Berlin Falls Committee To Tour Site

BERLIN – The Berlin Falls Park Advisory Committee will spend the coming weeks touring the park and reviewing information on file about the property.

The Berlin Falls Park Advisory Committee held its second meeting last week. The 12-member group discussed an array of possibilities for the public space but decided to focus first on gaining a better understanding of the property and options already explored by town staff.

“I think the committee’s really interested in building a solid foundation,” Town Administrator Laura Allen said.

On Feb. 11, the committee will tour the more than 60-acre park with town staff. In March, they’ll review the various studies and plans commissioned by the municipality in recent years. Allen also hopes to have a consulting firm that worked with the town last year meet with the committee to help with brainstorming. In addition, David Deutsch, the town’s project coordinator, is also expected to share with the committee the research he’s conducted regarding what it would take to bring a YMCA to Berlin Falls Park.

“We want to start at the beginning,” said committee member Kate Patton during last week’s meeting. “We want to inventory everything.”

During the park tour, the committee will also have the opportunity to review the proposed locations of six interpretive signs that the town has purchased with a grant from the Maryland Coastal Bays Program. The signs will be installed in the natural area of the park near the ponds.

At last week’s meeting, committee members selected Amy Field to serve as its chairperson and Jack Orris to serve as vice chair. Field asked Allen just what was expected from the committee.

Allen explained that the committee had the town’s support as it explored options for Berlin Falls Park. She said the committee could come up with ideas and the town would help provide expertise when needed.

“My understanding of your charge is it’s very broad,” Allen said, “but I don’t want you to feel like you’re out there on a limb by yourself. Whatever you’re interested in pursuing it’s our responsibility to give you the best support we can.”

In the end, the committee will provide recommendations to the Berlin Town Council. Elected officials will make the final decisions.

“You are advisory to the city council,” Allen said. “You’d be making recommendations to the city council that they may take, they may modify or they may not take.”

In response to Field’s inquiry regarding the park’s budget, Allen said the long-term goal was for the park to produce some revenue.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.