By Cindy Hoffman, Staff Writer
(Sept. 14, 2023) The Berlin Council agreed to enact a policy for naming and renaming public facilities such as structures, parks and recreational facilities Monday night.
The motion to establish the policy, one of four to come before the council, called for gathering ideas and encouraging community participation in the process. For new facilities, the town administrator will solicit ideas from the public. One public meeting will be required on all naming and renaming requests.
The policy also suggests other ways to recognize and commemorate community members and historical figures and events, including interpretive plaques, sidewalk bricks and benches.
In other business, the council passed a motion to spend $11,125 on the Decatur Farm sewage pump repair. Shafer, Troxell and Howe Inc will do the work. The council also agreed to $120,000 from the Williams Street Lead Lines and Valves Replacement Project to relocate the water main under 115 Broad Street.
The water main is approximately 88 years old and is reaching the end of its useful life, according to Jamey Latchum, the water resources director.
This would create adequate funding to make necessary upgrades to the water main from underneath the Berlin Beer Company’s new brewery, which feeds water service to Harrison Avenue and the 115 Broad Street location.
Also getting approval was a motion to allow the sale or disposal of various pieces of water department equipment, including a Chevy Colorado, two Ford F-150s, and yard equipment.
The council members also discussed the need to provide some sort of support for the elderly and others who may not have the capability to maintain their stormwater ditches.
Councilman Dean Burrell expressed serious concern about one member of the community who is in his 90s.
“We cannot be dependent on senior citizens with limited resources to maintain ditches. This can be a concern all over town,” Burrell said.
Town Administrator Mary Bohlen said that if the town took on the responsibility of clearing private ditches, it would require more equipment and personnel.
Mayor Zach Tyndall suggested that there might be a grant program that could be helpful for individual cases.
The council agreed that more research was needed to address the problem. A map of the ditches was provided to the council and the mayor suggested the town make the map live online so it could be updated and monitored.
“What affects one area will probably affect another,” Councilmember Jack Orris said.