Norway Town Meeting set for Monday night at high school

NORWAY — Residents will vote on the $5.3 million budget and consider changes to three ordinances at the annual Town Meeting, scheduled for Monday, June 14, at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. On tap are 39 articles dealing with the municipal budget and changes to the building code, rental occupancy and curfew ordinances.

The budget increase is less than 1%, with most of that due to wages and insurance. Several accounts are lower than last year’s budgeted amounts, including the municipal complex, planning and enforcement, utilities, debt service, cemeteries and parks and recreation.

The utilities account has been slashed by nearly $30,000 over the past two years since the installation of LED street lights.

A total of $62,000 will be appropriated from the Fred and Laura Sanborn Trust Fund to help fund recreation and cover the cost for Norway Historical Society, the Norway Downtown, and dues for the Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce. The same amount was deducted from the trust last year.

The curfew ordinance has received a a lot of attention since a group of teens were bullying and attacking other youngsters last fall. Video of some of the attacks were posted on social media.

The existing ordinance carries a $15 fine and was written decades ago. It provides little deterrent to the juveniles and their families, Norway Police Chief Robert Federico has said.

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. Each subsequent offense carries a fine of up to $100 and up to 10 hours of community service.

The proposed ordinance applies to anyone younger than 18. The curfew hours are 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., but allows exception for special events, sports and activities involving schools, churches and events supervised by adults.

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