PARIS — Norway police Chief Robert Federico said Wednesday that nearly every day his department gets at least one complaint for an incident that happened across the town border in Paris.

A lot of residents don’t know exactly where the border is, he said. “From the general public’s opinion, there’s no boundary,” he said.

The idea of fading boundaries was a common one as selectmen and department heads from Norway and Paris spent Wednesday night looking for ways to combine services and purchasing. Some suggested merging departments and even the towns.

In the end, attendees agreed to form working groups with members from both towns. One would be a survey to include at the 2011 town meeting election to gauge how much residents would be comfortable with merging, whether it’s merely joint purchasing or if people would be comfortable merging departments.

A second group will look into products that could be purchased jointly between the towns to take advantage of bulk pricing. The towns already buy road salt together, and both use SAD 17 to save money on office paper orders.

The third working group will identify equipment that could be shared between fire, police and highway departments. Norway, Oxford and Paris fire departments have an agreement to respond to fires in one another’s towns.

The meeting was a session for people in both towns to share ideas to save costs and improve services.

Norway Town Manager David Holt said some department heads in both towns were nearing retirement age and suggested that, as they retire, a single department head could run both departments.

Paris Selectman Ted Kurtz took the idea further, suggesting the towns would probably combine into a single municipality in the next 20 to 30 years. He said both towns should take a mindset that they’re one group working together with the same interests.

Norway and Paris combined would have just over 10,000 people, according to the 2010 census.

In the short term, several had ideas for immediate savings. Federico suggested a single person could conduct time-consuming background checks for potential police officer candidates for both towns.

Norway Selectman Irene Millett said she was concerned town employees could lose their jobs as a result of combining services.

“It was never my intention to cut positions,” meeting facilitator and Paris Planning Board Chairman Robert Kirchherr said. He said both towns have great employees and there were no plans to squeeze out anyone working for either town.

The town of Oxford was scheduled to participate in the meeting as well, but withdrew last week. Oxford fire Chief Scott Hunter was the only attendee representing Oxford.

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