The Town of Berlin recently received an $11,000 Main Street Improvement grant for new way-finding signs for the downtown area. Town Administrator Laura Allen said the new signs would replace the old ones.
Economic and Community Development Director Ivy Wells, during a council meeting last Monday, said additional signs would be added “further out, on [Route] 346” to help better inform new visitors to the town.
Signs were previously discussed with the Historic District Commission, which endorsed the new designs.
“These are the same signs that we had taken to the Historic District Commission earlier to seek their approval,” Allen said. “This is just the next step in the process. Once we get the grant award, [Wells] works on getting the signs put together and installed.
Both Allen and Planning Director Dave Engelhart said last week it was unlikely the former PNC building downtown would become another bank.
Engelhart mentioned just that during a planning commission meeting last Wednesday.
“I don’t know any specifics, but Ivy Wells … said there’s been a lot of proposed ideas for that building,” Engelhart said. “She’s fielding all those inquiries.
“From what I understand, they won’t lease it to another bank, naturally,” he added. “You won’t have a replacement bank in there.”
According to Allen, PNC put the building up for sale, but is not eager to sell to another banking company.
“I think that’s the case, which makes sense,” she said. “Although I have had some people say, ‘Gee, it would be nice to have another bank there.’”
Allen said the new, reversed route for the annual town Christmas parade worked well and received generally positive feedback.
She said some spectators complained about the location of the judging stand, which was in front of the Atlantic Hotel and closer to the beginning of the parade route. This caused a few of the participants to trail off before completing the entire route, which ran to the Berlin Fire Company station on Main Street.
“Some of the groups that were performing in the parade were under the impression that once they were finished performing in front of the judges that they were finished with the parade,” Allen said. “We’re making sure they understand their participation in the parade means we’d like them to entertain throughout the entire route, from where they start to the firehouse.”
As with any first, Allen said, some hiccups are likely.
“We will be reaching back out to the participants to make sure they understand the length of the parade and dealing with those issues. I don’t expect those same types of problems to pop up again next year,” Allen said.