Dukes County Commission
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Dukes County Administration Building
9 Airport Road, Edgartown, MA
Commissioner Present: Tristan Israel, Melinda Loberg, Tom Hallahan, Lenny Jason, John Alley, Les Leland (late arrival *)
County Staff present: Russell H. Smith – County Manager, Martina Thornton – Ex. Assistant, Carol Grant – Assistant Treasurer, T.J. Hegarty – IPM Director, Chuck Cotnoir – Emergency Management Director, Sean Flynn – Airport Manager.
*Others: Ben Hall, Connor Smith, Chris Kennedy – TTOR, Joanie Ames from MVTV
1. Meeting was called to order at 5:00 PM
2. Public Hearing on the Trustees of Reservation (TTOR) proposal for fee increases
Chris Kennedy presented updated proposal for fee increases at Norton Point, which is less then 20% and does not require the vote of the Commission – see attached. Day Passes for residents $24 ($4 increase), non-residents $35 ($5 increase), Annual Permits for residents $70 ($10 increase), non-residents $120 ($20 increase). There are combination permits for Chappy and Norton Point also available. The fees are overall the lowest on the Cape & Islands compared to other TTOR properties. Total revenue for last year from the sale of over-sand beach permits is $208,348. The last time the fees were increased was after the season of 2005.
Tom/Melinda moved to close the public hearing. All in favor.
Tom/John moved to accept the proposed new fees for Norton Point. All in favor.
Tristan went to Chappy to see the current erosion situation, see map attached.
3. Mosquito testing – update by T.J. Hegarty
See e-mail attached regarding the communication with the Cape Cod Mosquito Control Project (CCMCP). They are willing to accept our pools and submit it under their membership to the State. We will have to pay the CCMPC a fee of $25 per pool times 10 pools per day times 6 weeks for total cost of $1,500. We have to pre-sort the pools ourselves. Unlike before when a member of the Arbovirus Program did sort it for us and it was free. T.J. will be attending the March 23rd meeting of the State Reclamation Board on Cape Cod. There will be a workshop on June 10th at the West Tisbury Public Safety Building from 10-12am and there will be presentation regarding the mosquito testing as well. Russell said that the Boards of Health (BOH) want the County to do the testing and we did not ask them for any money yet. Martina said there is
special fund for the Mosquito testing with money in it. T.J. said there is about $2K. There was no money budgeted for this under the Integrated Pest Management Department. Tristan asked the Manager to make sure there is enough money to cover this summer and come up with a number we should ask the BOH for to cover the cost for next year including the cost of travel, educational expense etc. and report back at the next meeting.
T.J. reported on ant problems at the West Tisbury School and plans to address it.
Tom asked for list of all funds that are outside of the budget and how much is there.
4. Interviews & Appointments
Airport Commission – John Alley made brief overview (the Airport received in last couple of years over $15 million for runway and taxiway project, next project will be replacement of the ARF building. The Airport Commissioners work well together. Lenny asked about the passenger facility charge (PFC). Sean explained that the current PFC
maximum level set by FAA is $4.75. They do have an option to do short application to implement the PFC and exclude the short hall flights if they decide to. It would be at 50,000 passengers about $200K per year.
The commercial airlines pay rent to the Airport but there was no escalation clause in the lease in the past 10 years. They also pay $0.85 per passenger “enplanement fee” in lieu of landing fee.
Ben Hall introduced himself. He is an attorney in Edgartown, he had a pilot’s license for couple of years. He views the Airport as very important for island economy and underutilized as far as creation of jobs. He would like to move forward the construction of large hangers for jets and possibly service facility; make some changes in the Airport Business Park management and possibly use the Water Treatment Facility to offload the nitrogen load to some of our costal ponds from subdivision close to the Airport.
Tom/Melinda moved to appoint John Alley and Ben Hall to the Airport Commission for the next 3 years. All in favor.
Martina will e-mail them appointment letters with all requirements including the need to get sworn in.
*Sean Flynn, Ben Hall left.
Dukes County Health Council – 16 candidates (14 2-year appointments, 2 1-year appointments) – see list attached. Tad Crawford made the introductions. The new candidates Connor Smith, Michael Loberg, Nancy Langman and Diane MacKellar introduced themselves. Tristan asked the Health Council for advocacy against any more cuts in the state budget for mental health assistance. He read the list of candidates for appointment to the Health Council, all to be appointed for 2 years other then Nancy Langman and Diane MacKellar that will be appointed for 1 year.
John/Tom moved to appoint all as presented. All in favor.
Tad Crawford asked to be put on a further agenda regarding amendments to the Health Council By-laws pertaining to membership of Associate Commissioners.
John/Melinda moved to appoint Brian Kennedy as the Deputy Director for Logistics under the Emergency Management Director for 1 year. All in favor.
