Norway board votes to create volunteer tree consultant position

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NORWAY — The Board of Selectmen voted Thursday evening to formally create a volunteer tree consultant position.

Tish Carr, who has voluntarily served as tree warden for the past 18 years, will be asked if she’s interested in continuing in the role.

At the July 19 board meeting, Carr said she was told during a meeting with Town Manager Dennis Lajoie and Parks and Recreation Director Deb Partridge in June that the town would no longer need a tree warden.

Lajoie said he never told Carr she could not volunteer for the job.

“I only asked whether or not we needed the formal position of a tree warden, with all the resources we have in town,” Lajoie told her. “You can still volunteer. I just didn’t know if we needed the formal position.”

The board asked Lajoie to research whether other municipalities had tree wardens and what their responsibilities are.

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Lajoie said Thursday that of the 43 municipalities in Oxford and Androscoggin counties he researched, four had an appointed tree warden but none mentioned specific duties. He suggested that the town create an official volunteer tree consultant position and appointed someone to a three-year term.

Selectman Russell Newcomb said he liked the idea.

“I think if we rely on advice from commercial operations that may want to bid on a project, it’s kind of a conflict of interest,” Newcomb said.

In other business, selectmen voted to accept just over $3,000 in reimbursements from various organizations:

• $276.91 from Center for an Ecology Based Economy for work on the Longley Park kiosk;

• $1901.71 for an insurance claim on a damaged Highway Department truck;

• $602 refund for a workers’ compensation adjustment following the town’s audit; and

• $225 refund from Efficiency Maine for lighting upgrades in the Town Office restrooms.

mdaigle@sunmediagroup.net

Norway Selectman Russell Newcomb, left, speaks at Thursday evening’s board meeting, telling Selectman Warren Sessions Jr. and others that he favors creating a volunteer tree consultant position. (Matthew Daigle/Sun Journal)

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