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New administrative policy for park fee waivers in Berlin

Because of a unanimous Berlin Town Council vote on Monday, nonprofit groups requesting fee wavers for park use can now go through the town administrator, rather than having to make a formal request in public before the council.

By Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(June 14, 2018) Berlin Town Administrator Laura Allen is now in charge of approving fee waivers for nonprofit use of town parks, following a 3-0 Town Council vote on Monday night.

Per the amended ordinance, fees can be waived “upon request and with verification of nonprofit status.”

A public hearing on the matter was opened and closed without comment.

Berlin Mayor Gee Williams said the new policy would apply to Stephen Decatur and Dr. William Henry parks. Previously, applicants had to ask the Town Council to waive the fees.

“It seems to me that since we have a long history with all these folks, if there’s any question, then the town administrator can simply say, ‘You need to come before the council,’” Williams said. “This is, it seems to me, an administrative act and not something that would have to cause people to take more of their time to get some of these fees waived [for nonprofits], which I think we’ve done 100 percent of the time.”

Councilman Thom Gulyas, who suggested the amendment during a previous Town Council meeting, made the motion to approve it. The vote was unanimous with two councilmembers, Dean Burrell and Troy Purnell, absent.

“I feel extremely confident in the ability of the town administrator to make these decisions on her own,” Gulyas said. “It would certainly streamline the issues we have up here, and I seriously doubt that she’s going to have any issues with that … she’s always got the best interests of the town at heart – I firmly believe that.

“One more thing to add to your list,” he added with a laugh.

To request a fee waiver for nonprofit use of town parks, contact Allen at 410-641-4144 or email