PARIS — By a unanimous vote on Monday night, the Board of Selectmen agreed to lift a freeze on capital improvements put in place in January.
Town Manager Philip Tarr said the town was not experiencing a shortage in cash flow, as had been feared when the freeze was put into place. At that point, it was expected that a reduction in state revenue sharing could affect some of the revenue streams coming into the town. Tarr suggested that capital expenditures could be taken on a case-by-case basis, and that unfreezing the accounts would allow department heads to plan for the requested purchases.
“I think if you unfreeze them, you open the door for the bids to go out, and those come back to you on a department-by-department basis,” Tarr said.
The town approved $313,500 for capital expenditures for the fiscal year ending in June of 2010. This amount was offset by $39,486 from the landfill account and $19,000 from the salt/shed account. When the account was frozen, the town had spent $27,676.75 on capital improvements.
The largest expense called for $275,000 worth of maintenance, paving and reconstruction for town roads. Other requests included the replacement of 700 square feet of carpeting and tile in the police station, improvements to other municipal buildings, the replacement of seven sets of bunker pants and turnout jackets for the Fire Department, and maintenance for three overhead doors at the Highway Department.
Selectman Ted Kurtz voted in favor of the measure, but also expressed caution.
“I’m just worried about the psychology of it,” he said. “I just want to put every safeguard imaginable on the spending of our money.”
Selectman Lloyd “Skip” Herrick said the board makes the final decision on whether or not to spend money on individual projects. Chairman Raymond Glover added that requests can be matched with the budget to see if they are pre-planned items.