Voters to consider buying former restaurant

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JAY – Voters will be asked Monday to appropriate $270,000 to buy the former Jay Family Restaurant on 1.27 acres on Route 4 to become the new municipal building.

The special town meeting begins at 7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 29, at the Jay Middle School cafeteria. The regular selectmen’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. there.

The town has about $729,000 in the municipal building reserve account where the money would come from.

It is estimated it would cost about $500,000 more to renovate the building to house town government operations and the police station.

Owner Janet Diaz is having the carpet, ceiling and Sheetrock removed from the one-floor, 7,184-square-foot building that had been damaged by water and mold from a leaking roof.

Initially, Diaz had sought $300,000 and then dropped it to $250,000 and added another $20,000 to have the demolition work done. The mold issue had caused concern for some members of the Jay Building Committee.

Several years ago, Diaz’s late husband, Joe Diaz, offered the property to the town for $750,000.

The town’s municipal building has 7,400 square feet in the two-story, former brick school. It has had mold and air quality issues and electrical problems among other troubles. All offices were moved upstairs years ago with the downstairs only used for storage, police evidence and the boiler.

Residents have saved for years for a new town office and police station.

An initial estimate several years ago of $1.5 million to build a new municipal complex was rejected by voters. The figures ranged lower with modifications to plans with the most recent figure about $850,000.

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