NORWAY — Police Chief Rob Federico presented the Select Board with a proposal Thursday night to update the curfew ordinance.

The changes include allowing the police chief, in consultation with the town manager, to adjust the curfew time if there is “an imminent threat to the public health, safety and welfare.” It also increases the fine for a first offense from $15 to $50, and adds a community service requirement.

The ordinance applies to anyone younger than 18. The curfew hours are 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Last fall, Norway and Paris combated a group of teens who were assaulting other students in well-publicized attacks. Some of the attacks were posted on Facebook. Two of the juveniles were arrested on aggravated assault charges after one victim was sent to the hospital with serious injuries after an altercation on the Viking Trail in Paris.

The ordinance with the $15 fine was written decades ago and provided little deterrent to the juveniles and their families.

“The fine was insignificant,” Federico said. “Ninety five percent of the time, the parent paid the fine. We want to make it so we get the parents’ attention.”

While the parents may still pay the fine for their children, the juveniles will be required to perform five hours of community service for a first offense. According to the proposed ordinance, each subsequent offense carries a fine of up to $100 and up to 10 hours of community service.

The policy does not include attending a special function, game or entertainment activity supervised by adults of any church, school, club or organization during curfew hours. However, the minor needs to be with a parent or guardian after the event ends.

A public hearing on the curfew policy will be held at the board’s next meeting at 6 p.m. April 15.

Voters at the annual Town Meeting in June must adopt the changes for it to become official.

A public hearing will also be held that night on proposed amendments to Building Code and Rental Housing Ordinances. Code Enforcement Officer Scott Tabb reviewed the changes with the board. Among those to the building code are:

• Eliminating the one-year time frame of rebuilding in the Historic District.

• Setting the minimum floor space for a dwelling at 500 square feet, except for so-called tiny houses, which are defined as 400 square feet or less.

• Adding a fine schedule for failing to request an inspection during construction.

The changes to the rental ordinance, which has not be updated since 2017, were based on recommendations of the town’s attorney.

In other business, the board accepted $1,600 from the town of Mexico for four old air tanks from the Fire Department. The money will go toward buying two new tanks.

The board also approved a request from Cafe Nomad owner Scott Berk to once again set up outdoor seating along Pikes Hill Road next to the cafe. Some of the seating will interfere with at least one parking space.

“It was very successful last year,” Berk said. “It allowed us to seat more customers.”

A request from Selectman Thomas Curtis to start board meetings an hour earlier at 6 p.m. was tabled because Selectwoman Denise Whitley was absent. Ryan Lorrain and Chairman Russell Newcomb said the 7 p.m. start fit well with their work schedule.

Chief Federico introduced Michael Young, a new reserve police officer for the town.


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