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Brunswick councilors set hearing on cell tower variance; nomination papers ready July 24 for School Board, council candidates

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Brunswick councilors set hearing on cell tower variance; nomination papers ready July 24 for School Board, council candidates

BRUNSWICK — The Town Council on Monday set an Aug. 3 public hearing to discuss the merits of a zoning amendment that would allow taller cell phone towers in industrial zones. 

The change would allow wireless communication towers up to 120 feet in height. According to Town Planner Kris Hultgren, applicants would have to go through the town's special permit process and meet existing visual standards.

The amendment also includes reducing the minimum lot area for the towers from 80,000 square feet in one industrial district, and 20,000 square feet in the other three, to 10,000 square feet. In a memo to the council, Hultgren said the reduction was necessary because the old requirement would allow small towers on lots too large to accommodate their use. 

The town has four industrial zones, the industrial park on Industry Road, the area near the Church Road industrial park, adjacent to the so-called Harding plant on Bath Road and Exit 28 on Interstate 295. 

The Planning Board recently unanimously approved the change, but the council makes the final determination.

In other business, the council unanimously initiated a request for proposals for the management of the train station and visitor's center at Maine Street Station. The council recently entered a five-year lease agreement with the developer of Maine Street Station to become the master tenant of the 2,100-square-foot train station. But it plans to hire a property manager to oversee the operations.

The non-profit Brunswick Downtown Association is expected to apply for the opportunity. Applicants have until Sept. 4 to submit an RFP. The Maine Street Station Oversight Committee is schedule recommend an applicant to the council on Sept.8.

The council also unanimously approved an agreement with the Five Rivers Arts Alliance to provide some space for art work at the council's chambers at Maine Street Station. The proposal, sponsored by Vice Chairman Benet Pols, would give local artists a chance to display their work on a 10-foot section of wall.

A councilor will be assigned to review the artwork to make sure its appropriate for a public meeting area. 

Town Clerk Fran Smith also announced that nomination papers for council and School Board candidates will be available on Friday, July 24. 

Three seats on each board are up for grabs, with terms beginning next January. They are held by Councilors Karen Klatt (District 4), Hallie Daughtry (District 2) and Joanne King (at-large), and School Board members Eileen Murphy, Michelle Small and Corrine Perreault.

District candidates must gather at least 25 signatures to run. At-large candidates must gather 100 signatures.

Nomination papers are due back in the clerk's office by end of business on Sept. 4.

This story was corrected on July 24 to show that School Board member Eileen Murphy is up for re-election and not Marybeth Latti, as originally reported.

Steve Mistler can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 123 or smistler@theforecaster.net