2011-12-06 / Front Page

Land deal gains ground

Navy housing
BY DARREN FISHELL Times Record Staff

BRUNSWICK

A land sale that would put former Navy housing units on the market in Brunswick and Topsham is one step away from completion after the Brunswick Town Council voted Monday night to support the housing disposition plan’s goals.

In an 8-1 vote, the council endorsed the goals — not the details — of a housing plan drafted by the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority ( MRRA) and Affordable Midcoast Housing ( AMH), which is owned by developer George Schott. Currently, MRRA owns land beneath 702 housing units in Brunswick and Topsham that AMH purchased in October 2010.

At its annual board meeting on Nov. 17, MRRA approved the sale of the land to AMH for $2.55 million and 28 acres containing 12 houses along Admiral Fitch Drive, contingent upon the approval of town officials in Brunswick and Topsham.

Councilor Benet Pols cast the lone dissenting vote Monday. Pols said after the meeting that he disagreed with throwing out an original housing disposition plan drafted by MRRA in 2009.

Pols also said he took issue with the town signing off on a plan over which municipal government will have little control, a concern raised by District 3 Councilor Suzan Wilson at a Nov. 21 meeting. Wilson’s concern prompted changes to the wording of the approval the council provided.

MRRA previously requested that Brunswick and Topsham “endorse” the plan.

Wilson suggested instead that the council steer clear of endorsing the details of the plan, resulting in Monday’s resolution, which states the council agrees that “the purchase and- sale agreement between AMH and MRRA satisfies to a large extent the goals of the MRRA housing disposition plan.”

According to the sales agreement MRRA’s board approved in November, the sale will not be completed until the Topsham Board of Selectmen also approves. For Topsham, the deal would include the transfer of land at the Topsham Annex to AMH.

Topsham selectmen will consider approval of the same housing disposition plan at their Dec. 15 meeting.

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