PARIS — The Highway Department will soon shift to clearing snowbanks and sidewalks along Main Street from 3 to 7 a.m. to avoid traffic delays, interim Town Manager Dawn Waisanen told selectmen Monday night.

She said crews have been doing the work from 7 a.m. into the evening.

The town has responded to a number of complaints, she said, including a call from the Maine Department of Transportation indicating a town plow driver “nearly clipped” a passing car while clearing a sidewalk.

“It’s been a solid line of traffic,” Selectman Rusty Brackett said.

In another road matter, the interim town manager said roads in Paris and surrounding towns would be posted March 4 to prohibit heavy trucks during mud season.

She also announced the intent to hire a 20-hour-a-week bookkeeper to “get over the hump” of tax season. The preliminary plan is to pay for the new position from the contingency fund. The person would work through June 30, the end of this fiscal year.

The board voted to allow Waisanen to see who is available.

Town Clerk Elizabeth Knox said nomination papers for offices will be available Friday. Selectmen Chris Summers and Scott Buffington terms are up this year. Bob Jewell’s seat on the School Administrative District 17 board of directors is also open, she said.

The deadline to return nomination papers to the Town Office is April 15.

Police Chief Hartley Mowatt Jr. advised the board his budget has increased more than $40,000 this fiscal year, mainly for insurance.

Total spending so far is $645,214, compared to $605,000 approved by voters.

“The reason the budget is not going down to where we wanted it to be is health insurance is killing us,” Mowatt said. “It’s gone up approximately $27,000.”

Other increases are gas prices, employee benefit packages and new “air-cards” from Verizon Wireless that allow each police car to have wireless internet.

“You run a tight budget,” Buffington said. “It’s hard to say that needs to go.”

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