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


Don’t criticize park idea at this juncture

Raising the alarm based on first impressions and perceived, but not necessarily real, problems generally accomplishes little, because the critical outburst is usually the result of instinct rather than solid information.
That’s the case with the Town of Berlin’s proposed purchase of the former Tyson poultry plant. The operative word here is “proposed,” because nowhere in the town’s announcement was it ever said that this is a done deal.
What town officials did say was that they had made a $25,000 down payment that is refundable if it turns out that their vision of turning the plant property into a multi-use park facility isn’t feasible.
That most significant aspect of this consideration, obviously, is whether the town can do what it wants to do without burdening residents financially.
That’s something that town officials don’t want to do from both a political and practical perspective, considering that it took years to clean up the town’s earlier fiscal mess and get it to the solid financial standing it enjoys today.
In the meantime, however, there is no better use for the Tyson property than as a park. Critics can say what they want about the possibility of some enterprise relocating there, but even if that were to happen, there is no guarantee that it would be the kind of operation that would be beneficial to the downtown core and the community overall.
A park of the scope envisioned would be better for general commerce and tourism than anything else that might go on the property.
There is no risk in looking at how the property might be reconfigured and how the town might pay for it. Not looking, on the other hand, risks missing an opportunity to make Berlin an even greater landmark community.