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Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes September 8, 2020 2300
9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci, Andre Cushing and Laura Sanborn 66°
Public Comment – None
Wolfden Rezoning Petition –
Stacie Beyer, Planning Manager for LUPC presented to the Commissioners an overview of the Wolfden Rezoning Petition.
• Wolfden Mount Chase, LLC filed a petition with the Commission in January of this year to rezone land that they owned in T6R6 WELS. This is for the Pickett Mountain Metallic Mineral Mine.
• The Commission criteria for rezoning require that a zone change be consistent with the standards in effect which provides specific factors for consideration. Some of the factors the commission will have to consider is regionally economic liability, short- and long-term socioeconomic impacts, local residents and property owners, and future reuse of the property. A public hearing is required.
• Since the proposal was completed July 27, 2020, there have been some changes made. The size of D-PD (Department of Planning Development) has increased from 197 acres to 528 acres. This will allow for larger tailings management facility and to include 400-foot-wide buffer on D-PD subdistrict. Several components were relocated to minimize impacts to the wetlands.
• Stacie provided a layout of the proposal as of today. Stacie provided descriptions of what the space will be used for. There will be a tailings facility that sakes up a good part of the space which is required to be above ground; along with waste water storage, 4 PDP spaces (Potential Disposal Points), parking for employees and trucks, storage facilities, warehousing, concentrating building and wastewater treatment plant. The main minerals being mined are zinc, copper and lead.
• The next steps are:
o Staff analysis -
o State agency review – which is currently underway
o Contractor review – we’ve hired three contractors to assist in the review; they will be looking at the noise impacts, technical feasibility and financial practicability and socioeconomic impacts
o Consultation with the tribes – this is underway
o Commission site visit – this is in the planning stages
o A public hearing once the staff analysis is near completion
• Estimated timeline is as follows:
o The first seven (7) months we’ve been working with Wolfden to get the application process prepared and completed.
o Currently at the Staff Analysis Stage
o We were hopeful to have a public hearing in December, but because of delays from Wolfden in two reports, it doesn’t look promising.
• The Commissioners at any time can submit their “review and comment” to the Commission. The comment period does not close until after the public hearing.
Sheriff’s Update -
• Sheriff Troy Morton reported today’s jail total population is 165; 38 boarded in other facilities; 1 Marshall hold, and 162 in Pre-Trial services. Over the last 72 hours, there were 29 bookings with significant charges.
• Law Enforcement:
o Hiring process is underway with two conditional offers given; we are just waiting on the background checks to be completed.
o Six (6) of the eight (8) patrol vehicles have come in from our 2020 bid process. This delay has posed a problem as our current vehicles are running into mechanical problems. Four (4) vehicles from last year and seven (7) from this year will be going out to auction.
o Last year $ 40K was placed in a line item to partner with the City of Bangor to hire/share a position for a forensic specialist (computer and phones). City of Bangor has taken on the entire payroll cost; however, they asked Penobscot County to pay for GreyKey software licensing costs in amount of $18K.
Commissioner Cushing moved to approve $ 18K as our share of the partnership with the City of Bangor on the new forensic employee for computer software licensing costs. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
o Our 2020-21 Budget will include a Domestic Violence Investigator
o Sheriff’s Office will be receiving a grant in the amount of $ 100K
o DOC visited our facilities last Friday and they were impressed with how we are doing. Our medical department is doing a phenomenal job on how the officers/inmates/employees come into the facility. Individuals are placed into quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. We are following the daily changes with CDC and have had great discussions with both DOC and CDC.
o Our medical provider MEDPRO has committed $1800 for a thermal scanner for temperatures. Sheriff would like to provide another one for a high traffic area in the lobby. Okayed.
o We will need to look into negotiating costs for boarding out to other facilities.
o We are looking for office space for the third pre-trial services case manager.
UT Update –
• Director Shaw Weeks stated that there will be the Bid Opening for Kingman and Prentiss Paving Projects at next week’s meeting.
