Paris Board of Selectmen

Aug. 14, 2017

Paris Town Office

Fire Department

What happened: After roughly two months of not being able to speak about the future of the Fire Department publicly due to union negotiations, Board of Selectmen Chairman Scott Buffington gave an update as the department moves toward a volunteer model.

What it means: At the annual town meeting in June, residents voted to reduce the Fire Department’s budget by $145,629 to $239,011 to get rid of the per diem model, go back to an all-volunteer department and reduce the fire chief’s salary to a $5,000 per year stipend, plus hourly wages. The transition will tentatively begin in early October, and Fire Chief Scott Hunter agreed to stay on through it. He will step down after and Deputy Fire Chief Jon Longley will become the next fire chief. A daytime position will be created to have one person staffing the Fire Station Monday through Friday.

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What’s next: After Town Clerk Liz Knox gave selectmen a certified petition handed in by Budget Committee member Richard Merz to restore funding to the Fire Department at a special town meeting, they voted to table the petition until the next meeting. Union negotiations for the per diems with Teamsters Local 340 are still ongoing.

Soule Trust

What happened: Hodgkins gave selectmen an update on the Soule Trust and its board’s recent activities.
What it means:
On Aug. 4, the trust’s board met and voted to request $25,000 be withdrawn from the trust for the beautification of Paris and $5,000 withdrawn annually for the same purpose at future town meetings. If approved, the $25,000 would be deposited into a dedicated account for Paris beautification and/or creating or maintaining a park and the $5,000 would be withdrawn each year as long as the trust’s original principal of $131,008 stays intact. The trust was given to the town by Albert and Janette Soule, which required the trust grow for 10 years. The 10 years have expired and there is roughly $156,000 in the trust.

What’s next: Residents will vote whether or not to approve the withdrawals at a future town meeting.

Biz directory

What happened: Town Manager Vic Hodgkins announced there is a new Business and Resource Directory on the town’s website.

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What it means: Anyone with a business or area resource can visit the town’s website at www.parismaine.org, click on the directory’s icon and fill out the form.

What’s next: Other updates on the town’s website will continue in the future.

Recreational marijuana

What happened: Selectmen voted to create an ad hoc committee to research recreational marijuana.

What it means: The committee will consist of one Planning Board member, one selectman and a legal adviser. After Mainers passed recreational marijuana in November 2016, a statewide moratorium on retail sales was put in place until February 2018 as state officials hammer out regulations.

What’s next: Anyone interested in serving on the committee can contact the Town Office. A public hearing has been tentatively set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18, at the Fire Station, 137 Western Ave., to gather input from residents.

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Town signs

What happened: Selectmen voted to table making a decision on the new town signs until a mock-up of new colors could be created.

What it means: Selectman John Andrews shared the quote from Swett Signs, which is for three, one-sided carved signs reading, “Town of Paris, Est. 1793, Heartbeat of the Hills” for $1,600 each or $2,350 each with 23-karat gold leaf. The price includes the installation of the signs mounted on two stained, pressure-treated posts embedded in concrete. The original mock-up had gold and green signs, but selectmen want to see what green and white signs look like.

What’s next: Selectmen will revisit the issue at their next meeting.

Appointment

What happened: Selectmen appointed Brad Frost to the Paris Utility District for one year.

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