By Cindy Hoffman, Staff Writer
(July 13, 2023) Much of the July Historic Commission meeting was taken up with the proposal by Ray Robinson of Taylor Bank to install a new ATM machine.
The Taylor Bank building is an historic building in the town of Berlin. Built in 1907, the building has maintained its original exterior look while providing modern amenities like the bank drive-in window on Commerce Street.
Robinson provided plans and photos of the proposed placement of the new ATM.
He said the new ATM, which is proposed for Main Street, will be more accessible and visible to customers and law enforcement.
The current ATM is in a vestibule on Main Street.
The machine would replace the two windows to the right of the wooden door on Main Street.
“This is an iconic building. I hate to see the windows go. It’s such an attractive building,” Mary Moore, a member of the Historic Commission said.
Robinson informed the commission that the machine that will replace the current ATM will not fit into the vestibule. He said the free-standing units, such as the current unit, are no longer feasible and that there is regulatory pressure to change the machine out.
“I would love to come up with something that is more visually attractive to keep with the feeling of the town,” Moore said.
“People are familiar with where the ATM is, this would just reorient it to the east wall,” Robinson said.
Moore suggested considering giving more character to the lettering around the machine.
“I would love to see an artist rendering of what it might look like,” she said.
Robinson suggested he could get a logo designed in gold or brass.
The commission promised Robinson that if he provided them with another rendering of the signage and placement of the ATM, it could be approved via email.
A motion was passed to continue to move forward with the process via email.
“Since Friday, the commissioners have voted by email to approve the new renderings by a 3-to-2 vote,” David Engelhart, planning director for the town of Berlin.
When the commission opened the floor to public comment, resident Edward Hammond suggested to the commission that Gay Street be taken out of the historic district of Berlin.
“The original boundaries were drawn very carefully to encompass an area that represented the historic core of the town, with certain exemptions. That area was not part of the historic district for a reason. It does not rise to the level of being something that would be included in the district,” Hammond said.
“They are trying to use the commission as a town design committee.”
On other issues, the commission Chair Norman Bunting informed the commission members that the Forgotten Distillery on Old Ocean City Blvd should have its final inspection shortly. He also told members that there is interest from other restaurants in the former BoxCar on Main location and that the new storefronts on Main Street have all been rented.