BERLIN – Citing the lack of available funding for projects, town officials this week voted to disband the Heron Park Advisory Committee.
On Monday, the Berlin Town Council voted unanimously to dissolve the committee that was created in 2017. Minutes of committee meetings will remain on the town’s website.
“When future funding becomes available and we can do some things on that side we can go back to those ideas and hopefully progress right where the committee left off,” Mayor Zack Tyndall said.
Tyndall told the council he’d spoken to committee members in recent weeks regarding its potential elimination. Even if it weren’t disbanded, he said some members wanted to resign and others would need to be replaced, as there were now too many council members on the committee. Those issues aside, there’s no funding available for projects at the park. Tyndall said what was available was used to clean up the chemical spill that occurred when several buildings on the former poultry processing plant property were being demolished in 2019.
“It’s no surprise to anyone that the funding that was associated with Heron Park and the money we had earmarked for some of the projects and development has gone to the chemical spill that occurred,” he said. “There’s really no funding left in that project to be able to make many of the suggestions come to fruition from the committee. Rather than having the committee continuing to churn their wheels and generate ideas that are very good but also have very little likelihood at the present moment of making it to fruition, I’m asking the council to consider dissolving the Heron Park committee for the time being.”
Councilman Jack Orris, who served as vice chair of the committee, thanked his fellow committee members for their efforts.
“I think we all had great discussion, great ideas, unfortunately things kind of happened and then funding is always a concern,” he said. “So I just want to thank fellow committee members for their dedication, energy and ideas. I’m just hopeful we can make it work in some other form in the future.”
The council voted unanimously to disband the committee. Town Administrator Jeff Fleetwood said that anytime anyone had a suggestion for Heron Park or any other park in town, they were welcome to contact him.
“If a citizen has an observation, a suggestion, by all means pick up the phone,” he said.