Voters in Jay, Maine, to vote on proposed US$501,342 reduction in current US$6M town budget, a one-year plan until Verso Paper's request for US$469M tax abatement for 2013 is settled, which must occur by Dec. 1

JAY, Maine , June 3, 2014 () – Voters will have 47 articles to consider on a proposed $5.5 million municipal budget for 2014-15 and two ordinances including an Animal Control Ordinance when they head to the polls Tuesday, June 10.

Voting will be conducted from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Community Building. The door to enter the polls is on the right side of the building facing Route 4.

The proposal is $501,341.93 less than the current $6 million budget.

After factoring in anticipated revenues taxpayers would be asked to raise $3.9 million, which is $112,769.93 less than what was raised for the current municipal budget. The amount does not factor in the RSU 73 school budget or the town's share of the Franklin County budget.

Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said in March the proposed budget is a one-year plan until the outcome of Verso Paper Corp.'s mill and property valuation is known. Verso Androscoggin LLC requested a tax abatement in February of $469 million in value for 2013. The town values the mill and property at $929 million. The town is having a revaluation done on the mill and have until Dec. 1 to make a decision on the abatement request.

Residents will also be asked to consider a proposed Animal Control Ordinance that adds sections on barking dogs and animal treatment including horses.

Selectmen directed the Ordinance Review Committee to develop an Animal Control Ordinance in August 2013 because of the many barking dog complaints received by the town.

The town has an Animal Control Ordinance that was adopted in June 1986.

For the most part, the proposal mirrors state law but the state had dropped its section on barking dogs some years ago, LaFreniere previously said.

The section on barking dogs is listed under Disturbing the Peace. It states that upon receiving a complaint of a barking or howling dog, an authorized animal control officer or police officer shall investigate the allegation and, upon probable cause, notify the owner the disturbance must cease.

Residents will also be asked to approve a proposed amendment to the subdivision section of the town's Environmental Control and Improvement Ordinance.

The amendment reduces the lot size requirements for properties on town sewer. The current size is 40,000 square feet except for multiple-unit housing, for which the minimum lot size is 20,000 square feet per dwelling, LaFreniere said. Those numbers would be reduced to 15,000 square feet and 7,500 square feet, respectively, she said.

The proposal reduces the road frontage requirement for properties on public sewer from 150 feet per lot to 100 feet per lot. Road frontage on lots with private septic systems would remain at 150 feet.

It also will require a phosphorus control plan for any subdivision in the watershed of a Great Pond. The Great Ponds in the Jay area are Parker Pond in Jay, North Pond and Robinson Pond in Chesterville, and Pease Pond and Wilson Pond in Wilton.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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