Casco comes up with more town office ideas

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — It is so hard to please everybody.

In the case of the Casco Community Center, most residents have been pleased with the end result.

For less than a decade, the Town of Casco has been trying to bring forward a resident-approved location and exact blueprints for an expanded town office.

In years past, some locales have gained popularity while others have sizzled.

Currently, the Casco Board of Selectmen is beginning to review two different locations for a future town office.

According to Casco Town Manager Dave Morton, those two locations are: The town-owned building in the Village that most recently housed a TD Bank branch, and the property off Meadow Road (also Route 121) where the town office exists alongside the Casco Fire Station.

The current town office location could be suitable for plans that either call for new construction or expansion of the edifice, Morton said.

Already, two plans have been informally submitted for the Meadow Road property.

Morton said that former selectman Ray Grant favored using the current town office by increasing square footage and utilizing existing sources of heat. He said that plan would be less costly.

Simultaneously, an artist’s rendering of an office on the property was presented to the board in early 2014.

At the time, resident Tom Mulkern advocated for a town office in the Village, possibly in the former TD Bank building, which would leave more property available for the Casco Fire and Rescue Department to expand.

In recent months, the town has hired an engineer to see how suitable and safe that building really is. The second step is for the company to procure some conceptual designs.

After all, the town already owns the structure, Morton said.

That structure would be left standing, he said. Any conceptual plans would call for a remodel that would take the square footage to twice what it is now, he said.

Also, the increase in space would be horizontal change rather than going upward with the building, he said.

Right now, the town office is about 2,500 square feet; and 6,500 is the estimate of needed square footage for a future town office, he said.

The best bet is to create an office that houses staff offices, small meeting rooms and storage area for the town’s records in one building, he said.

 

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