Penobscot County Commissioners' Minutes from December 10, 2019
For a downloadable copy click HERE
Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes December 10, 2019 2266 9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci and Laura Sanborn 54° Commissioner Andre Cushing - Absent
Approval of Minutes -
Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve November 19 and November 26, 2019 meeting minutes. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 2-0.
Public Comment – NONE
Deeds Update –
Commissioner Sanborn moved to approve Penobscot County Registry of Deeds to charge $5 per certified document beginning January 1, 2020. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Motion approved 2-0.
Susan Bulay reported that both permanent clerical specialists currently out have had successful surgeries. However, even with the help of 1.5 temporary clerks, the department is running about three weeks behind getting documents processed.
Susan stated the she is concerned with hearing that we may be out of electricity for three days next week. Susan reports that when we lose power, her department loses everything. Bill Collins is going to research this further.
UT Update –
Director, Barbara Veilleux introduced new UT Director Shaw Weeks at today’s Commissioner Meeting.
Commissioner Sanborn moved to approve the snowmobile grant-in-aid certification for Bowlin Matagamon Snowmobile Club. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Motion moved 2-0. Signed.
Barbara presented payroll changes increase from $13.75 to $14.00 an hour for the two (2) Regional Animal Control Officers pay. Signed.
Deputy George Buswell reported that it has been a very interesting fall season. George said about a quarter of the sand has been used. He will keep an eye on those sheds.
Commissioner Sanborn stated that the people in Argyle and Greenfield are very satisfied with the efforts of the contractors caring for the roads.
Argyle Broadband Discussion –
Tracy Scheckel from OTELCO and Resident of Argyle, Steve Harris presented a summary of findings for Argyle Town-Wide Broadband Initiative. Tracy explained that OTELCO is the provider on this project for Argyle and Alton. A couple years ago with ConnectME funding OTELCO was able to connect 69 homes with Fiber. The town administrator contacted Tracy to see what could be done to complete the process for the remainder of the town. She then reached out to Barbara Veilleux regarding a possible opportunity to receive a planning grant through ConnectME authority for the rest of Argyle Township. There were five steps to start the process: creating a community broadband team; hold at least one community meeting; identify key documents and existing efforts; identify potential community anchor institutions and create a vision statement. The first phase is to look at community interest and establish funding sources. The Argyle Community Broadband Committee have completed the requirements of Phase 1 Planning Grant which was awarded by the ConnectME Authority in the spring of 2019.
Steve Harris is part of the Broadband Committee and spoke to his involvement. Mr. Harris states that he works from home. The existing infrastructure was way behind the curve. Steve reported that during the public meeting at the elementary school, there were 30-50 citizens. It was surprising how many citizens’ work from home. A community survey was sent out and had received tremendous response (80%) as well as amazing support from either TIF or PILT funding to help subsidize the project. Barbara stated that this process is a little bit different for requesting TIF monies since there is no actual entity requesting monies; just the residents. Barbara stated that there wouldn’t be an application process for this request, but she will still bring this to the attention of TIF Committee board members.
The second phase of planning has a possibility of some ConnectME grant funding. Funds are limited to about 25% funding ($100K) in the March 2020 grant round. OTELCO is proposing to apply for Phase 2 of the planning grant to cover the cost of engineering and network design and the infrastructure grant simultaneously in this winter’s upcoming (March 2020) grant round. In order to do that, a funding commitment from the county is necessary. Depending on CONNECTME funding, the County would need to commit either $100 K or $200 K if no grant money is awarded in order to move this project forward.
Commissioner Baldacci stated that the Commissioners are supportive and would approve up to $200 K for the construction of this project. No formal vote was taken. Tracy stated she will know more mid- January and will come back to report her findings to the Commissioners. PRCC Update –
Director Chris Lavoie reported that in regards to the upcoming power outage, PRCC is prepared and would use the backup center. Whitten’s will be here at the end of the week to show Chris where all the breakers are located.
o Josh and Erika Honey held interviews last week to fill in the last two openings. There are two individuals that have been made conditional offers; o The three open dispatcher positions have been filled by three call takers: Kayle Prescott, JaShelle Hall and Rebecca Ireland have been promoted.
Chris reported on the mapping project. Last Wednesday we went live with the map and things are working well. Special thanks go to LT Hotaling for his hard work in getting this off the ground. Chris mentioned we’ll have to figure out who will take over on mapping projects when Keith retires.
Next week PRCC will have their staff meeting. Two presenters coming in are Mental Health Clinician Wally Frazer and Chiropractor Dr. Jeff Slocum.
