Salvaging the Memorial School gets go-ahead

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — A straw poll revealed that residents favored putting more money toward preserving the Casco Memorial School.

Thirty-two registered voters showed up for the Special Town Meeting on Saturday, according to Casco Town Office staff.

Whether or not those 32 residents represent the desires of the majority of residents here, the Casco Board of Selectmen will move forward with decisions about the Memorial School, according to Town Manager Dave Morton.

“The board now needs to regroup and say, ‘Okay, how do we proceed?’” Morton said.

Warrant issues that passed during Saturday’s meeting include: Waiving vehicle registration costs for residents serving in the military, adopting a new animal control policy, and transferring $4,700 from the Undesignated Fund to the Public Safety Stipend.

“It was a relatively short meeting,” he said, adding that it took about 15 minutes to vote on warrants and 15 minutes to discuss the Memorial School options and conduct the straw poll.

Morton said Casco traditionally schedules a town meeting during the first month of the year.

“We have a regularly-scheduled Special Town Meeting in January to fulfill any needs the town might have for local legislative action,” he said. Casco hold its Annual Town Meeting in June prior to the new fiscal year, which starts July 1.

In addition to the warrants, a straw vote had been added to the meeting. The straw vote is non-binding, but was suggested by the selectmen to provide some direction for them.

“A majority of those present thought we should proceed. The selectmen will take that advice,” Morton said.

“The building was drained and winterized when we took it from the school district. We kept the electric lights on, and a sump pump that runs in the basement,” he said.

The town spent between $600 and $800 to retarp the roof.

In recent month, the Casco Fire Department has been using the unoccupied structure for trainings.

“Because it is a large building, it works well for trainings where they use their night vision,” Morton said.

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