WEST PARIS — With about 100 residents attending town meeting Saturday, voters decided overwhelmingly to continue the contract with Tri-Town Ambulance and Rescue Service as the town’s emergency responder.
The vote was 65-32 against, which keeps the service alive into the future.
The actual article gave the people a choice of authorizing selectmen to enter into negotiations with Tri-Town and the towns of Greenwood and Sumner as well as Oxford County in an effort to form an inter-local agreement to assume ownership and operation of the service. A second part of the article asked if the voters would rather contract with PACE Ambulance and Paramedic Services of Norway, but the majority decided they would like to see the town continue with Tri-Town into the future, as it has for the past many years.
Selectman Wade Rainey said there would be costs to set up the inter-local agreement, and people should consider that carefully.
“With a whole new board, it will probably work, but it will cost to do this. There will be legal fees and other costs, and we will be coming back to you to ask for more money in the future,” said Rainey.
The majority, however, felt that they did not want to change services, stating the excellence of response time and service they have enjoyed over the years. They opted to leave things as they are.
The selectmen will now meet with neighboring towns and representatives of the county to move things forward after votes are taken in Greenwood and Sumner later this year.
The one drawback that could cause a serious problem would be if the other towns vote to drop Tri-Town, as that would leave West Paris with the total subsidy to fund the service.
Prior to taking up the ambulance issue, the annual municipal elections were held. Incumbents Randi Jones, selectman; Greg Inman, Water District board of directors; and Nick Diconzo, school board for RSU 17, were all re-elected unopposed. All three positions are for three-year terms.