By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(Oct. 19, 2017) The Berlin Town Council last Tuesday approved a $139,364.57 contract with Goody Hill Goundwork Inc. to repair Baker Street. The contract was about $20,000 over budget, but included additional drainage improvements not part of the original scope of work. Additional funds will be taken from town reserves to pay for the overage. The council appropriated $120,000 for the project in the fiscal year 2018 budget approved in June. Town staff and representatives from engineering firm Davis, Bowen & Friedel, Inc. met with residents on Baker Street in August, and the project was expanded as a result of those discussions to include storm drain and catch basin upgrades to address the drainage complaints. Two bids were received for the project. The other, from George & Lynch Inc., came in at more than $163,000. Town staff recommended awarding the full contract to Goody Hill. During the Town Council meeting, Baker Street resident Suzanne Parks supported the improvements, but said a truck ban designed to protect the street had reduced but not eliminated, heavy truck traffic. She said the signs prohibiting trucks were difficult to see. Based on discussions between Parks, Mayor Gee Williams, Police Chief Arnold Downing and the other councilmembers, additional signs may be installed. Councilman Zack Tyndall also suggested contacting GPS providers like Google Maps and asking them note the restricted traffic pattern. Parks was jokingly referred to as “the Mayor of Baker Street” during the meeting. “We want to thank the council, all the residents of Baker Street, for what you are doing for Baker Street,” she said. “It’s sorely needed.” Josh Taylor from Davis, Bowen & Friedel, said contract and bond work could be in place within two weeks and estimated construction would finished by Christmas, depending on weather conditions. Goody Hill workers are finishing road and stormwater improvements on William Street in Berlin. Councilman Dean Burrell made the motion to approve the full contract and the vote was unanimous. Town Administrator Laura Allen added there were more than adequate reserves to cover the project overage.