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Norway sets goals for coming year
NORWAY — Improving infrastructure, engaging students and expanding police facilities were among the long-term goals discussed by selectmen during a workshop September 6.
At the end of the discussion, selectmen agreed that the following goals would either be acted upon or discussed further.
Improving town infrastructure, including repairing Crockett Ridge and French Road Bridges, funding more road projects and repairing sidewalks, is one priority.
According to an e-mail from Town Manager David Holt, the board is pleased with the improvements made to town infrastructure so far.
Selectmen agreed to continue investigating how to fund safe improvements to town infrastructure in a timely manner.
Holt said one alternative being studied is the possibility of installing a bridge rather than a large culvert on Crockett Ridge Road.
Improvements to sidewalks are also being considered by the board including the creation of a sidewalk on Alpine Street jointly with Paris, and one from Norway's Main Street to Pennesseewassee Park, "inclusive of improvements to the state bridge by the Lake Store," Holt summarized in the e-mail.
During the workshop selectmen also considered the creation of dog-walking area, possibly at Lake Penneesseewassee.
According to Selectwoman Irene Millett, the idea of a dog park came after noticing an increase in people out walking their dogs.
"A lot of people exercise dogs," Holt agrees, "and one of the notions is that Penn Park would be a great place to do that."
The board also agreed to renew its past commitment to student involvement in town affairs.
Previous student initiatives involved bringing on non-voting student selectboard members and having the town manager work with classes at the high school.
Holt believes it's important to get people involved at an early age, so they understand the process of town government later on.
Millett agreed, saying many citizens have requested items be put on the town meeting warrant without understanding the process of how it's done. "They have this deer in the headlights look," she said.
In the past, Holt said, he spent a couple years working with students on various projects, an experience Holt described as "very rewarding."
Two female students have also served a year or more on the selectboard as "ex officio" members, Holt explained.
"They had all the same rights of discussion and deliberation, and received all the same information, they just didn't vote," Holt said.
Holt said the board will be exploring new ways to involve students, and recalls the last experience with students was a "great experience."
At the meeting, selectmen agreed that improving police department facilities is another priority.
Some ideas selectmen had were housing police in a separate location from the town office and remodeling or adding on to the existing location.
"It doesn't have to do with a plan to expand, or anything like that," said Holt. "It has to do with needing to provide adequate room for what we have."
"We are pretty crowded in there. We'd like to have each officer have their own desk, as well as a place for interviews, evidence storing ... and everything that's required nowadays."
Other goals include updating town job descriptions, conducting a pay study and reviewing benefits, particularly for the town fire chief, as well as allowing citizens to make online tax payments, reviewing town ordinances considered out-of-date or unnecessary and continuing to support the rehabilitation of the Norway Opera House.