NORWAY – A narrow sidewalk has been approved for part of Pearl Street, and the work is expected to go forward as road, sewer and sidewalk improvements continue.

Pearl Street property owner Marion Howe has spoken out against the sidewalk, fearing it will block traffic, pose parking problems on the narrow street and make it difficult for her to get access to her driveway.

Also, she pointed out in a letter to Selectman Leslie Flanders and Town Manager David Holt, “Historically, the town has had a great difficulty in maintaining existing sidewalks.”

Howe’s letter was accompanied by photos of deteriorated town sidewalks, some with weeds growing from their cracked surfaces.

The Norway Board of Selectmen on Thursday discussed Howe’s concerns, but in the end decided a sidewalk would be more beneficial than harmful for Pearl Street residents.

“People have told us that they wanted these sidewalks and they wanted improvements and they wanted them done right,” Selectman Bob Walker said. He said he respected Howe’s concerns, but the board has to “answer to the will of the people, not the will of the person.”

Flanders, who is chairman of the board, added that Howe was correct about the state of some sidewalks.

“I do feel that we need – as we do improve walkways around town – we need to maintain them after the improvements and not let them go to pieces again,” he said.

The board voted unanimously in support of the sidewalk for Pearl Street.

The walk will be no more than 4 feet wide and will not have curbing, Holt said.

Holt also said that some lawn that has crept into the town right-of-way along Pearl Street will have to go. Lawn that now abuts the street will be pushed back 9 inches, he said.

The sidewalk work, he said, will fall completely within the town’s right-of-way.


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