Storm Cancels Year’s Final Berlin Council Meeting

BERLIN – Because of the heavy snowfall over the weekend, Berlin’s Mayor and Council did not meet on Monday.

This week’s agenda, which included a revision to town policy regarding cell phones, gas cards and a request for a 60-day extension for EDU resolution by Schuster Properties, will be tabled until the Jan. 10 council meeting.

When asked about the agenda, Town Administrator Tony Carson provided a brief explanation for each item. He clarified that the amendment to town policy for gas cards will be, “mainly a clarification.”

“We already have specific credit card language in the policy,” said Carson. “All that will happen is we’ll expand the policy already in place.”

Berlin provides town-based credit cards to certain employees. A recent annual finance report for the town found issues with some record keeping. Since then, an overall tightening up has taken place, with town officials making sure that no such problems will surface at next year’s report. Changing policy to treat gas cards exactly like credit cards will help in that effort, according to Carson.

If the item passes when brought up in January, employees will need to keep all receipts for gas purchased with the cards and turn those into Carson or one of his colleagues.

Additionally, the second proposed amendment to Berlin’s policy would just be a clarification of language. The revision regarding town employees using cell phones while driving would serve as an official endorsement of the recently passed Maryland law.

Maryland law requires all phone calls made while driving to be hands free, except for calls made to 911 or by on-duty police officers.

The final article that the blizzard delayed is a request by Schuster Properties for a 60-day extension for an Equivalent Dwelling Unit (EDU) resolution. One EDU is equal to the estimated wastewater effluent from one household. Schuster Properties is the proposed location for a future retirement community and thus would require multiple EDUs.