JAY —  Residents voted 159-117 Monday night to raise and appropriate $120,000 to bring back curbside trash and recyclables collection during a special town meeting.

The meeting that was supposed to start at 6 p.m. did not get underway until about 6:40 p.m. to accommodate a long line of residents waiting to register to vote.

As fast as extra rows of chairs were put out, more were needed for the people filling the cafeteria at Spruce Mountain Middle School. It became standing-room only in one of the largest turnouts the town has seen for a special town meeting. 

About 11 minutes passed from when resident Mary Howes was elected moderator until the voting ended. Howes called for the vote to be conducted by secret ballot. 

One resident asked those in attendance who knew how they wanted to vote if they would cast their ballots immediately before the discussion.

The motion was overwhelmingly approved.

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When voters registered, they were given a ballot that had yes and no on it. They were asked to circle their answer and put it in a ballot box. Most residents left the meeting after casting their votes. 

Five ballot clerks counted the ballots and then recounted them before results were announced.

Selectpersons put the curbside pickup question to voters after a petition signed by 373 registered voters was turned in to hold a special town meeting on the article.

The Board of Selectpersons and the Budget Committee proposed a Transfer Station budget that did not include money for the contracted curbside service on the April 25 ballot at the annual town meeting. Voters approved the article.

Selectpersons and the committee were trying to reduce spending because of the decreasing value of Verso’s paper mill in Jay and the town’s second $1.33 million payment to the company to settle a three-year tax dispute. 

The town used to provide the curbside service and then went to a contracted service to reduce spending.

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Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said the town will continue under contract with Archie’s Inc. of Mexico until June 2018, and then it would have the option to extend it.

The money for this year’s service will be raised through taxes. Selectpersons will set the tax rate at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 15, at the Town Office.

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Jay residents voted 159 to 117 Monday to raise and appropriate $120,000 for curbside trash and recyclables pickup during a special town meeting at Spruce Mountain Middle School in Jay.

More than 250 Jay residents turned out Monday at the Spruce Mountain Middle School in Jay to vote on restoring curbside trash and recyclables pickup.

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