JAY — Selectpersons agreed Monday to hold a special town meeting to transfer money to cover unexpected expenses related to street lights. A date will be set soon.

Voters approved $48,000 to pay for street lights in June. The board and Budget Committee reduced the proposed budget prior to town meeting from $63,449.51 to $48,000 with the intent to remove a quarter of the street lights in town.

The current total cost for street lights is $50,319.66, Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said.

The number of street lights was reduced from 397 to 270 and the number of special facilities from 17 to 14, she said. Some of the lights have not yet been taken down by Central Maine Power Co., she said.

What wasn’t realized during the process was that CMP increased its delivery costs in September, which raised the rates, she said.

“Had all the costs remained the same as they were in April, our annual total would have been $43,208.50” and within budget, LaFreniere said.


The town also paid a higher rate for lights on the July and August bills, approximately $1,300 each month, prior to the lights being removed, which will push them further over budget, she said.

LaFreniere asked the board if they wanted the Street Light Committee to look for more lights to be removed, or if the board wanted to hold a special town meeting to transfer money to the street light/hydrant account.

Selectperson Tim DeMillo said he thought the committee did a “heck of job” in reducing the number of lights.

He asked for feedback from some of the committee members.

Selectperson Pearl Cook, who served on the committee, said she thought what was cut was enough. She didn’t believe that more could be cut without jeopardizing safety, she said.

Others agreed with her about safety. It was also said that removing more lights would be doable but it would have to be done throughout town and not just in the Chisholm area.


Board Vice Chairman Justin Merrill, also a committee member, said if they remove more lights, they could upset a lot more people.

Several people voiced their concerns on the list of lights targeted for removal prior to the list being finalized. Some people decided to privately pay CMP to keep lights intact.

The $50,319.66 is a pretty good number to include in the 2015-16 budget, he said. Maybe by the time 2016 comes around, there may be a big spike in cost and then the town will have to consider whether to raise more money or remove more lights, he said.

The town is under contract with Constellation Energy for a fixed electricity supply charge of .0533 until Oct. 1, 2016, for the town’s street lights, LaFreniere said.

“At that time, it is anticipated that the supply portion of the electrical bill will likely increase as well,” she said.

She also reminded the board that the budget article that addresses street lights also includes money for hydrant rentals. The latter rental fee will be rising next year, she said.

Both the Jay Village Water District and North Jay Water District will increase rates over two years beginning on Jan. 1, 2015. The total increase for Jay Village will be 29.6 percent and North Jay will be 22.5 percent. The municipal rate increases will go into effect on July 1, 2015.

Selectpersons opted to go to the voters to ask for money to be transferred to cover the street light budget for this year.

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