Dam leak to be fixed in spring

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — Damn the things that do not get fixed or done before winter. Damn ‘em and put ‘em on the springtime to-do list.

It is apparent that weather and other circumstances have forced the Town of Casco to wait until spring to address the current infrastructure projects that were funded by taking out a bond.

Yes, the Pleasant Lake-Parker Pond Dam still has a leak, according to Casco Town Manager Dave Morton. The leak was discovered but not resolved prior to the snow and cold setting in, he said. The good news is two-fold 1.) the leak is not worrisome and 2.) it will be fixed as soon as the weather permits, he said.

“The leak is at the far north of the dam. Unfortunately, where the water runs during the winter masks where the leak is. The concern isn’t that the leak is significant. It is when there is a leak, it tends to get worse,” Morton said.

“We want the dam to start out with good integrity,” Morton said, adding that the contractor will follow through with repairs when the fair weather arrives.

The Casco Board of Selectmen reviewed the costs and the status of the projects being completed using bond money. The bond, which totals $2.5 million, was approved at the 2016 Annual Town Meeting.

As of December 2017, the town has spent $839,252 of the bond on its financial obligation for the dam and on two town roads. However, that number is low because the total costs on all three capital improvement projects cannot be calculated until work is completed this spring, Morton said.

Selectman Grant Plummer asked that the items be on the agenda again this spring so the board could discuss the status and the final costs.

Besides the dam, the other active projects are: road rebuilding and paving on Edwards Road and Johnson Hill Road.

Both roads will need a final coat of paving this spring, Morton said. That paving schedule will be lined up once the frost is gone, he said.

“The cost estimate of December 2017 is low for the roads because the second coat of pavement is yet to be done,” he said. “On the dam, it was more than estimated because it was more complicated.” The cost of the dam is split evenly between the Town of Casco and Otisfield, he said.

Plummer asked if the expense detail report could be reorganized to reflect the cost of each project.

“Could you please have all the miscellaneous pieces put together so we could see it more logically,” he said.

The town manager said he would “go through manually and break apart to give you numbers on each project.”

Plummer said, “We have spent $180,000 on the roads account so far. It is my feeling that along with the bond money, we didn’t have a clear plan. We need to have a clear plan right now.”

“Also, I want a dam update this spring. We need the contractor to ‘toe the line,’” he said.

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