JAY — Selectpersons have approved a request from the town’s Recreation Committee to use $9,405 from the town’s Recreation Reserve Account to make improvements and maintain recreation areas.

Selectperson Judy Diaz opposed the vote while Selectpersons Keith Cornelio, Tom Goding, Chairman Terry Bergeron and Vice Chairman Tim DeMillo approved it.

This is probably the most active Recreation Committee the town has had, DeMillo said Monday night.

He looked at it as a “kick-start” for recreation in the town, he said.

Bergeron thanked the committee and all volunteers for the fantastic job they have done.

The Recreation Reserve Account had $172,470 in it as of June 30. Most of the money came from a timber harvest at the Jay Recreation Area. The account also includes revenue from a cell tower lease on that property that brings in $1,012 a month, according to Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere.

Resident Bill Calden said the reserve account should be diverted to offset taxes.

Selectpersons tasked the Recreation Committee in 2015 to develop a plan for the French Falls area and goals for other recreation areas in the town. More than 450 acres of open space properties are owned or leased by the town of Jay, according to the committee’s information. That does not factor in two ball fields and a park.

The plan this year focuses primarily on the French Falls area and Jay Recreation Area and includes ideas for ensuing years. The Jay Recreation Area comprises 120.5 acres that abuts the Spruce Mountain high and middle school properties.

The town entered into a 40-year lease with the Androscoggin Land Trust last year for $1 a year to use about 10 acres of the French Falls Recreation Area at the end of French Falls Lane.

Volunteers have reclaimed and mulched trails along the river that abut the leased property, which is also owned by the trust.

The committee envisions the recreation areas as places promoted for public use that will provide all-season access to open spaces and forests via maintained trails and facilities.

It also envisions the properties as community gathering places that are maintained and improved through volunteer community service, school programs and support from the town of Jay, according to the plan.

The panel asked for $10,905 from the reserve account to get some projects going. Of that amount, $7,305 is for French Falls, $900 for Jay Recreation Area, and $2,700 for equipment.

Diaz said she would rather see two picnic tables instead of five tables listed in the plan at the French Falls area to see if they are used and taken care of and not vandalized.

That lowered the request to $9,405. The funds will be matched by $500 cash for equipment, more than $4,000 in labor for dugouts at French Falls and a great deal of in-kind labor and other possible donations, according to the plan.

Grimaldi Concrete is donating the labor to pour two pads and Dan Lemieux’s high school education class will build them, Taylor said.

Matching donations of cash, professional services and volunteer community service will easily exceed the value of the funds requested, he said.

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The Jay Recreation Committee has planned several improvements to the French Falls Recreation and Jay Recreation areas:

• French Falls area: washout repair, Maine Department of Transportation signs on Route 4 to mark the park entrance, picnic tables, map and brochure development, and dugouts for the softball field.

• Jay Recreation Area: trail marking/signs (hunting access, ATV, snowmobile), map and brochure development, maintenance of snowmobile/equipment storage building, and snowmobile groomer maintenance.

• $2,7000 in equipment needs: tractor to mow Jay Recreation Area fields and self-propelled string mower, trimmer to keep trails open. The high school Cross Country Boosters contributed $500 as matching funding.


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