Berlin’s Special Event Cleanup Questioned

BERLIN – Littering associated with the town’s special events continues to frustrate a downtown business owner.

Brooks Davis, owner of Wainwright’s Tire Center on Broad Street, told town officials this week that he spent the morning after Reggae Play Day last month picking up trash in his parking lot. He said that was in spite of the fact that he’d signed an agreement giving town staff permission to access the lot as they did their regular downtown cleanups after special events.

“It’s disappointing,” he said. “This would’ve taken all of five minutes.”

Davis approached officials during the public comment portion of Monday’s Berlin Town Council meeting. He said that when he had issues with littering associated with special events last year, he shared concerns with municipal officials and they suggested he give town staff formal approval to enter his property to pick up trash. He said he’d done that but now wanted to terminate that agreement because the town had not cleaned up his property after all.

Davis said he’d sent the mayor pictures of trash in his lot after Reggae Play Day and had not received a reply.

“Forgotten is fine, ignored is not,” Davis said.

Councilman Elroy Brittingham said the lack of cleanup in the Wainwright’s parking lot was likely an oversight. Councilman Zack Tyndall asked Davis to give the town another chance.

Davis said he was willing to give the town verbal permission to clean up his lot but that he was no longer interested in formally asking for it to be done. He said he’d considered cordoning off the lot during the hours his business was closed but had decided not to because he didn’t want to hurt other Berlin businesses. The one time he did block the lot off, Davis said, staff at the Globe dealt with complaints from several restaurant customers.

“If I block the lot and people don’t know the story, I’m the bad guy,” he said.

Davis said he wanted people to support the businesses in town and therefore would keep his parking lot open to help mercantile.

“We appreciate that,” Mayor Gee Williams said.

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.