NORWAY— Monday, June 16, Norway residents will attend the Annual Town Meeting at the Norway Fire Station to vote on 43 different articles.

During the town meeting, residents will be asked to vote on whether or not to take action regarding a fire substation in town.

According to the warrant, the Norway Selectboard and the budget committee agreed with Fire Chief Dennis Yates’ recommendation that $20,000 should be raised to go toward the substation’s future building and for the purchase of the land to place it on. An estimated acre of land would needed, Norway Town Manager David Holt said Monday.

The substation, Holt said, would be built in the northern part of Norway, which would be closer to any emergencies that are in that area of town. The building would hold fire trucks and be easily accessible for fire personnel to get to emergencies in northern Norway.

Yates said that some members of the fire department live in the northern part of town, and would be able to get to the substation quicker than the main fire station.

“It would provide a quicker response to properties in that neck of the woods,” Holt agreed.

Yates wants the substation not only because it would allow firefighters to reach fires more quickly, but it would further lower fire insurance costs for residents in that part of town. He says that residents who live farther away from town fire stations have a higher insurance rating.

A home’s distance from town fire station is rated on a scale of zones one through 10, with structures in zone 10 incurring the most costly fire insurance. Yates said that a home costing nearly $200,000 on Waterford Road is currently considered a zone 10 because it is more than five miles from the fire station, costing the homeowners around $870 each year in fire insurance. If there was a substation closer to the home, it would turn into a zone four, which would cost homeowners around $540 each year for insurance, he added.

“That’s nearly a 40-percent discount,” said Yates. “And that’s just one house…That’s quite a lot of money that people would save in that area.”

Yates would like to save $20,000 over a number of years toward a substation.

The selectboard and budget committee have recommended that the proposal be studied and associated costs planned out, Holt said. If voters approve the $20,000 request at town meeting the substation is not built, the question about what to do with the money would go back to the voters, he added. The town does not yet know what the total cost of a substation would be.

Holt said that he does not have an idea as to which way residents will vote on the article.

Depending on how many houses are in the area that the substation would be placed, Yates said that he would find the values of the neighboring homes and would then visit insurance companies to get insurance rates and see how much each homeowner would save.

Along with the money to be set aside for the substation, Article 13 on the town meeting warrant asks if voters will appropriate a sum of money from the town’s reserve fund for the eventual purchase of fire trucks and equipment for the fire department. The budget committee recommended $20,000.

Yates said that the biggest thing that the fire department needs is a new squad truck. He said that the current one is overloaded and there is too much equipment in it.

Other big ticket items on the warrant include a $1.2 million bond to repave and improve town roads, and a $4.4 million total municipal budget for the fiscal year.


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