JAY — The Select Board voted Monday to replace lighting at three public works facilities and both fire stations with more energy-efficient systems.

The public works facilities include the garage, salt shed and Transfer Station. Along with the fire stations, the estimated cost for the upgrades is $42,679.37.

That cost is expected to be offset by an Efficiency Maine grant estimated at $20,951, leaving the town’s public works and fire departments’ share at an estimated $21,728.37. The funds to cover it would come from the Public Works Department Building Capital Reserve Account and the Fire Rescue Department’s Capital Reserve Account.

“Efficiency Maine is the independent administrator for energy efficiency programs in Maine,” according to its website efficiencymaine.com. “Its mission is to lower the cost and environmental impacts of energy in Maine by promoting cost-effective energy efficiency and alternative energy systems.”

Efficiency Maine completed the energy use review of the public works garage and the other entities. The town worked with Larry O’Rourke of Optimal Energy Group of Sumner. The objective of the project is to improve the quality of light, reduce operating costs with energy efficient equipment and lighting controls, and reduce repair and maintenance costs, according to O’Rourke’s letter to Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere.

The payback for efficiency savings is about two years, LaFreniere said.

The board also agreed to enter into an agreement with Optimal Energy Group to have O’Rourke act as an energy adviser consultant on a proposed project to potentially replace the heating, ventilation and air condition system at the Town Office/Police Station.

The board also agreed to purchase a Steco ejector trailer for the Transfer Station for $73,859. The board approved purchasing the same solid waste ejector trailer in 2019. It is used to haul trash. The town has two other ejection trailers bought in 2005 and 2007.

Public Works Director John Johnson said the two older trailers have been patched many times.

“We’ve been running the bejesus out of them,” Johnson said.

It took 36 weeks to get the last one, he said.

When the board discussed buying an injection trailer in 2019, there was discussion that the town would need to look at the older trailers as well, according to LaFreniere’s information about the agenda.

Selectpersons Lee Ann Dalessandro and Vice Chairman Tim DeMillo recently examined the 2005 and 2007 trailers and discussed options for repairs or replacement.

The steel is rotting out on the older trailers, Johnson said, so the recommendation was made to purchase a replacement.

The board voted unanimously to buy the new ejection trailer for $73,859 from KNL Holdings/Steco Trailer of Paragould, Arkansas. The money will come out of the Public Works Equipment Capital Reserve Account. Johnson said there is about $360,000 in the account. The trailer is estimated to be delivered next summer.

Following an executive session the board approved a sidebar agreement, effective through Dec. 31, with the Public Works Teamster Union to waive the language that states probationary employees receive 10% less in the wage rate, LaFreniere said.

The town needs two new drivers/laborers.

“We are currently hiring two new public works employees and, with the 10% less during probation language, the rate makes it very hard to compete for employees to fill the positions,” she said. The hourly wage for a driver/laborer is $18.68, she said. The probationary wage would have been 10% lower.

The town had two candidates for the position but one turned down the job, she said. The search is back on for another driver/laborer.


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