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


Berlin Briefs

(April 16, 2015) The Berlin mayor and council discussed several issues during a public meeting at Town Hall on Monday, March 9.
The council voted to designate April as “Fair Housing Month” in Berlin. The designation, part of a new national initiative, is a requirement of block grants awarded to Berlin.
The Community Development Block Grant program has funded Berlin projects, including sidewalk upgrades, stormwater improvements and public restrooms.
April 18-25 was designated “Take Pride in Berlin” week. The Fourth annual weeklong observance acts as, “an acknowledgement of Berlin’s encouragement of its citizens to take pride in their community,” according to Deputy Town Administrator Mary Bohlen.
“[It’s] a chance for all of us to show off what a great place we call home,” Bohlen said.
The council approved a slew of special events to be presented by the Arts and Entertainment District, Berlin Chamber of Commerce, Berlin Community Improvement Association and Live Long Fitness.
Arts and Entertainment will screen a series of free outdoor movies, including the “The Lego Movie,” in Henry Park on April 25 at 7 p.m., “FernGully” on May 30 in Stephen Decatur Park at 8 p.m. and “Runaway Bride” on Jefferson Street on June 27 at 8 p.m. The council also extended park hours to one hour after the designated event ending times in April and May.
The annual Spring Cruisers classic car show in Berlin, presented by the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, returns May 16, and will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Old-Fashioned Memorial Day celebration, entering the 23rd year and presented by the community improvement association, will be held on May 25 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The council also approved the eighth annual Reindeer Run, which will launch from the Atlantic Hotel, on Dec. 5 from 8-11 a.m. The race will benefit Worcester Youth and Family.
Formal opposition
The council voted unanimously to approve Resolution 2015-04, opposing the reduction or repeal of tax-exempt municipal bonds in the state.
“I can’t even believe it’s gotten to this point,” Berlin Mayor Gee Williams said of the move at the state level. “Somebody has lost their mind.
“I think it’s absurd that we have to do this, but we want to go on the record,” Williams continued. “The bottom line is … we oppose any action that would reduce or repeal the exemption on tax on interest [on municipal bonds].”
If approved, Williams said towns “could forget about capital projects.”
“They would have to be downsized considerably,” Williams said. “I wish I knew who the damned fool was who came up with this idea. I don’t care what party you are. It’s ludicrous.”
House fire
Police Chief Arnold Downing praised responders from the Berlin and Ocean City fire companies during a fire at 545 Bay Street on Friday, April 3.
“They did a great job,” Downing said. “Not only did the electric department get called out, but the water department, they came out very quick and took care of the issues.
“The fire marshal [had concerns] and those guys came right in … and they took care of it without any issues,” Downing continued. “We’re very blessed to go ahead and have a committed crew that, once they’re called, they’re there.”
Planning Director Dave Engelhart briefed the council on Annexation Resolution 2015-03, relating to parcels 165 and 438 on Tax Map 25 on the west corner of Friendship Road and Route 50.
The annexation would pave the way for the Arby’s at that location to be demolished and moved across the street, with a Royal Farms store going into the old Arby’s location.
“This is something we’ve talked about before,” Engelhart said. “[The council] gave the prospective developer for the Royal Farms the allocation agreement last fall, should he go ahead and contract the Royal Farms.”
Engelhart said the parcels would need to be connected to town water and wastewater, and would be done so at the owner’s expense and to the benefit of the town.
A public hearing on the annexation will be held May 11.
Commission approvals
Engelhart said the Historic Commission approved signs for the new Leaky Pete’s restaurant that is replacing the former Tex Mex and Country Cook’n on 119 Main Street, as well as signs for Bustle Bridal Shop, which recently moved to 16 Broad Street from Main Street.
The commission also approved exterior paint for the Tea Room and the new Bungalow Love location on Main Street, which replaced Bustle.
Berlin’s Planning Commission, meanwhile, approved a site plan for Trond’s Pool Care on Washington Street. Engelhart said owner Trond Emberland would remove the old building at the site and “put up a new building.”
The commission also approved a subdivision on West Street.