PARIS — The chairman of the Board of Selectmen apologized at Monday night’s meeting for not being prepared last month to answer voters’ questions about a $4 million bond to repair roads.

Rusty Backett admitted he wasn’t “as prepared as I should have been. I was embarrassed about some of the things that were said.”

The bond to pay for 30 major road projects in the next three years was defeated Jan. 30 by a vote of 49-47. According to the article, the money would have been paid back in seven years, with an interest rate of 2.3%, bringing the total payback to $4.46 million and annual payments of $571,000.

Brackett said at the time that the tax rate would not be affected.

Former Town Manager Vic Hodgkins questioned the numbers, saying the rate would go up.

On Monday, Brackett outlined tentative options for repairing roads.

He said money was left from last year’s road budget when voters added $200,000 at the annual town meeting. If the budget was raised “a little bit for the coming year” there would be enough money to topcoat and cap roads that were paved last year, and address a single “problem road,” he said.

Brackett also said there’s a potential for more bond options on the November ballot, but the future of a road plan is still up in the air.

“I don’t even know what direction we might go,” Brackett said. “But (we may do) something with a bond not as big as the one we had, to keep the plan and still move forward.”

At the Jan. 30 special town meeting, several residents expressed concern about plans by the Paris Utility  District to dig up Paris Hill Road for sewer lines, making road repairs meaningless.

Brackett said Monday that the district doesn’t plan to start working on Paris Hill until 2032.

“It shouldn’t make any difference to us when PUD goes and digs us Paris Hill. If it’s going to be 12 or 15 years, why wouldn’t we fix the roads?” Brackett asked.

 


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