
Judy Alexander reminded the Commissioners that interviews will be held tomorrow and Thursday for the Human Resource Director position.
Commissioner Sanborn moved to approve Penobscot County 2019 Holiday Schedule. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Moved to approve passed 2-0.
There was discussion on whether to start bi-weekly meetings. Commissioner Baldacci feels that department heads need to share their thoughts and consider if this might be an option.
Judy and Bill Collins will be attending the HAN meeting put on by MEMA next week.
Bill will be attending the PRCC Advisory Board meeting tomorrow morning with Chris.
MCCA will hold its “Newly Elected Official Training Day December 14th at the Senator Inn in Augusta. Commissioner Baldacci stated that we will pay for the cost of training.
Judy stated that we will hold the Public Budget Hearing meeting on December 11th at 10:00 a.m. The notification has been placed in the paper.
John Fiske – Resignation; Jacob Hammond and Alexis Smith – Promotion; Tracie Wasson, Billie Jo Stover, Jeremiah F.S. Smith, Eric C Petterson III and Evgeni A. Aleksiev – Part-time to Full time Corrections Officers; Cap Ayer – Comp Time .
Payroll Warrant to be approved for: $ 238,745.75
Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for: $ 48,851.71
Unorganized Territory Warrant to be approved for: $9,532.38
Public Comment –
Charlie Pray, Executive Director of MCCA spoke of the transition in Augusta. Charlie states that leadership has been selected by both sides of the political aisle. Cumberland County is planning to hold a meeting with their members of their delegation with two being from leadership in the house. It is important to give an overview to the new delegation of jail funding issues. The legislature is looking at having probate judges appointed instead of elected. MCCA will be requesting the State pick up some of the mental health costs from the jails.
John Hiatt, Treasurer Elect had questions to the upcoming transition period for his taking over as Treasurer. John read from State Statute that there is a transition period from December 1st to January 1st. Commissioner Baldacci reiterated that the elected Treasurer position is a part time with no physical office or designation of private space. John has been encouraged to meet with the finance department to ask any questions he may have. John was also encouraged to attend the MCCA Orientation for newly elected officials on December 14th in Augusta.
Doug Dunbar, citizen of Hermon, spoke of the public relations campaign and referred to the email he sends out on Mondays as his weekly updates. Doug would like to work with the social worker in the jail as a volunteer.
Jail Discussion –
Those present were: Sheriff Morton, LT Hotaling, Judy Alexander, Cap Ayer, Terry Sullivan, Jim Ring, John Rouleau, Brian Thibeau, Rob Frank and Tori Britton.
Rob Frank of WBRC provided a timeline starting with the feasibility study in July, then approval from the Commissioners of Option three in November with a June referendum vote.
We still need a detailed programming and the communication plans.
A minor change in statement of probable cost error in spreadsheet on schematic design phase fees of $ 70 M project option was not moved forward was presented and approved by the commissioners is $ 65.5 M which drops the bottom line slightly. He presented a draft for final review to the original agreement with amendments that would carry through schematic design.
The group reviewed the four options that were presented. The cost of the 300 bed stand-alone county jail would be approximately $ 56.5 M. The Commissioners felt it was a better result long term since everything is in one building. This would be more efficient operationally and would not need repairs required in the old Jail. Funding and voter support are going to be main drivers going forward.
Rob states that time is critical. Getting teams together in December and January should be completed in March with intentions to be done in May so that the statement of probable cost numbers are ready to go and there are no surprises post referendum.
Rob states that there are graphic designers and a communication specialist available to start work in December. Head of Marketing, Tori Britton will make sense of the facility for the communities so that it can be understood in laymen’s terms. Tori has done preliminary research and will provide data so that people will be emotionally connected. Tori recommends hiring a professional on referendums.
Jim Ring feels it is important that we get community leaders involved so that they are able to convincing points and explain decisions made to the general population. It is necessary to educate the public on the current conditions of the jail. Commissioner Baldacci would like to see if there is any other sources of funding that can help support this project.
It is recommended that the building committee meets every two weeks in preparation of the referendum.
Commissioner Sanborn moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:30 with no further business on the agenda. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Moved to approve 2-0
Finance Director, Judith Alexander For Administrator, William Collins
Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman
Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner
Andre E. Cushing, III, Commissioner