Penobscot County Commissioners' Minutes from May 12, 2020
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Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes May 12, 2020 2283 9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci, Andre Cushing and Laura Sanborn 39°
Roll call via team viewer was taken at 0907 with all three Commissioners present.
Approval of Minutes –
Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve May 5, 2020 meeting minutes. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
Sheriff’s Update –
Sheriff Troy Morton reported the following:
Today’s jail population is 113 inmates in-house; 32 boarded out to other county jails; no US Marshalls; and 102 in Pre-trial services. Sheriff stated that four (4) inmates that have been sentenced to MDOC but by agreements are held at our facility to minimize movement.
Civil department is continuing to monitor the orders coming from the Court.
Patrol remains extremely active. Yesterday a car stolen out of Hermon was driving erratically and ended up crashing in Bangor after hitting a number of cars.
Sheriff is receiving multiple phone calls from area police chiefs that are concerned about the ability to bring inmates in. Chiefs state it is the same individuals that are summoned for the same offense with no real repercussions for their act. Sheriff has informed them that until orders change, this is the response we take.
There was some discussion on the internal memos for the staff on updated practices for COVID-19 in the jail facility. Sheriff has no idea how those internal documents got out to the public; nevertheless, Sheriff’s department follows CDC’s guidelines.
Sheriff responded to Commissioner Baldacci’s question on how inmates are housed in the cell block. Currently there are no more than two inmates to a cell; 70% of the population are in single cells while a few cells are empty. You simply cannot house everybody together; you have to separate by classification. Currently with the population down we have the ability to create a “quarantine” block. What we have been able to accomplish with lower numbers is not mix the new arrests with inmates that have been in jail. This allows us to follow CDC guidelines of social distancing.
Law enforcement must mask the offender before they can be brought in; then they are screened by medical before making entrance to the jail.
A huge thank you for thinking of our Officers during National Correctional Officers Week. The County provided food for the day shifts Friday and Saturday, while Commissioner Cushing provided pizza for the night shifts. EMA Update –
EMA Director Michelle LaBree reported the following:
Requests for PPE is reducing which makes EMA hopeful that things are starting to stabilize.
Statewide there isn’t a lot of change with availability of beds. Critical Care Beds are 307 with 157 used; there are 310 ventilators with 76 used.
MOU’s have been drafted for alternative Covid 19 sites and ready to signed; However, we are not going to get them signed until we’re absolutely certain that there is a need for the alternative site.
PRCC Update –
Director Chris Lavoie reported the following:
There was a meeting last week with the tentative award winner for the radio project. They reviewed the coverage maps trying to plan out a few of the last details before we go out for bond.
Both he and Deputy Director Josh Lilley went to Passadumkeag to view a potential new tower site. They are hopeful they can add a tower and remove a dead spot for radio coverage in that area.
PRCC has received requests from both BDN and WABI for a story on the radio project.
IT Update –
Director Cliff Warren reported the following:
In our current environment telecommuting, our systems cannot withstand this demand. It is recommended that we have at least two connections that are at or in excess of 100 Mbps and by two different providers. Director Warren provided the following quotes.
o Consolidated: Increase of our present BBE Bandwidth from 20/20 to 100/100. An increase cost of $200 from $287 to $487 monthly with a three-year contract and no installation fee. o OTT: A separate circuit provided from our existing circuits, provided over fiber. This would provide a separate 100/100 Mbps circuit for $300 a month and maintain both the DSL and previous 20/20 circuit which are presently dedicated to public safety usage and are adequate for the cause. o First Light: Fiber delivered 100/100 MBPS circuit similar to the BBE for $490/month with a three-year contract and no installation cost. o Spectrum: 200/10 connection (less upstream bandwidth than they presently provide) for $119 per month and a 600/35 connection for $200.
It is recommended that we expand our current BBE connection with OTT for a separate circuit. It was further recommended to cancel the Spectrum connection account to save those monies. We are looking for an additional $5400 annually to increase our broadband.
Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve Director Warrens recommendation as presented. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
Finance Update –
Administrator, Bill Collins reported the following for Finance Director, Judy Alexander:
The Secretary of State needs to know if plan to bond for 10 or 15-years on the Radio Equipment referendum in July. Director Alexander provided the following cost estimates.
o $6M 10-year bond at 2.65% (average of interest shown on the calculated results). The interest at 2.65% would be $988,636.28. The total payment would be approximately $6,988,636.28.
o $6M 15-year bond at 2.92% (average of interest shown on the calculated results). The interest at 2.92% would be $1,540,795. The total payment would be approximately $ 7,540,795.
Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve the 10-year bond for $6 M for the Radio Communication Referendum to be placed on the ballot. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
Commissioner Baldacci stated that we need to send out information to the towns and schedule public hearings.
The finance report through April 2020: o Expenditures are under the 33.33%. o Revenues are down as is expected since tax monies will not be received until the Fall.
UT Update –
Administrator, Bill Collins reported the following for UT Director, Shaw Weeks:
Bangor Humane Society contract needs to be renewed and signed. Director Weeks recommends signature as there are no change from the previous year.
o Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve renewal of Bangor Humane Society contract as presented. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0. Signed via Docu-Sign.
The Penobscot County Cooperative Salt Bid was sent out to towns during the last week of April. Online and paper responses are being received. The Solicitation Date is scheduled for May 25, 2020 and the Bid Opening is scheduled for Tuesday, June 16, 2020.
The tanker truck located at the former Kingman Fire Department, that is operated by Mattawamkeag Fire Department is inspected, insured, has new hoses and is ready to be put in service with the Commissioners approval.
o Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve the tanker truck be placed back in service per recommendation of Director Weeks. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
UT roads are slowly being opened back up to all traffic this month depending on road conditions.
Administration Update –
Administrator Bill Collins reported the following:
There has been an agreement with the General Unit on a three-year contract with signatures taking place this week.
Commissioner Cushing moved to approve Central Security to install a “Master” intercom in the Treasurer’s Office connected to the dispatch station $860; equipment priced at $357.57 for a total cost of $1,217.57. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
Correspondence from Super Shoes has been distributed to the Commissioners announcing that it plans to continue to furlough employees during this COVID-19 pandemic.
DOT sent a notice that they are taking a piece of land in Eddington.
MCCA Risk Pool will have their Board of Directors meeting via conference call tomorrow.
HR Director Erika Honey and Administrator Collins will participate in a conference call Thursday on workers comp reviews.
Discussion ensued on Androscoggin County Board of Commissioners Resolution to President Trump and Governor Mills to open up the Maine Economy. Commissioner Cushing was asking support of the other Commissioners to put together a resolution from Penobscot County. Commissioner Sanborn stated that she doesn’t feel we need to take a stance or make our own resolution; She feels that we should continue discussion amongst the Commissioners and at that time take everything heard in consideration and make an educated decision. Commissioner Baldacci would not support a broad opening everything like Androscoggin did; but would support the public health of medical and dental be opened up. Commissioner Baldacci feels the state position on that is very weak and these businesses know how to handle infectious diseases.
MCCA has been notified that there is an opening for the Maine State Archives Advisory Board. Commissioner Sanborn made a motion for Commissioner Cushing to be appointed to that position. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
MCCAM will have a ZOOM meeting next Monday. Discussion will mainly be on what each County is doing to open for governmental services.
We received correspondence from Town Manager Jim Ricker and other citizens with the question “What is the County’s stance on proceeding with a jail bond this November”? Commissioner Cushing feels there is information from the City of Bangor he would like to have before he can have an answer about November. Commissioner Baldacci feels that it is interesting how this crisis (pandemic) has changed the landscape of what we need. How the Court is now working with us and the jail has significantly reduced its population. Commissioner Baldacci feels we need to see if that trend continues; we may have to re-think this project accordingly. We will see how events unfold.
Commissioner Cushing received correspondence from Senator Collins office this week in regards to the JAG grant.
Payroll Change Notices signed for: Tyler Thompson - Resignation.
Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve the payroll and accounts payable warrants as presented. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
Payroll Warrant to be approved for week ending 5/15/20: $260,845.92 Accts Payable Warrant to be approved for 5/12/20: $343,741.99 Unorganized Territory Warrant to be approved for 5/12/20: $9,997.79
Unorganized Territory TIF Warrant to be approved for: NONE Meeting Adjourned-
Commissioner Sanborn moved to adjourn the meeting at 10:03 a.m. with no further business on the agenda. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0
Certified By: Administrator, William Collins Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner Andre E. Cushing, III, Commissioner