West Paris board renews town manager’s contract

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WEST PARIS — Selectmen renewed Town Manager Wade Rainey’s contract for one year Thursday night.

Rainey was named to the position last year, months after serving as interim manager. Before that, he was a selectman for 24 years.

Chairman Randy Jones said he was approached by Midwest Price wood chip mill about the possibility of buying or leasing land in the town gravel pit on Route 26 to expand its log storage yard. He said the company was looking for 10 to 15 acres for 10 or 15 years.

Rainey will look into the request.

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Selectman Dale Piirainen said the outlook for the School Administrative District 17 budget for 2017-18 is “pretty grim.” He said part of Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed state budget would remove some state funding for administration under the Essential Programs and Services formula.

“These would have to be paid for out of the local assessment,” Piirainen said. “This will add approximately a million dollars to the projected budget” and increase West Paris’ share by $81,000.

“If there are additional state subsidies added after the school budget is set, the district has three options, he said:

* If there is no warrant article, the additional amount must be carried over into fiscal year 2018-19;

* Any additional funding may be used to reduce the local assessments, if approved by voters; and

* Any additional funding may be used to pay for more programming and/or a capital reserve fund, if voters approve.

A public hearing and vote on the school budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. June 8 at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris. The budget validation referendum in all eight district towns will be June 13.

In other business, selectmen:

• Appointed Toby Whitman to the school board to succeed Lauren Day.

• Announced Code Enforcement Officer Shane Poland will be fully licensed by June 1; and

• Announced town funds will be kept at Androscoggin Bank. “The interest is fairly decent and working with Androscoggin Bank has been positive,” Rainey said.

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