Casco to recover missing check

By Dawn De Busk
Staff Writer

CASCO – Since December, a company that sells kitchen equipment has been wondering why it never received the $19,000 check the town used to pay for its order.

Since December, the kitchen in the Casco Community Center has sat empty – the installation of its kitchen equipment stalled by lack of payment. The check never arrived at its destination.

The case of the missing check came to light as Town Attorney Natalie Burns explained what her research into the matter had uncovered.

“A check was cashed,” Burns said. “Repayment will be made to the town, the bank will make good on that.”

Town Manager Dave Morton said, “There was a check for $19,000 to be paid to General Carriage (& Supply) Company. The one check was hand carried by the contractor, and General Carriage never saw the money. It was endorsed by an individual. TD Bank is working on us with that.”

According to Morton, the town hired contractor, Douglas Corbridge doing business as DCS Construction, to complete the community kitchen.

In addition, to possibly cashing the town check intended to purchase supplies, the contractor’s bond had been falsified. When town officials decided to collect on the bond, they discovered that safety net was a fake, Morton said.

Selectmen united in their vote for Burns and the town manager to contact the District Attorney’s office, and consider whether the case could head to criminal court.

“The cost of a lawsuit is equal to any damages that happened in this case. We can continue to flush out what those claims might be,” she said. “I am here to answer your questions.”

None of the selectmen had any questions prior to the vote.

Then, Morton turned the board’s attention to the issue of an unfinished kitchen, and the use of remaining Community Development Block Grant money to cover some costs.

“I’d like to pay general carriage the balance, they’ve been waiting patiently,” Morton said, adding the sooner that bill is paid; the sooner the kitchen equipment can be shipped to Casco.

“I would like to continue with project: Install the exhaust hood in the kitchen, install propane line, and fire extinguisher system,” he said. The cost estimate for exhaust hood installation is $7,500, he said.

“I don’t know if local builders can finish this project for the money we have available,” Morton said.

An audience member volunteered community support for completing the project.

“We could find a group of folks to finish that kitchen one weekend,” he said.

“The exhaust system needs to be professionally installed,” Morton said. “Once that is done, if someone thinks they can do a good job on the flooring - that could work.”

“This issue has been dragging out since early December,” Morton said, of a resolution on the horizon.

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