Franklin Countys First News

Jay boards send $5.3 million budget to voters

JAY - The Board of Selectpersons and Budget Committee put their finishing touches on the proposed 2019-2020 budget Wednesday evening, sending $5.3 million in proposed expenditures to the voters in April.

The $5,309,596 budget represents a sharp, 14 percent decrease in expenditures as compared to the current fiscal year, $858,000 in total reductions. Most of that decrease relates to the conclusion of a $4 million settlement agreement with Verso Corporation regarding to the Androscoggin mill. That was paid out over three years in payments of $1.33 million - the 2016-17 payment was through an abatement - forcing the town to reduce its own municipal expenditures to accommodate the payment.

With the settlement payments factored out of the budget, the proposed $5.31 million in expenditures would be 8.8 percent greater than those in the current fiscal year.

The budget incorporates a projected $184,100 increase in revenue to $1.95 million, an increase of 10 percent. If realized, that would represent a reduction in net expenditures - subtracting municipal revenue - of nearly 23 percent as compared to the fiscal year.

Increases in the budget include additional funds in capital reserve accounts that were not fully funded while the settlement was being paid. One new item is $50,000 in funds to be matched by $50,000 in Regional School Unit 73 funding to support the establishment of a school resource officer position.

There is also a proposed $50,000 increase in the paving reserve account, to $300,000.

Wednesday, the boards discussed the library budget and $19,300 in requested donations. The library budget, which had reduced expenditures in 2016-17 and 2017-18, had proposed a $162,386 budget. Up $14,000 from the current fiscal year, that budget returns the Jay-Niles Memorial Library to roughly the 2016-17 level of funding. Director Tamara Hoke said that one driver for the increase was the need to meet the minimum wage laws.

The Board of Selectpersons did approve three small reductions to donation line items, voting to fund the Jay Historical Society at $500, rather than the requested $1,000; Tri-Town Ministerial, a local food bank, at $750 rather than $1,000; and the North Jay Grange at $675 rather than $750. The combined $18,475 in donations represents an increase over last year's $500 appropriation, but that also includes a number of items - such as insurances for Spruce Mountain and Area Youth Sports, as well as fireworks for July 4 - that were previously funded out of the town's Recreation Fund.

Nomination papers for all town positions are due back to the clerk's office on Feb. 22. On March 11 at 6 p.m., there will be a public hearing on town meeting warrant articles at the Spruce Mountain High School library. The town meeting is April 23, with absentee voting starting March 22.

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1 Responses »

  1. I guess the lesson on fiscal responsibility was short lived.