By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer
(April 18, 2019) Several Berlin town officials seemed pleased with the idea of the Worcester County Department of Recreation and Parks’ proposition to purchase the Berlin Lions Club park property to preserve it for that purpose.
“You know it’s obviously a county situation, but anything they do out there benefits Berlin,” said Council member Troy Purnell on Monday. “Any additional fields or anything else they do is just gonna help us out a lot.”
Director Tom Perlozzo proposed the purchase at the Worcester County Commissioners budget work session last Tuesday.
Perlozzo said club representatives told him Wawa and Royal Farms had expressed interested in purchasing the property, and he stressed the importance of keeping the land for the county.
“We need to protect that field legacy in Berlin,” he said last Tuesday.
Perlozzo said the county currently leases the land for $5,000 per year. The cost of the acquisition is unclear, but he told the commissioners that state open space funding is an approach that “is 100 percent reimbursable.”
If approved, Perlozzo said he would lease the land to the Berlin Lions Club, and there would be room for two Little League baseball fields.
Mayor Gee Williams and Council member Dean Burrell agreed.
“We already have excellent ballfields there, we just don’t have enough, and we have one of the most one of the highest (Little League baseball) participation rates of any small town anywhere … so it seems like a natural transaction,” Williams said Monday.
Additionally, Perlozzo suggested a plan to include additional parking through field irrigation and fencing. He said that project would cost $565,000, but with help from the commissioners, the department could complete the project for $30,000.
“My experience is over the past year has been is the priority at northern Worcester [County] is there’s no parking,” Perlozzo said last Tuesday.