BLUE HILL — The town’s fathers have arranged financing for a $200,000 High Street bridge reconstruction project, but they aren’t happy about a bank’s requirement for bond counsel.
Blue Hill received two responses to requests for loan proposals for the project.
The First offered 1.4 percent interest for the first year and 3.3 percent afterward for the life of the loan.
Bar Harbor Bank & Trust offered 2.57 percent interest for 16 years with a chance to prepay any time.
Blue Hill went with Bar Harbor’s offer, but that comes with a requirement of getting bond counsel, which assures issuers and investors that all legal requirements are met. The cost for bond counsel is estimated at $3,000 to $4,000.
“We do a lot of business with Bar Harbor Bank & Trust,” Selectman Jim Schatz said. “We all have that feeling they should have given us a loan without a bond counsel tag.”
There was a fair amount of teeth-gnashing at the board’s weekly meeting Friday.
“Why is one bank willing to do it without bond counsel?” Schatz wondered.
“What have we ever done wrong?” Chairman Duane Gray asked.
Selectman John Bannister blamed the federal government loaning banks money at no interest in hopes of stimulating the economy, which has affected local banks’ relationships with their customers.
“In the old days, having a big balance with a bank meant something to them,” Bannister said. But today, the money they get from their deposits “means nothing.”