Berlin Hoping State Grant Can Fund Decatur Park Restrooms

BERLIN – The town will again seek a grant to fund the construction of permanent restrooms at Stephen Decatur Park.

The Berlin Town Council on Monday agreed to submit a Community Parks and Playgrounds grant application to help fund restrooms at Stephen Decatur Park. Though the project failed to receive a grant the last time the town applied, officials said they still thought it was a worthwhile project.

“Regardless of what they feel is important I would like to think that the town of Berlin feels that giving our children and our patrons of the park a permanent place to go to the bathroom is important to us,” Councilman Dean Burrell said.

Deputy Town Administrator Mary Bohlen told officials Monday that Berlin’s most recent Community Parks and Playgrounds grant application — which sought funds to install basketball court lighting at Henry Park — had not been successful. She said she’d reached out to the town’s Community Parks and Playgrounds liaison.

“She indicated that the applications had been fine,” Bohlen said. “The projects that we’ve submitted are not what they’re prioritizing.”

In recent years the town has submitted two applications for lighting at Henry Park and one application for restrooms for Stephen Decatur Park. None have been successful. Bohlen said she’d been told the program was prioritizing “fun stuff,” essentially new development of playgrounds and the like.

She said at this point officials needed to decide whether to keep submitting the two projects or come up with something new that might be more likely to get a grant.

Mayor Gee Williams asked if there was another project that had been identified as a possibility by the Berlin Parks Commission.

“There’s nothing we’re ready to move forward with right now,” Bohlen said, adding that the application was due in a few weeks.

At Burrell’s suggestion, the council agreed to reapply for the bathroom project now and spend the next year putting together the documentation needed for another project that might be more likely to be chosen for grant funding.

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.