BERLIN — On the heels of proclaiming April 21-28 Take Pride in Berlin Week, the Mayor and Council took the first steps toward having a walking path installed in Henry Park similar to the one that is now so popular in Stephen Decatur Park.
The Atlantic Group, a local design firm, will design a walking path for the park having been selected as low bidder at $3,800. The company will submit a separate bill for doing the survey work required to actually lay out the design.
The decision to build a similar walking path in the east side park came after residents requested access to a path on that side of Route 113. It will likely be funded by Project Open Space money due the Town from the State.
That part of the equation made Councilwoman Paul Lynch a little uncomfortable and she asked Deputy Town Administrator Mary Bohlen, who administers the program for the Town to elaborate.
“It’s fully expected to be awarded,” she said. “It’s a matter of letting them know that that’s how we’re going to spend the money.”
Bohlen said that the money has been set aside from last year and preparing to do the work is all that is needed to secure it. Lynch and several other Councilmembers noted that the bid was well below many of the others and wondered at The Atlantic Group’s expertise.
Mayor Gee Williams said the company provided references and that he’d checked and had been satisfied by their previous work.
Town Administrator Tony Carson told the Council he suspected that the company, which is based in Berlin, legitimately wanted to get the work.
“I think this is a client who wants to do this for the Town,” he said, adding that it was a basic design and, although was well below many of the bidding prices, it was in the expectation of the range.
Once the design is complete, it is likely that the Public Works Department will be able to do the installation, helping to keep the costs low.
Williams complimented Public Works Director Mike Gibbons on the amount he and the other department heads had been able to get done in-house thereby allowing the Town to accomplish more with a smaller investment.
The walking path at Stephen Decatur Park was installed as part of a pilot program aimed at trying to use recycled tires as shock-absorbent material for the path.
As it turned out, the material was inappropriate for Berlin because the climate is too unpredictable.
The number of mid-winter freezes and thaws undermines the material’s integrity.