LIVERMORE FALLS — Selectmen voted Monday to rescind a November 2011 vote to eliminate the cap of $100,000 on the Wastewater Treatment Plant reserve account and fund it from revenues from septic haulers and Jay’s revenues.

The Livermore Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant is owned by Livermore Falls. The Livermore Falls Sewer Department, a separate entity from the plant, and Jay Sewer Department share the cost of operating and maintenance of the plant based on sewage flow treated at the plant.

This year Jay’s share is 53.3 percent and Livermore Falls’s share is 46.7 percent.

An arbitrator awarded Jay $31,643 in September for overbilling related to employee and sewer clerk health insurance, not including the Livermore Falls plant superintendent, and sewer clerk benefits over a six-year period.

The arbitrator also ruled that since Jay has no ownership interest in the plant and only bought capacity in it, that it was not entitled to revenues from septage- and sludge-related waste. The plant and Jay had an agreement approved in 1997 based on a 1972 agreement. The agreement lacked details of percentages of costs that Jay and Livermore Falls Sewer Department would share.

Jay claimed it was owed $283,316 in connection to the reserve fund and overbilling for the treatment plant employee time spent on doing plant work instead of Livermore Falls Sewer Department work. It also believed it had a right to compensation for revenues associated with disposal of septage- and sludge-related waste.

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The arbitrator also determined that Jay had good reason to question the informal allocations and seek more precise billing but at the same time found no evidence that Livermore Falls intentionally held back information or misrepresented operation and maintenance costs.

One of the suggestions the arbitrator had was to sit down and address the agreement, Board of Selectmen Chairman Bill Demaray said. It will be up to Jay to request the agreement be rewritten. Livermore Falls was happy with the agreement, he said.

Before anything happens, he said he would like to know what would happen if the plant agreement was terminated with Jay and what are the plant’s obligations to Jay.

The plant and the Town of Livermore Falls are also separate entities.

He would also like the Livermore Falls selectmen and the Jay Board of Selectpersons to work out the details on the agreement, not the superintendents and town managers, he said.

He said that Jay has stopped paying its full share of operating and maintenance costs.

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As overseers of the plant, “We cannot afford to hire a lawyer” every time someone is not happy, Demaray said. The cost for the plant’s share of the mediation, arbitration and attorneys to the plant was $30,000, not counting the work of the town manager and other employees.

He requested the board rescind the Nov. 1, 2011, vote on the reserve account. Jay never voted on it, he said.

“I don’t feel the love anymore,” Demaray said.

The board offered several times to sit down with the Jay board to discuss the issues that Jay brought up, he said.

More detailed billing was put in place after mediation in 2012.

“We need to get away from lawyers and sit down face-to-face,” he said. “I would like to know what our options are. It is our plant, our revenues. I think if we sat down face-to-face, a lot of these issues would be resolved.”

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Part of the arbitrator’s report was that Jay is a user, not an owner of the plant, he said.

“I want to know all of the background to know what we can and cannot do,” Demaray said.

The current selectmen were not on the board when the 1997 agreement was written.

It has not been determined what the agreement will be to pay the awarded money to Jay or how the plant will be reimbursed for the revenues Jay has shared related to septage and sludge waste brought in by haulers, Flagg said.

Jay Town Manager Ruth Cushman was not available for comment Monday night.

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