PARIS – Selectmen have agreed to build a long-awaited sidewalk along a busy stretch of Main Street between Short Folks Day Care and Ernie’s Car Wash.

The board awarded the contract for the work Monday to Professional Construction Services of Livermore for $42,600. The town had budgeted $45,000 for the work, involving about 500 feet along Route 26.

The work along the north side of the street will begin soon. Once complete, there will be sidewalks on both sides of Main Street from Market Square to Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, with the exception of the property fronting Burger King.

The sidewalk is needed because pedestrians now must walk on Route 26 or cross it to the sidewalk on the south side of the street.

Selectmen also awarded two separate road reconstruction contracts to Pike Industries Inc. of Waterford. Nearly all of the work will use modified B mix pavement, at a cost of $3,497.

Selectmen also agreed, in principle, to allow the parks and recreation committees to merge. Town Manager Steve McAllister said a letter from both committees supporting the proposal is forthcoming, and once they’ve received it selectmen can formally act on the proposal.

McAllister said he met with both committees recently, and “they all said this was the best way to go.” Merging them will give renewed energy to the work of each committee and “allow everybody to work on everything together.”

There are a total of 14 residents currently serving on the two boards, and McAllister said the eventual intent would be to create a nine-member committee. As members’ terms expire or they resign, they will not be replaced until the number is down to nine, he said.

McAllister said this year’s budget includes money for a part-time parks and recreation director who would work with the combined committees.

Head Selectman Ray Glover said the two committees have made important and lasting contributions to the betterment of the town. The Parks Committee worked hard to beautify Moore Park, which is now in demand for weddings during the summer and concerts in the park. “It’s created a good image for the town,” he said.

The Recreation Committee, as well, has improved and expanded ballfields in town, he said.

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