WAYNE — The effort to repair North Wayne Dam got another boost Tuesday.

At a special town meeting, residents voted to spend $23,600 from an undesignated fund balance to pay for initial engineering work.

The final cost of repairs is unknown. The extent of the project will depend in part on the choice of the final design, associated costs such as the acquisition of permits, and whether the various leaks, cracks and worn areas of the dam are repaired all at once or independently of each other.

North Wayne Dam controls the flow of water from Lovejoy Pond into Pickerel Pond and Pocasset Lake.

Also unknown is whether Fayette and Readfield, which share frontage on Lovejoy Pond, will share in the cost of repairs.

“We’re in preliminary discussions with the other towns about cost sharing,” said Town Manager Amy Bernard, “but at this point we have nothing in writing.”

One uncertainty is how much of Lovejoy Pond’s shoreline each community actually owns.

According to Wayne Selectman David Criss, an earlier estimate provided by the Kennebec Soil Conservation District that put 50 percent of the frontage in Fayette, with Wayne and Readfield splitting the rest, “was not quite right.”

In any case, Barnard argued that the town of Wayne “owns this piece of infrastructure,” and “has to go forward with finding out the cost” of repairs.

Gary Kenny, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, agreed.

“It’s the consensus of this board,” he said, that “this design phase is something we should go ahead with, even if we don’t have the commitment from the other towns.”

He added, however, that Wayne should still seek their assistance.

Kenny argued that failure to fix the dam, which could eventually result in Lovejoy Pond shrinking back to its original streambed, would cost more in lost tax revenue from declining property values than the cost of repairs.

Also Tuesday, selectmen voted unanimously to:

* approve a Town Meeting warrant article asking voter appproval to return a tower clock, gifted to the town in 2007, to its donor;

* send a letter urging prompt settlement to all town residents who are delinquent in payment of personal property taxes; and

* hire a part-time bookkeeper, paying no more than $6,500 per year for eight hours per week.