By Greg Ellison
(April 28, 2022) The Berlin mayor and Town Council weighed an event approval, while also considering revised flag designs and updating the walking path in Stephen Decatur Park during its meeting on Monday.
Taylor House concert
Council members voted unanimously in favor of a request from the Taylor House Museum to sell beer and wine during an upcoming outdoor concert.
Taylor House Museum President Melissa Reid said a one-day permit was sought to allow alcohol sales during an installment of its “Concerts on the Lawn” series slated for June 12.
Taylor said Grammy nominated jazz guitarist Ronny Smith, who hails from the Baltimore region, would perform outside of the museum from 6-7:30 p.m.
“Concerts on the lawn will take place every second Sunday this summer,” she said.
The stopover by Smith, who has shared a stage with jazz luminaries such as Donald Byrd, was funded through the Maryland State Arts Council.
“Because he’s a high-level musician, we were trying to sell beer and wine on the lawn,” she said.
Reid said the museum has previously sold beer and wine at social events but never during the concert series.
“People can enjoy a drink and listen to excellent music,” she said.
Council members also approved a revamped town flag and logo created by graphic designer Brian Robertson.
Robertson said conversations about a town flag redesign began back in October.
“We wanted something symbolic the town can rally around,” he said.
To achieve the goal, Robertson said initial steps involved standardizing colors and typography.
“We proposed nine different flag designs and four seal options,” he said.
Robertson said a one-color version was also created for use with dark or bright backgrounds.
“Council selected from various designs and that’s what’s here now,” he said.
The goal was updating the town seal for use in limited spaces without the image running together.
“If you shrink down the seal into a small space … it disappears,” he said.
In terms of cost, Robertson provided a “deep hometown discount” with $100 charged for design services.
Park walking trail
Council members examined options to resurface a walking path in Stephen Decatur Park.
Public Works Director Jimmy Charles said during previous discussions with contractors, a recommendation was made to use “crush and run” gravel materials in lieu of asphalt.
“The contractor said it could save $20,000,” he said.
Despite the lower price tag, Charles said concerns were raised over maintenance.
“Crush and run would require more maintenance than asphalt in the long run,” he said. “The cost savings in the long run may not outweigh the benefits of doing the asphalt.”
Charles estimated asphalt would last up to 25 years. By contrast, he said that loose gravel surfaces have a shorter shelf life.
“We would have to do more annual maintenance and it wouldn’t last 20-plus years,” he said. “We may have to replenish the path in 10 years.”
Mayor Zack Tyndall said asphalt would provide a smoother surface.
“It impacts those learning to ride bikes or parents with strollers,” he said.
Berlin Parks Commission member Laura Sterns and Chair Mike Wiley also provided input during the meeting.
Wiley said regular users of the four-foot wide pathway circling Decatur Park, which includes a large percentage of seniors, expressed reservations over using loose gravel.
Sterns said the park trail was installed a decade back as an experiment using material from the Maryland Scrap Tire Program.
“They tried it and it was cool at first but didn’t stand up to winter weather and began buckling,” she said.
After reviewing material options, Town Council members agreed to proceed with asphalt resurfacing.