BRUNSWICK
During their meeting Monday, town councilors will introduce a motion to sell the current Parks and Recreation Department building at 30 Federal St. to Brunswick Development Corporation “for not less than $200,000” and to use the proceeds to offset cuts in the 2014 school budget.
The motion to sell is sponsored by Council Chairwoman Suzan Wilson, Vice Chairwoman Margo Knight, and councilors Ben Tucker, David Watson and Gerald Favreau.
Recreation has been a tense issue for two weeks, since an initial offer from Wiscasset-based non-profit Coastal Enterprises Inc. to buy both the municipal and recreation buildings, knock them down and build a new centralized state headquarters in their place.


Monday’s motion, if approved, would mean CEI would negotiate with Brunswick Development Corporation, rather than the town, for eventual sale of both buildings.
The council’s proposed motion extends only to 30 Federal St.; BDC already is the owner-in-waiting of 28 Federal St.


Brunswick Development Corporation agreed to purchase land at the corner of Stanwood and Pleasant streets so the town could build its new police station. In trade, the town agreed to turn over to BDC the building at 28 Federal St. once the municipal offices were relocated to the McLellan building on Union Street.
Grace Cleaves, CEI’s marketing senior vice president, said Friday that she didn’t know about the change.
“We have made an option on an offer to explore the purchase,” Cleaves told The Times Record Friday. She added that she and founder and president Ron Phillips had been waiting for the town’s response before making further plans or announcements.
The town is in a temporal bind: Within two years, it needs to find a new home.
Because of the agreement with BDC to take over 28 Federal St. upon the town’s departure, it needs to have its new home in the McLellan Building on Union Street ready for late-2014 occupancy. The new town office space will include public meeting rooms with local cable broadcasting capability, which now is served by the second floor room at Brunswick Station — owned by Bowdoin College, and leased to the town at far less than fair-market rates.
If the town is late getting out of Brunswick Station and into McLellan, those rates will skyrocket.
The town, which last year changed the zoning around 28 Federal St. to make it more marketable for the BDC, had hoped to get out of the building and let it become BDC’s problem.
But where the town will host its recreation program has continued to roil the populace, generating steady correspondence from residents to the council and to Town Manager Gary Brown.
A May 16 memo from Brown to the council states that Brunswick would receive the former U.S. Navy field house at Brunswick Landing within 120 days. Additionally, the memo states that there isn’t enough activity in the building, nor money in the budget, to maintain two separate recreational spaces.
Similarly, a March 2011 Municipal Facilities Summary done for the town described the field house as bigger, more versatile and less in need of repair than the 30 Federal St. property.
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