PARIS — Budget Committee members said Wednesday that they are proud of their recommended spending plan for 2013-14, which cut $121,000 from Town Manager Amy Bernard’s proposal.

However, increases to the school budget and possible cuts to state revenue sharing mean tax increases are a certainty for residents.

The committee is recommending a spending plan of about $6.91 million. Bernard recommended $7.03 million.

Committee Chairman Vic Hodgkins said the budget was a difficult balancing act between necessary services and what taxpayers can afford. The committee’s budget does not include a 2.5 percent raise for town employees recommended by Bernard. It also does not include running 23 street lights. It cuts the amount to be saved for a new town office roof to $2,500 and reduces the allocation for short-term loan interest by $5,000.

Canceling raises will save the town $18,000, the committee said, and shutting off street lights will save the town $5,000. The Police Department will decide which 23 street lights can be shut off.

“I’ve said for the past two or three years that the town of Paris cannot afford the town we need to have,” Hodgkins said. “That’s the great dilemma, and each and every year it gets harder and harder to solve.”


Although Hodgkins is “darn proud of this committee’s actions and our hard work,” the committee is disappointed by the overall impact to taxes by the school budget and potential losses at the state level, he said.

“Seventy cents of this increase, whatever the final increase will be, you can thank your local school district,” Hodgkins said.

He noted that last year, the town took $150,000 from surplus and more than $250,000 from an infrastructure fund to keep taxes from increasing. Bernard has criticized that decision, and those funds aren’t available this year.

Board members and staff from the Hannibal Hamlim Memorial Library attended the meeting to ask why the board recommended cutting funding from the $4,500 recommended by Bernard to $500.

Hodgkins said the committee supports the library, but didn’t think taxpayers should pay for it. He said the committee left $500 so the library would remain publicly funded so it would still be eligible for special telephone and Internet access rates for public libraries.

The library gets the majority of its funding from the Founder’s Day car show, in which developer Bob Bahre shows off his car collection on Paris Hill, with admission fees going to the library.


The Board of Selectmen met Monday and recommended many of the committee’s cuts, although it voted to give nonunion employees a 1.5 percent increase instead of none at all.

Seven residents were in attendance, in addition to the seven members of the Budget Committee.

Residents will have a chance to vote on the budget at the June 15 town meeting.

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