Penobscot County Commissioners' Minutes from June 2, 2020
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Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes June 2, 2020 2286
9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci, Andre Cushing and Laura Sanborn 54° Roll call via team viewer was taken at 0900 with all three Commissioners present. Approval of Minutes – Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve May 26, 2020 meeting minutes. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0. EMA Update – EMA Director Michelle LaBree reported the following:
COVID Update- One (1) new death in Penobscot County (not yet officially reported by the CDC). There is one (1) positive patient in each hospital that are not identified as critical at this time.
Hospitals are starting surgeries again and are filling their beds again.
EMA Resource requests are slowing down. As of yesterday, there were 50 requests in the CDC Que for PPE. Through June 1st they have filled 1,998 PPE orders.
Non COVID Update- the OJP Corona Supplemental grant was approved. Deputy Director Brad Nuding is working with Administrator Collins and Finance Director Alexander on the administrative parts of the grant. The Commissioners will learn more about this Grant at next week’s meeting.
Commissioner Baldacci asked Director LaBree about available of testing for the jail if needed. Testing kits are available and we can request them through the hospital lab; she is not sure who pays for these at this time. Sheriff’s Update – Sheriff reported that today’s jail population is 121 in house; 32 boarded out to other county jails; no US Marshalls; and 103 in Pre-trial services. County is holding five (5) inmates for the State and are still awaiting word as to when they can safely be transported to DOC.
Law Enforcement has seen a dramatic uptake with incidents in the last two weeks. There have been six death investigations including suicides, overdoses, a fatal crash and a medical event.
Commissioner Cushing moved to approve Administrator Collins signing three year contract extensions for the Towns of Glenburn and Carmel for full time coverage with a small billing increase; the towns of Clifton and Passadumkeag for part-time coverage with no increases. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0. Sheriff is still participating in daily phone calls with the Department of Corrections and Commissioner Liberty. We need to come up with a plan to move inmates to DOC; currently there is no plan.
The jail refrigeration size is inadequate to house large quantities of foods. We have been very fortunate our vendors allow us to purchase foods at lower costs and hold the product until needed.
Sheriff’s Department is still working closely with the courts and the “Rock Stars” in the DA’s office. There are times that witnesses are necessary to testify which includes needing to provide transport to and from the court.
Sheriff responded to Commissioner Baldacci’s earlier question on the availability of COVID testing in the jail. There are daily changes occurring in the procedures in which we rely heavily on our medical department. Our department is following the guidance of the CDC and DOC.
Our mental health provider (CHCS) three year contract will be expiring. Sheriff is very pleased with their service and is supportive of renewing their contract. The clinicians and psychiatrist have provided more coverage than we have had in the past.
The Commissary vendor contract is being reviewed at this time too. We are requesting more technical services be provided for the inmates along with additional commissary services. We would like to see accounts linked so that people on the outside can use credit cards on an inmate account. Funds could then be used for not only commissary, but for bail as well. Our current vendor is looking into this process to see if this is doable. There is another vendor that serves multiple counties with these capabilities. UT Update – UT Director Shaw Weeks reported the following: There is no new update as of this morning on the Argyle Broadband expansion.
Director Weeks requested permission to request bid solicitations on a new truck. The current vehicle has 187,000 miles. As of July 2020 there will be $45,000 available in total capital reserves. Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve Director Weeks requesting bid solicitations for a new truck for UT use. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
The fire protection service contracts that were sent out to the Commissioners were reviewed.
The Town of Burlington is combining services with the Town of Howland; we will need to provide a new contract. Howland is requesting an increase in rate from $2250 to $3500. The difference is we won’t be billed on a per call basis. Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to sign the contract for Howland to provide Services to Burlington and Grand Falls. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
A letter of support for Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters Trials Expansion is provided for the Commissioners to sign.
An email from Belinda Raymond of the Prentiss Cemetery Association requests that the County pay for the Welcome signs for Kingman. Director Weeks will provide a quote on this once received. PRCC Update – Administrator, Bill Collins reported the following for PRCC Director, Chris Lavoie: The weekly COVID-19 meetings with our partners at the State have dropped to biweekly meetings which we continue to attend virtually. Even with the county “softopening”, we have continued to keep PRCC staff isolated and have not changed our internal procedures.
