JAY — At their next meeting to be rescheduled because of today’s storm, selectpersons will consider taking $30,180 from the town’s recreation reserve account to pay for insurance, a snowmobile and the summer recreation program.

Of that amount, $11,025 is for insurance for Spruce Mountain Ski Slope and $2,500 for Area Youth Sports; $4,655 for the town’s share of a snowmobile for Spruce Mountain; and $12,000 for a summer recreation program.

Typically, the cost of the items would come out of the budget under donations and summer recreation.

There was discussion among selectpersons and the Budget Committee on Jan. 30 to not fund any donations in the proposed $4.75 million draft budget for 2017-18.

The Recreation/Tower Reserve Account had $176,543 in it as of Jan. 3. The tower lease revenue from a communications company is $1,012 of that amount. The fund was mostly built up when the town’s recreation land behind the middle and high schools were harvested in 2011, 2012, Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said.

New this year is a request from the Spruce Mountain Ski Club board of directors for the town to pay 49 percent of a snowmobile for Spruce Mountain. The cost of the snowmobile is quoted at $9,500. The club is also asking the towns of Livermore Falls and Livermore to pay a share of the machine based on population.

The three towns own the mountain and buildings on it in Jay. The club owns the equipment and operates the ski area.

According to a letter from club Treasurer Jessica Lara, the club operates two snowmobiles as emergency vehicles. Both are close to 15 years old and starting to require much maintenance to keep operational.

Following the selectpersons meeting, the board will review the proposed $4.75 million municipal budget and consider the cuts discussed in January before setting a budget to go before voters April 25. The Budget Committee will also give its recommendations.

The proposal is $760,127, or 19.58 percent less than the current budget. It does not include the second payment of a $1.3 million to Verso Androscoggin LLC as part of a $4 million agreement to settle a three-year tax dispute for the mill and associated equipment.

The town has been cutting back in recent years as the valuation of the mill decreases. Those cuts include a police officer, personnel at the Transfer Station, Public Works Department and Town Office, and privatization of curbside trash and recyclables pickup. Selectpersons will consider eliminating the latter service altogether to save $120,000.

Among the reductions proposed in the draft budget are:

* Reduce buildings and grounds position to part-time, give stipend for animal control and sexton services;

* Reduce the Transfer Station crew by one employee to make it 1½ positions at the station and reduce hours;

* Eliminate funding for summer recreation through the budget;

* Eliminate a fire captain position;

* Eliminate donations to nonprofit agencies.  

To increase revenue, selectpersons will consider raising sewer rates.

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Town of Jay

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