Penobscot County Commissioners' Minutes from May 14, 2019
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Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes May 14, 2019 2238 9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci, Andre Cushing & Laura Sanborn 43°
Sheriff’s Update –
Sheriff Morton reported that today’s jail population is 168 (134 males, 34 females) with 44 boarded out. There are no county swaps and no federal marshals.
Occasionally we hold federal marshal inmates but due to our overcrowding it is not often. We need to speak to the Feds as no supplemental funding has been provided for this service.
Sheriff met with Terry Thurlow, CEO from MEDPRO Associates, regarding potentially having a suboxone program in our jail. We are reviewing the process and how we could provide this. The challenges we face is not enough staff; both nursing and correctional officers. This program consists of multiple steps which takes time and needs constant observation, requiring an additional RN. We would need more staff to move the inmates around and the added expense of the medication. Sheriff reports that this program could be approximately $1.2M a year. There could be funding and grants available at the Office of Substance Abuse. The question remains, how could we accomplish this in our current facility? Sheriff states we need to have appropriate continued care for our inmates that will continue at the other facilities once they move out. We all need to be in synch to make these programs work.
The meeting with Representative Talbot-Ross was cancelled last week.
One of the freezers in the kitchen is down. It is currently being reviewed and we are trying to determine if it should be repaired or purchase a new one.
The camera systems are on order.
Norris is looking at costs for their upgrades for the control room devices.
Sheriff was notified from the Programs Division today we are not able to have enough sentenced inmates qualified to work outside as trustees. These positions provide work that needs to be done and allows the inmates reduced time off their sentence. Inmates can still continue to work in the facility. We have asked for volunteers from our pre-trial inmates. Unfortunately, pre-trail inmates cannot reduce time served since they have not been sentenced.
Sheriff discussed the process of boarding out inmates which is becoming a bigger challenge.
Sheriff reported that although there is no official word, the Town of Orrington had discussions on potentially contracting law enforcement services with us.
Branch Fest will be in Newport from May 30th until June 2nd. This event will potentially see 2-5K people. This borders the Corinna town line which will impact us.
Sheriff reported that the former Orrington Supervisor, Jon Carson will be our new Carmel Deputy. Mr. Carson will be a great fit because of his understanding of community policing, the value of being in the schools and businesses as well as traffic. This will bring us up to full staff until we hear back from Orrington and their needs. UT Update –
Barbara Veilleux stated that State Senator Dill has a bill before the legislature to rename the current “West Branch Bridge” in Indian Purchase 3 to be named the “Campbell Bridge” after Detective Ben Campbell. Commissioner Sanborn moved to approve a letter to support the name change. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion approved 3-0.
Commissioner Sanborn moved to name a road in Argyle Township “Tower Road”. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion approved 3-0. Signed.
Barbara has been in discussion with the Town of Alton on an issue of insurance coverage on the jointly owned salt/sand shed. Malcolm Ulmer, Risk Pool advised us to have an agreement between the County and the town stating that the County would pay the town 1/3 of any claim paid out. Malcolm has recommended the town have their own liability insurance. The Commissioners agreed that Barb have a conversation with the town to see if this is agreeable.
Barb has received a grant request for TIF funds from the non-profit group Katahdin Area Trails in the amount of $75K. This project will be to construct extreme mountain biking trails and is projected to be a $150K cost. The construction would be on land owned by Matt Polstein and there has been some question from the TIF Committee as to whether this would be a grant or a low interest loan. It is questioned if there is any deeded access to Katahdin Area Trails and if so, is it a verbal or written agreement. Barb will keep us posted on any updates.
Barbara has scheduled the community broadband meeting for Argyle for Tuesday, May 21st at 6:30 p.m.
Barbara and George Buswell will in attendance in Augusta today for the Municipal Cost Component work session.
George reported that we are still grading and getting ready for culvert work. The paved roads had the “Posted” signs taken down. The dirt roads are still posted because of the frost coming out in the shaded areas. Most of the dirt roads should be graded by the end of next week.
Barbara reported that liquid asphalt prices are $65 a ton higher than it was last year this time.
PRCC Update –
Chris Lavoie was congratulated for receiving 2018 Director Award at the 2019 Maine NENA conference. This was in recognition of his accomplishments, encouragement, motivation and support of his employees. Other awards were presented to:
o Stork Awards (dispatchers/call-takers that delivers a baby prior to Ambulance Arrival in 2018): David King, Emily Morrow and Brad Fitzgerald o Silent Hero Nomination (dispatcher/call-taker that goes above and beyond to make their center a better place): Brittany Robertson – Brittany coordinated the “Battle of the Badges” blood drive and has coordinated raising over $1,000 for under privileged children who experienced a traumatic Christmas.
o Critical Incident of the Year Award Nominations: All of the employees were nominated for their role in a critical incident that involved a high speed pursuit of a stolen Police Car across two counties that resulted in a vehicle crash, and required the coordination of several Fire Departments and Ambulance services including LifeFlight – Michaelle Day, Time Hall, Will Lovejoy, Kendrick McCarthy, Elizabeth Ryan and Better Stone.
