Public hazard slated for demolition



SCHEDULED FOR RAZING — This abandoned house near the corner of Route 11 and Cooks Mills Road will be demolished and removed this week. Also, the Town of Casco will foreclose on the property this month. (De Busk Photo)

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — An uninhabited home, with its roof caving in, has been on the chopping block since summer.

The Casco Board of Selectmen aimed the axe at the unsafe structure, and awarded, with a 5–0 vote, the demolition job to the lowest bidder.

The Naples-based contractor who owns Robert Varney Remodeling and Property Management said he planned to start work this week.

On Wednesday morning, the yard dumpster was staged, metal had been sorted into a pile, and Varney was poised to start demolition work on the building.

He said the structure should “come down slowly but surely.”

The home is located on a piece of property that faces Route 11, and is visible from Cooks Mills Road. The address is 1387 Poland Springs Road.

In addition to the soon-to-start demolition job, late December is also the timeframe that the town expects to take ownership of the property, according to Town Manager Dave Morton.

Prior to awarding the demolition project during a Dec. 11 meeting, Selectman Tracy Kimball asked about the wide disparity between the bid prices.

The lowest bid was $6,580 and included a discount if the contractor was allowed to keep the salvaged granite slabs; on the other end of the spectrum, the highest bid was $19,341.

Morton said all the contractors had the opportunity to walk through the building before calculating their bids. He didn’t have an explanation for the widespread range between the bid amounts.

Selectman Grant Plummer asked if it would be possible to put the property up for sale, and make the new owner pay for disposal.

Morton answered, “The town has the legal right and responsibility to follow through with the demolition.”

The board, which voted last month to declare the structure a dangerous building “has a legal responsibility to take it down within a certain number of days,” Morton said.

However, Morton did provide the selectmen with some options for selling the property once the demolition is completed.

“The board may want to quiet the title and sell it at market value, or do a quick claim, which usually comes in below market value. It would be January before we make that decision,” he said.

Morton referred to the dilapidated house as “an unattractive nuisance.”

Selectman Ray Grant, who toured the property, said, “What it looks like from the front is the same in the back – the roof is falling in. It is pretty sad. I don’t know how it stays up.”

“We should go through with it,” Grant said of demolishing the structure.

Chairman Mary-Veinessa Fernandes agreed with Grant.

“This has been an eye sore for many years, and is a liability to the town,” Fernandes said.

As part of the job, the selectmen opted to save any salvageable items such as the granite slabs used for the foundation, a couple of woodstoves and a marble sink.

“They may have a market value. Or, the granite could be used for landscaping on town property,” Morton said.

“There are multiple reasons for the town retaining” salvaged material, he said.


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