JAY — Selectpersons voted 3-2 Monday to put $50,000 in a separate line in the proposed 2019-20 budget for a resource officer at Regional School Unit 73. 

Budget Committee members voted 6-4 to do the same.

Talks regarding the library budget and donations will continue at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the library at Spruce Mountain High School.

Select Board Chairman Terry Bergeron, Vice Chairman Tim DeMillo and Selectperson Gary McGrane voted in favor of adding the money while Selectpersons Judy Diaz and Tom Goding opposed.

RSU 73 has proposed $50,000 in its budget to share the cost of the resource officer for the first year. The $100,000 would pay for salary, benefits, setting up an office, computer, gas and other items.

The expense for the officer the second year is estimated at $80,000 with Jay paying 25 percent and RSU 73 paying 75 percent, Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said. The officer would work in the schools for 39 weeks and on patrol with the Jay Police Department for 13 weeks.

The high and middle schools would pay 25 percent each of the position because that is where the majority of calls are, high school Principal TJ Plourde said.

The resource officer would also be at the elementary school in Jay and the primary school in Livermore.

The officer would work for the Jay Police Department and could be sworn in by the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office for the Livermore school.

The resource officer would represent the community-building piece and provide support for students and parents, Plourde said.

“Kids feel very secure when they have a police officer in school,” he said.

Budget Committee members raised concerns again about Jay paying through the school budget and the police budget. The school assessment formula is based on 80 percent property valuation and 20 percent student enrollment from each town: Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls. 

“I have a problem with Jay paying more than their fair share,” Budget Committee member Mike Ventrella said. He didn’t understand why the officer was not solely in the school budget so the cost was shared among the towns.

Budget Committee member Justin Merrill agreed. 

Jay police respond dozens of times each year to the three schools in Jay and money comes out of the police budget,Police Chief Richard Caton IV said previously.

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