PARIS — The Board of Selectmen amended its COVID policy Monday, agreeing to pay wages only if an employee is infected by COVID-19 in a work setting.

In a unanimous decision, selectmen decided employees would be on their own if they miss work because they became infected with the virus while traveling or any activity outside of work. The policy would also cover time in quarantine for any potential exposure away from work.

Selectman Carlton Sprague wanted to make sure the town was not telling employees what they could and could not do outside of work, but agreed that the town should not pay them for missing work if they contracted COVID-19 away from the job.

In other business, selectmen reviewed the Fire Department budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021. Fire Chief Mark Blaquiere explained the few changes in the spending plan.

The proposed $239,982 budget is increasing by $11,425, roughly a 5% net increase. Much of that increase is due to wages and payroll taxes due to a higher call volume and a 2% wage increase.

Discounting wages and payroll taxes, the budget is increasing by $400.

Blaquiere said his department answered nearly 400 calls in 2020, an increase of more than 10%. During December’s storm that knocked out power for much of the state, the department answered 37 calls in 14 hours.

Town Manager Dawn Noyes reported that Paris’ first responders — firefighters and the Police Department should receive COVID-19 vaccines in three to four weeks.

Noyes also said the Police Department is looking at the possibility of obtaining body cameras, considering a special promotion that would cut the price in half to about $750 apiece. She said more information would be available in the coming weeks.


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