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Brunswick council sets Nov. 8 hearing on challenge to police station bond

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Brunswick council sets Nov. 8 hearing on challenge to police station bond

BRUNSWICK — A public hearing will be held Monday, Nov. 8, on a petition to overrule the Town Council's decision to borrow money to purchase property for a new police station.

The Town Council voted unanimously Monday to schedule the public hearing. The panel passed an ordinance Sept. 20 that authorized borrowing $1.175 million to acquire four parcels at the corner of Pleasant and Stanwood streets.

Town Clerk Fran Smith received 1,024 signatures Oct. 10. She stopped certifying signatures once she reached 818, since the petitioners met the threshold of 810 required by the Town Charter.

Former Town Councilor Karen Klatt launched the petition drive. She has said that she and other residents do not oppose a new police station, but that their concern is that the ordinance the Town Council passed did not include language that the bond package is for that purpose, and that its language was vague and broad.

She has also said such an expenditure should go to voters for approval.

The council voted Oct. 4 to state on the record that the property is indeed for a new police station.

The Town Charter dictates that once a petition is submitted and validated, the council must hold a public hearing within 30 days. Once the hearing is held, the council can either set a date for a referendum or rescind the ordinance.

Town Manager Gary Brown said last month that he did not expect the council to reverse its decision, and that a special referendum could be held in mid-December at the earliest.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.