By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(Oct. 19, 2017) The Berlin Mayor and Council discussed the following items during a public meeting last Tuesday at Town Hall:
Kreiter said she would be picking up a pair of “exchange scientists” from Washington, D.C. on Saturday. The town announced last week it would host two environmental professionals, Pradnya Rahmani from Indonesia and Xyla Gualberto from the Philippines, from Oct. 14 through Nov. 11. The exchange program is a partnership between the town, the U.S. State Department and the International City/County Management Association. A reception for the two women will be held at the Berlin Welcome Center today, Thursday. They will also be introduced during the next Town Council meeting on Monday, Oct. 23. Kreiter said she still talks to two international professionals who visited the town last year, Zalikha Wan Zaharuddin from Malaysia and Crisanta Rodriguez from the Philippines. “It’s a small world when you have the internet,” she said.
The Town Council voted 3-1 to approve a Winter White Gala at the Calvin B. Taylor House Museum on Dec. 2. The event will benefit Habitat for Humanity of Worcester County and is estimated to draw 200-250 people. Organizers needed town approval to get the green light from the county liquor board. Councilman Thom Gulyas voted against the event, apparently objecting to its alcohol component, and Councilman Elroy Brittingham was absent during the meeting. Olive Mawyer, new event and marketing coordinator for Habitat, said she did not expect the event to conflict with expected construction on Baker Street next to the museum.
Mutual aid update
The council voted unanimously in favor of a new mutual aid agreement with Worcester County. County Attorney Maureen Howarth, in a letter to the council, said “the existing mutual aid agreements between the county and various municipalities are not properly executed or out of date.” Berlin Police Chief Arnold Downing said the new agreement was a simple housecleaning measure. The council approved the agreement contingent on the addition of Maryland State Police to the list of included parties.
William Street Update
Water Resources and Public Works Director Jane Kreiter said crews were working to finish the offline wetland on William Street and a final paving of the road would follow. She said design work for the next phase of town stormwater improvements, on Pine, Maple and Cedar streets, was about 90 percent complete.
Planning Director Dave Engelhart said the town recently executed a grant agreement with the Maryland Department of Transportation related to a bikeway connecting Berlin Falls park on Old Ocean City Boulevard to downtown. “We’ve already started on some survey work for where that will go,” he said. “That was good news – it took a while there to get it executed and signed off, on the other side.”
The council unanimously approved a $29,000 change order for work at the new Berlin Police Station near Flower Street and Assateague Road. Town Administrator Laura Allen said the agreement was necessary because some of the soil at the construction site was unsuitable and had to be replaced. She said the council approved the change order via email, but it was announced publically during the meeting at the advice of Town Attorney David Gaskill.
A meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 26 was canceled outright. Councilman Troy Purnell made the motion and the vote was unanimous.