NORWAY — A decision on whether to have the town raze the historic L.F. Pike & Son clothing store on Main Street is expected Monday.

Town Manager David Holt told selectmen Thursday night that owner Lesley Gouin Dean of Norway has agreed to consider a proposal by the town to tear down the building.

“I don’t think we can allow that to stand there,” Holt said.

On Nov. 6, the board unanimously approved issuing a demolition permit for the 1885 building that is known historically as The Blue Store. Dean said she had financial concerns and needed time to come up with a viable plan to take it down.

Holt said he proposed to Dean on Thursday that the town knock it down with an excavator. Dean would be responsible for removing the debris, which is expected to cost thousands of dollars. He has also asked that it temporarily be roped off.

The alternative, which neither party wants, is for the town to wait until a heavy, wet snow causes it to fall, potentially causing harm to nearby buildings and pedestrians and motorists.

Holt and Selectman Bruce Cook said they were particularly concerned about the large, glass plate windows falling into the street should the store collapse on its own.

The store’s pitched, metal roof was built about 10 years ago over the original wooden, flat roof. It collapsed under heavy snow in March.

Dean and her husband, Gary, initially wanted to repair the building but were forced to give up the effort.

The town hired an engineer specializing in historic buildings to create a stabilization strategy and plan to save the building, but the owners were unable to fulfill much of the expensive plan and finally decided to tear it down.

Selectmen Russ Newcomb suggested that if Dean was not prepared to accept the deal, that she be asked to let the town remove the brick chimney immediately.

The board has told Holt that if there is any undue delay, the town will immediately set a public hearing under the town’s dangerous and dilapidated building ordinance and force the removal of the building.

At that point, the town would be liable for razing the store and removing materials, including some that might contain lead or asbestos, which could cost between $10,000 and $20,000, Holt said. The town might place a lien on the building, he said.

L.F. Pike & Son is one of the few buildings that survived the Great Fire of 1894 that wiped out a large section of the downtown business district. It features a 10-foot-tall false front for signage and was built in several sections with no foundation.

Dean has said if they can afford it, they will build a similar, but smaller, building next spring.

“I guess we wait until Monday,” Holt said.

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