PARIS – Barely a week after the annual town meeting, voters were back at the Paris Fire Station for a special meeting Monday night and swiftly approved an application for a grant for the Paris Utility District.

The district was approved by the Office of Community Development to begin the project development phase of the application process after applying for a community development block grant, with $500,000 reserved for the project. A public hearing was necessary for approval and acceptance of the application. On June 11, the selectmen updated and approved five anti-discrimination policy statements that needed to be current and submitted with the grant paperwork.

Steve Arnold, utility manager for the district, said the grant will go toward a $2.3 million headworks upgrade, which will be followed by an upgrade of the wastewater treatment facility.

“The treatment plant was state of the art, 1975,” Arnold said.

He said operation of the facility is “a day-to-day thing,” and worried that it was susceptible to malfunction. He said the upgrades will use the existing infrastructure.

“We’re not building anything really new down there,” he said.

The upgrades will include electrical work, pump work, concrete work and safety measures.

The facility will be upgraded in three phases, and the PUD will receive $8 million for the second stage of the process. The district will borrow $990,000 for the first phase.

Vern Maxfield was chosen to be a moderator for the meeting. The second article on the warrant asked if voters would approve an application to be sent to the Department of Economic and Community Development. If approved, municipal officers will be able to accept the grant funds and implement the program.

Maxfield declared that the article had passed unanimously.

At a selectmen’s meeting that followed the vote, the board approved the appointment of seven members to the Community Development Advisory Committee. This committee will “oversee and guide” the project “through its planning and implementation stages,” according to the article.


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