NORWAY — The Select Board accepted a check for $54,900 Thursday from New Balance to fund a half basketball court on Cottage Street.

The grant was issued to the town through Debra Partridge, the town Parks and Recreation director, from funds through the New Balance Foundation.

“The New Balance Foundation places great importance on understanding the impact of our grant-making on the communities we serve,” Noreen Bigelow, of charitable programs wrote in the letter accompanying the check.

New Balance operates a factory in Norway.

Town Manager Dennis Lajoie said he and Partridge want to use the funds to build a “wow” outdoor basketball facility. The grant will fund one-half of the court now, with plans to fix up the entire facility later. The New Balance logo will be featured on the court.

In other business, the Select Board accepted the town’s wastewater budget. The nearly $560,000 plan is increasing by just $350. Superintendent Shawn Brown asked the board to approve a 2% increase in the usage fee. He said usage remains down due to the pandemic, but he is encouraged by a slow increase as more businesses reopen to full capacity. The fee had not increased in four years, he said.

The board unanimously approved the 2% increase.

A state inspection dated May 19 said the wastewater facility was “well-managed and maintained.”  It added that no outstanding maintenance needs were required at the facility or the collection system.

Lajoie said striping is ongoing on many roads in the downtown area. He added that the reconstruction of Huntington Avenue is complete.

Before the meeting, an executive session was held to evaluate the town manager’s performance.

“We all came to the conclusion that we want him to stay around some more,” Chairman Russell Newcomb said. He added that the board will return to executive session at the next meeting to finalize Lajoie’s contract.


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