The last Board of Directors meeting of the year will be held tomorrow.
The State contacted Chris on moving the inner PSAP seven digit phone system lines. They did this move statewide to every PSAP. The Inter-PSAO line and Alternate Emergency lines were moved on December 9th, however, we are out of buttons on our phone and need to purchase sidecars for them.
Chris is experiencing several mechanical issues with our 12 year old workstations. He would like to budget for replacements in the very near future.
Chris will also need to upgrade monitors and computers.
Administration Update –
Administrator, Bill Collins submitted the final Opioid Ligation Statement from Attorney’s Napoli Shkolnik. It outlines various States settlement to date.
Erika Honey and I met with our workers comp Rep. to complete review of outstanding claims. Erika has a great handle on each individual case with the goal to get it under control and provide as many light duty return to work opportunities as we can.
Bill reported on the MCCAM meeting that was held last Friday in Augusta.
The Sheriff is in August today attending the Criminal Justice meeting regarding LD-973 (An Act to Stabilize County Corrections). MSA will eliminate the language regarding misdemeanors. There was a MMA Survey discussing a one-time adjustment on Jail caps. Results are very clear there is a lot of opposition.
Today’s jail population is 165 (139 males, 26 females) with 68 boarded out to other county jails. There are no federal inmates, no county swaps and 84 inmates in Pre-Trial Services.
The power feed into our building may be compromised Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. EMERA Maine has contracted with “3 Phase Line Construction” to redo the electrical feed to our Buildings from Court Street. Bill is going to see if perhaps this project can be delayed to allow departments more preparation.
We received a FOIA request Friday for all Sheriff’s Office contracts and specific policies in the jail. We have all the contracts and they can be sent electronically; just waiting on the policies from the Sheriff’s Office.
We have received a timely a tax abatement request from a Howland resident. Mary Anne will work with the town and the appellee to set up a hearing date.
The part-time clerical assistant position for the treasurer/finance departments closed Friday. There were 22 applicants. Yesterday Erika, John Hiatt, Judy Alexander and Tyler Thompson reviewed the applications and chose eight candidates to interview.
Commissioner Sanborn spoke to a citizen from the Town of Hudson that is looking for a moderator for a special meeting that is being held this Thursday night. She provided three names that may be able to moderate this meeting.
The Safety Committee is hosting a CPR certification class tomorrow.
Business after Hours is taking place this Thursday at 5 p.m. at Penquis.
Next Tuesday’s meeting is our public hearing on our budget.
WBRC meeting on the Building and Site Progress has been changed to Wednesday, December 18th so the Sheriff’s Office can attend.
The Chamber’s Annual Breakfast and Business meeting is January 8th and Annual Dinner on January 24th if you are interested in attending Bill will order the tickets.
Commissioner Sanborn made a motion for Commissioner Baldacci and Administrator Bill Collins to serve on the MCCA &Risk Pool boards. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Motion approved 2-0.
Commissioner Sanborn moved to approve $1,000 for the 2019 holiday party. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Motion approved 2-0.
Payroll Change Notices signed for: Shaw Weeks – Hired; William Kettle – Re-hired; JaShelle Hall, Rebecca Ireland and Kayle Prescott – Promoted; Ethel Ann Greenlaw and Robert Greenlaw – Payroll Changes; Tracy Hall, Alexis Smith, Jordanna Sprague and Tyler Thompson – Comp Time.
Payroll Warrant to be approved for pay date 11/29/19: $223,468.83 Payroll Warrant to be approved for pay date 12/6/19: $275,376.91 Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for pay date 11/29/19: $348,293.86 Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for pay date 12/6/19: $87,419.01 Unorganized Territory Warrant to be approved for pay date 12/10/19: $156,244.33 Unorganized Territory TIF Warrant to be approved for pay date 12/3/19: $5,991.45
Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:10 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (D) Contract Matter. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Motion approved 2-0. Present were: Commissioners, Bill Collins, John Hiatt and Chris Lavoie. Session ended at 10:26 a.m. NO votes taken.
Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:28 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (A) Personnel Matter. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Motion approved 2-0. Present were: Commissioners, Bill Collins and Erika Honey. Session ended at 10:47 a.m. NO votes taken.
Commissioner Sanborn moved to adjourn the meeting at 10:48 a.m. with no further business on the agenda. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Moved to approve 2-0
Certified By: _______________________________ Administrator, William Collins Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner
ABSENT Andre E. Cushing, III, Commissioner