Berlin Officials Continue Heron Park Cleanup Talks

BERLIN – While no concrete plans are in place, town officials remain committed to moving forward with cleanup at Heron Park.

Mayor Gee Williams told the town council this week that as the birding season was approaching, he hoped the town could work toward reopening Heron Park on Old Ocean City Boulevard.

“Now that the time of use of the park is starting to come upon us I think it’s time we have discussions again,” Williams said.

He pointed out that birding activities started in the winter and increased in March and April.

“We’re not going to decide tonight … but there are ways in which we can open the park safely,” he said.

Town Administrator Jeff Fleetwood agreed and stressed that the chemicals discovered on the site last year had been completely removed.

“I want it clear that there are no known chemicals on site,” he said.

He said the five areas of the park that had prompted its closure to the public were the five buildings that had been partially demolished.

“All those areas have been cordoned off,” he said. “Not six-foot fences and all that good stuff but they’ve been cordoned off and there is signage there that says keep out, I will say again I don’t see where you’ve got a great liability based off what’s there.”

Councilman Zack Tyndall however, said he wasn’t comfortable opening the park in its current condition.

“I think if we put some decent barriers up, better than what we have now, and better than caution tape, it might be able to be open enough you could watch the birds and things of that nature,” he said.

He asked if any of the cleanup could be accomplished by town staff. Fleetwood confirmed that some of the work could be done by municipal employees and that they could begin as soon as next week.

Fleetwood added that the town had issued a request for proposals related to cleanup and had received bids from two companies.

“It was broken down with a price for each of those five locations, to finish the demolition,” he said. “That is another thing we can consider.”

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.