By Greg Ellison
(Nov. 11, 2021) The Berlin Town Council on Monday agreed to allow We Heart Berlin President and CEO Tony Weeg to purchase ping pong tables ahead of gaining final approval to install the feature at John Howard Burbage Park.
“While the tables are available and in stock from the supplier. I wanted to go ahead and get the tables,” Weeg told the council. “One of the first steps is purchasing those tables.”
Weeg said 3-D renderings of the project are in the midst of being completed.
The equipment acquisition was made feasible after We Heart Berlin members raised close to $20,000 through beer sales during the Oktoberfest celebration in Berlin last month.
“We may end up with extra dollars to put ping pong tables in town through the money we’ve raised,” he said.
Project plans call for a permeable concrete pad and aluminum-based ping pong tables, with an associated brick retaining wall.
“The bricks and blocks are being donated,” he said.
Weeg said the brick wall would be two-feet high and two-feet wide and run roughly 25-foot in length to provide a five-foot sidewalk offset.
“Very much like the red brick you see all over downtown Berlin,” he said.
Councilmember Dean Burrell asked why a retaining wall had been included in the design.
Weeg said the feature would provide an additional park upgrade.
“We know this is going to be a congregation point for people,” he said. “The final design is not set, but we would like a seating area in the middle.”
Mayor Zach Tyndall, who noted the purchase would not negate the need for project approval, confirmed the town could store the equipment until the time comes to install the tables.
Burrell expressed enthusiasm for the ping pong addition at the William Street park.
“This is a splendid Idea and I can’t see why anyone would be opposed,” he said.
Burrell also asked if the town would be responsible for maintaining the ping pong setup.
“The tables should be maintenance-free,” Weeg said.
Town Administrator Jeff Fleetwood raised a pair of concerns, including being cognizant of a nearby natural gas line prior to beginning installation.
“We also need to establish a formal MOU on how this is all going to be handed over,” he said.
Councilmember Jay Knerr asked if a bike rack could be included in ping pong plans, which Weeg confirmed was slated for inclusion.
The council unanimously approved a motion from Burrell for the town to store ping pong tables after purchase.