Josh stated that presenter Nathan Lee provided good training to dispatchers. Mr. Lee’s wife had been kidnapped and murdered, and he has devoted his work to making sure that there are Dispatch practices in place to protect others.
Our newest hire will start in a couple weeks leaving three vacancies to fill.
Administration Update –
Bill Collins stated he is still waiting on Mr. McGuire’s answer in regards to the Orono late interest payment. There will be further discussion at a later time.
Bill attended a MACCAM meeting which indicated last year’s supplemental jail funding of $273K not been dedicated. There was discussion on how to acquire/claim those monies? Based on the information, we have to make a request to DOC Commissioner Randy Liberty our need. Bill is working with Judy Alexander and we need to put our claim in for that funding. MACCAM will put a letter of support showing that 15 of the 16 counties approved Penobscot receiving those funds.
Bill attended the NENA presentation Thursday in Portland. Chris Lavoie was surprised when awarded 2018 Director Award. Bill stated that in true leader fashion, Chris recognized his staff first and had each of his people recognized.
The next MCCA Monthly Newsletter will feature Penobscot County. Bill has forwarded that information to Erika Honey and Judy Alexander to share what is going on in our county.
Reminder that Pre-Bids are due in Monday, May 20th and will be opened at next week’s Commissioner meeting. Bill provided a letter of support from the Commissioners for “EMDC Economic Opportunity Response Teams Enhancing Economic Growth in Maine.” Commissioner Cushing moved to endorse a letter of support. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Motion approved 3-0. Signed.
We received information in regards to the Maine Bond Bank. Based on their timing schedule, if we were to succeed with voter approval we would not ready to apply for the fall schedule. It would be the spring of 2020.
Thursday will be the Annual Review with VOYA for our deferred comp program.
Bill received notification from Kara Hayes, Executive Director from Penquis that Bill has completed his term on the Penquis Steering Committee. He can remain on the finance committee. Commissioners will need to appoint someone to fill this seat.
Erika Honey, our new HR director is very valuable to us. Every week we discover new challenges and things the County didn’t think of previously.
Bill was contacted by Mr. Don McCann that he has prepared a petition for the second amendment resolution in regards to red flag state. Mr. McCann wanted to know what position the commissioners have taken. None at this time.
Payroll Change Notices signed for: Kenneth Strout – Resignation; Jon A. Carson – Hired F/T; Ray Goodspeed, Chaz Gray, Michael Jandreau and Rachel Libby – Payroll change; Cap Ayer – Comp time. Payroll Warrant to be approved for: $ 216,753.34 Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for: $ 132,111.94 UT A/P Warrant to be approved for: $ 27,753.87 UT TIF Warrant to be approved for: -NONE-
Public Comment -
Mario R. Kent (Ziggy) Milford resident, welcomed the newest member of Penobscot County. Ziggy praised Sheriff Morton and his staff. He stated that Sheriff Morton’s biggest asset is he surrounds himself with people of high quality integrity. He appreciates the professionalism and work of the Sheriff.
Larry Dansinger, Bangor resident, commented on Sheriff Morton’s update regarding the cost of $1.2M on a Suboxone treatment plan for inmates. Larry states that those monies could be used for a lot of different things such as diversion options and programming. Larry would like to know the answers of what is being done to lower the inmate population since this is more of a public health issue. Larry spoke about the May 6th email he sent out with questions for DA Lynch. Commissioner Baldacci responded that DA Lynch presented to the Commission a couple weeks ago. We have to work around her busy schedule to invite her back. Commissioner stated that Marianne is very involved in working to make changes.
Treasurer John Hiatt reminded the audience this Thursday at St. John’s Catholic Church there will be the Second Annual Interfaith Opioid Healing Service.
Executive Session---Commissioner Cushing made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:15 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (D) Contract Matter. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve 3-0. Present were: Bill Collins, Chris Lavoie, Josh Lilley, John Hiatt and Erika Honey. Session ended at 10:35 a.m. NO votes taken.
Executive Session---Commissioner Cushing made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:36 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: Bill Collins and Erika Honey. Session ended at 10:48 a.m. NO votes taken.
Executive Session---Commissioner Cushing made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:49 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: Bill Collins, Susan Bulay and Erika Honey. Session ended at 11:04 a.m. NO votes taken.
Executive Session---Commissioner Cushing made a motion to go into Executive Session at 11:05 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: Bill Collins, Brad Nuding and Erika Honey. Session ended at 11:15 a.m. NO votes taken.
Executive Session---Commissioner Cushing made a motion to go into Executive Session at 11:16 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: Bill Collins, John Hiatt and Erika Honey. Session ended at 11:24 a.m. NO votes taken. Meeting Adjourned-
Commissioner Cushing moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:25 a.m. with no further business on the agenda. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Moved to approve 3-0
Administrator, Bill Collins Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner
Andre E. Cushing, III, Commissioner