Rob Prue, president of Pine Tree Engineering in Bath, presents a plan for a $3.25 million highway garage on Grove Street in Norway during Thursday night’s selectmen meeting. Sun Journal photo by Jon Bolduc

NORWAY — Two major projects to be voted on at town meeting in June were presented at a public hearing Thursday night.

The projects, the construction of a new Public Works garage and renovations to the Norway municipal complex, are priced at $3.25 million and $700,000, respectively. According to Town Manager Dennis Lajoie, the projects would increase the town’s tax rate 20 cents, bringing it from $17.20 per $1,000 of assessed property value to $17.41.

According to Lajoie and Rob Prue of Pine Tree Engineering in Bath, the garage would include a space 90 feet wide and 220 feet long with 12 drive-through bays, six garage bays, three maintenance bays and wash bays where trucks and equipment could be cleaned of salt and buildup during winter months. Office space, a small lunchroom, and locker rooms would also be included.

The town garage at 32 Grove St. was 70 by 100 square feet when built in the 1940s. It was expanded in the 1970s, and had part of its roof repaired in 2012.

The municipal complex project focuses on giving the Police Department, which does not have a garage for vehicles, or interview or evidence storage rooms, a dedicated space. The project would set aside funds to  update the town’s 30-year-old phone system and move the information technology server from a bathroom into a dedicated space.

Resident Chris Twitchell expressed concerns that the price for the highway garage, combined with the increased SAD 17 school budget, would bump up property taxes.

“You have a lot of elderly people who cannot pay their taxes and live on Social Security,” Twitchell said. “We have another jump in our tax, there’s a lot of people that aren’t going to be able to pay this tax. We could end up with having even less money to work with than we think we have. We do not have a booming ecomony here. We do not have people that make much more than minimum wage, everything is going up, food, gas. I think this is something we really, really have to put some thought into.”

filed under: