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Sign discussion turns testy over dumpster location

Globe’s design approved, but subject gets changed

The Berlin Historic District Commission approved a painted sign for The Globe on Broad Street during its meeting on Oct. 7.

By Ally Lanasa, Staff Writer

(Oct. 15, 2020) The proposal of a sign for The Globe at 12 Broad St. led to a heated discussion about the dumpster in the rear of the restaurant at the Berlin Historic District Commission meeting on Oct. 7.

The commission approved a sign to be painted on the front of The Globe.

Bryan Brushmiller, the venue’s owner, said he wanted to use the painted sign on the entrance in lieu of the soft yellow lighting vertical sign that the commission approved in June because the signs are very expensive. He plans to paint the sign on the building until he can find a reasonably priced sign.

The painted sign will be similar to what he has above Viking Tree Trading Co., 114 N. Main St.

“I love the idea,” Chairwoman Carol Rose said. “I think Viking Tree looks really nice. There’s so many signs hanging all over town, that concept, personally, I like it.”

Brushmiller said he’d still like to incorporate a marquee as well.

Commission member Mary Moore suggested Brushmiller contact local artist Patrick Henry regarding a marquee.

Brushmiller added that they installed a projector on Oct.7, and they are treating the venue as a theater.

Since opening on Sept. 18, The Globe has hosted live bands on Friday nights.

“We believe The Globe is the mecca of the arts and entertainment for the town,” Brushmiller said.

He added that Berlin is going to be the Entertainment Capital on the Eastern Shore.

Although the commission members agreed on the design of the proposed sign, Rose told Brushmiller that she wouldn’t sign the paperwork for the sign until he moved the dumpster on Gay Street.

Rose said the Historic District Commission approved the placement of the dumpster behind the building on the presented site plan in June. Brushmiller said it didn’t work, and he and his staff are fixing it.

Currently, the dumpster is located four feet closer to Gay Street than was approved to avoid the dumpster drivers hitting the power lines, Brushmiller said.

Rose said Brushmiller should have contacted the town’s Planning Director Dave Engelhart about the dumpster, to which Brushmiller responded that he had informed Engelhart and Town Administrator Jeff Fleetwood.

The Historic District Commission wants the dumpster shielded from view.

“I had a whole proposal to tell you what I was doing with the landscaping,” he said. “We wanted to try some historical landscaping to just keep that dumpster hidden from the street. I agree no one wants to drive down a historic street and see the dumpster. We literally came to no more options. I spoke to some people earlier today and about 10 minutes before the meeting started Brooks [Davis] from Wainwrights called me and said, ‘Happy to help you out.’”

Rose referenced the June meeting again when Brushmiller stated he would paint the lattice. She said The Globe’s outside latticework was full of weeds and an overflow of cardboard boxes.

“I tell you what, Carol, I put over a million dollars in this,” Brushmiller said. “If you don’t think I’m concerned about the outside trash, which I’ve been working on all day today, then you must not even understand where I’m coming from … For you to bring up in a meeting on a sign about me having some boxes that are put there for recycling, I would be remiss if I didn’t bring this up because I think this is almost ridiculous.”

Brushmiller maintained that he has been working on the dumpster issue for some time and has been in contact with the dumpster and landscaping companies as well as mocked-up plans to fix it.

Moore argued that the dumpster issue was not relevant to the reason for meeting with Brushmiller on Oct. 7, saying the commission had other cases to review and could discuss the dumpster later.

Moore added that Brushmiller could resolve the issue with Engelhart.

“We have a great relationship,” Brushmiller said. “For you to bring this up in a town meeting, I should call this out … What? Are you trying to teach me a lesson?”

Rose replied no, stating that when the commission approves a proposal it should be done.

“That’s the only thing we, as a board, ask,” she said. “When people come, we work with them, everything is approved [and] it should be done that way. If there’s an issue, somebody needs to call [Engelhart] and let him know.”

Brushmiller said on Wednesday that a dumpster with wheels has been ordered to replace the existing dumpster. It will be placed in the original approved location, hidden from view.

During the meeting, the commission also approved an “Outten’s Delites” sign for Town Center Antiques, 1 N. Main St. Bill Outten said he trades under Fisher Inc. there.

Lastly, Fleetwood addressed a new procedure to help notify new homeowners that have purchased property within the historic district.

When new homeowners establish a utility account, town employees will review the street map and inform them if their address is within the historic district. Then, homeowners will sign a form stating their acknowledgment of their home being in the historic district.

“They’re then going to be told to go to the planning building and see Dave [Engelhart] or Carolyn [Duffy],” Fleetwood said. “Dave and Carolyn are going to give them a little packet that says these are the do’s and don’t’s … as it relates to the [Historic District Commission]. They are going to acknowledge that as well.”

Commission member Robert Poli added that prospective homeowners should be informed that the commission is more concerned with the exterior of the house. Fleetwood said that will be included in the packet.