Voters okay more funding for Causeway

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES – Voting residents showed their solid support of a new and improved Naples Causeway during a Special Town Meeting.

On Monday, voters unanimously backed the issuing of a $220,000 bond to cover a variety of specific projects.

Those voter-approved capital improvement projects include:

  • The installation of underground piping across the Chute River to connect fire suppression pipes on the east and west side of bridge,
  • A directional boring system to pump water from Chute River,
  • The construction of a 50-by-50-foot scenic vista on the northeast side of the bridge,
  • An irrigation set-up for Causeway landscaping and lawn spaces,
  • Ramp railings for the town dock, and
  • Paving to cover underground fire suppression pipes that were not part of original plans.

Additionally, community members voted to permit the Naples Board of Selectmen to spend up to $60,000 on unexpected expenses associated with renovations to the Causeway

The $220,000 bond is the second bond given a stamp of approval by Naples residents in recent years.

According to Article 5, the bond will be paid off in five years at a five percent interest rate; and, the total interest will be approximately $34,000.

Because all of the improvements on the Causeway fall under the requirements of how tax increment financing (TIF) funds can be spent, TIF money can be used to make payments on the bond, according to Town Manager Derik Goodine.

After the initial $2 million bond passed, residents understood that there would be additional costs as the revamping of the Naples Causeway took shape. Therefore, a second loan might be necessary to complete the work – that would sometimes be done in phases.

While costs have been calculated for the planned projects, the town must take into account the unforeseen, according to Selectman Rick Paraschak.

“We found that with this project downtown, there is always something that comes about. So, we need a little bit of flexibility,” Paraschak said.

“This (Article 6) is putting the trust in us, the Board of Selectmen, to use the $60,000 if needed,” he said. Town Manager Goodine provided an example of unanticipated costs that were discovered during a recent site walk of the area where the amphitheater will be located. He said someone on the site walk asked why there were no electrical conduits in the vicinity. He added the need for electricity had been mentioned, but was accidently omitted from sketches of amphitheater.

“A lot of stuff they needed yesterday,” Goodine said.

“So, instead of calling a special town meeting for $2000 here or $5000 here, we leave it in the hands of the selectmen,” he said.

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