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Penobscot County Commissioners Minutes from July 14, 2020

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Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes July 14, 2020 2292

9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci, Andre Cushing & Laura Sanborn 64°

Approval of Minutes –

Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve June 30th and July 7, 2020 meeting minutes; Districts II and III Radio Bond Referendum Public Hearing Minutes. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.

Public Comment –

Bangor citizen Larry Dansinger presented the Commissioners with a handout on the Maine Statutes, Title 30-1 concerning the Commissioners and Jail personnel.

In summary, the County Commissioners have the opportunity and responsibility to oversee what’s going on in the jail. In addition to financial responsibilities, it is your responsibility as an elected official of County Commissioner to pay attention.

Larry stated that he spoke to Terry Thurlow of MEDPRO and addressed the question of testing. Mr. Thurlow stated that if they feel there is a need for testing, the test is completed. Larry feels that best practices for health is to test sooner rather than later.

Larry reported that he is getting second and third hand reports that jail personnel are not wearing masks as required. Larry hopes that there is some jail protocol with procedures for staff to follow.

2020 Roadway Paving Project – Mattamiscontis Township Bids Opening –

  • Commissioner Baldacci opened up the 2020 Roadway Paving Project for Mattamiscontis Township. The following six vendors submitted their bids by the deadline.

B & B Paving - Hermon

Vaughn Thibodeau - Bangor

Roundy’s Paving - Palmyra

Street’s Landscape & Lawn - Old Town

Wellman Paving - Winterport

Northeast Paving - Bangor

  • Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to accept Deputy Director George Buswell’s recommendation to award B & B Paving the 2020 Roadway Paving Project contract for Mattamiscontis Township.Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion.Motion to approve passed 3-0.

UT Update -

  • Director Shaw Weeks reported that Matt Lewis from Maine Stream Finance will present next week on the Matagamon Lake Association TIF Application.

  • Director Weeks spoke on the LUPC Road Construction Application Information:

  • One mile of road to be built in T3R7 in the Woods and Waters National Monument

  • Maine Waterside Trails LLC hired CES to manage the project

  • The road will be maintained by the National Parks Service

  • The road is to be built off the Seboeis Road, to “minimize public travel along the Seboeis Road to help preserve the natural scenic qualities of the East Branch”

  • Director Week updated the Detective Benjamin Campbell Bridge Project:

  • $670,000 to add snowmobile access trail to bridge

  • Cost share agreement/arrangement that DOT has proposed is as follows:

  • Must be with a state, municipal, county agreement (not private entity)

  • $250,000 cost to partner

  • Cost share agreement for maintenance

  • If the snowmobile clubs close/dissolve, the county may need to provide snow removal service for the trail section of the bridge

Commissioner Sanborn states that Millinocket is taking the lead on this and is applying for grants. It will take five years to pay for this project; it is estimated that the project will be completed 2022-2023.

  • Director Weeks provided pictures of a junkyard on the Tar Ridge/Averill Road.

  • A concerned citizen called regarding vehicles being piled up on a lot

  • Shaw spoke with Maine DEP and it appears this is out of their jurisdiction

  • Deputy Buswell inspected the area, took photos and talked with one owner

  • This junkyard has automobiles only and he is recycling parts. The individual has not applied for a permit in order to be using this space for this business; so, he is operating without a license.The owner did say that there will be a crusher coming in the near future.

  • Commissioner Baldacci request that Director Weeks check with ADA DeMarco for the proper language to draft a letter to the residents to obtain a permit.

  • Shaw will draft a letter to residents explaining they need a permit; Shaw will also share more information with the Maine DEP.

  • Director Weeks reported on the Mattawamkeag Ambulance:

  • Ambulance is out of service due to a major engine failure of their ambulance. Due to costs and budget the town does not have the funds to repair or replace.

  • East Millinocket Ambulance is covering the area temporarily. The ambulance service has been losing money for the past two budget years due to multiple issues such as insurance companies not paying, a large number of non-insured not able to or refusing to pay, and also a large number of calls for assist only or refusal of transports if they can’t recover any expenses by not being able to bill the patients

  • This year they have had 12 calls to Prentiss and 30 to Kingman; last year it was 12 to Prentiss and 4 to Kingman, and the year previous to that it was 11 to Prentiss and 41 to Kingman

  • It will cost $50,000 to $60,000 for a used ambulance

  • The Cardiac monitor also needs to be replaced at $30,000

NWDB Update –

  • NWDB Director Joanna Russell provided the following developments occurring with the Northeastern Workforce Development Board:

  • The National Emergency Grant which was awarded on March 18, 2020 with a start date of March 1, 2020 and end date of December 31, 2021. Director Russell feels that the end date may be extended due to all the extenuating circumstances that we have been experiencing.

  • MDOL has approved the contract between NWDB and the Portland Recovery Community Center (acting as “HUB” for all recovery centers in Maine) to facilitate recovery coach basics training in Aroostook and Penobscot counties. Healthy Acadia has submitted their proposal to NWDB. NWDB is awaiting MDOL’s approval to move forward with the recovery coach basics training in Washington, Piscataquis and Hancock counties.This is a five-hour training, first to partners in the five counties; then the second phase is to the employers.With the goal to reduce stigma and to increase doors to opportunities to jobs.

