PARIS — The Board of Selectmen has whittled down a weighty list of long- and short-term goals for the town to a handful of immediate priorities and will hold a public hearing next month to go over their plans.

At a workshop last Thursday, selectmen discussed goals they want to accomplish within the next year.

These items include bringing the town’s land use ordinance to residents for a vote, designing a Paris tourism brochure, reviewing the town budget process, consolidating the conservation and recreation committees, improving parking at Moore Park and completing an inventory of the town’s vacant commercial buildings.

Selectmen have been trying to identify one-, five- and 10-year goals for the town, with ideas ranging from improving governance to encouraging tourism and economic development.

Residents told selectmen at a public forum last month that increasing the town’s profile as a destination for visitors and encouraging business development were important long-term goals.

Selectman Gary Kilgore, at Thursday’s workshop, said it might not be productive for the board to plan too far into the future, noting the probable turnover in on the board and in town administration.


“In 10 years, none of us are going to be here,” Kilgore said, “and the new group that comes in will have their own ideas.”

Town Manager Amy Bernard told selectmen some issues town’s land use ordinance were still being worked on by the committee and expected it might not be ready for a vote until next June.

She also suggested consolidating the conservation and recreation committees, noting that the conservation committee had only one active member, and the two groups covered some of the same activities and locations in town.

An inventory of the town’s vacant commercial properties was already underway, Bernard reported.

A review of the town’s budgeting process and the role of the budget committee has been on selectmen’s radar for the past two months and Selectboard Chairman Bob Kirchherr has suggested creating a finance committee to augment or replace the budget committee.

Parking at Moore Park, the town’s central green space, has also been discussed for several months. Residents and selectmen have complained that people are backing out into traffic on Main Street and parking on the grass.


On Thursday, Kirchherr suggested placing wooden markers to cordon off a parking space at the park. Bernard said the town might need to consult with its engineer to go over the plan.

For now, board members should focus on the handful of goals discussed, Kirchherr said.

“I don’t want to come up with 30 plans and not be able to do any of them,” Kirchher said. “I’d rather stick to five or six and finish them all.”

Selectmen will hold a public hearing to get input on the goals following the Sept. 23 selectmen’s meeting.

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