JAY – Townspeople will have a chance Tuesday to consider a $15.5 million spending package for 2003-04 municipal and school operations. Voters will also consider electing town, school and water district officials.

Voting on the 32-article package will take place from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, at the Community Building.

Voters will consider filling two, three-year selectmen’s terms and one, three-year School Committee seat. There is also one trustee’s term available in the North Jay Water District and Jay Village Water District.

Incumbent Selectman Ray Pineau is running unopposed for one of the selectmen’s terms. Former Selectman Parker Kinney and Stephen Gould are running for the second selectman’s term. Mike Houlihan, who currently holds the position, opted not to run again.

Incumbent School Committee member Robin Roberts is being challenged in a three-way race for a school board term by former committee member Sharon Neil and newcomer Timothy Toothaker.

Running unopposed for the Jay Village Water District is incumbent James Murphy. Residents Richard Ring and Dennis Allison are vying to become the new trustee of the North Jay Water District.

Among the articles in the $5.4 million municipal spending proposal, which reflects $158,000 increase over the current budget, are $425,925 for town government, $171,371 professional services, $827,600 for police and emergency dispatch, $191,534 for Fire Department and $110,400 for insurance. There is also $378,200 allotted for sewer maintenance and repairs, $977,700 for waste disposal, $68,669 for ambulance service and $1.2 million for the Highway Department and roads.

The town spending plan would be offset by an anticipated $1.9 million in revenues, which would reduce what taxpayers have to raise to $3.46 million, if everything on the municipal side is approved.

Townspeople will also consider buying a firetruck and financing $232,186 of the $376,000 pumper truck over five years. Currently there is about $100,000 in reserve for it.

On the school side of the overall package, voters will consider a $10.18 million spending plan, which reflects a 3.94 percent increase, or $385,643 increase over the current year.

For the first time, voters will also consider an article that would authorize selectmen to appropriate up to $500,000 from the undesignated fund for school purposes in order to allow schools to operate until the school budget is passed.

The number of school-related articles on the ballot have been condensed by voter approval, instead of voting on individual categories such as instruction, administration and athletics and co-curricular activities. Included in the $10.1 million package for school operations, which is broken down on page 79 of the town report, is $49,571 for health reflecting a decrease of $40,809, $238,135 for administration representing a $14,213 increase, $1.08 million for operations and maintenance of plant showing a $87,360 increase.

Also, $595,090 for transportation, reflecting a $20,605 increase, $5.7 million for instruction representing a $152,980 increase, and $243,538 for athletics and co-curricular reflecting a $39,851 increase. Also, $759,103 in debt service showing a decrease of $22,688, $1.4 million for special services, an increase of $129,591 and $82,955 for food services, reflecting an $4,540 increase.

Though taxpayers won’t be voting on the town’s share of the Franklin County budget, Town Manager Ruth Marden said that number increased from about $868,000 to $911,675, a difference of about $43,675.


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