JAY — The annual town meeting referendum will be held April 24 for the 2018-19 budget.

Selectpersons have decided to return to a budget process format of developing a budget to present to the Budget Committee instead of involving the committee from the start of deliberations.

The board has invited the Budget Committee to participate for the past two years from the beginning during talks with department heads and selectpersons. Prior to that, Budget Committee members could attend meetings between selectpersons and department heads to hear what was going on and then hold its own meetings on the proposed budget.

It is the selectpersons’ budget that voters will be considering in April with the Budget Committee’s yes or no recommendations listed on the ballot.

The board has not made a decision on how requests from charitable and civic organizations will be handled, if at all. Last year the board did not put them on the ballot. Insurance for Area Youth Sports, Spruce Mountain Ski Area and summer recreation and fireworks for the Fourth of July celebration were taken off the ballot and funded through the Recreation Reserve Account.

The town will face its last of three $1.33 million payments in the 2018-19 budget to cover a $4 million settlement for over-taxation of the Verso Corp. paper mill and associated equipment.

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The timeline begins Jan. 5, 2018, with municipal budgets due to the town manager.

Nomination papers for three-year terms will be available Jan. 16, at the Town Office for first selectperson, second selectperson, two Regional School Unit 73 directors, Jay Village Water District trustee and North Jay Village Water District trustee, Town Clerk Ronda Palmer said.

The selectperson positions are currently held by Terry Bergeron and Keith Cornelio, respectively. RSU 73 positions are held by Joel Pike and Mike Morrell. Water District trustee positions are held by George Merrill and Roger Couture, respectively.

The remainder of the timeline is:

• Jan. 22: Workshop with selectpersons, town manager and department heads at 5 p.m. at cafeteria at Spruce Mountain Middle School.

• Jan. 29: Second workshop, if needed, scheduled for 5 p.m. at the middle school.

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• Jan. 31: Budget books available, possibly earlier.

• Feb. 5: Vote on budget at 6 p.m. at middle school. Selectpersons, department heads and Budget Committee will be in attendance.

• Feb. 6: Tentative meeting scheduled for voting at 6 p.m. at the middle school, depending on how the board deals with charitable and civic organization requests. The library’s request will also be taken up then unless the board does not put the other requests on the ballot. If that happens, the library will be taken up on Feb. 5.

• Feb. 28: Nomination papers due.

• March 12: Public hearing on all warrant articles at 6 p.m. at the middle school. Informational only; no amendments to the budget are allowed under the law.

• March 23: Absentee ballots will be available.

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(Sun Journal File Photo)


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