Welcome to Downtown Norway!

Nestled in the picturesque foothills of Western Maine, the town of Norway is emerging as a vital cultural, commercial and recreational center. Its bustling Main Street is characterized by unique, locally owned shops, restaurants, and other businesses and organizations housed in architecturally significant buildings from the early 1900s. On the outskirts of town, the natural beauty of Lake Pennesseewassee, Ordway Grove, Witt Swamp, Alan Day Community Garden, and the Roberts Farm Preserve serves both residents and visitors.

This scenic village of about 5,000 residents was designated a “Main Street Maine” community in 2002 in honor of its character and historic assets, and the potential to build a thriving downtown upon these virtues. The Main Street Approach™ is a comprehensive incremental approach that advocates a return to community self-reliance, local empowerment, and the rebuilding of downtown districts, based on their traditional asssets: unique architecture, personal service, local ownership, and a sense of community. FMI click on the Downtown Norway website: http://www.norwaydowntown.org/

Norway Maine Mailbox Policy

For convenience and practicality, mailbox installations have been allowed within the right-of-way of public roads.  However it is important that everyone know such installations have two very important conditions:

  1. The mailbox must be installed in accordance with applicable standards to ensure that mail can be delivered and that the mailbox does not create an obstacle or safety hazard to those that use or maintain the road.
  2. The mailbox is installed at the owner’s risk. In other words, if the mailbox is damaged by snow plowing or other road maintenance, the property owner is not entitled to replacement or compensation.  In fact, if the mailbox is not installed in accordance with applicable standards as stated above, the owner may even be held liable for injuries or damages that may happen as a result.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) Mailbox Guidelines. The USPS defines the standards for mailbox construction, as well as the placement tolerance that must be met to accommodate postal operations. Specifics may be obtained from your local post office or online at: https://www.usps.com/manage/mailboxes.htm

American Disabilities Act (ADA). The most current version of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design set forth the minimum requirements to ensure facilities are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.  http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/2010ADAStandards/2010ADAstandards.htm#c4

The Town of Norway has developed a policy to promote compliance with these national standards and to help further clarify the expectations and responsibilities of Maine mailbox owners. Such compliance helps us ensure that we continue to provide safe, efficient and accessible highways for all.

The following pages further specify the details associated with mailbox height, location, offset, and post type to minimize the potential hazards and conflicts associated with mailbox installations and to reduce the opportunities for damage to mailboxes.

Mailbox Installation Standards

General Location:  Whenever possible, your mailbox should be located after your driveway opening. This location placement improves visibility, minimizes the amount of snow that comes off of the snow plow, and improves the approach for your mail carrier.

Mailbox Support Design:  In many cases, it is best to use an extended arm type of post with a free-swinging suspended mailbox. This allows snowplows to sweep near or under boxes without damage to supports and provides easy access to the boxes by carrier and customers. In addition, strategic placement of  red reflectors on the point closest to the road will help your local snow-fighter see and avoid your mailbox during winter storms.

Offset:  Mailboxes should be set back from the edge of the shoulder – regardless of whether the shoulder is gravel or paved. In other words, the face of the mailbox should be at least one foot (1’) back from the edge of the normally plowed surface of the highway or the face of curb. Greater offset distances are encouraged whenever possible to allow the mail carrier to get further out of traffic and to further minimize potential damage to your mailbox. Mailboxes in sidewalk areas should leave at least 36” behind the back of the box or the post, whichever is located the furthest from the road.

Height:  According to USPS standards, a mailbox must be installed with the bottom of the mailbox located between 41” and 45” high above the surface of the highway shoulder. We recommend that this height be closer to the 45” measurement to minimize conflict with the height of the plow truck wing when snow is being pushed back during, or between, winter storms.

Post Size, Type and Embedment:  Mailbox posts must be sturdy enough to hold up the mailbox in all types of weather conditions, however they cannot be so rugged that they present a hazard to vehicles that inadvertently leave the road. If a mailbox support is struck by a vehicle, it must easily break away. Therefore, the following types of posts are deemed acceptable:

  • 4” x 4” wooden posts embedded 2 feet into the ground.
  • Larger wooden posts (4” x 6” or 6” x 6”) may be used only if the post is drilled through with an appropriate spade bit to create a shear plane. The following diagram indicates the necessary holes and spacing.
  • 1” to 2” round diameter steel or aluminum pipe or standard U-channel post embedded 2 feet into the ground.

Unacceptable mailbox supports include: anything that is filled with concrete, masonry and stone structures, heavy steel structures, and most objects that were intended for other uses (e.g. antique plows, I -beams, and various other household tools and objects).


Guy E. Rowe Students Vote for the Name of Norway PD’s new K9

From the Norway Police Department: The results are in! We asked the students at Norway’s Guy E. Rowe School to vote on the name for our new K9 police dog. The results of the vote are as follows: 
Bolo – 104
Magnum – 88
Maverick – 76
Thank you kids! We will keep everyone posted about Bolo’s pending arrival at Norway Police Department.

The Historic “Gingerbread House” of Norway Maine

Learn about the historic “Gingerbread House” of Norway Maine! Norway is part of the wider community of the Oxford Hills and we take pride in the beauty of the landscape and our architectural heritage. In 2009 there was an opportunity to save one of the oldest buildings in town from certain demolition. It is known as the Gingerbread House. The gingerbread refers to the elaborate decorations which reflect the original builder in the 1850’s, Richard Evans, and the architect who was responsible for the late century transformation, John B. Hazen. We hope you will catch the spirit of our ongoing adventure to return the house to its breathtaking beauty and help it to reclaim its rightful place of honor on Main Street, Norway, Maine! FMI click on the link: http://gingerbreadhousenorway.org/index.html

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Help for Taxes

Nobody likes to pay property taxes. Current taxes are payable in full when due. The Town of Norway is flexible in allowing alternative plans for prepayment of property taxes. A taxpayer who elects to prepay taxes shall make payments based upon an estimated tax equal to the actual taxes levied upon the subject property in the prior year. Some citizens may also be eligible for some forms of assistance, including our Tax Club or Poverty Tax Abatement. If you have any questions, please give us a call at the Norway Town Office, 743-6651 and ask for our assessor Natalie.  We understand and we are happy to help!


Norway Highway Department Accepts Waste Oil

The Public Works Garage located at 32 Grove Street uses waste oil to heat the building. Anyone who has waste oil that they would like to get rid of can drop it off at the garage Monday through Friday, 7AM to 3:30PM. It must be in clean containers and free of any other chemicals such as gas, antifreeze or water. All donations are greatly appreciated, thank you from the Norway Highway Crew!