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



(Feb. 12, 2015) The Berlin mayor and council discussed several issues during a public meeting at town hall on Monday, Feb. 10.
Special event
The mayor and council approved Saturday, April 4 as the date of Spring Celebration. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“It’s called Spring Celebration, but it’s Berlin’s way of honoring a lot of different things, including Easter,” Mayor Gee Williams said.
Royal Farms and Arby’s
By passing Resolution 2014-06, the mayor and council amended Growth Area 1 into the 2010 Comprehensive Plan of the Town of Berlin.
Attorney Joe Moore, representing property owners Steve and Karen Black, said the town’s planning commission previously voted to recommend the move.
“We hope to locate a Royal Farms there along with a relocated Arby’s,” Moore said, adding the store would take the place of the current Arby’s in Berlin, while a new Arby’s moved across the street.
The county permit office, Moore added, expressed no reservations over the move, and the plan could lead to the property being annexed into Berlin town limits, pending a council vote.
Moore also said he believes the Royal Farms site plan fits into imminent architectural standards under development by the planning commission.
Developers will extend water and sewer to the property under Route 50 at their expense, and will ask the town to allocate the proper number of EDUs as development continues.
Train study moves forward
The mayor and council approved $5,000 to Worcester County Economic Development for phase two of the tourist train study, using funds from the town’s economic development budget.
Williams said phase one of the study showed Berlin has “50 percent” more than the market required to support such a train.
“I think this has tremendous potential,” Williams said, adding an estimate that the community could see “wheels on the track” within two-to-three years.
Sustainable Maryland
The mayor and council approved $5,000 to the Assateague Coastal Trust, through Grow Berlin Green, to pursue recertification of the Sustainable Maryland program.
Development Director Steve Farr said initial research leads him to be confident the town will achieve recertification.
Tyson Park update
The Trice Group was awarded a $3,400 bid to appraise the former Tyson plant in Berlin, with the cost split between the town and the current property owner.
The town sent requests for qualifications and received a favorable bid from Trice. Results of the appraisal are expected by March 10.
Power assurance
In parallel votes, the mayor and council voted to authorize membership in American Municipal Power and to authorize execution of the town’s 2015 power supply schedule with American Municipal Power Inc.
Membership, based on the number of megawatt hours purchased and lasting 18 months, was estimated at approximately $10,000. The period begins on June 1.
Town Administrator Laura Allen and several department heads explored the move for more than a year. It would provide an alternative way to buy energy “to make sure we can maintain the price ranged we’ve been dealing with for last three-to-four years.
“Even if we have another cold winter, we will not be at the mercy of Mother Nature in terms of something that’s as important as individuals and business’ monthly power bills,” she said.
The Ohio-based company includes more than 130 municipalities in its membership.
“Instead of having to manage the instability of the market on our own … this will give us a much stronger position,” Allen said.
Planning meetings
Allen said the first two strategic planning sessions in Berlin were successful.
Two additional meetings follow on Thursday, Feb. 12, from 6-8:30 p.m. at Buckingham Elementary School and on Saturday, Feb. 21, from 9:30 a.m. to noon in the Multi-Purpose Building on Flower Street.
Worcester Youth and Family, on 124 North Main Street, will provide free babysitting for parents during both meetings.
Parents can drop off their children at Worcester Youth and Family 30 minutes before the start of the meetings and pick them up when the meeting is over.
Stop signs ignored
At-Large Councilmember Thom Gulyas said he had received several complaints about people running stop signs, and was nearly struck by a car himself.
Police Chief Arnold Downing said motorists who violate stop sign laws are generally residents and advised witnesses to report descriptions of the vehicles and their respective offenses to police.