Awning, windows included in plans for downtown bldg.
By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer
(May 8, 2019) Berlin Town Councilman Troy Purnell didn’t have his usual view of the council chambers when he faced members of the Historic District Commission during a meeting last Wednesday evening.
Purnell, owner of Purnell Properties Inc., received approval from the commission for work being done to the façade of the Purnell building on 114 and 116 N. Main St.
Purnell said he received a grant through the town’s Economic and Community Development Department and plans to update the front of the building, add an awning and install energy-efficient storefront windows.
“I think adding an awning is really going to make it look nice,” Chairwoman Carol Rose said last Wednesday.
Ivy Wells, Berlin’s director of the economic and community development department, said Purnell received $20,000 in a reimbursable grant.
Under the grant, Wells said, property owners like Purnell make the necessary improvements, and the town then reimburses them for a portion of the project’s approved amount in a one-to-one match. She added the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development then reimburses the town.
Wells also said the funding is available for $10,000 per address, but the project would likely cost more than the grant funding provided.
Purnell said he’d like to use Dryvit, a material similar to stucco, rather than the brick that lines the buildings along Main Street in downtown Berlin.
However, Vice Chairman Robert Poli and Commission member Laura Stearns agreed they would prefer more traditional option.
“I kind [of] think it’s nice to add a little diversity,” Purnell replied.
Commission member Mary Moore struggled to get a good sense of the project, as no tangible samples of windowpanes or other materials were brought to the meeting.
“I really think it’s important to clarify because all I have is a picture,” Moore said during the meeting.
Poli said that it’s crucial the aesthetic of Purnell’s project “matched with the design of the town.”
Poli moved to approve Purnell’s request, and Commission member Norman Bunting seconded it. The vote was unanimous.