COMMISSIONERS REGULAR MEETING
The regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Clark at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday April 6, 2021. Commissioner Wombacher, Commissioner Paradis, County Administrator Scott Adkins and Deputy County Administrator Rebekah Knowlton were also in attendance, as well as several Department Heads. Due to Covid-19 social distancing requirements, the meeting was held remotely via Zoom.
Adjustments to / approval of agenda:
MOTION: Move to approve the Agenda as presented and distributed on Monday April 5, 2021 with the exception of removing items 5C, 5D, and 7B (Paradis/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion- Bull Hill Wind Farm Abatement – Lisa Whynot / UT Supervisor and Justin McMann / Tax Section Manager / Maine Revenue Services-
Justin McMann of Maine Revenue Service explained that a recent valuation adjustment resulted in a tax abatement for the Bull Hill Wind Farm in the amount of $57,809.34, which means a reduction of $17,342.80 to the County’s TIF reimbursement. The Commissioners expressed frustration regarding the lack of communication from the State during the abatement process; McMann agreed and said there would be better communication going forward.
Discussion with regards to a request by two ATV clubs for the County to manage a state approved trail maintenance grant –
Brian Bronson, Supervisor for the ATV Program, explained that clubs are able to apply for the Bureau of Parks and Land grant through a town or county for funding that would go through the municipality/county. If approved, the money would be passed through the county minus the administration costs. UT supervisor Billings said he was able to administer the grant through the UT. He will develop an MOU transferring responsibility to the two ATV clubs; the county would simply be managing the finances as a pass-through.
MOTION: Move to support the Municipal Grant in Aid Program as outlined by Brian Bronson and authorize UT Director Millard Billings to move forward with the project and return to the Commission as needed to advance the project (Paradis/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)
Aaron Dority / Frenchman Bay Conservancy: Recreation Trail / Easement & Funding Request-
Dority said the Conservancy is securing trail easements from landowners to extend the Ellsworth Riverwalk from Main Street to the dam; this includes the County. He is also asking for funding for some required trail work. There was some discussion of potential liability for the County. Dority said Maine law is supportive of landowners in these types of situations. Commissioner Paradis said he supported the easement request but was unsure about the request for funds. Commissioner Wombacher agreed and suggested submitting a proposal through the Community Benefits grant process for funding. The Commissioners agreed to approve the concept of the project and take official action after review of a draft easement.
MOTION: Move to support the concept of an easement to support the Ellsworth Riverwalk Trail project as outlined by Aaron Dority of Frenchman Bay Conservancy. (Paradis/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)
Public Comment: none
MOTION: Move to approve the minutes of the March 23, 2021 Special Meeting as presented (Paradis/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: Move to accept and file the Airport Manager’s report as presented (Paradis/Wombacher 3-0)
MOTION: Move to authorize the Chairman to sign the New Airport Rotating Beacon grant application when available (Paradis/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: Move to authorize the Chairman to sign the Airfield Markings and NoFoam System grant application when available (Paradis/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: Move to authorize the Chairman to sign the PCI Survey and Pavement Management Plan grant application when available (Paradis/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: Move to approve advertising for a full time Airport Maintenance position as requested (Paradis/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)
In order to accept concessions relief funds under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, a considerable amount of work would be required by the County with very little money received. No vendors have come forward with a request. After discussion Airport Manager Muise withdrew his request for Commissioner approval.
MOTION: Move to take no action on this item based on the Airport Manager’s recommendation (Paradis/Clark 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: Move to accept the resignation of Deputy Register of Deeds Velma Jordan, effective April 9, 2021, thank her for her service, and wish her the best of luck (Paradis/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: Move to advertise for a full time Clerk position as requested (Paradis/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: Move to sign the 2021 Law Enforcement Contract with the Town of Swan’s Island as presented (Paradis/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: Move to sell by bid two 2011 Chevrolet Caprice Cruisers as requested (Paradis/ 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: Move to accept the resignation of Corrections Officer David McCarty effective April 2, 2021 (Paradis/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: Move to accept and file the RCC Director’s March monthly report as presented (Paradis/Clark 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: Move to accept and file the Facilities Directors March report as presented (Paradis/Wombacher 3-0 motion passed)
MOTION: Move to sign the treasurer’s warrant as presented (Paradis/Wombacher 3-0 motion passed)
The Treasurer’s memo listed the following:
March GF, Airport and Jail Payroll Warrants #21-8, #21-9, #21-10, and #21-11 in the aggregate amount of $372,416.53;
March GF, Airport and Jail Expense Warrants #21-14, #21-15, #21-16, #21-17, #21-18, and #21-19 in the aggregate amount of $610,914.49;
March UT Payroll Warrants #21-35, #21-36, #21-37 and #21-38 in the aggregate amount of $1,098.04;
March UT Expense Warrants #21-17 and #21-18 in the aggregate amount of $17,980.47
MOTION: Move to accept and file the financial reports as presented by the County Administrator (Paradis/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)
There is no further information on the American Rescue Plan Funding at this time. CA Adkins will continue to monitor for developments.
2021 TAN / Update and Cash Flow Discussion
CA Adkins said cash flow is healthy at this point. He said he will look to borrow from the UT first, while the process for the TAN is being worked through.
Discussion / Finance Management Position-
After discussion the Commission recognized the need for this position and agreed to continue the discussion at the next meeting.
MOTION: Move to adjourn 11:05 a.m. (Paradis/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)
Deputy County Administrator