Interim Town Manager Wade Rainey, right, looks at a document as Selectman Denny Henderson looks on during a West Paris selectmen meeting in 2016, months before Rainey was named town manager. Rainey will step down from the position in April. Sun Journal 2016 file photo

WEST PARIS — Wade Rainey has served the town for more than 30 years as a selectman and as town manager. Saturday will likely be his last annual Town Meeting as a town official.

Residents will meet at the Fire Station at 10 a.m. Saturday to approve the 2021 town budget and elect a selectman, a school board member for the Oxford Hills School District and a director for the the town’s water district.

The fire station will be set up for 50 people, due to COVID-19 social distancing rules. If more than 50 people attend, they will be given instructions on how to listen to the meeting on their car radio.

Rainey announced his retirement earlier this year and will step down when his contract expires April 2. The Board of Selectmen has not named Rainey’s successor.

In his resignation, Rainey noted “the town is in good financial shape with no long-term debt and housing starts increasing,”

Rainey was first elected as a selectman in 1991 and served for 24 years. After a brief retirement, he was named interim town manager in 2016 and months later was named town manager. Before becoming a selectman, he had also served on the Planning Board.

The proposed $1.3 million municipal budget is about $4,000 less than the 2020 budget. It does not include an estimated $1 million for Maine School Administrative District 17 and an estimated $110,000 for Oxford County.

In addition to regular items such as general government, public safety, public works and highway funding, one of the 43 articles asks residents to approve spending $3,250 from the Building Reserve Account to replace and upgrade the security cameras surrounding the Town Office and garage. According to the article, the existing cameras “have deteriorated to the point that they are not sending a reliable picture.”

Another article asks residents to authorize selectmen to negotiate with ND Paper Co. of Rumford to lease part of the town’s gravel pit on Route 26 for log storage, which would become a source of revenue for the town.

Rainey said no candidate has stepped up to fill the vacancy on the Board of Selectmen, but he expects one or more will be nominated at the meeting. Chairman Michael Grass is stepping down after serving six years on the board.

The town report is dedicated to Rainey and in memoriam to Jane Littlehale, the former deputy clerk and a volunteer at the fire station who issued the burn permits. She died Feb. 6, 2020.


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