Casco to sell tax-acquired lots

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — A few dozen parcels of land will be put out to bid to the public.

All the lots will be sold through the quitclaim deed process — meaning buyers of these properties have no guarantee to a clean title and are liable for any interest owed on the land. Also, with a quitclaim deed, the assessed value is lower and the real estate turnover time is much shorter.

This lots-for-sale process proves to be an appropriate avenue for the seller.

After all, the Town of Casco would prefer to part with the tax-acquired parcels since that is one way to recoup the unpaid taxes and expenses associated with the tax lien foreclosure.

Meanwhile, the Town of Casco does plan to retain two of the lots for conservation purposes. Those are located on Heath Road.

On Tuesday, the Casco Board of Selectmen went through the process of deciding specifically what to do with the approximately 30 tax-acquired parcels. Bascially, all but two parcels will be sold.

When the board began it workshop, much of the leg-work had been done.

The Casco Open Space Commission, along with Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) Don Murphy, had taken site walks on the property. Plus, Murphy and all members of the commission were on hand to answer questions during the workshop. Additionally, the board was provided with written details about each lot.

During its regular meeting, the selectmen reviwed each property to identify whether or not it would be sold with conditions such as the removal of structures or cleaning up trash in yard within 30 days of the sale.

For example, CEO Murphy recommended the removal of one mobile home that was manufactured in the 1970s and has been uninhabited for a lengthy time. He said other structures could be made inhabitable by the buyers; but essentially the occupancy permit has been yanked. On one lot, it was recommended the trash in the yard be removed and the unsafe deck torn down or repaired, Murphy said.

The steps taken by the board on Tuesday night will allow the town manager to put the properties out to bid in a timely manner.

Another thing that will streamline this process for the town is the paperwork given to prospective buyers, according to Casco Town Manager Dave Morton.

“It is a template. It had a list of conditions. It is part of the bid. So, when they submit the bid their signature is on the bottom, saying nothing is guaranteed,” Morton said.

“With some properties we will spell out the specific conditions,” he said.

Selectman Mary-Vienessa Fernandes asked if state law prevented the town from collecting more money than what is owed.

Morton said, “Not for the real estate. Whatever other value the town can recover (is allowable), and then having a taxpayer living there going forward.”


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