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Mayor Tyndall reviews 2021, goals for 2022

Asks for public’s opinions on what it hopes to see

By Greg Ellison

(Jan. 13, 2022) Berlin Mayor Zack Tyndall gave the Town Council his overview of operations for 2021 on Monday evening, and followed that up by promoting the formulation goals for this year when the council convenes again on Jan. 24.

Tyndall said the 2021 data traces back to the start of his term as mayor in October 2020.

Staffing issues were minimal during 2021, with the town employing 70 full-time staffer and two par- timers, along with three unfilled positions.

“Employee turnover remained below 3 percent,” he said.

Tyndall said although a number of employees had reached length-of-service times with the town of up to 35 years, none were honored in 2021 because of covid-19 restrictions.

“We’re looking in 2022 to hold events to mark anniversaries,” he said.

The numerous awards and accomplishments in 2021 recognized by Tyndall included those going to the Electric Department.

“It is worth reiterating our staff are receiving individual and departmental awards for safety many years in a row,” he said. “It’s representative of the leadership in the Electric Department.”

Other accomplishments by the Electric Department included savings consumers money.

“In 2021, we saved customers approximately $600,000 from peak shaving operations,” he said.

Tyndall said Berlin received numerous honors in 2021 including a sustainable Maryland designation, recertification as a “Bee City,” gold-star award from the Maryland Coastal Bays Program and top 10 percent attraction rating on Trip Advisor.

Berlin was the beneficiary of numerous state and federal grants in 2021.

Topping the list was $122,000 from the Maryland Department of Energy Administration for a rooftop solar project at Schofield electrical facility and a $500,000 Strategic Demolition Grant from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

The latter will be used “To help take care of all or a portion of that building on the Heron Park property,” he said.

Tyndall also noted Berlin was awarded relief grants for electric customers, USDA funding for police vehicles, money for Main Street improvements and backing from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to build bathrooms in Stephen Decatur Park.

Capital projects completed in 2021 included replacing pavilion roofs at both Henry and Decatur parks, installing new roofs at the power plant and planning building and replacing 37 windows in Town Hall.

Looking at financial management, Tyndall said improvements were made to the annual budget schedule.

“We received a favorable independent audit in FY 20 and FY 21,” he said.

Other financial high points included establishing a general fund reserve policy and continuing efforts to increase that sum.

“We identified 400-plus water meters that were reading incorrectly and implemented a replacement schedule,” he said.

Development and growth in 2021 were also reviewed, with Tyndall noting the town issued 361 building permits last year.

“We collected $232,000 in impact fees for new development,” he said.

Berlin also generated roughly $1.8 million in revenues from selling 114 EDUs in 2021.

“We negotiated an agreement with Willows to transfer a portion of town property at end of Maple Avenue in exchange for milling and … installing new sidewalks,” he said.

Berlin also netted $18,000 from issuing 250 business licenses last year.

“We had seven new businesses open,” he said.

Town pursuits undertaken in 2021 included adding POW-MIA flags and discontinuing single-stream recycling at Heron Park for an annual savings of $50,000.

Tyndall said the town established a partnership in 2021 with Eastbound Disc Golf to install a course at Decatur Park.

Also, in 2021 Berlin issued requests for proposals for parcels in Heron Park, street paving and improvements at Decatur Park

In addition to soliciting suggestions for 2022 goals from council members and department heads, Tyndall is also seeking comments from the community.

“I have been asking for some public help in developing the Town of Berlin 2022 goals,” he said.

Residents wishing to suggest 2022 goals, in addition to commenting on the Town of Berlin Facebook page, can also email or call 410-641-3858.