BERLIN – Town officials are looking to purchase café tables and chairs with a grant from the AARP Community Challenge.
Last week, Berlin received a $5,000 grant from the AARP Community Challenge, which funds projects that make communities livable for people of all ages.
Ivy Wells, the town’s economic development director, said she was looking for ways to establish more seating during Berlin’s events when she discovered the AARP Community Challenge grant.
“AARP teamed up with the National Main Street Center and put out a community challenge,” she said. “They encouraged downtown communities to apply for grant funding to make their downtown more accessible for people who are older.”
Wells noted that many residents and visitors who attended events in Berlin were often forced to sit on sidewalk curbs.
“I realized that during these events people had no place to sit and were sitting on the curb,” she said. “If you are over 50, or any age, it’s not fun to sit on the curb. We really needed to do something about it, and when the Community Challenge came out I thought it was perfect.”
Wells said the AARP Community Challenge received more than 1,200 applications, and Berlin was one of 129 communities to be selected. She said the $5,000 grant would be used to purchase café tables and chairs that will be placed on Main Street during town events.
“As soon as I find out more details I will purchase them immediately,” she said. “I want them to be of good quality, and I want to make sure we make the right decision now that we have the funding.”
Wells said the public works department will store the tables and chairs in a building at Berlin Falls Park and will take them out for town events, but volunteers would have to set them up.
“I am reaching out to volunteers to do this,” she said.
Wells said she expects the tables and chairs to improve the town’s events.
“We trying to make things better in Berlin,” she said.