BERLIN – The Berlin Mayor and Council discussed several topics briefly at the March 8 meeting, including the town’s new official dessert, a new finance director, commercial recycling in town, sinkholes in town streets and the potential for eco-tourism related manufacturing in Berlin’s warehouse spaces.
— As of Monday night, Berlin’s official dessert is the Original Peach Dumpling. The council voted unanimously to anoint the dessert as its official sweet treat.
The Original Peach Dumpling is the brainchild of Jill Hoshal and Robin Tomaselli of the not-yet-opened Baked Desserts Café on Main St., in the former Pink Box Bakery building. Hoshal expects to have the bakery open in time for the Spring Celebration on April 3.
“We are thankful to be here. One of the ways we thought we could be part of the community was to work with the community to come up with a dessert for Berlin,” said Hoshal.
After some research into town history, the partners decided a peach dumpling would be the right dessert for Berlin.
Berlin was once home to Harrison Nurseries, a major peach producer. Sandra Dewey, born a Harrison, and who recalls working in a peach packing house in the summer of 1950, was on hand to support the new official dessert.
“It looks delicious,” said Councilwoman Paula Lynch.
Hoshal and Tomaselli, with helpers Bill Hoshal and Shelly Annis, presented the council, staff, and audience with peach dumplings.
The peach dumpling builds on a renewed emphasis on the town’s orchard heritage. Last year, the town added a Peach Festival in August.
“The Peach Festival was an unbelievable success and quite frankly I think it’s only going to get better and better,” said Berlin Mayor Gee Williams.
— New Finance Director Lynn Musgrave is a familiar face at Town Hall, having served for the last year as senior accountant for the town.
Berlin advertised the position extensively, said Williams Monday night as he announced the decision, and interviewed several good candidates.
“We felt that the best candidate was already in house,” said Williams. The council likes to promote from within, he said.
Musgrave assumed the duties of the finance director in December on a trial basis. The council offered the position to her officially last week.
Under Musgrave’s direction, many of the recommendations for improvement made during the annual audit by an outside accounting firm have been followed, Williams said.
— Commercial businesses in Berlin will soon be able to take advantage of a recycling set-up for local businesses, Public Works Director Mike Gibbons said Monday night. The bin will be placed behind The Globe, where local restaurants can access it.
Worcester County Public Works will manage the recycling, charging $125 per trip to retrieve the filled container. The bin should be available sometime this spring, according to the mayor.
“It took awhile but they came through,” Williams said. “We see it as a demonstration project.”
— Several sinkholes in town are being taken care of, Water and Wastewater Director Jane Kreiter said Monday night.
One sinkhole opened up at Broad and West streets.
“Unfortunately, a motorist drove their vehicle into the sinkhole,” said Kreiter.
That sinkhole was caused by large amounts of water in the local soil, which rushed into a manhole, creating a void under the asphalt.
“The water is still so plentiful in that area it created more holes in the adjacent manhole,” Kreiter said.
— A new committee to support the development of eco-tourism manufacturing in the town met this week.
“I’m very excited about that committee. What we’re looking for is something to go into the warehouses related to eco-tourism,” said Berlin Economic Development Director Michael Day.
One option would be kayak manufacturing or storage. “We’ve had some interest in this. We’ve got one real strong interest,” Day said. “We really are partnering with DLITE (Delmarva Low Impact Tourism) on that and we’re going to let them be our salesperson.”