Friday June 03, 2011 | 04:36 PM

In their latest move to try to persuade the Pentagon to keep open the commissary for the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st, and GOP Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe have written a bipartisan letter to a top Department of Defense official.

In the letter to Clifford L. Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, the lawmakers note they have introduced in the House and Senate similar versions of a proposal to keep open the popular commissary in Topsham, which sells low-cost groceries, by permitting the commissary to sell tobacco and alcohol as a way to boost profits. They told Stanley they want him to take that proposal into account as he considers the fate of the commissary.
The lawmakers say families can save several thousand dollars a year by shopping at the commissary, and that it’s a benefit that should be kept alive for the many active duty and retired service members and their families in the Brunswick-Topsham area.
The Maine lawmakers have been fighting to keep the commissary open. It originally was scheduled to close in March, but legislation pushed through last year by the Maine delegation kept it open until at least Sept. 15.


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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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