Naples eyes MDOT facility on market

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — Anyone who has stuff knows how quickly storage space can be filled.

For the Town of Naples, the storage space in the town hall basement and the outdoor shed is getting crammed with stuff the town owns.

The space gets crowded when fair weather items are stored during the winter months. In fact, the Causeway benches are currently housed — out of the element — in the Rick’s Café building, according to Naples Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak.

Plus, surplus tools and maintenance equipment requires storage space. Year-round, an extra stock of road signs needs a place to lean.

“As a growing municipality, for a town our size, we have accumulated a lot of stuff,” Paraschak said. A storage solution could be close at hand, he said.

The Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) put on the real estate market a piece of property on Route 11, located at 206 Casco Road, just north of Stuart’s Garage.

Paraschak said he learned about it about six months ago, and has had several meetings with MDOT staff regarding the potential land deal.

The state’s stipulation is that the buildings on the lot must be used as a storage facility or for maintenance purposes, he said. That clause is convenient since the town and the fire department are lacking storage, he said.

Paraschak gave a quick overview during a Naples Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday.

The asking price is $115,000 with a “reversion clause,” meaning the property would revert back to the state if the town was no longer using it for the original agreed purpose. However, the town’s investment would be returned, Paraschak said.

He told the board that he planned to offer MDOT a total sum of $100,000 — with $50,000 as a down payment and then annual payments of $10,000 for five years.

The money for the down payment would come from an existing account in the town budget, Paraschak said.

Via a PowerPoint presentation, Paraschak showed photos he had taken of the interior and exterior during a site walk with MDOT. Most board members had already toured the facilities or at least sized up the buildings from standing on the property.

Although the lot has been vacant for a while, the structures are properly winterized, Paraschak said.

The two larger buildings have heat sources. The upstairs has a general office area, bathroom, shower and kitchen, he said. There is room in the garage bays to park some of the fleet of the Naples Fire and Rescue Department, he said.

“There is a lot of storage on the site,” he said.

Selectman Dana Watson said he was impressed with the tin roofs on the structures.

“The roofs on both buildings are beautiful. They have good seams,” Watson said.

As far as the condition of the structures, it would be a turnkey purchase for the town.

“We could drive right into it — you don’t get that offer often,” Watson said.

“It is really nice,” he said.

The board gave the nod to Paraschak to provide MDOT with the land purchase offer.


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