JAY — Selectpersons approved the Recreation Committee’s request Monday for $5,850 for improvements to the town-leased property in the French Falls Recreation Area. The money will come from the Recreation/Tower Reserve Fund.

The board also received an update on American Rescue Plan Act funds and announced an upcoming Community Resilience Workshop.

Among the list of improvements is buying a pull-behind bush hog for the riding mower to maintain trails. The Public Works Department uses a bush hog on the recreation property, but this will be for maintenance purposes.

The committee focuses a majority of its energy on the 120.5 acres in the recreation area and the 29 acres, 10 of which the town leases. The town entered a 40-year lease agreement with Androscoggin Land Trust in 2015 for $1 a year for about 10 acres. The town and volunteers maintain the property.

Of the $2,500 requested for 2021-22, the committee has spent $541.46. Though the request is approved, it does not mean the committee will use it and unused funds stay in the reserve account, Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said.

Some projects were previously put off because of COVID-19 and other reasons, she said.


“This committee is extremely frugal with our money,” Selectperson Lee Ann Dalessandro, who serves on the committee, said.

On another matter, a Community Resilience Workshop will be held at 6 p.m. July 11 at the Town Office to look at what Jay is doing well, what two areas could be improved in the short-term, what the town should address in the long-term and what specific three to five actions are priorities.

In February the board approved a letter to the state supporting a grant to Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, which would assist towns with applications for the state’s Community Resilience Partnership grants. The grants are for up to $50,000.

The board also adopted a resolution in April as part of the process.

The partnership is part of Gov. Janet Mills’ Office of Policy Innovation and the Future.

The Community Resilience Partnership assists communities in reducing carbon emissions, transitioning to clean energy and becoming more resilient to climate change effects.


The agenda for the workshop includes an explanation of the partnership, a review of Jay’s community resilience self-evaluation, and establishment of a list of community priorities.

In another matter, selectpersons agreed that the money for a zero-turn mower for the Sewer Department should come from the town’s allotment from the American Rescue Plan Act rather the department’s operating budget. The latter will roll over into the town’s general fund.

The mower purchase was approved June 13.

The town has received its second half of its allotment from the federal government. It has received a total of $488,829.13. With $356.67 in interest accumulated through May, the town has $489,185 left. The town can do what it wants with the interest and does not have to adhere to the restrictions the federal grant imposes.

As of June 13, selectpersons approved using $246,793.80 for a variety of projects, including a new phone system, and a heating, ventilation and an air conditioning system for the Town Office. Most of the first half of the money has been allotted to capital improvement projects and equipment for town departments.

A total of $90,118.45  has been spent, according to LaFreniere’s information.

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