NORWAY — Town Manager Dennis Lajoie and Fire Chief Dennis Yates reviewed the command structure and the standards of procedures for the Norway Fire Department with selectmen Thursday evening.

Lajoie said he went through the town’s archives seeking documents on whether the volunteer department was part of the town or a separate organization when it began. What he discovered was incomplete and had plenty of gaps.

The earliest documentation he found was from 1829. The 14 rules listed in that document did not include any oversight by the town. The next document he found had rules and regulations from 1996 and another adopted in 2007.

Yates said his staff has been updating those rules and regulations and creating new guidelines for his department’s standards of procedures. One major change from the 2007 guidelines is the fire chief is appointed and not elected, which voters approved at a town meeting.

According to the draft leadership structure that Lajoie and Yates worked on, the chief is appointed by the Select Board annually and reports to the town manager. The department will have one deputy chief and up to two assistant chiefs, who are paid a stipend and serve a three-year term.

In another matter at the board meeting, accountant Tim Gill from the firm Runyon Kersteen Ouellette of South Portland reviewed the 2020 audit.

“The general fund balance is pretty healthy and has been going up for the past few years,” Gill said.

The fund has nearly $5 million. In 2016, it was less than $3 million.

Tax revenues, mainly the excise tax, exceeded expectations by more than $340,000 and intergovernmental revenues were also above projections because state revenue sharing was higher than anticipated. Expenditures were also under their budgeted amounts.

Long-term debt increased because the town issued a new road bond in 2020.

In other business, the board approved a liquor license and a mobile cart to sell beer for the Norway Country Club. It also accepted a $100 gift from Paula and Kent Pruzan for the fire command vehicle.

Selectmen also accepted a bid of $287,380 from Bedard Excavation to reconstruct Huntington Avenue. Bedard’s was the lowest of seven offers, which went as high as $396,920.

Lajoie announced that Norway received a Stream Crossing Public Infrastructure Improvement grant for $85,000. The funds will be used to replace a culvert on Morse Road.


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