Mar. 17—NORWAY — Retirement is on hold again for Town Manager Dennis Lajoie, after the Select Board on Thursday asked him to stay for a couple more weeks.
Lajoie had planned to retire Dec. 31, 2022, but when the Select Board struggled to find a suitable replacement, Lajoie agreed to stay on until April 12 to prepare a municipal budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year.
The board is interviewing candidates for town manager.
During an executive session before Thursday's meeting, Lajoie and the board agreed to extend his contract until April 28.
Selectman Sarah Carter made the motion during open session for Lajoie to stay on an additional two weeks, which the board unanimously approved.
Not ready to let Lajoie go, Carter and the board named the town manager to serve as the project manager for Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Municipal Complex, Storage and Safe expansion project, which Lajoie has overseen from the beginning.
Phase 1 includes the expansion of the safe, a new garage, phone wiring and updating compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Much of that work is already completed — walls and floors have been poured, the office walls have been framed, the safe block wall is installed, and the garage framed up and trusses installed.
Phase 2 will include new offices for the Police Department and a new community space at the Municipal Complex. The project recently received $800,000 in congressional funding through the offices U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King.
In other business, the board approved holding a public hearing and a referendum to authorize the Cooperative Board of the Oxford Hills Technical School for Maine Vocational Region 11 to accept a federal grant of $2.09 million to construct and equip a new career technical education building for its plumbing and electrical programs.
The public hearing is scheduled for May 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. The Norway vote is scheduled for June 13 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Fire Station.
The paving bid for four projects planned in 2023-24 was awarded to P&B Paving Inc. of Gray for $506,184.85, the lowest of five bids received. The highest bid was more than $624,000.
The four projects are for Brown Street, Eddie Kahkonen Road, Pleasant Street and Sodom Road.
The board approved 12 members to the Climate Council: Scott Vlaun, Claire McGlinchey, Sarah Carter, Scott Berk, Jian Beal, Don McLean, Dan Sipe, Sarah Partridge, Richard McSherry, Kolby Robichaud, Mikko Liimatta and Kelcey Liimatta.
A $1,000 grant was accepted from an anonymous donor to support the new pickup truck for the Highway Department.