Commissioners Minutes from November 10, 2020

Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes November 10, 2020 2309


9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci, Andre Cushing & Laura Sanborn 54°


Public Comment – None


Sheriff’s Update –


• Sheriff Troy Morton reported today’s jail total population is 154; 52 boarded out in other facilities; 176 in Pre-Trial services; No county swaps and holding 4 State Inmates.


• We have submitted all information for the law enforcement vehicles and one van to be auctioned to the Treasurer’s Office. We would like to get these off the lot before it snows.


• Next week we will present Departments 9, 12 and 13 budgets to the Budget Committee.


• Our fourth PACE program will be held this Thursday and Friday at a reasonable cost of $25. We currently have 16 participants signed up for this course. This course covers traffic violations, hunting-fishing violations, and theft. Sheriff has been communicating with DA Lynch on expanding this program. Due to COVID restraints, we are unable to add any more people to participate. In order to run a week-long program he needs to be able to extend his furlough up to ten days.


• Facilities Director Brian MacDonald and Sheriff toured the old Y Building. It was reported that there are a couple areas in the building with the potential to rehab to allow for short-term use. Specifically, Sheriff would like to use this building for the alternative sentencing programming. The requirements needed to hold meetings are already available. There are a couple bathrooms, space to divide into classes and a lunch area.


• Director MacDonald reports that this was the first time he had toured the facility. He was pleasantly surprised with much of what he found. There are areas in another section of the building that is as bad as described. Electricity, water, heat and ventilation would need to be turned back on before this building can be used. Commissioner Baldacci feels that we should speak to the City of Bangor code enforcement office. Explain that we were looking to use part of it for a day program. Sheriff and Director MacDonald felt for a long-term consideration would be to demolish part of the building and make use for Law Enforcement, Civil, Programs and Maine Pre-trial. In moving these departments, it would free up space for the jail.


• Commissioner Cushing made a motion to contact and have an engineering assessment of the old Y building. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.


• The Jail is using best practice protocols for COVID; protocols seem to change almost every day. The CDC now feels that rapid testing can be used on anybody and not just those with symptoms. This newest change in protocol has the Sheriff a little concerned with the number of false positives and negatives with rapid testing.


We implemented in October the newest updates to testing which means any individual who’s put into our quarantine (those that are transferred over to our facility, court dates, doctor appointments or any persons that have been outside our facilities) are quarantined for 14 days. Around day 12 they receive a PCR test (full covid test) at a $75 cost. Before anyone moves into general housing, they must be tested.


Sheriff also provided the jail’s protocol for when an individual is arrested and is being admitted into the jail facility. The following actions occur:


o Before getting out of the car in the sallyport (law enforcement and the inmate), medical goes to the vehicle and conducts a paper screening, temperature check and every one MUST be wearing a mask.

o If someone is symptomatic, we have the ability to do rapid testing. If positive, we can reject so that they don’t enter into the facility. If they’re positive and their charges warrant them that they have to be in jail, we have a plan in place on how they’re diverted into our facility. We have in the past, isolated someone as a precaution.


• Flu shots are being given to our high-risk inmates again this year; those that are requesting it are provided.


PRCC Update –


Director Chris Lavoie provided the following information:


• Due to the recent increase in COVID outbreaks in Penobscot County, PRCC has gone back to restricting access. Only PRCC employees are allowed after screening.


• Director Lavoie has received approval that rapid testing can be conducted for employees that are systematic.


• RCM was here for a day long site survey last week to review the dispatch center, radio room, and wiring. Director Lavoie is pleased to report that there were some things identified that would save some money. We should have quotes for the radio consoles for your approval next week.


• Director Lavoie provided quotes for (3) Toughbook’s from Amazon, CDW and Connection Public Sector Solutions


• Commissioner Sanborn moved to approve the purchase of three Toughbook’s and one vehicle dock in the amount of $7,220.30. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.


UT Update –


Director Shaw Weeks presented the following information:


• A letter was presented to the Commissioners for signature to LUPC expressing their concern on the Wolfden Rezoning Petition. Signed.


• TIF Fund balance as of today is $2,068,693


o Committed grant funds yet to be distributed in FY21:


▪ OTELCO $61,937.50


▪ Matagamon Dam $75,000


▪ Katahdin Area Economic Development Director $45,727


o Additional Administration costs for FY21:


▪ UT reimbursement $500


▪ Main Stream Finance/Penquis $9,800


• Director Weeks states that they are ready for the winter and have already had to plow.


• Commissioner Sanborn reports that she has received compliments on Deputy Buswell’s attentiveness to the work in the UT.


Administration Update -


Administrator Collins reported the following:


• The tax abatement due to be heard today has been delayed until the Selectmen of Stetson agree on the proposal made to the Appellee.


• County offices for non-essential personnel will be closed tomorrow for Veteran’s Day.


• MCCA meeting will be held via zoom Friday, November 13th.


• No estimate has been provided on the damaged patrol vehicle that hit four deer.


• Director Honey and Bill met with AFSCME last week and will meet again this Friday.


• Open enrollment for benefits is November 1-30th. There will be a benefits fair on the third floor on November 18th.


• Tonight is part one of the Budget Hearing at 6:00 p.m. Counselor Jerry Goss cannot participate. Brewer will appoint another councilor.


• Jim Ryan sent an email with Old Penobscot County pictures he found.


• Bill has prepared and RFP for Radio financing to Legal for review.


• Finance Director Alexander will not be present tonight as she is ill.


• Bill provided the schedule for the budget hearings.


• Payroll Change Notices signed for: Daniel Gastia

• Payroll Warrant to be approved for 11.06.2020: $260,876.12

• Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for 11.06.2020: $60.73

• Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for 11.06.2020: $60.73

• Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for 11.10.2020: $236,686.31

• UT Warrant to be approved for 11.10.2020: $108,321.52

• UT TIF Warrant to be approved: NONE


Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 9:50 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, Sheriff Morton, Treasurer Hiatt and Director Honey. Sheriff Morton left at 10:50 a.m. Session ended at 11:04 a.m. No votes taken.


Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 11:05 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (A) Personnel Matter. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approved passed 3-0. Present were: Commissioners, Administrator Collins and Director Honey. Session ended at 11:12 a.m. No votes taken.


Meeting Adjourned-


Commissioner Sanborn moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:13 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