JAY — The Select Board, Budget Committee and department heads will begin Tuesday reviewing a nearly $5.5 million municipal budget for 2022-23.

The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. at the Spruce Mountain Elementary School gym.

This fiscal year’s budget is $5.28 million, but after factoring in $2.07 million in revenue, it is $3.22 million.

For the coming year, after factoring in an estimated $2.36 million in revenue, the budget would be $3.11 million.

There is a $76,620 increase in the $1.75 million Public Works Department budget. Wages and benefits contribute to the higher amount.

Selectpersons made a change in the union contract in November to eliminate a provision for lower pay to attract potential public works employees. The change brought the starting pay for a truck driver/laborer from $18.68 to $20.75.

Jay, like many municipalities, is having difficulty filling a truck driver/laborer position because of a shortage of truck drivers and wages becoming more competitive. The position is still available.

With people retiring, it also means possible changes in insurance plans.

Another increase is $21,975 in the Sewer Department budget. However, the proposed $513,900 spending plan will be offset by Livermore Falls’ share of $62,400 for the shared superintendent position. Mark Holt is the sewer superintendent of both towns.

There is also a $40,279 increase in the Police Department budget to bring it to $841,929. Most of it is attributed to trying to be competitive in wages and benefits. Jay and other towns are struggling to recruit and keep police officers.

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