Festival planners to meet with Norway officials

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NORWAY — Representatives of the Nateva Festival are expected to meet with the Board of Selectmen at its meeting Thursday and with the Planning Board next week as they try to get permits necessary for their July 4 weekend music festival, which is expected to draw thousands of people to the Oxford Fairgrounds on Route 26 in Oxford.

The three-day, multi-stage event put on by Nateva Festivals Inc. of Newton, Mass., is expected to draw thousands of people to the Oxford Fairgrounds from Friday, July 2, through Sunday, July 4, to hear such bands as Further, Jakob Dylan and the Flaming Lips.

Organizers for the festival had to scramble earlier this month to ensure that the show would go on after work at the fairgrounds was shut down because of an environmental violation, and Norway town officials demanded the group adhere to the town’s outdoor festival ordinance. Part of the concert area is in the town of Norway.

Town Manager David Holt said the issue will be before the Board of Selectmen on Thursday at its regularly scheduled meeting beginning at 7 p.m. in the municipal office.

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Selectmen Chairman Bruce Cook has already expressed his dissatisfaction with the festival organizers failure to meet with them to obtain an outdoor festival permit as required under Norway regulations. The group did receive a mass-gathering permit from Oxford.

An undated application was received this past week by the town for the outdoor festival license. The application has to be filed with the town clerk no less than 45 days before the date of the event, according to the ordinance.

Additionally, Dennis Gray, chairman of the Planning Board, said Wednesday that as far as he knows, the Nateva Festival representatives will be at the board meeting on May 27.

About 15 acres of the 21 acre site under construction for festival-goers at the fairgrounds on Pottle Street is in Norway. Another six acres is in Oxford, according to Norway Building Inspector Jeff Van Decker.

Work at the site was recently shut down temporarily after the Department of Environmental Protection “suggested” that workers from McGee Contracting of West Gardner stop working on a project to clear ground on the fairgrounds until they received the proper local and state permits.

Van Decker said McGee Construction allowed storm water to flow into a nearby bog off Pottle Street, across from the entrance to the fairgrounds, without obtaining a storm water permit. The lack of a permit is in violation of DEP regulations and a town ordinance that requires the company go before the Planning Board for a site plan review if earth is going to be moved under certain conditions.

ldixon@sunjournal.com

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