BERLIN – Town officials announced this week severance pay to Berlin’s former town administrator amounted to slightly more than $68,000.
At a meeting of the Berlin Town Council Tuesday, officials shared that firing Laura Allen cost the town $68,048.89.
“I know from a professional perspective this is an extremely conservative severance package,” said Jeff Fleetwood, who is now the acting town administrator.
Allen was fired in September, when officials criticized her handling of a chemical spill at Heron Park, among other issues. Her contract ran from January 2017 to June of 2021, according to Fleetwood.
“The contract was not paid out in its duration,” he said. “Payout was actually three months of regular pay plus all accrued vacation and sick time.”
Mayor Gee Williams said he wanted to make sure the public was aware of the cost of Allen’s termination in response to press inquiries and address rumors.
“There were some interesting rumors about town that the severance was $120,000, over $200,000, the sky seemed to be the limit,” he said. “We just want to make sure everyone knows. It’s not to embarrass anyone but it’s also just part of the many ways we’re trying to be as transparent as we can be within the confines and limits of the law.”
As far as the future of Heron Park, which remains closed, Fleetwood said the town would be issuing a request for proposals next week. He’s hopeful the town will get bids from companies interested in small-scale cleanup of debris left in the wake of the spill.
“The goal would be to have the work completed as quick as possible,” Fleetwood said.