The Town of Berlin met late Wednesday to consider a proposal by the Chamber of Commerce to help obtain a permanent home for itself and the town’s Visitor Center.
The Chamber has an opportunity to relocate their offices to 14 S. Main Street with the assistance of a $125,000 Community Legacy Grant and $150,000 grant from the Humphrey’s Foundation by securing the purchase of the building through the town. The town faces very little risk, with the chamber paying off the balance of the purchase price at higher than current rates earned by town funds, and will reap untold rewards.
In addition to securing more public parking at the south end of Main Street, the new Chamber offices will encourage visitor traffic and retail development along the south end of Main Street’s shopping district.
The purchase will also help foster the arts, benefitting the Chamber and Artists as well as the town. Upon completion of the purchase the Chamber will turn a portion of the building into an artist’s cooperative and gallery. Artists will be able to rent studio space well below the cost of a full studio, while providing a revenue stream for the Chamber. The Artists will also receive the tax benefits of producing their work within the Arts and Entertainment District.
This is a perfect example of the state and town along with the historic, business and arts communities coming together to the overall benefit of the town.