JAY — Selectpersons voted Monday to authorize the police chief to use $2,246.38 from the Criminal Forfeiture Reserve Account to pay the town’s share of grants for a mobile radio for a cruiser and two portable radios.

The board also approved Fire Rescue Chief Mike Booker’s request to buy three sets of turnout gear for about $2,400 each. It will be paid from leftover funds in this year’s budget.

The new budget goes into effect July 1.

Police Chief Richard Caton IV said the remaining cost of the radios, $6,096, will be paid for through grants. Additional money is expected to be awarded to go into the reserve account.

There is $3,535 in the reserve, not factoring in the new radios.

Selectpersons also approved Caton’s request to seek quotes for a new cruiser.

He told the board there have been issues with the Ford Interceptor cruisers but not all of them.

Dodge created a new police package but does not make a police road-ready cruiser, so he will look at Dodge Durango and Ford Explorer.

New equipment is needed for whatever brand is purchased, Caton said, and any equipment for a new cruiser would come from the current budget.

It would be about $7,200 to equip the Durango and about $5,200 for the Ford, which changed its body style, he said.

In Fire Rescue Department matters, selectpersons approved adding the Emergency Medical Services position to the chief position. Current director, Capt. Noel Brown, who has served in the position for several years, is resigning.

Brown receives a $750 stipend a year for the emergency medical services duties.

Booker suggested that $500 be added to his stipend, which would bring it to $9,000 annually.

Booker did not want to add more duties to other officers’ positions.

“Daytime coverage is not getting better,” he said.

He had previously talked with the board about having per diem coverage during weekday hours. Instead of doing that soon, he asked in November to have two firefighters on call each day and make $4 an hour each for 10 hours, or $40 a day. If there is an emergency call, the stipend is in addition to their regular firefighter pay.

It “worked well” until May, Booker said, when people’s schedules changed.

There are five firefighters participating compared to 13 who originally took shifts. He didn’t know if the board wanted to try a per diem position or look for other options.

The per diem position would be eight hours a day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“There is a lot of upkeeping with both buildings, especially during the winter, Booker said. The town has two fire stations.

It would cost about $32,000 a year for a 40-hour week and would be based on $15 an hour, whether more or less, he said.

“We are getting busier and we have less people to answer the calls,” Booker said.

In April, voters approved $20,800 to have two on-call firefighters for the year beginning July 1.

A committee will look at options to determine what would be best for the town and department.

NOTE: The emergency medical services position will be the one that is combined with Chief Michael Booker’s position. It was incorrectly reported on the Sun Journal Website on June 14.


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