5. Manager’s Report
FY2012 Budget - There was a meeting of the County Advisory Board (CAB) that ended at 4pm. We implemented changes to reflect their wishes (no generator hook up, no money to the Chamber for promotion of local goods). The budget is now $9,564 in black.
Russell said that after the placement of people on the scale based on the results of the job description reviews, couple people were forwarded and couple redlined. The total affect on the budget is additional 9-10K, set aside in line 1210.
Tom said that the CAB consented to the 2.5% increase of the town assessment and to a 2% COLA based of fact that the county employees did not receive any COLA in couple years. Most town employees did get some COLA in the last couple of years and all but one town are planning to give COLA for FY2012. Tristan asked the FinCom to prepare a more scientific approach for setting the COLA for next year. Melinda mentioned the suggestion to use the medium value from the past year’s town COLA.
The money from license plates should be used for economic development and the County does it in house, it does not have separate expense line in the budget but we can point out things the County does that are in keeping with that. We could not give the money to a non-profit organization like Chamber anyway, but we could partner with them. The general feeling is that we can not afford it at this time.
Russell would like to hook up the generator as it would be a good asset in case of island emergency considering the central location and close to the Airport. All towns have generators to assure continuity of their operation. John Alley said that if power goes out island-wide the NSTAR plan is to restore power at the Hospital first and the Airport second. The County is on the Airport line. Chuck said that his charge was to prepare Continuation of operation plan for the County and this was part of the plan. If the building has no power, and most of the poles from Oak Bluffs are down, we might be out of power for 3 weeks. Will we pay the employees for this time even though they can not do their work? Even the auditors at their Management Letter suggested having some continuation plan in place. We already have conduit in the ground from
the generator to the building. We also have the transfer switch panel in the basement ready. The generator works and could power the whole building as two more. He would like to buy 1-2 hours of electrician’s time to have him figure out what hardware we need (box for generator room, 300feet of #3wire and a little bit of conduit – could be about $1K). Buy the hardware and take it from there. Melinda asked if we are being penalized and it would be foolish not to hook up a perfectly good generator of if it is going to be high maintenance and unnecessary. Chuck said it is the county commissioners’ responsibility to ensure that they are not wasting money on payroll for people that can not work because we can not provide power. John suggested for the Manager or Chuck to call Mike Durant at NSTAR and see if he could send someone to come and tell us for free what we need to hook it up. The consent was to leave it out of the FY2012 budget.
John/Tom moved to approve the draft budget to be brought to the joint public hearing. All in favor.
The public hearing on the County budget will be scheduled once the Airport budget is approved by the MV Airport Commission. Lenny asked for letter to the MV AC to let us know when their budget will be done and if they decided on the Personnel Committee member. The next County Commissioners meeting will be on April 13th.
Courthouse – cushions are being redone for the Courtroom and floor straightened out. We are working with the architect on approach to the repair of the windows as the responses to the RFP did not come out the way we expected. Tristan asked for Russell to meet with the Edgartown Historic Commission and talk to them about the gutters (they meet twice per month). Russell would also like to put railing by the front stairs and do some lawn repair. Tristan asked for leaves to be rakes by the Administration Building as well.
Freedom of Info Request Policy – see attached
Russell asked the Commissioners to approve a new policy under which the County will be providing information. The current policy is to charge for any request, even 1-2 pages. This is counter productive and the fees have been in many cases waived by the County Manager. This new policy is raising the number of pages that would trigger the charge and giving clear direction to the Departments on how to proceed. Tristan suggested that the threshold should be 20 pages.
The front property is sold to the veterinarian and now the message from the MSPCA is that they are willing to transfer the back building to the Animal Shelter as a non-profit organization. The shelter board is cooperating with a legal firm that is doing the work pro bono on moving forward in order to receive the building.
6. Old Business –
Letter to Senator Brown, Kerry and Representative Keating regarding the veterans’ services on the island went out.
Pilgrim RC & D appointment
Russell said that the MV Commission is willing to take it over and assume the cost if the County would take over the newly created local Art’s Council. We could provide this group with the same kind of support as we do for the Fishermen’s Association. Tom asked to research and make sure that they are not duplicating any already existing services and will not compete with other non-profit organizations. Russell said he believes this is organizations that would bring them all together and he will find out more.
John/Tom moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:55 p.m. All in favor.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts
Documents presented at the meeting and part of the official records:
- New proposal of Norton Point Oversand Vehicle Permit Fees
- Map of current situation at erosion at Norton Point
- E-mail regarding mosquito testing
- Appointment list 3-9-11
- DC Health Council Nomination List
- Letter from Chuck Cotnoir requesting appointment of Deputy Director for Logistics
- FY2012 Budget proposal
- County Information Request Protocol and Request Letter
- Letter to Senator Kerry
- SSA Memorandum of March 8, 2011 meeting
- Cape Light Compact – January 2011 report
- Map from FEMA regarding anticipated coastal study