JAY — Selectmen voted unanimously Monday to reword a proposed ordinance that allows town employees to go on private property to investigate alleged violations of a proposed recycling and waste ordinance.

Some residents objected to the wording in January saying it was against their constitutional rights.

Code Enforcement Officer Shiloh Ring got a written opinion on the paragraph from the Maine Municipal Association’s legal department, Town Manager Ruth Cushman said.

The MMA agreed that the town could remove the wording from the ordinance but that the rights would still remain as they are included in state law, according to Ring’s memo to Cushman.

MMA did suggest clarifying who the town’s designees should include, she wrote.

Those would include selectmen, town manager and designees of the code enforcement officer, recycling coordinator or Public Works director.

The Maine Revised Statutes Annotated Title 30-A, section 4452 deals with enforcement of land use laws and ordinance.

It states that in regard to enforcement that “a municipal official, such as a municipal code enforcement officer, local plumbing inspector or building official, who is designated by ordinance or law the responsibility to enforce a particular law or ordinance” may enter any property at reasonable hours or enter any building with the consent of the owner, occupant or agent to inspect the property or building for compliance with the laws or ordinances set forth in subsection 5.

A municipal official’s entry onto property under this paragraph is not a trespass, the law states.

The wording was inserted in case there is a dispute over whether the items that are taken to the transfer station are from a Jay resident or Jay residence, business or other town entity.

Resident Carl Badeau asked what would be a reasonable time.

In most classes that she has taken, Cushman said, the reasonable time is 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In another matter, resident Billy Calden asked selectmen to repossess a skid steer that the Jay School Department bought in early January before it goes to the new consolidated school system.

Voters in Jay and RSU 36 voted on Jan. 25 to consolidate the two school systems effective July 1.

School Committee members voted Jan. 6 to either lease or buy a skid steer to clear snow from sidewalks around the school area. The school had previously used the town’s skid steer but the town needed the machine back. School officials said they tried to use school system’s tractor but it was slow going, has many hours on it and broke down twice.

Selectmen said the school ended up buying a machine. The cost of the used machine was $22,050 with a plow attachment.

The School Committee voted to buy it three weeks prior to the vote on school consolidation, Calden said.

“I would like to have it back,” he said, especially with Jay going to have to pay 71 percent of any amount that exceeds the state’s funding formula in the new school system. The amount is based on valuation. Livermore and Livermore Falls would split the other 29 percent.

“If they don’t want to relinquish the skid steer, they should give us a check for 29 percent,” he said.

Cushman said she would look into it.

Selectman Tim DeMillo said some selectmen did not sign the warrant for the school to buy it. DeMillo and Selectman Tom Goding, said they were both against it.

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