Paris briefs: Board gives conditional OK for ATV crossing

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PARIS — The following items were discussed at the Feb. 13 meeting of the Board of Selectmen:

ATV crossing

The X-Tra Mile ATV Club is applying to the state for a new crossing over Route 26 near Phillips Road, south of its current crossing. To begin the process, the club needs a letter from the town stating that the town approves of such a crossing. The club said the Maine State Police, the Maine Department of Transportation and the Maine Department of Conservation have expressed no objections to the crossing.

John Goodwin, trailmaster of the X-Tra Mile ATV Club, said the state must approve the crossing but needs the board’s blessing first. “I need a letter of support from the town to push it forward,” Goodwin said. The board voted unanimously to submit a letter to the state stating that, pending approval by state agencies, the board has no objections to the crossing.

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Fire station lighting

The town will hold a special town meeting on Feb. 27 to see if the town will transfer money from work on the heating system to pay for new lights outside of the Paris Fire Station. The lights have been failing for years, causing expensive light bulbs to blow.

Town Manager Phil Tarr said that 11 of the 16 exterior lights at the station currently aren’t working. Tarr suggested replacing them with energy-efficient LED lights, which are eligible for a rebate from the state.

The town doesn’t have funding for the new lights, but Tarr said the town could allocate $7,500 from money marked for the fire station’s heating to pay for the lights. The town meeting will take place before the Feb. 27 meeting at 7 p.m. at the Town Office.

General assistance cooperation

Selectmen supported an idea from Tarr and Norway Town Manager David Holt to run a common administration between the Paris and Norway general assistance programs. The joint program would have the towns sharing information on who receives general assistance and set up Norway’s workfare program in Paris.

The towns would maintain separate funding but a common administration. Tarr will draft an inter-local agreement outlining how the two towns can work together. Tarr said it could be done on a trial basis and will include an escape clause if it doesn’t work out.

Pine Street Fire Station

The survey on the old fire station on Pine Street has been finished. The town is working to sell the building on a half-acre plot, the minimum lot size in Paris. The station hasn’t been used in years since the town built one on Western Avenue. When the board last discussed the matter in April, selectmen were told the building would cost $27,000 to demolish, not counting hazardous waste removal.

Employee raises

Town employees didn’t get raises last year, and several selectmen said they felt they shouldn’t ask them to go two years without a raise. After some discussion, the board settled on a 3 percent raise. Selectmen voted unanimously for a motion instructing Tarr to discuss a 3 percent raise for town employees with the Budget Committee. The Budget Committee will meet on March 1 at the Paris Town Office.

treaves@sunjournal.com

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