Commissioners Approve Land Transfer

SNOW HILL– County officials agreed this week to transfer 3.4 acres off Flower Street to the Town of Berlin.

The Worcester County Commissioners on Tuesday voted unanimously to transfer 3.4 acres near the multi-purpose building on Flower Street to the town. The transfer will enlarge the site currently being considered for a community center.

“We really need that piece of property for the center we’re trying to put up there,” Commissioner Diana Purnell said. “We really appreciate the county giving it back to us.”

County staff told the commissioners the Town of Berlin had requested a 3.4-acre piece of land the county owned that was located near the multi-purpose building, behind the SHORE UP facility. Municipal leaders would like to combine the county parcel with property owned by the town and property owned by the Berlin Community Improvement Association (BCIA) to create a 6.5-acre site for a new community center. The town already manages the offline wetlands that serve as a stormwater feature on the county parcel.

The commissioners voted unanimously to approve the transfer Tuesday. Town officials are pleased the request was granted.

“We have selected the Flower Street site as the location of our future community center,” Councilman Jay Knerr said. “Having the connecting parcel from the county allows us to plan for uses such as sports fields, possibly a community pool and expansion of the community center itself. It’s a win for Berlin.”

Councilman Jack Orris agreed that the land would expand the potential for the site.

“This is a great step forward in our goal to establish a long-awaited community center on the Flower Street property,” he said. “With this added property—and again a thank you to the commissioners and everyone who helped make this happen—we have more space available to consider when looking at options of buildings, existing and new, as well as amenities.”

Berlin leaders have been talking about a community center for years and in recent months have taken steps toward making it a reality. In the fall, the town spent $45,000 to purchase a half-acre lot adjacent to the BCIA parcels containing the multi-purpose building and SHORE UP’s facility. In the months since, town leaders have been working with BCIA representatives to advance plans for combining the properties so a community center can be built at what was once the site of the historic Flower Street School. Municipal officials are expected to continue working with the BCIA toward combining its two parcels.

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.