Paris Board of Selectmen

Paris Town Office

June 26, 2017

Fire Department

What happened: Even though the agenda item to discuss the Fire Department was tabled because of union contract negotiations, there was plenty of discussion regarding the cuts made to the department at town meeting during open session.

What it means: Board Chairman Scott Buffington told the audience they were advised by the town’s attorney to not have a public discussion until after the contract was settled. At town meeting earlier this month, voters opted to reduce the Fire Department’s budget by $145,629 with the intention to remove the per diem structure, go back to an all-volunteer department and reduce the fire chief’s position from salary to a $5,000 yearly stipend plus hourly wage. Budget Committee members Mike Brogan and Richard Merz accused Buffington and Budget Committee Chairman Rick Little of preplanning the cuts, because Little made the motion and Buffington seconded it. Buffington said he did not know if it was preplanned.

Advertisement

What’s next: Buffington said a more public discussion regarding changes at the Fire Department could happen in a couple of weeks.

Tax rate

What happened: Hodgkins announced the town’s tax rate is expected to be 10 cents lower than the current one.

What it means: As long as the state does not make any changes, the fiscal 2018 tax rate should be $16.70 per $1,000 of assessed value. Hodgkins estimated the Fire Department reductions lowered the tax rate by 30 cents.

What’s next: The tax rate will not be set until the tax commitment is made in July. 

Road bids

Advertisement

What happened: Selectmen awarded this year’s road work contract to the lowest bidder.

What it means: The bid is for $417,448 from All States Asphalt and includes paving and shoulder work. The work is for the entire Mount Mica Road, except a top coat, and Cottage Street.

What’s next: Bids for Stearns Hill Road paving are being coordinated by West Paris, because the two towns will both pay for the project.

Vehicle bids

What happened: Selectmen accepted bids for the new plow truck and police cruiser.

What it means: Ripley & Fletcher Ford had the middle bid of $30,279 for a 2017 Ford Explorer, which was roughly $360 more than the lowest bidder, Quirk Auto Group. Police Chief Hartley “Skip” Mowatt recommended awarding it to Ripley & Fletcher to keep it local. The sole plow truck bid came in lower than expected at $147,563 from Freightliner and Western Star of Maine.

Advertisement

What’s next: The police cruiser will be ready by August or September.

Meeting time

What happened: Selectmen voted to change their meeting time to half an  hour earlier.

What it means: Meetings will still be held at 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays at the Town Office, 33 Market Square.

Chairman/vice chairman

What happened: Selectmen elected their chairman and vice chairman.

Advertisement

What it means: Buffington was elected chairman and Chris Summers as vice chairman. At Buffington’s request, the rest of the board agreed to rotate the positions of chairman and vice chairman throughout the year.

EDC update

What happened: Selectmen received an update from members of the Economic Development Committee and approved their requests.

What it means: Committee chairman and newly elected Selectman John Andrews was granted permission to contact the Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce to discuss marketing ideas, contact Buckfield’s Economic Development Committee to have a joint meeting, send a report to the state regarding the town’s desire to earn the business friendly certification and contact Swett Signs for estimates on new “Welcome to Paris” signs, because there is only one remaining in town.

What’s next: Newly elected Selectman Gary Vaughn and Economic Development Committee vice chairman said he would step down from the committee as soon as a replacement was found, and he encouraged people to volunteer.

Resignation

Advertisement

What happened: Selectmen accepted the resignation of longtime Chairman Dana Chandler from the Recreation Committee.

What it means: There is now an open spot on the committee and anyone wishing to serve can visit the Town Office.

What’s next: Town officials will send Chandler a thank-you letter for his years of service.

[email protected]

Comments are not available on this story.