FALMOUTH — The town received multiple proposals Tuesday to buy or lease the former Plummer-Motz and Lunt elementary school properties.

Town Manager Nathan Poore wouldn’t say exactly how many proposals or who submitted them, but a proposal was expected from OceanView at Falmouth, a 60-acre retirement community next to the school complex.

The Town Council decided last month to keep the proposals secret to give town officials the best bargaining position in negotiations, which could last weeks or months.

“We received multiple proposals, each with multiple options to them,” Poore said. “We have some very reasonable and responsible proposals that are worthy of serious consideration.”

Developers had until noon Tuesday to submit proposals. Besides OceanView at Falmouth, a local housing developer was expected to make an offer.

Town officials selected CBRE/The Boulos Co. of Portland to market the properties and help review proposals and negotiate a deal.

Poore said he and his staff will review the proposals over the next few days and develop summary comparisons to be reviewed by the council in a private meeting Dec. 12.

“We have a tremendous amount of reading and comparing to do,” Poore said. “We will meet with our Boulos representatives on Thursday and contact the people who submitted proposals next week to answer any questions or get clarification.”

Poore said he expects the Dec. 12 executive session to be lengthy. He will look for councilors to indicate whether one proposal “rises to the top” and give town staff members direction on negotiations.

“I want to give our staff ample time to do what they need to do,” Council Chairwoman Teresa Pierce said Tuesday. Pierce said she hadn’t seen the proposals and had no information about them.

Councilors decided to keep the proposals secret, at least initially, after a closed-door talk with the town’s attorney, William Plouffe of Drummond Woodsum in Portland.

The council has wrestled with its legal responsibilities under the state’s Freedom of Access Act since it decided in July to put the 20-acre school complex up for sale or lease. Councilors met privately with representatives of OceanView immediately after deciding to seek proposals.

Councilor Bonny Rodden said the private meeting was inappropriate, but Plouffe said it was legal as long as the council also met secretly with any other prospective developers before it formally sought proposals.

An appraisal in late 2009 valued the school complex on Lunt Road at $3 million if there were no zoning restrictions.

The schools closed in June, in advance of the opening of Falmouth Elementary School on Woodville Road in September.

Falmouth voters rejected a proposal in June to redevelop the school buildings into a community center and a public library.


Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at: [email protected]