LIVERMORE FALLS — Selectmen voted 4-0 Tuesday not to provide in-kind work by the public works crew to help rebuild the Regional School Unit 73 tennis courts in Jay, Town Manager Amanda Allen said Wednesday.

The decision was made prior to Deb Roberts, president of the Hollandstrong Community Foundation, arriving to make the request. Roberts, of Livermore, went to the Livermore Select Board meeting, which was scheduled at the same time as Livermore Falls.

A representative of RSU 73 could not make it to the Livermore Falls meeting. Roberts arrived after the Livermore Falls board made the decision.

She gave her presentation but selectmen stuck with their original decision, Allen said.

Chairman Jeff Bryant, Rodney Heikkinen, William Kenniston and Jim Long voted against the proposal. Selectman Ernie Souther was absent for personal reasons.

The board plans to repair the town’s tennis courts at the Livermore Falls Recreation Field. In 2019, voters approved using up to $19,448 from the Housing and Urban Development/Recreation Fund and $4,695 from the Minnie Luciano Fund to repair the tennis and basketball courts at the field.


COVID-19 set in in March 2020, which delayed the plan.

Roberts sent a letter to each board, including Jay, prior to this week’s board meetings requesting town officials donate a total of $27,202.35 in in-kind work from its public works departments to go toward a 50/50 match grant to rebuild the courts in Jay. It would equal about $9,067 for each town.

Roberts created the foundation in memory of her son, Michael Holland, a Merchant Marine and 2008 Jay High School graduate who died when the SS El Faro sank on Oct. 1, 2015, near the Bahamas.

The school district would be eligible for the grant, Roberts said at the Jay meeting. She worked with Marc Keller, athletic director at Spruce Mountain High School in Jay, and wrote a grant for the project. The grant application has received tentative approval from the state Bureau of Parks and Lands’ Land and Water Conservation Fund.

After receiving a commitment of about $200,000 in in-kind work for the estimated $409,334 project, the application could move to the national level. She has received a commitment for more than half of the in-kind match, she said.

The Livermore board could consider its requested share in next year’s budget. No decision was made Tuesday night.


Jay selectpersons voted unanimously Monday to send the request for the town’s share of the in-kind work to voters April 26, 2022.

Jay residents voted two times previously not to fund the tennis courts, which the town owned at the time. In 2002, residents rejected raising and appropriating $50,000 to maintain a capital improvement account for the courts by a vote of 641-329. In 2007, they also voted not to raise and appropriate $76,600 for the tennis courts, according voting records.

On June 27, 2011, the Jay Select Board took no action on a request by the town’s Recreation Committee to contribute $50,000 for the tennis courts, according to minutes of the meeting. The town has a recreation/tower reserve fund. The courts passed to RSU 73’s ownership on July 1, 2011, when the three towns consolidated into a district.

“I truly appreciated the time I was given by the boards of the three towns to speak during their meetings earlier this week and share with them the background of the Hollandstrong Community Foundation and the details of the grant project we are working on in collaboration with RSU 73 to revitalize the tennis courts at Spruce Mountain,” Roberts wrote in an email Wednesday.

Tennis is a lifelong sport played by young and old alike, she wrote.

“While the new courts will be available for use by the RSU for K-12 students in physical education and for high school tennis teams, they will also be available for use by the community groups such as the summer recreation program, adult education program, and by individual community members of Jay, Livermore, and Livermore Falls as they did in the past before the current courts were deemed unsafe to use several years ago,” she wrote.

She also thanked the Jay Select Board in the email to the Sun Journal for its support to take her request for in-kind labor to the voters of Jay at the annual town meeting on April 26, 2022.

“I am hopeful that the Livermore board will vote in the future to recommend placing my request on their warrant for their townspeople to vote on,” Roberts wrote. “I am disappointed that the Livermore Falls board voted not to take my request to the voters for their consideration. This truly is a community project that would benefit all three communities of RSU 73, and I was hopeful that the boards would share in my vision and allow for the opportunity to request support from the townspeople of all three communities.”

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