Zoo Groundbreaking Slated

SALISBURY — Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton is inviting the public to a groundbreaking ceremony for the Salisbury Zoological Park Animal Health Building on Monday, March 28.

The project includes the construction of a new Animal Health Clinic, which will enable the Salisbury Zoological Park to have a facility that will house and treat the current and future animal collection. It will also further the Zoo’s involvement in the conservation breeding programs. The project will include geothermal heating and air for efficiency, a necropsy room, a surgery room, multiple animal holding areas and quarantine space. A secondary use of the new clinic will be for emergency housing during inclement weather.

“The construction of this building is very important to the future of the Salisbury Zoological Park,” said Zoo Director Joel Hamilton. “As we move towards the implementation of our Master Plan, completed in 2006, AZA accreditation is very critical to our success. Phase One of that Master Plan includes the Animal Health Clinic. The ability to provide consistent, modern medical care to our animal collection is very important.”

The project will begin construction this month and is expected to be completed by March 2012. The groundbreaking ceremony on March 28 will begin at 1:30 p.m. and will be held next to the Salisbury Zoological Administrative Building behind Ben’s Red Swings. Ireton explained the funding for the project.

“The project, funded by a City of Salisbury Public Improvement Bond of 2009, a Maryland Historic Grant, a state bond and private donations to the Renew the Zoo capital campaign and managed by the Delmarva Zoological Society, is an example of the community and all levels of government working together for the good of the zoo, and ultimately, for the good of Salisbury,” he said.

Clean-up Day Scheduled

BERLIN — Grow Berlin Green and the town of Berlin are gearing up for the 3rd Annual Take Pride in Berlin Clean-up Day, scheduled for Saturday, April 16.

The organization and the town are urging residents to join their “green teams” and take part in engaging in clean-up and beautification activities throughout Berlin. Clean-up activities are scheduled from 9-11:30 a.m. and will be followed by food, fun and festivities at Henry Park from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Festivities include free barbeque lunch for clean-up participants, live music from Phil Knight’s band “Galaxy Collective,” informational booths and children’s activities. Participants will also have a chance to enter the GBG Green Gift Box raffle, featuring prizes such as eco-tours, plants, gift certificates and up-cycled and recycled gifts donated by Berlin merchants.

Anyone interested in participating in the event or donating to the GBG raffle is urged to contact Grow Berlin Green at 410-629-1538, or [email protected].

Salisbury Sewer Suit Moved To Circuit Court

SALISBURY — Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton announced last week a federal judge has approved the city’s motion to dismiss the suit against the engineering firm that designed the recent improvements to the wastewater treatment plant, allowing the case to be tried in Wicomico County Circuit Court instead.

The decision by federal Circuit Court Judge Legg had been pending since September when the city filed its motion to dismiss the suit from federal court in Baltimore and file it in Wicomico County.

“This is a significant step in this lawsuit,” the mayor said. “It will be less expensive to try this suit in the Circuit Court for Wicomico County than would have been the case if we had to try the case in Baltimore. This decision also allows the suit to proceed now that we know win which court it will be tried.”

Salisbury has sued O’Brien and Gere, the engineering firm that designed the improvements to the wastewater treatment plant that were intended to meet new environmental standards.

The improvements have not worked as intended and, as a result, the plant has not operated as required by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). The city is also suing Construction Dynamics Group, Inc., the project’s construction manager.

In a related matter, Salisbury was also successful in being granted a stay in its lawsuit against MDE pertaining to a Consent Judgment issued against the city. This stay, which was granted by Circuit Court Judge Newton Jackson, will permit the city and MDE to continue to work out the terms of an amended Consent Judgment pertaining to the construction of improvements at the wastewater treatment plant, which are intended to bring the plant into compliance with environmental requirements.

“We are grateful that the court has granted this stay,” said Ireton. “We are awaiting a draft Consent Judgment from MDE and we will need this additional time to ensure that the Consent Judgment is fair to the city.”