Regional School Unit 73 directors have been asked to put an article on the budget referendum to raise $45,000 toward replacing these tennis courts next to the Spruce Mountain Elementary School in Jay. Some work was done in 2019, seen here. A grant requiring matching funds would help complete the project. Livermore Falls Advertiser file photo

JAY — People don’t know how they are going to pay their taxes, former Jay Board of Director and business owner Shari Ouellette told current Regional School Unit 73 Directors Thursday night, Feb. 10.

“One point four three million,” she asked. “Really?”

Older clients have expressed concerns, businesses have been brought down over the last two years (due to COVID-19), Ouellette said.

“In two years, maybe three that [Androscoggin] mill is going to be gone and then where are we,” Ouellette asked. “We need help.”

The cost of school funding for Spruce Mountain schools would increase in Livermore and Livermore Falls should the proposed $22.17 million budget for 2022-23 be approved, Albert said during a review of proposed revenue figures.

The budget as presented to the Board of Directors Feb. 3 is $1.42 million over the current spending plan which ends June 30.


Albert again referred to the state lowering Jay’s valuation.

If the budget were to pass, the town of Jay would pay $1.67 million less in taxes than last year, Livermore would pay $182,887 more and Livermore Falls $127,530 more, Albert said.

Revenues to cover programs and services the state deems essential would decrease $1.98 million across the three towns. Those numbers had nothing to do with Jay, it was statewide, had to do with COVID-19 adjustments, Albert said.

Districts may decide to offer programs and services the state doesn’t recognize as needed. Costs for them must be covered by the district.

Under the additional local revenue needed for those, Jay’s portion would increase $113,488; Livermore’s $303,497; and Livermore Falls’ $260,467. Regional School Unit 73 by-laws mandate the use of last year’s state evaluation rather than the average, Albert said.

Total local revenue would be $1.3 million less, offset by $2.66 million in state revenue and $57,560 from RSU 73 cash balance. Total of all revenues would be $1.42 million.


In addition, each town is being asked to pay $60,000 for food services (down from $80,000 last year) and $66,000 towards adult education — amount approved last year.

“Overall we’re in decent shape,” Albert said. Without the tennis courts, (for school funding) taxpayers in Livermore would see an $83 increase on a home valued at $100,000 or $166 on a $200,000 home; Livermore Falls $73 on a $100,000 home or $146 on a $200,000 home; while Jay would see zero increase, he noted.

“It’s a better picture than we thought it might be,” Albert said.

The district is also being asked to add an article on the budget referendum seeking $45,000 for improvements to the district’s tennis courts. Deb Roberts of Livermore, president of the Hollandstrong Community Foundation, made the request. Her son, Michael Holland was a Merchant Marine and 2008 Jay High School graduate who died when the SS El Faro sank on Oct. 1, 2015, near the Bahamas.

Hollandstrong started upgrading the courts in the summer of 2019.

State approval has been received for a 50/50 matching grant to rebuild the courts which have been unusable for about 10 years, Roberts said. The national level wanted more commitment on the match, she noted.


In November, Roberts asked Selectpersons in the three towns to contribute about $9,000 per town towards the match. Jay officials agreed to put it on their town meeting warrant for voters to decide, the others declined assistance.

“We’ll need to find those funds somewhere else,” Roberts said when asked about the $18,000 denied by Livermore and Livermore Falls.

“The total budget is about $413,000,” she said. The two existing courts would be replaced with three courts, new lighting, she noted. “I’m asking the communities of Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls for $45,000 — a little over 10% of the total project.”

“I am so appreciative of your hard work,” Director Lynn Ouellette said. “You haven’t lost your energy on this for a moment. Kids would benefit from this.”

“This is for the entire community, not just Jay,” Director Elaine Fitzgerald said. “Tennis is a life long sport, even old people like tennis. This only makes the community better.”

Current Spruce Mountain girls tennis coach Mary Luce and former coach Leanna Lavoie spoke in support of the request.

The girls tennis team had planned to hold a fundraiser at Kineowatha Park in Wilton — where Spruce tennis teams currently practice and compete — but the courts were already booked, Luce said. For not having tennis courts in the community the program is robust, the girls were second in the state, she said.

“It’s an opportunity, an attraction for our community,” Lavoie said. “It’s healthy for our kids.”

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