More than 30 residents attended Monday’s selectpersons meeting in Jay to discuss a petition asking to give voters a chance to decide whether to raise and appropriate $120,000 for curbside trash and recyclable collection. Resident Lillian Wight, standing right center, makes a point during the meeting.

JAY — Selectpersons voted Monday to table action on a citizens’ petition to put before voters a question to raise and appropriate $120,000 for trash and recyclables curbside pickup.

Selectperson Judy Diaz said she had questions she needed answered and wanted them to be discussed with legal counsel before the board voted on the petition. 

More than 30 residents squeezed into the selectpersons meeting room and some stood in the lobby for the discussion.

The petition signed by 373 registered voters was submitted June 16.

Those gathered Monday either wanted the service or did not want to spend the money for it. Many older residents favored keeping the service.

The town contracts with Archie’s Inc. in Mexico. The last pickup days are Wednesday and Thursday. The service will no longer be provided as of July 1.


Voters approved an article at the annual town meeting referendum April 25 for the Transfer Station that did not include money for the curbside service. The article for the Transfer Station was for $330,450 and was approved 364-217. 

There was discussion leading up to the April vote about cutting services, including eliminating $120,000 to pay Archie’s. The reductions to the $6 million budget were made to try and offset the second $1.33 million payment to Verso Androscoggin LLC. Town officials agreed to pay the company $4 million over three years to settle a three-year tax dispute. 

According to the Maine Municipal Association, the statutory requirement addressing petitions is “the municipal officers shall either insert a particular article in the next warrant issued or shall within 60 days call a special town meeting for its consideration.”

Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere had sent the petition to Maine Municipal Association legal services to find out what options the selectpersons have.

Resident Lillian Wight, a petition organizer, said when she was asking people to sign the petition, they said, “‘This is the dumbest thing selectmen ever did,'” referring to eliminating curbside collection.

She said it would cost about $20 in taxes for an owner of a $100,000 home to keep the contracted service in town. It will cost more than $300 a year for residents to hire a private hauler, she said.


Resident Terry Trask asked what percentage of the town’s tax revenue comes from Verso.

LaFreniere said the company pays about 50 percent.

That would leave other taxpayers picking up $60,000, Trask said.

“That is dirt cheap. You couldn’t get it any cheaper,” he said. 

While some people had complaints about service, others said they were happy. 

The town could stay with Archie’s and put guidelines on the service, including putting covers on trash cans, Wight said.


One woman said she would like curbside pickup because she physically cannot lift items and cannot fit the trash in her car.

Selectperson Keith Cornelio said he has already told two neighbors that when he takes his trash to the Transfer Station, he would pick up theirs.

The town needs to cut back on spending, he said. It was clear during budget talks the service was to be eliminated, he said.  

Resident Herschel Welch said he and his wife live on a fixed income. They don’t want to pay for other people’s trash to be picked up, he said. He takes his to the Transfer Station in North Jay. 

Trask said when the board decides to put the question before voters, he would like an up-or-down vote.  

Selectpersons did decide to keep the Transfer Station hours the same as they are for now. It is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. There will also be two employees manning the station.

The station will be closed July 4.

[email protected]

Comments are not available on this story.