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Berlin, MD 21811
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Berlin prepares for ‘Coolest Town’ celebration March 29

3/20/14 | By Sheila R. Cherry, Associate Editor

BERLIN—Economic and Development Director Michael Day made a presentation to the Town Council March 10 to outline the town’s upcoming celebration for winning Budget Travel Magazines designation of “America’s Coolest Small Town 2014,” which will include all the small town staples of red, white and blue-themed decorations, marching bands, banners, parades, and activities and entertainment on March 29.

Mayor Gee Williams thanked the many volunteers who helped promote the town and increase awareness about the nationwide contest.

The council approved the party and a budget of up to $5,000 for its expenses.

During the meeting, the council also okayed Resolution 2014-01 to adopt redistricted election maps for the town elections scheduled to be held in October. The district configurations were finalized during a Feb. 19 meeting between the mayor, town council, Board of Elections and an official from the Maryland Department of Planning’s Redistricting and Reapportionment Office.

The council gave its approval to a request from Donna Compher of Sisters to hold a second “Paint the Town Purple” project in April to coincide with Relay for Life events sponsored by the American Cancer Society. As they did during an inaugural project last year, the organizers will decorate Main Street lampposts with purple ribbons and bows to increase awareness for the events. She said the organizers would like to decorate the fixtures from April 11 to May 11 and would like to add a banner to explain the reason for the decorations.

Compher also received approval for her Quest for Hope Scavenger Hunt throughout town businesses. The contest leads customers to various town businesses to hunt for clues that consist of cancer awareness information and ends with an awards reception at the store.

Tim Robinson, youth and evangelism pastor at SonRise Church requested approval to host a family-friendly Vacation Bible School event in Dr. William Henry Park on Flower Street from June 23-25. The Town Council was favorable to supporting the request, but Councilmember Dean Burrell noted that the proposed event would coincide with a Vacation Bible School event hosted the same week by St. Paul’s Methodist Church, which is also located on Flower Street. He advised Robinson the two programs would be geared towards the same group of youths and hosting the events at the same might prove to be an inefficient use of resources.

Robinson said he had not been aware of the duplicate dates. At the council’s suggestion, he offered to check for any other time conflicts and return with the proposal at another meeting.

Joya Mattie, executive director of the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, requested the council’s approval of the chamber’s Spring Celebration, which is scheduled for April 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The celebration will include an Easter Bonnet Parade and Contest and children-friendly activities, including an Easter Egg Hunt in Stephen Decatur Park, she said. The proposal was approved.

The council was also briefed on the contract with Peninsula Roofing for replacement of the Visitor Center’s roof, by Economic and Development Director Michael Day.  Part of the cost will be funded by a $20,000 Community Legacy Grant, he said. The council approved the contract bid of $37,500 for the project.

The grant for the Visitor Center roof project and a separate $50,000 grant for Berlin’s Façade and Interior Renovation Program were part of a $5.5 million package of Community Legacy funding grants awarded for 2014, according to a March 11 announcement by Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown. Along with Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Raymond A. Skinner at a press conference to announce the awards, Brown of the grants would benefit 64 projects in 19 counties and Baltimore City.

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