PARIS — Residents at Tuesday night’s annual town meeting defeated a proposal to bill insurance companies so the Fire Department could recoup costs for personnel and equipment handling motor vehicle accidents.

Meeting at the Paris Fire Department station on Western Avenue, residents voted down the proposed Town of Paris Fire Department Cost Recovery Ordinance. It would have charged an individual’s insurance company directly to pay for department personnel and equipment used at motor vehicle accidents. The ordinance would have the bill go directly to the insurer. The company providing the billing service would have received 20% of the money and the town 80%.

Voters also defeated an amendment to the property maintenance ordinance, which sets standards for maintenance of grounds and buildings to protect public health and safety. The ordinance stated that abandoned houses or sheds must be made safe to eliminate hazards to public health.

Residents voted in favor of the Paris building codes ordinance, which was originally revised June 6, 2002. The revision adds information to clarify outdated building codes.

A municipal budget of $4.5 million was approved for 2023. It’s $168,000 more than the previous year, bringing the town’s total budget, including assessments for the Oxford Hills School District and Oxford County government, to $8.6 million.

Residents voted to increase the capital expenditures account by $395,000, bringing it to $1.18 million. The increase is to add money to accounts such as a new administration vehicle, road reconstruction and general equipment. The town also needs to have access to a highway plow truck, which is also covered in the capital expenditures account.

Voters also favored using $2.64 million from anticipated general revenue to limit the tax rate increase. It’s $500,000 more than the previous year. Town Manager Dawn Noyes suspects an increase of about 40 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.

The Paris Fire Department request for funding for two full-time positions was approved by voters. Last year, the department had one full-time employee. Signing on two more full time will allow more people to be in the station at any given time, according to fire officials. They will also address problems and regular maintenance of the department.

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