Community Center Committee Discussed

BERLIN – Town officials approved a framework for the Berlin Community Center Planning Committee this week.

On Monday, the town council voted 4-0 to approve the goals, structure and term of a community center committee.

“The community center has been on the minds of much of the community for quite a number of years,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director. “I’m hopeful that this committee can get to the bottom of what we need, what we want and how do we get there.”

According to the information presented by Mayor Zack Tyndall, the committee will be tasked with soliciting input from community members regarding a community center and its location, services and potential funding sources. The committee will be made up of five residents, representing each of the town’s districts, and the staff liaison will be Wells.

“This committee is an advisory committee that acts at the direction of the mayor and council,” Tyndall said, adding that the committee would make recommendations to the council.

The committee will also submit quarterly progress reports.

Councilman Dean Burrell suggested implementing a duration for the committee.

“They need to have a term limit with an expectation of when the job is going to be done,” he said. “You just can’t leave that open-ended forever.”

The council agreed on an 18-month term for the committee.

“If we don’t know what we want in 18 months that’s a problem to begin with,” Wells said.

Tyndall said some of the information gathering the committee would be doing might require the help of an outside agency.

“What I’m going to tell the committee is if they feel some of that needs to be outsourced that they need to come to us,” he said. “Don’t drag your feet on it.”

Councilman Jack Orris agreed and said progress reports would ensure elected officials were aware of the committee’s needs.

Tyndall added that committee meetings would be open to the public.

“People can attend,” he said.

At Monday’s meeting, the council also approved reappointments of individuals for several town committees. Joe Moore, Woody Bunting, Robert Palladino and Doug Parks were reappointed to the town’s board of appeals. Mary Moore and Nornie Bunting were reappointed to the historic district commission while John Holloway, a new appointment, was approved as the commission’s alternate. Newt Chandler was reappointed to the planning commission.

Current vacancies and online applications are available on the town’s website under the “Mayor’s Office” tab.

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.