Paris selectmen approve purchase of pickup truck with snowplow

Jan. 11—PARIS — The Select Board on Monday unanimously approved spending $56,000 for a pickup truck with a snowplow.

O'Connor Auto Park in Augusta submitted the lowest bid for the 2023 Chevrolet Silverado and plow. It will replace an aging Dodge pickup truck in the Highway Department's fleet. Money will come from the highway equipment budget.

In other business, the board agreed to increase the agent fee for registering vehicles by $2 for new vehicles and renewals. Town Clerk Elizabeth Knox said if the town had raised rates in 2021, it would have received an extra $9,000. She noted surrounding towns raised their rates the past couple of years, while Paris had not.

Chairman Christopher Summers, Carlton Sprague and Michael Bailey favored the change, while Peter Kilgore opposed. Scott McElravy was absent.

Town Manager Dawn Noyes reviewed the proposed road plans for the Highway Department for the next fiscal year beginning July 1. Scheduled for work are Hill Street, Halls Pond, Durrell Hill and Elm Hill roads.

Inflation and rising prices will have a major impact on next year's budget, Noyes said. In providing the board with a snapshot of the administration budget, she said she will likely propose that employees receive an 8% cost-of-living increase to keep wages competitive with surrounding communities and the private sector. The increase is just under the yearly rate of 8.2%.

In reviewing year-end totals, the Fire Department saw more than a 40% increase in calls for service, from 391 in 2021 to 557 in 2022. Police Department calls increased from 4,403 to 4,411. Code enforcement handled 108 calls in 2022 compared to 104 the previous year.