ROCKLAND — Knox County Commissioners praised the service provided by two veteran department heads, one who is retiring and who resigned.

At the Tuesday, June 14, meeting, Commissioners also voted to authorize the county administrator and airport manager to determine what excess properties the county owns around the airport that can be returned to Owls Head or South Thomaston. One of those properties is a cemetery in which lots have only been leased.

The Commissioners recognized Emergency Management Director Ray Sisk at their June 14 meeting.

Sisk has served as the county’s EMA director for 14 years.

County Administrator Andrew Hart said Sisk has turned Knox County’s program into the best one in the state. The department’s services have grown by leaps and bounds since he took over, Hart said.

Commission Chair Dorothy Meriwether said Sisk has served all the communities in Knox County.

“He will be sorely missed,” Meriwether said.

Commission member Rick Parent called him a true professional. Commission member Sharyn Pohlman said Sisk will be missed not just in Knox County but across the state.

Sisk thanked the commissioners.

“It’s been an interesting ride for sure,” Sisk said, reminding commissioners the department is in good hands and there will be continuity.

Sisk had a career in the Coast Guard prior to joining the county.

The commissioners also were notified of the resignation of Information Technology Director Mike Dean. He has served the county since 2008.

Parent said Dean will be missed.

“I don’t like these machines. I will be lost without you,” Parent said.

Returning land to Owls Head, South Thomaston

The Commissioners voted unanimously to have Hart and Airport Manager Jeremy Shaw look at excess properties owned by the county surrounding the airport that can be returned to the tax rolls by giving them to Owls Head and South Thomaston.

One of those properties is a cemetery where families agreed to 99-year leases. Hart said it was very unlikely the county would ever have used the cemetery property which would have required lots to be moved. But, he agreed with the town people would be reluctant to lease a lot without assurance they would not be moved.

Hart said he met Monday, June 13, with the selectboard chair from Owls Head and its cemetery committee. The town needs cemetery space, he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration told the county it would support such a property transfer with the stipulation there be aviation easements to prevent tall growth that would interfere with air traffic.

Pohlman said returning land would benefit the towns and could open up the properties to walking trials or dog parks.