WEST PARIS — Selectmen adopted an official employment policy Thursday for procedures on conducting background checks for potential employees.

Town Manager John White told selectmen that while processing applications for firefighters, the Fire Department asked the town to conduct criminal background and motor vehicle checks on the potential employees. Though the town had done this in the past, a review of current written policies showed that the town had no policy in place regarding the employment application process.

White said he researched examples and drafted the policy the board ultimately adopted on Thursday.

The policy states that the board has the authority to use its discretion when determining whether a person’s background may not be a good match for the particular job for which the applicant is applying. A background check might include criminal history, a medical examination, a psychological evaluation, drug and alcohol testing and/or a driving record.

The new policy states that the town will keep any information gathered confidential, but that a potential employee’s hiring may be conditional upon passing any requested background checks. The new policy will be added to the town’s employee manual.

Selectmen also approved an agreement for engineering services for a project at the Arthur Mann Memorial Library, also known as the West Paris Library.


Library Trustee David MacDowell said the library had been working with Resurgence Engineering and Preservation Inc. as part of a grant application to the Maine Historic Preservation Commission for necessary repairs. The agreement would formalize the engineering services Resurgence determined are necessary in the grant application.

MacDowell said the total cost of the library renovations will be about $35,000, half of which will be paid for using grant money from MHPC. It includes replacing some of the roof and windows and repairing the front part of the building on Main Street. Engineering costs associated with the project are $12,800.

Selectmen authorized John White to sign a new contract with Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap for the lease of the town’s DS200 vote tabulator. White said the lease contract is more about properly caring for and securing the machine than about paying to use the machine.

“We have to guarantee that we keep it safe,” White explained. “It has to be locked so that not everyone can get to it. It works slick. It’s a lot less wear and tear on the folks who cover elections. We’re not paying anything at this point. We just have to take care of it. Some communities have extra machines, which they have to pay for.”

The next selectmen’s meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23. Due to the holiday, the board plans to conduct an abbreviated meeting. The next full meeting will be on Jan. 14, 2016.

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