Paris Board of Selectmen

Paris Town Office

May 8, 2017

Tax rate

What happened: Selectmen and Town Manager Vic Hodgkins talked about the 2018 tax rate, which is estimated to increase by 60 cents.

What it means: The current rate is $16.80 per $1,000 of assessed property value. Assessor Jerry Samson is still working on the town valuation. Hodgkins said he hopes the tax rate will be less than 60 cents.

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What’s next: An update on the tax rate will be given at the annual town meeting June 17.

Town warrant

What happened: Selectmen signed the town meeting warrant.

What it means: They amended Article 31, which recommends using $217,000 in surplus to fix Mount Mica Road, adding the option to use it to offset taxes.

What’s next: Residents will vote on the warrant at the town meeting at 10 a.m. at the fire station, 137 Western Ave.

Part-time firefighters

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What happened: When acting on the payroll warrants, a heated discussion ensued about the hours and benefits for part-time firefighters.

What it means: Board Vice Chairman Scott Buffington wanted to discuss eligibility for benefits. He has refused to sign payroll warrants for part-time firefighters because one has been working more than 50 hours per week and another has worked roughly 50 hours per week. Hodgkins warned Buffington that continuing the discussion in public would be a legal liability because officials are in negotiations with the part-time firefighters’ union. Board Chairwoman Janet Jamison called for a vote on the payroll warrants, with Buffington and Rusty Brackett voting against them and Jamison, Chris Summers and Kathy Richardson voting to approve them.

What’s next: Jamison told Buffington they could address his questions with the town attorney at an upcoming meeting.

Open house

What happened: Selectmen approved the 1 Paris Hill Committee’s request to hold an open house this month at the new recreational area at 1 Paris Hill Road.

What it means: The open house will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 20. The property is owned by the Paris Utility District and leased by the town. Attendees can tour the property and kayak on the Little Androscoggin River using kayaks donated by Shaker Hill Nurseries if they sign a waiver.

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What’s next: The committee is looking for recommendations for activities and use of the property.

Election

What happened: Town Clerk Liz Knox announced candidates for selectmen, school board director and Paris Utility District trustee in the June 13 elections. All seats are for three years.

What it means: Running for selectman are incumbents Janet Jamison and Kathy Richardson, and Economic Development Committee Chairman John Andrews and Economic Development Committee Vice Chairman Gary Vaughn. School Administrative District 17 Directors George “Buddy” Coffren and Henry Raymond are running unopposed for re-election. Paris Utility District trustees Ray Lussier and Matthew Dieterich are running unopposed for re-election.

What’s next: Absentee ballots will be available Friday, May 12. A candidate night for selectmen is tentatively set for 7 p.m. Monday, June 5, at the Town Office. The election will be held at the fire station from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on June 13.

Town report

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What happened: Selectmen voted to dedicate the annual town report to the “50-Plus Club.”

What it means: The club includes longtime volunteer firefighters Brad Frost, Willie Buffington, Ben Conant and George Brown, who have served 50 years or more with the Paris Fire Department.

MDOT meeting

What happened: Jamison read a letter from the Maine Department of Transportation about a public hearing on the replacement of Billings Bridge that takes East Main Street over the Little Androscoggin River.

What it means: A hearing is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 17, at the Town Office, 33 Market Square.

What’s next: MDOT officials will take comments into consideration when forming plans for the project.

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Birdhouse donation

What happened: Selectmen accepted two birdhouses from Spencer Edwards for town use.

What it means: The Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School student made them for his senior project. One will be installed at 1 Paris Hill Road and the other at Moore Park.

Appointment

What happened: Selectmen appointed Michael Lance to the Budget Committee.

What it means: Lance’s term is for three years.

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