NORWAY — Selectmen on Thursday accepted a $15,000 donation from the New Balance Foundation to build a new warming hut for the town’s skating rink on Cottage Street.

Recreation Director Debra Partridge said the 24- by 30-foot building will help provide a greater opportunity for winter activities for townspeople, especially children. 

The donation meets the mission of the New Balance Foundation to aid charitable organizations that perform humanitarian services for the betterment of children and local communities, Partridge said.

The building at the Cottage Street location now only accommodates storage for 100 pairs of ice skates and four people comfortably. The limited space restricts the ability to come in to warm up, Partridge said, so instead people go home.

The new hut, which will include an 8- by 24-foot open deck, a 6- by 24-foot lobby area with a bench and storage cubbies for backpacks, Partridge said.

The enclosed portion of the building will be 14.5 feet by 24 feet with benches, picnic tables and shelves for ice skates. The hut will be heated with an efficient monitor heater, Partridge said. The building will be placed on the land to best utilize natural light, which should curb the demands for electric lighting as well.


With the addition of the new warming hut, people will not only stay longer on the rink, but will also be encouraged to participate in the area’s open space which allows for building snowmen, snowmobiling along the trail that passes through the area, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, she said.

With the help of local partners, Partridge said, the department should be able to stay within the $15,000 budget. Oxford Hills Technical School Building Technology Class will provide the labor to build the warming hut, and R.E. Lowell Lumber of Buckfield, has offered a discount on the building materials, she said. Other charitable contributors are expected to participate in the venture and the construction is scheduled for completion this winter.

In other recreation news, Partridge said the Cottage Street Recreation Area also acquired a cost-free basketball goal system by default: the old 10-foot system rusted at ground level and fell over. It was revived as a 6-foot system for the younger age group, enforcing the current popular economic motto: reduce, reuse, recycle.

In other business Thursday, selectmen heard a report from Hilary Ware, from Norway Memorial Library. Ware said thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Davis Family Foundation, and a separate hat-passing collection among all the Maine’s libraries, 1,400 electronic books will be available for free downloading as of Friday, Oct. 22. The library will also purchase two e-book readers or NOOKs and have them available for loan to patrons, Ware said.

The library is also starting to raise funds to add a new coat of paint to the building and do repairs on basement drainage on the east side of the building, Ware said.

The library board is looking at bids from licensed contractors for both jobs. Ware said the public is invited to attend library board meetings, which are held on the third Monday of every month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the library.


Selectmen postponed taking action on the town’s General Assistance Ordinance because a public hearing on the ordinance had not been posted seven days in advance in the local newspaper, as required by state law. The board approved a new hearing date for Thursday, Nov. 4. 

Selectmen also approved the town’s tobacco-use policy after hearing from Town Manager David Holt.

Holt touched upon the many aspects that led to the development of Maine’s Workplace Smoking Act of 1985, and, more specifically, Norway’s dedication to provide a healthy and productive work environment.

He said to insure that, smoking is prohibited in all town-owned or leased buildings and vehicles, and must not occur within 20 feet or less of any workplace entryway, vent, window or doorway. This applies to all town-controlled buildings and facilities.

Holt said since smoking policies were first established the number of people smoking has been reduced to one-tenth of their previous numbers.

“The way the world views the use of tobacco has changed drastically,” he told the board.

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