Norway sends $4.97M budget to voters

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NORWAY — The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously Thursday, May 17 to approve a $4.97 million municipal budget and to post the Annual Town Meeting warrant.

Residents will be asked to vote on the spending plan at the Annual Town Meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, June 18, at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris.

Town Manager Dennis Lajoie said the budget, which does not include the SAD 17 assessment, is an increase of $98,387, or 2.82 percent, from current spending.

Several town departments would see increases in the budget, including Highway and Public Works, Police Department and Planning and Enforcement.

Lajoie said the increase in the Planning and Enforcement budget was because Code Enforcement Officer Scott Tabb earned new certifications.

“There’s a contractual obligation with the (code enforcement officer), where every time he gets a certification, he gets a bump in pay,” Lajoie said.

The Police Department budget is higher because of less grant money for a school resource officer, Lajoie said, so Norway must cover a greater percentage of the cost.

Free library

The board voted to allow the Norway Public Library to place a “take one, leave one” library behind the Norway Town Office building on Beal Street.

Library Director Beth Kane said that the “take one, leave one” library, also known as a “Little Free Library,” is a box filled with books that people can borrow from in order to discover new books.

She said that people can also leave books “that they want people to read” in it.

“It’s a place in the community where people can access books, no strings attached,” Kane said. “It’s another way of reaching out into the community and making books visible.”

The Little Free Library on Beal Street would be listed on an online registry so “people on vacation or passing through can find it if they’re looking for one.”

Selectman Thomas Curtis asked Kane if other “take one, leave one” libraries have had issues with vandalism, or with people taking all of the books.

Kane said that the “overwhelming majority” of Little Free Libraries have no issues, and that “the goal” of the libaries “is to get books in people’s hands.”

“If the library is ever empty, we have enough donated books that we can restock it,” Kane said.

Applications

Lajoie said the town has received 29 applications for the soon-to-open office clerk’s position. Lajoie said Bonnie Seames is planning to retire June 29.

“We’ll be meeting sometime next week to start reviewing the applications and figuring out who are top candidates are, and when we want to schedule interviews,” Lajoie said.

mdaigle@sunmediagroup.net