PARIS — “There is nothing left on the dirt roads to grade.”

That’s how Road Commissioner Jamie Hutchinson described the poor condition of the town’s dirt roads during Monday’s Select Board meeting.

“We’re down to the base,” he said. In some cases, the base includes the top of a culvert.

He told the Select Board that the roads would need approximately eight inches of gravel in order to be graded and compacted to eliminate the potholes.

The highway department has worked this summer repairing Parsons Road, but there is little to no funds available to repair the half dozen or so remaining dirt roads. Hutchinson said he could possibly patch some of the worst areas using a Band-Aid-like approach, but there is not enough money or time to fix every dirt road before winter.

Hutchinson estimated that it would cost more than $220,000 in gravel to repair the roads. The town would also need to rent a compactor.


Selectman Carlton Sprague asked if the town could use money from the American Rescue Plan Act to help pay for the repairs. Town Manager Dawn Noyes said she would look into it to see if that would qualify under the ARPA guidelines.

In any case, Noyes said the town may need to add a gravel line to next year’s highway department budget.


Town assessor Cindy Namer spoke via Zoom to provide some clarification on the changes in property values. The town did not do a full revaluation, Namer said, only a market update in an attempt to equalize the assessments of property values.

“We’re constitutionally bound to assess at 100% of market value,” Namer said.

Namer said property values in town have gone from 94% of market value three years ago, to 92%, and to 87% this year, and likely below 80% next year. The state will still certify reimbursements at 100% if the ratio remains within 10% of the market value. But because of the dip below 90%, property owners would not receive their homestead exemption, tree growth and veteran exemptions in full.


The new values dropped the town’s mill rate from about $18 to $14.85 per $1,000 of assessed property value. While some will see their tax bills increase, the town is still collecting the same amount of tax revenue.

Namer said she will be at the Town Office on Tuesdays and Wednesdays if anyone has questions about their tax bill.

One resident asked the town to look into the issue of parking near Cooper Spring on Mt. Mica Road.

The board reminded residents that the Paris Hill Music Festival is scheduled for the weekend of Aug. 5-6 at the country club.

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