Town of Brunswick community members frustrated over Little Red process

Published: Sep. 10, 2019 at 10:15 PM CDT
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Monday night the Eau Claire Area School Board approved the sale of Little Red Elementary School and the land for a total of $620,000.

But community members in the Town of Brunswick aren't happy with how the process went down, saying the school board and city lacked transparency.

In June, the city of Eau Claire annexed the land the Little Red Elementary School sits on from the Town of Brunswick.

Community members say they weren't aware of that move, or the proposed sale of the school, until recently.

Since 2008 Little Red has been unused, but over the years there have been multiple proposals on how to use the land.

Monday night, the Eau Claire Area School Board accepted an offer from the plumbers and steamfitters local 434 for the building and some of the land, as well as an offer from another party to purchase 22 acres of land.

People living in the Town of Brunswick say they feel insulted by the price the school board accepted for the land, and the lack of notification about both the annexation and the pending sale.

But the city of Eau Claire says it did everything by the letter of the law.

"I'm not sure if anyone reached out to Town of Brunswick but it's not part of the typical process. Annexations, again, are something that is fairly regular in our agendas and so this one was as well. And in addition to being on the city's agenda, it was also on the school board's agenda and discussed," said Eau Claire City Attorney Steve Nick.

"I have some issues that I want to bring up. First of all it is the transparency issue. I just think that it's ridiculous that we were not told until four days before they sold the property that that was happening. I love the idea of putting a for sale sign up there. I think we'd probably all feel very differently if we knew they were making three million dollars on it. It's the fact that what they sold it for is also insulting I think," said Sue Smith from the Town of Brunswick.

During tonight's town board meeting, the board and community members expressed their interest in exploring potential legal options.

There is no set date when the sale of the Little Red school could be finalized.

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