Jay selectmen approve union contract

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JAY – Selectmen voted 3-0 Monday to approve a three-year contract with the Teamsters union representing police, sewer, transfer station and highway departments.

The board also voted 3-0 to deny the Jay-Livermore Falls Hunting Club’s property tax abatement request of $211.66.

The new labor contract is retroactive to July 1, 2005, and gives workers a 2 percent wage increase in the first year, and 3 percent raises in each of the following two years.

Town Manager Ruth Marden said employees’ health insurance contributions will remain the same with workers contributing 20 percent of dependent coverage and the town continuing to pay for the employees’ health coverage.

Marden said she reviewed several towns’ insurance contributions, and Jay is right in the middle. She also said she did a comparison of the town’s benefits versus the school’s benefits, which are all over the place, but average within a few dollars of each other.

Resident Al Landry said selectmen didn’t listen to the Budget Committee’s recommendation that they negotiate with town employees to pay for some of their insurance.

“I don’t think it’s right,” Landry said. “We are all paying more for insurance.”

Both board Chairman Bill Harlow and Selectman Alan Labbe said that they did listen to the committee’s comments this year and in previous years.

There was give and take in the negotiations, Labbe added.

“They didn’t get everything they wanted, and we didn’t get everything we wanted,” Harlow said.

In other business, selectmen followed town assessing agent Paul Binette’s recommendation to deny the Jay-Livermore Falls Hunting Club’s request for a property tax abatement. The club bought property on the Quarry Road from the North Jay Sportsman’s Club last spring.

The hunting club’s property is valued at $13,500 for both land and building. They requested an abatement of taxes of $211.66, which is the full amount they have been assessed including interest.

“The club has not yet demonstrated whether they are charitable and benevolent, scientific and literary, fraternal or any category that would deem a satisfactory outcome of the application,” Binette previously wrote. “With no exemption application to review, we cannot advise the board to grant the tax abatement application based on the property being exempt.”

In another matter, Marden said the Spruce Mountain Ski Club has dropped the idea of having a bring-your-own-booze concert this summer and plans to have just a concert with no alcohol allowed. The club plans to hold the concert to raise money to benefit the ski slope area.

Harlow also thanked Selectmen Ray Pineau and Labbe for their years of service and dedication to the town. Pineau wasn’t at the meeting but is not running again for his position. Labbe has also decided not to seek re-election.

Board members also voted to approve a sewer abatement of $92.50 for Gerard Gilbert.

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