JAY — The Select Board voted 3-2 on Monday to increase the sewer rate by about half a cent as of July 1.

The approved rate keeps the base fee at $315 for up to 3,200 cubic feet of water used, but increases to 0.0952 cents per cubic foot the cost of water usage exceeding 3,200 cubic feet.

The increased rate is expected to bring in about $499,100 in revenue to cover about 92% of the operation and maintenance budget in 2019-20, according to Sewer Department Superintendent Mark Holt.

Select Board Chairman Terry Bergeron, Selectpersons Tom Goding and Gary McGrane voted in favor of the rate, and Vice Chairman Tim DeMillo and Selectperson Judy Diaz were opposed. McGrane had made a motion to go with a rate that would have covered about 95 percent of operation and maintenance cost, but it failed for lack of second.

Diaz had wanted to stay with the rate now in place.

The board also received good news on the sewer conversion project. Holt told selectpersons the town was approved for up to $1 million in affordability loan principal forgiveness, which is like a grant, from the 2019 Clean Water State Revolving Fund program.

The  grant, plus a $2 million grant announced in April, will be used to offset a $3.9 million sewer conversion project. It will leave about $900,000 that would have to be repaid on a loan for the project.

The town plans to eliminate use of the North Jay Wastewater Plant, put in a pump station and install 19,000 feet of sewer line to send sewage to the Livermore Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Holt said the debt service should decrease in the future.

The board also approved an update to the Interlocal Agreement with Livermore Falls on the Livermore Falls plant. Jay sends some of its sewage to the plant, but once the sewer conversion is finished, all of Jay’s sewage would go to Livermore Falls. The two towns share the operation and maintenance cost of the Livermore Falls plant based on the amount of sewage flow treated.

As of July 1, Jay’s share of operation and maintenance costs will drop from 62.4% to 52.1% and Livermore Falls’ share will increase from 37.6% to 47.9%. A reason for the change in the sewage treatment share is because a water leak was found at Jay Elementary School and the water did not go through the town’s sewer system, according to Holt.

 

 

 

 

 

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