BRUNSWICK

Town councilors will entertain a motion tonight to sell the current Parks and Recreation Department building at 30 Federal St. to the Brunswick Development Corporation “for not less than $200,000” to offset cuts in the 2014 school budget.

The motion is sponsored by Council Chairwoman Suzan Wilson, Vice Chairwoman Margo Knight and councilors Ben Tucker, David Watson and Gerald Favreau.

The fate of the building was put in question after an initial offer two weeks ago from Wiscasset-based nonprofit Coastal Enterprises Inc. to buy both the municipal and recreation buildings, knock them down and build a new centralized headquarters in their place.

If approved, tonight’s motion would pave the way for CEI to 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.; Brunswick Development Corporation already is the owner in waiting of 28 Federal St.

Brunswick Development Corporation agreed to purchase land at Stanwood and Pleasant streets so the town could build its new police station. In trade, the town agreed to turn over the building at 28 Federal St. to Brunswick Development Corporation, once municipal offices were relocated to the McLellan building on Union Street.

Grace Cleaves, CEI’s marketing senior vice president, said Friday she didn’t know about the potential change in process for procuring the Parks and Recreation Department building.

“We have made an option on an offer to explore the purchase,” Cleaves told The Times Record on 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. It needs to find a new home within two years.

Because of the agreement with Brunswick Development Corporation 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 a Massachusettsbased developer, leased by Bowdoin College and sublet to the town at far less than fair-market rates. If the town is late getting out of Brunswick Station and into the McLellan Building, those rates will skyrocket.

The town, which last year changed the zoning around 28 Federal St. to make it more marketable for the Brunswick Development Corporation, 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.

The Brunswick Development Corporation was established in February 1995 when the corporation borrowed $1.7 million from the town and built the Brunswick Technologies building. After repaying the town, BDC then sold the building for $3.1 million.

It is a nonprofit “local development corporation” formed to “foster, encourage, assist, support and promote the development, establishment, settlement or resettlement within the town of … industrial, manufacturing, fishing, agricultural, recreational or other business enterprises for purposes of stimulating economic growth in the town.”

¦ BRUNSWICK TOWN COUNCIL meets tonight at 7 p.m. at Brunswick Station, 16 Station Ave.

¦ NOT SO FAST on sale of recreation center, see guest column,

¦ AMAY 16 MEMO from Town Manager Gary 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 current building, nor money in the budget, to maintain two separate recreational spaces.



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