Municipal budget meeting with state legislators canceled

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PARIS — A planned meeting with legislators and school board members on local municipal budgets has been canceled, according to organizer Sam Elliot.

“The governor, in announcing his proposed budget last Friday, has done our work for us,” Elliot said in a news release Thursday.

Elliot, who is chairman of the Paris Board of Selectmen, had organized the meeting and a previous Dec. 20 meeting independent of the board.

The meeting, which was set for Jan. 23, would have been an opportunity for municipal officials to talk about budget problems they were facing as school and county budgets rise.

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Gov. Paul LePage’s budget would keep school funding for the next two years at the same as this year’s level. Opponents say it would put major pressure on municipalities to make up the differences.

“I don’t know if that will go through,” Elliot said Thursday. “Our meeting was to acquaint the legislators and the school board with our town’s situation.” He said LePage’s proposal and subsequent discussions show it’s a statewide issue, and that legislators are well aware of the situation towns are facing.

“Current budget concerns could be even greater than the selectmen anticipated,” Elliot wrote in a release. “If enacted, these cutbacks would create additional budget problems for most, if not all, towns and cities, not just those in SAD 17. What appeared to be a local issue is clearly one facing the entire state.”

In Paris, the town sent out 60 foreclosure notices last month. Property owners have until Feb. 8 to respond.

Elliot said by phone Thursday that there was “little more that we could bring to the table at this point.” In addition, he said, Jan. 18 is the last day for bills to be submitted to the Legislature.

treaves@sunjournal.com

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