JAY — The selectboard and Fire Chief Mike Booker agreed Monday night to eliminate the assistant fire chief position in the fire department after Assistant Chief Jim Shink retires on June 30.
Shink will be moving to the Bangor area, Booker said. With the small size of the department, the additional leadership role was not deemed necessary for operations. Positions currently listed on the town website include the chief, deputy chief, and assistant chief positions, along with a captain and three lieutenants.
Instead, the stipend for assistant chief will go towards funding an on-call firefighter to be available to respond to calls on certain days. The department will be starting a per diem program in July. When he is in town, Booker will be available to support that per-diem firefighter on emergency calls, but there are days when he has to be out of town. That is where an on-call firefighter would come in, ensuring that there is personnel available for an initial response on emergency calls.
With removing the assistant chief position, job descriptions will need to be reviewed to ensure that duties are being performed adequately.
Two Ford F-250 trucks were sold by bid; the winning bid was awarded to Michael Davis of New Sharon for $4,000. Those funds will go into the fire department equipment account to purchase turnout gear and other necessary items for new firefighters on the department. The funds earned from the trucks are not sufficient to cover the costs, so the selectboard agreed to allow Chief Booker to over-expend on that line item, with the understanding that it would not over expend the department budget as a whole.
The board agreed to meet a funding request from the Tri-Town 4th of July Committee for $300 towards the parade. Over the last couple years, there were no funding requests; in fiscal year 2017-2018, only “limited donations” were funded through the recreation/tower account. In 2016-2017, the board approved $150, and in 2015-2016 they approved $300.
The recreation committee submitted a plan for expenditures and projects for preliminary approval from the selectboard. Many of the items on the plan are routine maintenance and expenses that occur annually. One of the new expenses was the purchase of a pull-along bushhog that could go behind the mower to help improve trails in the area. These expenses come from the recreation/tower account.
Select board member Lee Ann Dalessandro said that the committee was very frugal with their spending, which was good for the town, she added.