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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette



(Oct. 1, 2015) The Berlin mayor and Town Council discussed the following items during a public meeting on Monday.
Floodplain ordinance
Ordinance No. 2015-07 received a first reading on Monday. The amendment would affect Chapter 102, Section 8.3 of the town code regarding violations and penalties relating to floodplain management.
Previously, violations and penalties were omitted from the code. With the amendment, the maximum penalty would be set for $1,000 with imprisonment not to exceed six months.
A public hearing was scheduled for the next mayor and council meeting, on Tuesday, Oct. 13.
HVAC system
The council unanimously approved a measure to spend $16,176 on a new HVAC system for the visitor’s center on South Main Street.
Managing Director Jeff Fleetwood said the current system was inadequate.
Arctic Air beat out three other bidders for the system, which included removal of the old one.
Sidewalk closer
Water Resources Director Jane Kreiter said the town was “down to five” easements needed for new sidewalks on Branch Street. Three of those easements were related to a nearby church, according to Councilmember Dean Burrell.
Police day
Police Chief Arnold Downing thanked the public for its participation during Thank a Police Office Day, Sept. 19.
Officers received cards, cookies and other goodies from members of the community.
“It was very uplifting and very appreciated to get ahead and get those thank-yous,” Downing said. “The guys came in and saw the cards on the wall … it was something definitely to help morale.”
Fiddler’s reactions
Downing praised the turnout for last week’s Fiddler’s Convention and said he and Economic and Community Development Director Ivy Wells and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Larnet St. Amant would discuss improvements for next year’s event during the coming weeks.
Mayor Gee Williams also addressed the annual event.
“Friday night was one of the strongest nights that we’ve ever had, and Saturday the attendance was … not the level that it’s been in recent years.”
Williams said he discussed the matter with Wells, as well as several business owners from south of Jefferson Street on Main Street, who complained that road closures and the placement of the state disrupted business.
He also noted that, for the first time, Ocean City moved its annual Sunfest event a week later, possibly effecting turnout.
Ruth Koontz, owner of Main Street Deli in Berlin, said she spoke with several other business people who experienced problems during the event.
Williams invited anyone who is interested to attend council meetings that include approval for events on the agenda.
“If we can come up with some answers to get people from one end of Main Street all the way down to the Visitor’s Center, hallelujah,” he said.
Todd DeHart said a recent post by his wife on social media, which he dubbed “slacktivism,” created a conversation about traffic in Berlin.
“It brought [two questions] up: one, should there be a traffic study for downtown Berlin – Main Street – so that it is shown to be a safe place for pedestrians, bikes, skateboards and vehicles, and then secondly … a little bit of a confusion [over the traffic pattern] at the spot of Main Street, West Street and Baker Street,” he said.
DeHart said he hoped the town would consider “traffic-calming” measures at the three-way intersection.
Downing said the social media post triggered interest by police and state highway officials, who investigated the areas of concern.
“If you do have concerns you should go ahead and contact police as soon as possible,” he said, adding that police had not received “one single complaint” directly.
“I will beg you, and I will beg any of you … if you have an issue … you have to call the people that fix the job,” Downing said.