$2.5 million bond proposed in Casco budget

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — Casco Town Manager Dave Morton admitted that he stepped outside of his comfort zone by adding a $2.5 million bond to the proposed municipal budget.

The $2.5 million bond, which was referred to as a public works bond, would fund major road improvements as well as Casco’s half of the costs for the Pleasant Lake-Parker Pond Dam restoration, according to Morton.

If the bond remains in the budget and is approved at the Town Meeting, the bond would be paid off in a 10-year period.

The Town of Casco would take out the loan through the Maine Municipal Bond Bank, he said.

The proposed bond would increase the town’s budget by 7%, Morton said.

On Tuesday, he handed hefty budget binders to the Casco Board of Selectmen.

At the time — particularly since the selectmen had just received the information, there was little discussion. However, during the late January meeting two weeks ago, the selectman spent more than half an hour talking about the best approach to overhauling versus maintaining roads.

“I do want the board to know that following our last meeting on road infrastructure, I stepped outside of my comfort zone. I worked in(to the budget) a public works bond, a $2.5 million bond,” Morton said.

“For the purpose of discussion, I am not sure if the selectmen will support this. I am not sure what the finance committee’s reaction will be,” he said.

The Casco Finance Committee is scheduled to meet next week on Feb. 17 in the upstairs room of the Casco Fire Station. Other confirmed dates for the finance committee meetings are: Feb. 24, March 9, March 16, and March 23.

Morton explained that, in the past, the paving budget has been applied to road repairs, which has caused the town to get behind on paving projects, he said.

“The paving budget would be for paving those roads that don’t need reconstruction so we can keep up on paving,” he said.

“This is a radical step,” Morton said.

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