LOW TIDE at 946 Mere Point Road. The town council voted Monday not to retain the property for passive recreational public use but rather to sell it.

LOW TIDE at 946 Mere Point Road. The town council voted Monday not to retain the property for passive recreational public use but rather to sell it.

BRUNSWICK

After months of council meetings, committee meetings, site walks and debates, the Brunswick Town Council decided Monday night to sell the tax-acquired property at 946 Mere Point Road.

The sale would include language to protect a historic grave on the property and the council will discuss the possibility of a walk-in right of way for clammers to access the tidal mud flats.

The vote was split with councilors Suzan Wilson, John Perreault, Dave Watson, Kathy Wilson and Alison Harris voting in favor of the sale, while councilors Steve Walker, Sarah Brayman, Dan Harris and Jane Millett opposed it.

What is missing in the vote to dispose of the property is any preclusion from selling the property back to former owner Richard Nudd. There was no language in the motion put before the council forcing them to take the highest bid, nor did it place any restrictions on how the town conducts the sale.

Walker, who had spoken with Nudd over the weekend, said the former owner has no ties to the property and thought it was already beyond his reach anyway.

Walker said Nudd was also troubled at portrayals of him as a down and out veteran with possible mental health issues. Nudd said nothing of the sort was true and that he has been employed full time as a retail manager in Massachusetts, according to Walker.

Following the vote, Walker made a motion that proceeds above the back taxes in the amount of $64,500 be put back into water access needs by either securing new property or maintaining existing areas.

That vote was passed by all the councilors except Kathy Wilson, Jane Millett and Alison Harris. It was a minor victory for Walker, who handed out maps detailing low tides in the area to show the significance of the town retaining the property for public use.

With motions being raised and amended numerous times throughout the meeting, Walker attempted to have the property decision go before the constituents in an advisory vote in November with little luck.

Walker pointed to the recommendation of most of the town committees, as well as signatures gathered in an online petition.

“I choose to listen to the people of Brunswick,” Walker told the council.

Watson opposed the town keeping the property, citing the steep banks and advanced water erosion at the shoreline, thus preventing most people from accessing the water. He said it was a “great thing” Walker was trying to propose, but he just couldn’t support it.

Millett said she was approached by someone in town who wanted the hours of time committees put forth recommending retention of the property to pay off. She said the town could always sell the property down the road if something better shows itself — in the meantime, the property would only appreciate in value.

Brayman said she believes the “highest and best” use for the property would have been for the town to keep it. She said since the last meeting, she has received at least 60 emails from constituents and that many of the people who signed the petition were from her district.

When the vote was over, elated Mere Point resident Heather Osterfeld, who was opposed to public access of the property, left the council chambers repeatedly chanting, “right won.”

How they voted

THE VOTE was split with councilors Suzan Wilson, John Perreault, Dave Watson, Kathy Wilson and Alison Harris voting in favor of the sale, while councilors Steve Walker, Sarah Brayman, Dan Harris and Jane Millett opposed it.


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