BERLIN – The Berlin Parks Commission reviewed plans to add ping pong tables to Burbage Park this week.
On Tuesday, Berlin resident Tony Weeg shared a concept plan for the addition of ping pong tables to Burbage Park on William Street.
“The nonprofit I’ve started, We Heart Berlin, has already started collecting donations for this,” Weeg said.
Weeg initially started a We Heart Berlin Facebook page last year as a candidate for town council. Though he wasn’t elected, he’s hoping to use the momentum he built online to spur positive change in the community. The first project he has planned is ping pong tables for Burbage Park. He also started a fundraising effort for a skate park.
Weeg told the commission this week he was hoping to buy locally made tables and install them on concrete, or permeable, pads at the small park. He also envisions a white picket fence and hedge to keep balls, and people, from going into the road.
“Everybody on the council has heard my spiel about this,” he said. “A lot of them are in favor of this.”
Weeg, who has started a Go Fund Me page to help with fundraising for the project, believes donations will increase once We Heart Berlin’s nonprofit status is final, since donations will then be tax deductible.
When asked about the estimated cost of the project, Weeg said the concrete and tables would cost less than $15,000 but that he had yet to get pricing on the fence and hedge.
Town Administrator Jeff Fleetwood asked who would handle maintenance of the tables.
“I’d love for most of this, what we’re changing there, to not need much maintenance,” Weeg said.
He added that grass cutting, which the town already handled at the site, would have to occur either way.
“The nonprofit, part of our mission statement is improving the parks in the town,” he said. “That could certainly fall under improvement. Whether we’re going to cut the grass there I’m not sure but we’re definitely going to take care of the place.”
Deputy Town Administrator Mary Bohlen told Weeg that while the parks commission only provided recommendations to the mayor and town council, she thought the first step in the process should be consultation with Miss Utility.
“At this point in time I have no idea what might or might not be under that ground,” she said. “Obviously the presence of existing utilities would greatly impact what ends up happening.”
Weeg agreed and said if there were utilities underground that would prevent his plans from moving forward, the tables could be installed in one of the town’s other parks.