PARIS — The town is virtually out of money.
At Monday's meeting of the Board of Selectmen, Town Manager Amy Bernard announced the town had $125,369.36 on hand, enough to cover payroll but little else.
“So what do you suggest we do now?” Selectmen Gerald Kilgore asked.
Bernard said she was looking into taking out a short-term tax-anticipation note. The interest rate would probably be between 0.74 and one percent, Bernard said.
Bernard said she has to look into just what the town needs before taxes come in, but anticipates the town will need to borrow about $800,000. That includes two months of payments to SAD 17, $80,000 for a truck, expenses the town has put off like repairs to town vehicles, and heating fuel payments for the last two months.
She said the note would be paid back in six to eight weeks, when tax bills start to come in. Bernard said that if residents could pay their taxes early, it would help.
The board voted unanimously to direct Bernard to take out a tax-anticipation note for $800,000 to cover town costs.
“It's going to be what it's going to be,” Vice Chairman Robert Kirchherr said.
Bernard said she was confident that would cover the town's expenses until revenues begin coming in again. If it will be more, Bernard said, she'll wait until the March 11 meeting to ask selectmen to approve a larger loan.
On Jan. 14, shortly after starting as town manager, Bernard warned the board that this was coming. At that time, she warned that by the first week of March the town wouldn't have enough in the bank to pay expenses.
Although the town has since deferred payments to vendors and repairs to town vehicles, that prediction has proven accurate.
“We are currently paying nothing other than payroll,” Bernard told the board on Monday. In January, she said expensive road payments were a large factor in the budget shortfall.
She said in January that if the town made budget cuts, it could dig out of the red in a year to a year and a half.
The Budget Committee will hold its first meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at the Town Office.