Paris Police looking to add officer

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PARIS — The Paris Police Department is seeking town funding for another full-time officer.

Speaking before the Budget Committee on Thursday, Chief David Verrier said some of the other positions in the department are funded through other sources. Three-quarters of the salary for a school resource officer is funded through the school budget, and an officer working with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency will receive federal funding for that position.

The department has seven full-time and four reserve officers. Verrier said the hours for the reserve officers are being scaled back.

He requested a total budget of $500,292, an increase of $21,320 over last year’s approved amount. Town Manager Philip Tarr is recommending a $494,716 budget for the department. Verrier said most of the increase comes from the new position and salary increases. He is asking for $322,454 for salaries and wages, while Tarr recommends $320,054; Verrier also asks for $119,248 for benefits, while Tarr recommends $118,472.

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Tarr said at Thursday’s meeting that he and Town Manager David Holt of Norway were reviewing the budget for Norway-Paris Solid Waste. Tarr and Holt are serving as interim directors on the organization’s board following a joint decision by the towns to remove all seven directors. The budget was in place before that decision.

The solid waste board, which oversees the disposal of solid waste in the two towns, is requesting $260,332. Last year’s budget was $262,241. Tarr said he considered disagreements on the board in the past several months to be “more political than functional.”

“We do not have any financial reservations about Norway-Paris Solid Waste,” he said.

Tarr is recommending that $16,470 be allocated to Oxford County Regional Solid Waste, which oversees recycling in several towns. Daniel Eichorn, the organization’s treasurer, said income is collected from town subsidies and through revenue from recyclables. He said a decrease in the value of recyclables led to an increase in the subsidy, which stood at $10,809 last year.

Mike Dignan, librarian at the Paris Public Library, said that budget is expected to decrease from $153,375 to $153,000. He said the library operates 57 hours a week, but that five hours are staffed by only one person. Two part-time staff positions will be eliminated and hours reduced, he said.

The Parks and Recreation Committee is requesting $31,678, an increase from last year’s appropriation of $24,950. Dana Chandler, chairman of the committee, said the increase was needed mostly to replace baseball and softball uniforms.

mlangeveld@sunjournal.com

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