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Berlin council approves funds for community center survey

The Berlin Mayor and Council unanimously approved funds for a survey to gather public input regarding a proposal for a community center off Flower Street.

Berlin Community Center site

A small parcel of land slated for a community center is pictured in Berlin off of Flower Street.
File photo

By Tara Fischer, Staff Writer

The Berlin Mayor and Council unanimously approved funds for a survey to gather public input regarding the proposed community center.

The Business, Economic, and Community Outreach Network (BEACON) of the Salisbury University School of Business will prepare and distribute promotional materials, print and deploy paper-based surveys, and offer incentives at a total cost not exceeding $3,425. Of that, $2,875 is allocated for project fees, and $550 will be used for participant encouragement in the form of gift cards. Berlin and non-Berlin residents may fill out the polls on paper or online.

BEACON will develop the survey to gather feedback on the potential community center, obtain $100 Visa gift cards for incentives, which Berlin residents will be exclusively eligible for, and summarize and develop a report on the results.

Mayor Zack Tyndall said that the monetary encouragement was included to alleviate concerns about low survey participation.

The survey is meant to compile feedback on what community center users desire regarding potential amenities. The findings will provide the community center advisory committee guidelines when working with a design company.

“BEACON will facilitate the survey,” Tyndall said. “They will help us compile it, push it out, take in the results, and report back. The survey is for determining amenities and seeing what people want.”

BEACON’s official proposal states that the study will commence on or about Monday, July 8, and conclude by Friday, Sept. 27. Tyndall said half of the process cost will come from proceeds from the town’s recent flag sales.

The group also assisted with Berlin’s strategic plan and helped the town develop and implement resident priorities and initiatives.

“BEACON has a dual mission of community outreach and experiential learning,” their survey proposal reads. “To fulfill the experiential learning component of its mission, BEACON conducts all project work using teams of graduate and undergraduate students under faculty supervision.”

Throughout the project, BEACON and the Town of Berlin will meet to discuss requirements and survey deployment strategies, such as electronic and paper methods, and implement a randomized selection process to determine the five recipients of the gift cards.

Berlin will share all relevant data and information with BEACON, provide questions to be included in the survey, give email addresses for electronic survey mailing, distribute them through Town channels, prepare promotional materials like press releases and social media posts, and print and deploy paper-based collection methods.

According to Tyndall, the community center advisory group has approximately seven voting members. Its meetings are public, and anyone is welcome to attend. 

This story appears in the July 11, 2024, print edition of the Bayside Gazette.