Berlin To Help With Little League Lights

BERLIN- Town leaders agreed to donate more than $13,000 in labor costs to Berlin Little League in its efforts to install lights at the local ballfield.

The Berlin Town Council voted unanimously in favor of donating $13,680 in labor by its electric department to Berlin Little League. The council’s approval means that once the league has raised the money to buy lights, the town’s electric department will aid in their installation. Mayor Gee Williams praised the organization and its facilities.

“It’s a community asset on a number of levels,” he said. “The most important thing is youngsters from the greater Berlin area get to enjoy it.”

Tripper Heckscher, treasurer of Berlin Little League, said the concept of installing lights on the “D” field at the league complex came about as a way to extend playing time. He said the program had grown to include more than 500 kids and that the only way to accommodate them all was to expand the hours during the day in which they could play. He said the league benefited the local economy by drawing people into Berlin and would continue to do so.

“Having the lights takes that league to the next level,” Heckscher said.

He said the lights would cost close to $100,000 but that Taylor Bank had agreed to give the organization a $50,000 loan if the league could raise $50,000. He said they’d raised $7,500 toward the goal already.
Because of the cost of the lights, Heckscher said the league was asking the town to allow its electric department to install the lights once they were purchased. Tim Lawrence, the town’s electric utility director, estimated the work would equate to $13,680 in labor costs. Lawrence told the council that Choptank Electric would also be providing labor for the work and that Delmarva Power’s contractors would supply necessary equipment for the installation.

Williams said the Berlin Little League had been an important part of the community since it was created in the 1950s.

“The entire operation has been a source of community pride for generations,” he said. “That facility is one of the best in the state. It didn’t happen overnight.”

He agreed with Heckscher’s assertion that the program had a substantial economic impact on downtown Berlin. He said he often saw children on the sidewalks still in their baseball uniforms.

“It brings good people,” Williams said. “Folks with children and families.”

Councilman Dean Burrell asked if the town’s electric department employees could handle the added work with their current duties. Lawrence assured him they could. Burrell went on to make the motion to approve the donation of labor.

“I’m a Little League supporter,” Burrell said. “I’m aware of what Little League does for this town.”