County Wants Town To Maintain Road After Annexation

BERLIN –  While they don’t object to the Town of Berlin’s proposed annexation of the I.G. Burton property, county officials will ask the town to take over Barrett Road as part of the process.

The Worcester County Commissioners this week agreed to advise town officials that they concurred with the town’s annexation plans provided that the town take over Barrett Road.

“I think we should take care of that road before we move forward,” Commissioner Ted Elder said.

According to staff, the town is moving forward with plans to annex roughly six acres that is currently the I.G. Burton Chevrolet property. Ed Tudor, the county’s director of development review and permitting, said the proposed annexation was consistent with zoning classifications. The only issue he identified was the maintenance of Barrett Road, which bisects the dealership property and provides access to Old Ocean City Boulevard. The road is currently county-owned and county-maintained.

“John Tustin, the county’s public works director, has indicated that the county does not generally maintain any roads within the boundaries of the Town of Berlin,” Tudor wrote in his report to the commissioners.

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Tustin referenced a previous annexation.

“He noted that when the town annexed the Stephen Decatur Middle School property a number of years ago, the town assumed ownership and maintenance responsibilities for portions of Seahawk Road and Flower Street and questioned why this situation would be any different,” the report read. “Especially because other properties have frontage on or are accessed via Barrett Road, it is imperative that this matter be satisfactorily resolved before the annexation is finally approved.”

The commissioners agreed to send the town a letter concurring with the annexation as long as the town took over responsibility for Barrett Road.

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.