Norway voters pass budget, updated curfew ordinance

·2 min read

Jun. 15—PARIS — Norway residents adopted all 39 articles in the annual town meeting warrant Monday evening, including one updating the curfew ordinance.

Moderator Dennis Gray led the roughly hourlong meeting at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. Nearly each question passed unanimously with only one or two articles receiving a couple of negative votes.

Three articles made changes to ordinances. The curfew ordinance was discussed by Police Chief Robert Federico, who spoke of the challenges his officers had in dealing with some well publicized incidents last summer and fall involving a group of teens bullying and attacking other children.

"Our hands were tied because of how the curfew law was written," Federico said.

The changes adopted Monday night included raising the fine from $15 to $50, and up to five hours of community service. A subsequent offense would increase the penalty up to $100 and 10 hours of community service. The new ordinance would also allow the police chief, in consultation with the town manager, to temporarily increase curfew hours "to address an imminent threat to the public health, safety and welfare." Curfew hours are 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Exceptions include school or church events, employment, emergencies or in the presence of their parents.

The other two ordinances changes adopted were building code and rental occupancy. The former includes allowing dwellings in the historic district that are demolished, burned or destroyed by natural causes may be rebuilt indefinitely instead of having a one-year cap. The ordinance also sets a minimum floor area of 500 square feet, except for homes classified as tiny homes. The failure to schedule an inspection will also result in a fine.

The rental occupancy ordinance only changed some wording recommended by the town attorney.

The town budget passed with little comment from residents. Voters did approve funding of Norway-Paris Solid Waste at the town's recommendation of $262,000, instead of the NPSW request of $282,000. Town officials were troubled by the lack of detail and information in the budget request and the lack of budgeting for the future closing of the Frost Hill site.

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