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


Town still on schedule in Tyson buy

(April 9, 2015) Progress is slow but steady, as the town of Berlin continues the exploring the possibility of buying the former Tyson Chicken plant on Old Ocean City Boulevard.
The Town Council voted in December to approve a purchase of the facility, contingent upon whether it is feasible to convert the property to a multi-use park.
Included in the deal was a $25,000 down payment and a six-month window, with a possible three-month extension, to complete an appraisal, feasibility study and environmental study.
If all the town’s questions are satisfied, the town would then purchase the more than 60-acre property for $2.75 million from Berlin Properties North LLC.
Mayor Gee Williams said the appraisal was originally due last month, but an illness postponed the assessment by the Trice Group.
The Salisbury firm was awarded a $3,400 bid to appraise the property in February, with the town and current property owner splitting the cost.
“We thought we would have an appraisal about a week or so ago, maybe two weeks,” Williams said. “The illness put the appraiser on the sidelines for apparently a while. They wrote us a nice letter and said, ‘We ran a little behind, but we’ll catch up.’”
Williams said he expects the appraisal “earlier than later.”
“As far as the next step, now that we’ve awarded the contract to EA Engineering for the phase one and phase two environmental study, that will be next,” Williams said. “I think early to mid-summer would be appropriate for that. Dovetailing closely behind that would be the feasibility study.
“What we’re trying to make sure is that, each step of the way, we don’t run into any major roadblocks, or an obstacle that would stop the whole process,” Williams continued. “We’re not anticipating that, but the process does require … a period of assessment.”
Williams said the goal was to have the entire process complete and the purchase finalized by Sept. 30.
“Nothing has happened yet to make us think we can’t meet that, but there’s still a lot to be done,” he said.
Part of the agreement allowed for construction of a temporary skate park on the grounds of the plant. Williams said it was “appropriate to bring [the skate park] up” following a completed appraisal.
“I would suggest we start talking about that seriously as soon as we get at least that,” he said. “Then it becomes something we can start to consider. There are certainly areas of that big property that are already being used by the public that I don’t think anyone has any environmental concerns about. Temporarily, I ‘m sure we can find a spot that wouldn’t have any impact on environmental usage.”