We have two desks that continue to be a problem and break down. Deputy Director Lilley has made contact with the company and expressed our frustration with this. The company has said that they are going to attempt to make a special trip here to come up with a solution to our problem. They did cite that the age of the equipment is the largest factor as to why we keep having these breakdowns.
Director Lavoie received a call from Central Maine and Quebec Railway. They have purchased the Patten Tower Site. They will be replacing the older rail car tower shack with a new 8 x 16 foot steel building. They will be doing this project sometime in mid July. I will be working with them to coordinate the movement of our equipment to ensure that there is a smooth transition and there is no impact to public safety.
o Commissioner Baldacci asked if there was going to be any change cost going forward and Administrator Collins said he is unable to share anything publically on this at this time.
Commissioner Baldacci asked where we are on the bond campaign. Commissioner feels that it is important that we let the public know as soon as possible since its June. Administrator Collins noted that PRCC has prepared a Power Point Presentation as well as handout flyers to be shared with the Public. This is in final legal review. HR Update – Administrator Collins reported the following for HR Director, Erika Honey: We are moving into vacation time and we are having manage vacation requests and some out of state travel. We will be working with department heads to review each situation on a case by case basis to ensure that the current 14 day quarantine order is met.
We have several employees who work for other emergency service agencies in the area and the question was posed about quarantine if they were assigned to an out of state training would they need to quarantine. Emergency personnel do not need to quarantine upon return if they are traveling as first responders/public safety personnel for essential work/training related activity. Again, we will review each on a case by case basis and determine if there was any possible exposure situations prior to allowing return to work at the County. Administration Update – Administrator Bill Collins reported the following: Administrator Collins listened to the Appropriations meeting that was held last Friday via Zoom. o What the administrator heard before he was disconnected, was that Maine will be in the black financially in this fiscal year; As a result, Maine will not have to tap into their “rainy day fund” for the June 30 year ending.
o The New fiscal year will bring numerous financial challenges.
o The State has received a large pool of money from the federal government and a 1/3rd of these monies will be shared with Counties/Municipalities.
Commissioners were asked if next week’s meeting would be held in Chambers or virtually. Administrator Collins recommends that we remain on team viewer for one more week while we manage and learn from the soft re-opening of the County.
LPC has made the decision that meetings will be held every other week.
Our next meeting will be held next Monday, June 8th.
MCCA next meeting is scheduled for next Wednesday, June 10th.
Today marks the soft-reopening of County building. Signage has been placed across the building noting six foot distancing and to wear masks. There is a television and intercom system being set up for Mary Anne to monitor access to the building. There was an early dismissal (4:00 p.m.) for staff yesterday
Payroll Change Notices signed for: Benjamin Hawkins – Hired Full-time; Terry Sullivan – Comp time
Payroll Warrant to be approved for May 29: $234,147.55
Accts Payable Warrant to be approved for June 2: $389,214.76
Unorganized Territory Warrant to be approved : NONE
Unorganized Territory TIF Warrant to be approved : NONE
Commissioner Cushing made a motion to approve the payroll and accounts payable warrants as presented. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0. Meeting Adjourned- Commissioner Sanborn moved to adjourn the meeting for public session at 9:57 a.m. with no further business on the agenda. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0 Executive Session---Commissioner Sanford made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:00 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (D) Contract Matter. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion approved 3-0. Present were: Commissioners, Administrator Bill Collins, Human Relations Director Erika Honey, Sheriff Troy Morton and Treasurer John Hiatt. Session ended at 10:11 a.m. No Votes Taken. Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:12 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (D) Contract Matter. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion approved 3-0. Present were: Commissioners, Administrator Bill Collins, Human Relations Director Erika Honey, Sheriff Troy Morton and Treasurer John Hiatt. Treasurer John Hiatt left the session at 10:29 a.m. Session ended at 11:08 a.m. No votes taken. Certified By: Administrator, William Collins
Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner
Andre E. Cushing, III, Commissioner