Harrison Ave. Paving Project Begins

 BERLIN – Berlin held its last town council meeting of 2009 Monday night, covering several items including public works topics and new playground equipment.

Road Projects Underway

Harrison Ave. was scheduled for paving this week with a temporary layer of asphalt, which should last four or five years. Previous attempts to cover the road with gravel or crush and run did not last long, especially with the amount of traffic using the road to cut over to the western edge of town, according to town officials.

Vine and Graham Streets received a base paving layer on schedule right before Christmas. Workers will wait to apply the top coat of paving until the spring, to give those roads a chance to settle after the high amounts of rain this fall.

“That’s exciting news,” said Berlin Mayor Gee Williams.

A cut-out on Flower St. will be paved soon, said town administrator Tony Carson, after an inquiry from Councilman Dean Burrell.

The work had been waiting on better weather, with the town originally hoping to get the work done by last week, at the same time as Vine and Graham streets.

That project needs to be completed as soon as possible, said Councilman Elroy Brittingham, because school buses and other school traffic uses Flower St. heavily.

Brittingham also asked Berlin public works staff to take a look at Branch St., on the west side of Route 113, which has a lot of water pockets. The road appears to be deteriorating, Brittingham said.

New Trash Rules Passed

The town council passed a new garbage ordinance, mandating rules for town-supplied trashcans for all residences and commercial accounts. The new ordinance, modified after a first reading earlier this fall, allows residential property owners to pay $100 each for additional trashcans. The first trashcan is supplied free. Commercial trash customers are allowed two trash containers by right and are also allowed to pay a fee for additional cans. The ordinance also specified that the trash can belong to the town and should remain on the property.

New Park Equipment Coming

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has awarded $10,000 in Program Open Space funds to the town of Berlin to purchase new and replacement playground equipment for Stephen Decatur Park.

The only other Maryland Program Open Space grants were given to counties, Williams pointed out.

“We were the only town in the state to be awarded,” Williams said.