Getting costs on Casco Town Hall plans

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — A timeline has been penned on the calendar.

The Casco Board of Selectmen publically announced a schedule for putting together cost estimates for a town hall at two possible locations.

The focus has been narrowed down to the renovation of the former TD Bank building next to the Casco Public Library in the Village, and a build new plan for town property on the lot next to the Casco Fire Station.

Chairman Grant Plummer stated his plan of action for the remainder of winter. The next objective is to get accurate cost estimates for both town hall locations, he said.

The timeline has a short turn-around. Board members could expect some precise numbers in the next two to four weeks, he said.

Selectman Tom Peaslee agreed to team up with Plummer to research the range of costs for both options.

“We both have building backgrounds, and will put in appropriate costs as far as construction,” Plummer said.

Plummer owns Fieldstone Builders, Inc., a business that specializes in single-family homes.

Peaslee has been employed in the field of land development and construction.

Selectman Holly Hancock asked if there was anyone else in community from whom the two board members would seek advice or get a second opinion.

“We would get some numbers from other contractors. But, with a relatively small group, the work would move forward” more quickly, Plummer said.

“I just want to get to the hard numbers,” he said.

As part of the plan, the concerns of community members who have spoken on the issue will be taken into consideration.

“I want to get a little creative about it. We’ll talk to Dayton. We’ll talk to energy-efficient companies,” Plummer said.

Also, hiring local might offer some cost savings.

Town Manager Dave Morton said the town “cannot move forward until the board decides” what it “wants to recommend to the public.”

“In the past, we have gone to the voters with different options. With multiple options, we never get good consensus of what folks want,” he said.

At the upcoming Town Meeting, the board can provide the options and costs to the voters so they can vote for or against the plans, Morton said.

Selectman Peaslee asked how the town would fund the project.

Morton said the most logical way for the town to take on this expense is to bond the project, and pay it back over time.

“I can’t quote bond rates now. They are still relatively low,” he said.

“It’s a good time to get bids out there in terms of folks being hungry to work, and the low bond rates,” Morton said.

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