NORWAY — Town Manager Dennis Lajoie presented an invoice for $5,067.50 from interim assessor John O’Donnell that detailed his work for the final three months of 2022.

President of John O’Donnell and Associates in New Gloucester, O’Donnell agreed to step in in early October following the resignation of Natalie Andrews of West Paris, who resigned in September after serving six years. She is now town manager of Bethel.

“As agreed, our effort through December 2022 was to ‘hold down the fort,'” O’Donnell wrote in a letter that accompanied the invoice. “The focus was on maintaining taxpayer communications, necessary follow up on topics that come up and completion/submission of require state reports.”

The invoice showed the town is paying O’Donnell $75 per hour plus mileage for a three-month total of $5,067.50, well below the $85,000 budgeted, which includes benefits, insurance and retirement costs. He billed the town for 66.5 hours for the final three months of the year.

Select Board member Ryan Lorrain was concerned with the cost, especially with O’Donnell telling the town that his time would increase considerably after April 1, due to field work, tax assessing and tax commitment work, processing deeds and other calculations that must be completed.

Lajoie said O’Donnell assured him that his cost, plus what Andrews was paid before she left, would not exceed the $85,000 budgeted.


O’Donnell was hired to give the town time to locate a new assessor, but Lajoie said even if they advertised for the position today, that person would not be in place by April 1.

“There is no one else on staff who can do this and we have no one waiting in the wings,” Lajoie said.

Lajoie suggested that he invite O’Donnell to one of the next two meetings to allow the board to meet him, ask questions and hear firsthand the work the assessor does.

Chairman Russell Newcomb thought that was a good idea, but added the board needs to make a decision whether to hire an assessor on the town payroll or contract for the services.

In other business, Selectman Sarah Carter said the town is planning to apply for another $50,000 grant from the state that could be used for an energy audit for the Town Office and solar panels on the Fire Station.

The town approved a liquor license renewal for Boomers Restaurant.

The latest round of applications to replace the Lajoie, who is retiring, attracted 24 applicants. The board went into executive session to review applications and discuss the next steps.

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