Berlin Picks Parking Study Vendor

BERLIN – Town officials have selected a civil engineering firm to conduct a parking and mobility study for Berlin.

The Berlin Town Council voted unanimously earlier this month to approve an agreement with Columbia-based Sabra and Associates Inc. for a parking and mobility study. The decision came after a staff committee recommended the firm out of five candidates.

“The review process resulted in their recommendation to hire Sabra and Associates based on the completeness of their presentation and some of the examples that they gave they felt were a really good fit for Berlin,” Town Administrator Laura Allen said.

Town officials committed to funding a parking study early on in the last budget process. The town released a request for qualifications seeking a firm to take a comprehensive look at parking and mobility this summer.

Allen said five proposals were received but one was deemed incomplete. A staff committee of Economic Development Director Ivy Wells, Administrative Services Director Mary Bohlen, Planning Director Dave Engelhart, Finance Director Natalie Saleh and Human Resources Director Jeff Fleetwood reviewed the proposals and interviewed the top two firms.

After those interviews the committee recommended Sabra and Associates. Allen said the jurisdictions the company listed as references offered praise.

“They come back highly recommended,” she said. “In fact one community says you get a huge value for your dollar.”

When Councilman Dean Burrell asked Allen why the town’s police chief hadn’t been on the review committee, she said he had reviewed the request for proposals and been in communication with her regarding the study.

The council approved a contract with Sabra and Associates for $24,480.

“The idea being if this first set of tasks goes well and we want to do additional work we’d probably contract with them for subsequent phases,” Allen 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.