  • EMDC and ACAP are currently enrolling participants into the “Connections to Opportunities” project. To increase appropriate referrals, EMDC and ACAP continue to provide orientation and information to regional partners. There are two pathways to this project:

  • Individuals who are dislocated workers; and in their dislocation have decided they would like to pursue job training and education that would enable them to work in the field to combat opioid crisis. These people might not have been impacted personally by the opioid crisis, but they have a desire to work in the field of addiction.

  • Individuals who are dislocated workers; and/or long-term unemployed and have directly impacted by the opioid crisis. It can be the individual themselves or a family member.

  • NWDB has a signed contract with MDOL for the program year 2020. The three local boards are in the process of collecting information to submit a request for board certification. The board is working on a formal recertification which will allow us the contract.

  • Director Russell then introduced Benjamin Hawkins the new National Emergency Grant Program Coordinator. His start date was June 22 and done some traveling with me to meet with partners.

Presentation of Jail Budget –

  • Lt. Keith Hotaling, Captain Richard Clukey and Lt. Ty Babb from the Sheriff’s Office presented the 2021 Jail Budget. The following information was noted:

  • On payroll-

  • Change one part-time cook position to full time

  • Hire an additional training officer

  • On Services boarding costs were reduced from $1 M to $500 K. Treasurer John Hiatt asked how you were able to decrease the boarding costs by 50. Lt. Hotaling stated that we haven’t had as many boarded out; and Sheriff was able to negotiate more favorable rates for boarding.Administrator Bill Collins felt that the boarding line needs to be reviewed further with the courts reopening full time in September.

  • Commissioners will discuss this further as this was their first time they have seen the budget and will make their decision next week.

Sheriff's Update -

  • Lt. Hotaling spoke to increasing the video capabilities to be used in the jail:

  • There was a recent request from the courts to enhance video arraignment capabilities as we currently have a single video link for the inmates to use.

  • This week we added an additional video port; unfortunately, this is a small room which is causing considerable echoing

  • We have looked at our contact visiting room to divide into two video rooms; and we have purchased some industrial plastic furniture to make that room more versatile. We have requested quotes from our contractor for flooring, walls (to include sound deadening panels), painting, doors and lights and will get back to you with those quotes

  • Video arraignments are held every weekday but Thursday

  • We are also receiving more medical requests for tele-medicine

  • Capt. Rick Clukey reported that today’s jail population is 157 in-house, 16 boarded out to other county jails and 127 inmates in Pre-Trial Services. Capt. Our contract with Two Bridges, has expired so we only have 10 inmates housed there. We have eight inmates waiting to be transferred out to DOC.

  • Commissioner Baldacci requested information on COVID in the jail.

  • Lt. Babb stated that staff has been directed to wear masks when entering the cell blocks and within six feet of another person; they are following very specific guidance from the CDC and it is reinforced. However, there are difficulties in large group areas, such as intake and on occasion staff need to be reminded. Officers have been directed that if an inmate refuses to wear a mask, there is no reason to conduct a use of force. The medical team is encouraged with what they are seeing around the facility.

  • Capt. Clukey stated that MEDPRO is providing testing instruction. As of this time there has been no positive tests for either inmates or staff.

  • A question posed from Treasurer Hiatt on SECURUS. The response was that there is a current FOIA investigation with our legal team on the statewide jail communications.

Administration Update –

  • Administrator Collins provided pictures of a cracked window that was found while the windows were being cleaned last weekend. Portland Glass will provide an estimate and it will be sent to the Risk Pool for reimbursement.

  • Reminder to vote today regarding our Radio Referendum.

  • FOP negotiations were cancelled this week.

  • VOYA representatives will be here tomorrow.

  • A meeting was held between Finance, HR and the Sheriff’s Office last week. Some concerns were identified and all are currently working on resolutions.

  • We are working with our legal department on three separate FOIA requests.

  • Administration Collins publicly thanks PRCC Director Lavoie and Deputy Lilley and staff for their hard work and dedication working to get the radio bond to pass.

  • MCCA has developed an RFP for identifying a lobbyist for this fall.Four new corrections officers started training yesterday. Training is here on site.

  • Discussion ensued on the $100K that is annually set aside on the jail by the state. These funds were to be used for capital needs.Two counties put claims on these funds; Kennebec and Penobscot.

  • A reminder that Tax Day is tomorrow – July 15th.

  • Payroll Change Notices signed for: NONE

  • Payroll Warrant to be approved for July 10, 2020: $ 258,052.45

  • Accts Payable Warrant to be approved for July 10, 2020:$ 76,992.30

  • Accts Payable Warrant to be approved for July 13, 2020:$ 517.94

  • Accts Payable Warrant to be approved for July 14, 2020:$ 75,252.75

  • Unorganized Territory Warrant to be approved for July 14, 2020 for FY ’20: $21,042.52

  • Unorganized Territory TIF Warrant to be approved: NONE

Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 9:58 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (D) Contract Matter. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0. Present were: Commissioners, Administrator Collins, Treasurer John Hiatt, and Director Honey. Session ended at 10:36 a.m. No votes taken.

Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:37 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (A) Personnel Matter. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0. Present were: Commissioners, Administrator Collins, and Director Honey. Session ended at 11:21 a.m. No votes taken.

Meeting Adjourned-

Commissioner Sanborn moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:25 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

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