At Least the Building’s Ours

The City Council agreed Monday night to a plan presented by Mayor Tom Ambrosino to swap with the state some six acres of marshland in the Belle Isle Marsh for a piece of land on Revere Beach Parkway.

What came out, though, was that the piece of land contains the new Fire Station and the Public Safety basketball court.

So, that means that the Fire Station and court are the City’s possessions, but the City doesn’t actually own the land they’re built upon.

“We don’t yet own the land that our fire station is on,” the mayor said.

The situation arose out of state government bureaucracy at its worst.

Special Legislation was passed in 2005 ordering the sale of the property to the City of Revere.

However, the state’s Department of Capital Assets Management (DCAM) only recently got around to surveying and preparing the property for sale. In the interim, the City constructed a new Fire Station and a basketball court and some parking lot space on the land.

The only problem is, the price has changed.

Ambrosino said everyone always thought the land swap would be enough – the state would get prime conservation land and the City would get a much smaller lot to build the station upon.

However, now the state wants an addition $300,000 on top of the land swap, and it’s likely to become a bone of contention.

“The expectation was always that this swap would be a wash,” said the mayor. “It hasn’t turned out that way, but that’s a separate issue and we have time to deal with that. We actually built the building that sits on land we do not actually own, so it would be important at some point to take title to the land where our new fire station sits.”

Councillor voted unanimously for the land swap, but have opposed the $300,000 sale price.


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