Jay board approves refurbishing ladder truck, paying fire chief for emergency calls weekdays

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Aug. 24—JAY — Selectpersons voted Monday to have the ladder truck refurbished for $205,000, pay the fire chief $25,000 to take on more duties and sell a tax-acquired property for a minimum bid of $25,000, Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said Tuesday.

The Select Board and Fire Department officials discussed having the 1997 ladder truck refurbished in 2020 for an estimated $220,185. At the time, fire officials told the board there were some items in the quote that could be eliminated.

The board asked for the Fire Department subcommittee, which includes Select Board Chairman Terry Bergeron and Vice Chairman Tim DeMillo and firefighters, to discuss the refurbishment more with a representative of Greenwood Emergency Vehicles, which has offices in Brunswick and North Attleboro, Massachusetts.

The board received a revised proposal that included two options. One for $185,000 included reconditioning the paint and the other for $205,000 was to completely repaint the truck. The work is expected to extend the life of the truck for 10 to 15 years.

The board chose to have the truck repainted.

The money will come from the Fire Department's capital reserve, which had $375,000 in it as of Monday.

In another Fire Department matter, selectpersons and fire officials had previously discussed a staff shortage weekdays. The Select Board approved going to an on-call program for emergency calls Monday through Friday. Two firefighters would each make $40 for 10 hours a day to be in the area to respond to emergency calls. It worked well in the beginning but it eventually became only a few firefighters to respond, Fire Rescue Chief Mike Booker told selectpersons previously.

Selectpersons on Monday approved increasing Booker's pay to $25,000 annually. He will be on call weekdays for emergencies about 170 days a year and take on extra duties, LaFreniere said.

He is paid a $9,000 stipend each year as fire chief and gets additional pay for responding to some calls. He will no longer receive additional pay for those calls.

LaFreniere said Booker told selectpersons that, in all, he is paid about $15,000 a year.

In other business, the Select Board voted to put a tax-acquired property out to bid for a minimum of $25,000, LaFreniere said.

It is the estate of Francis Brougham at 1031 Main St in North Jay. The town has tried to work with the heirs of the property for months to find a way for them to keep it. The town foreclosed on it earlier this year. The heirs did not submit paperwork to request an alternative sales process, LaFreniere said, so the board needed to make a decision.

There is a tenant living at the single-family house that sits on .39 acres. The outstanding balances on the property are estimated at $13,145.57, according to information provided to the board.

Of that amount, taxes owed for 2019 to 2021 are $3,471.22 with interest accruing daily. The estimated tax for 2022 is $1,984. Legal bills to date are $2,846.25, and it is estimated there will be $500 in additional legal costs this month. Estimated other costs are water bill $100, certified mailings $65 and advertisement $250.

Bid packets are available at the Town Office.

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