• Director Weeks has reached out to the Enfield Town Manager regarding the National Environmental Protection Agency from Trileaf. Town Manager Charlie Frasier will be reviewing the information.
• Matt Lewis of Maine Stream Finance will be here next week on the Explore New England TIF Presentation
PRCC Update –
• Director Chris Lavoie reported that the desk project did not go quite as planned. There were issues with the installers as well as not all parts and pieces were delivered. Only one desk has been completed and installed.
• Discussion ensued on the passing of Tower climber Mr. James Larner.
• Director Lavoie was excited to report that the I AM RESPONDING software used for paging/text purposes had a free update that included audio. This has been tested and is working flawlessly.
• There are three people in process to bring our department to full staff.
• Chris thanked the Commissioners again for all their support provided to his department.
IT Update –
• Director Cliff Warren requested permission to provide the County’s old cast-off computers to the Old Town Boy Scout project. Each will be wiped clean of information and will go to a wonderful service project for students in RSU 34.
Commissioner Cushing made a motion to approve our older computers to be sent to RSU 34. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
Finance Update –
Director Judy Alexander presented the 2021 Penobscot County Department Head requests.
• Proposed budget for 2021 is $22,962,661
• Revenues are $ 3,616,061
• Net to be raised from taxes $18,896,600 (total increase of 17.177%)
• LD1 Cap allows us to increase our budget 4.39% this budget exceeds the LD1 Cap.
Commissioners will wait to meet with Each Department Head when they present their requests.
HR Update –
• HR Director Erika Honey introduced our new Facilities Director Brian MacDonald.
• Commissioner Cushing moved to support the MOA hiring a vet agreement with the State of Maine as presented. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed. 3-0
• NESCOM has agreed to partner with the County in our recruitment project. We will be meeting with the students on September 21st. We hope to have a final product completed in October.
• We have received 47 complete applications for the Clerical Specialist position in Deeds. We are pleased with the response.
• Director Honey is hopeful to have the final draft of the HR Coordinator position ready to this week.
• We have had 14 county employees tested for COVID. All tests have come back negative. If an employee is to be tested, they are to stay out until their test comes back negative. Also, we have asked that any staff member travelling outside the State of Maine to areas other than those exempted from quarantine or testing are required to either quarantine or provide a negative test result prior to returning to work. We ask that if anyone in their house are being tested for COVID they stay out until a negative test result is reported.
• There will be grievance hearings scheduled for the next two weeks.
• Bill Collins and I are in discussion with health renewal benefits.
• Erika will be participating in a law webinar this Friday.
• Erika will be participating in the MCCA meeting being held via zoom tomorrow.
Administration Update -
• Administrator Collins discussed the NACo meeting that Commissioner Baldacci participated in with Senator King for continued support on PILT funding.
• Administrator Collins discussed the recent communication received from Shana Sacks on the Opioid Lawsuit. They are currently working with the Maine’s attorney general’s office.
• MCCA and Risk Pool will be having their meetings tomorrow.
• FOP negotiations will be held next week for both Line and Supervisor units.
• We received a letter from DOC and we have been approved for operational license.
• Payroll Change Notices signed for: Brian MacDonald – Hired Full time
• Payroll Warrant to be approved for September 4, 2020: $ 250,139.00
• Accts Payable Warrant to be approved for September 8, 2020: $ 124,333.19
• UT Warrant to be approved for September 8, 2020: $1,400.00
• UT TIF Warrant to be approved: NONE
Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:30 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (D) Contract Matter. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approved passed 3-0. Present were: Commissioners, Administrator Collins, Director Honey Sheriff Morton, Chief Birch, Captain Clukey, Lt. Hotaling, Finance Director Judy Alexander, Treasurer John Hiatt, Director Brian MacDonald, Tom Carter and Michael Shuey. Session ended at 11:17 a.m. No votes taken.
Commissioner Sanborn moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:18 a.m. with no further business on the agenda. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0
Administrator, William Collins
Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman
Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner
Andre E. Cushing, III, Commissioner