Voters will also consider keeping the Pine Street

Fire Station.

PARIS – No increase in the mill rate is projected in this year’s municipal budget, which is up for a vote at the June 21 annual town meeting.

The meeting gets under way at 9 a.m. in the new Paris Fire Station on Western Avenue.

“We’re very excited about the budget this year,” given last year’s budget increase, Town Manager Steve McAllister said Friday.

A modest increase in anticipated revenues is expected to balance out the 1 percent increase in proposed spending of $2,518,748, he said. The $4,910,764 overall budget, which includes the town’s share of Oxford County and SAD 17 assessments, is up 2.2 percent, the smallest increase in several years.

McAllister said the flat budget resulted from the hard work done by the Budget Committee, evaluating every line item “and making adjustments here and there.” He also credited the school district for trying to keep the increase as small as possible.

“I think that they’ve been very vigilant in working on that budget, even with fixed costs continuing to increase,” he said.

The town averages $3.5 million in new valuation annually, and the 2003-04 budget includes a “conservative” estimate of $3 million in new valuation, he added. Voters will be asked to raise another $15,000 toward a townwide revaluation. If approved, the amount will be combined with $165,000 raised in prior years.

McAllister said he hopes to begin the revaluation this summer. A related warrant article seeks approval of a Single Assessor Ordinance, which would relieve selectmen of their role as town assessors and allow the town to hire an assessor to conduct the revaluation. Mike Chaput, the town’s temporary full-time assessor since last fall, has resigned, and a new person would need to be hired, McAllister said.

Both the Budget Committee and selectmen are recommending zero funding for the Norway Office Park project, despite McAllister’s recommendation that the town contribute $20,000, as requested by the developers, Western Maine Development.

McAllister wouldn’t speculate how that vote will go. The two boards also recommended zero funding for the project last year, but voters ignored their recommendation and agreed to fund it.

“We’ve put $25,000 into the project already,” McAllister said.

Voters also will be asked if they want to keep the old Pine Street Fire Station. If the answer is yes, they’ll be asked to raise $5,000 from taxes for insurance, maintenance and operating expenses for the ensuing fiscal year.

If they vote to sell the station, voters will give selectmen authority to seek bids, with a minimum bid of $90,000.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.