Special meeting in Norway to address sewer finances

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NORWAY – Selectmen agreed Thursday night to hold a public hearing on sewer department billing and its budget at their next meeting.

Shawn Brown, the wastewater pollution control superintendent, presented a wastewater budget for the fiscal year ending in June 2008 that shows a $26,920 increase from the total operating cost of $456,156 for this past year.

Town Manager David Holt said he has had discussions with Brown where he has been concerned with the assessment rate for sewer use.

Norway has 778 properties with 1,636 units on the sewer system. Brown proposes making the sewer units the same as the tax assessment units, which would increase the number to 1,806.

Units are priced at $25.41 per quarter now, but is increasing. Brown says the change to a unit assessment will bring the price up to $32.74, while keeping the system as it is will increase it to $36.14. He said the change would also lower the cubic rate per customer, now $2.52 per 100 cubic foot.

A hearing will be held on the issue at the next selectmen’s meeting, along with a hearing on the Brownfields assessment project at the former Corn Shop site.

Selectmen also voted to extend an agreement with Jim Bryant for maintenance of the Opera House clock tower. Bryant’s services for the past year cost $700, with $600 for the annual clock contract renewal and $100 for two extra outage visits at $50 a visit.

“He’s extending the life of (the clock) many, many years,” said Selectman Leslie C. Flanders. “He’s done a great job.”

The town accepted $2,030 in Project Canopy funds for beautifying Main Street and a $100 donation from the Kora Shrine Temple to the Norway Police Department. The donation was accepted and marked for use toward police-sponsored children’s activities.

While the subject was not on the agenda, Holt and selectmen also discussed the need to update the town’s Web site. Chairman Russell Newcomb suggested that it could be updated with money from a trust fund, although such an action would have to be approved at the next town meeting.

Selectman Bruce Cook volunteered his time to look into the matter.

The next selectmen’s meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on June 19 at the Norway Municipal Complex.

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