BERLIN– While efforts to bring a community center to town are moving forward, officials are delaying plans for a citizen committee.
Mayor Zack Tyndall said last week that meetings are underway regarding property on Flower Street that’s been discussed as a community center site. Officials believe it’s too early, however, to focus the community center committee on the project.
“We’re going to put the committee process on hold while we work through some ideas on moving forward,” he said during last Monday’s council meeting.
In October, for $40,000 the town purchased a half-acre lot on Flower Street connected to the property containing the multipurpose building and the Berlin Head Start facility. Officials have long hoped the properties, once combined, could be home to a community center.
Tyndall said town officials have been meeting with representatives of the Berlin Community Improvement Association and Shore Up regarding the property and plans for the future. As a result, Tyndall said the town wouldn’t be appointing members to the new community center committee that was created last year just yet.
“It’s the belief of that group of folks we met with in the latter part of December we’re going to put that committee process on hold while we work through some ideas on moving forward,” he said.
Tyndall stressed however that the project was still moving forward. Councilwoman Shaneka Nichols reiterated the town’s commitment as well.
“The committee itself, there’s a pin in the committee,” she said. “The movement in the process of this has not halted. We’re still moving in the direction of this community center. It’s just we’re not ready quite yet for the committee to be mixed into the whole thing.”
In an interview, Tyndall said he’d be reaching out to those who have submitted applications to serve on the committee to let them know the process had been delayed. He also said a joint statement from the organizations involved would be issued some time this month.
Tyndall remains optimistic about finally bringing a community center to Berlin.
“I’m excited,” he said. “The community’s excited. Now it’s just about getting all the pieces of the puzzle in place and making sure every voice is heard.”