Berlin Council Questions Community Center Progress

BERLIN – Town officials are expected to meet with members of the Berlin Community Improvement Association and Shore Up in June regarding plans for a community center on Flower Street.

Though officials created a community center planning committee last summer, members have yet to be finalized. Mayor Zack Tyndall told the council last week that was because the parcels that will serve as the site for the center still haven’t been consolidated.

“The committee’s still in limbo because we have not been able to get together to bring all four of the parcels under one,” he said. “Then I think we’ll get to the movement part.”

In recent weeks both Councilwoman Shaneka Nichols and Councilman Jack Orris have sought clarification on where the town is in the community center process. Replacing the multi-purpose building with a true community center has long been a goal of officials and residents were hopeful that last year’s creation of a community center planning committee was a step in that direction.

“I don’t want folks to think we’ve talked up the community center and nothing’s moving,” Orris said during last week’s meeting.

Tyndall said the town needed to meet with the Berlin Community Improvement Association (BCIA) and Shore Up regarding consolidating the parcels.

While the town purchased one lot last fall and the Worcester County Commissioners agreed to give the town another lot this spring, the town does not yet have ownership of parcels owned by BCIA.

Tyndall said the group had been busy planning the Memorial Day Parade but that a meeting would take place in June.

He added that while members of the community center planning committee hadn’t yet been appointed, interested residents could submit their applications. The committee is expected to be made up of five residents, representing each of the town’s districts.

“We are in limbo with that committee but if you want to put your name in we are gathering all of those names,” he said.

Following Tyndall’s update, Orris said he just wanted to make sure the community center remained a priority.

“I’m very anxious to progress further with the community center and committee,” he said. “To be sure, with the acquisition of land from the county we are moving forward. I know the folks at the BCIA were focused on the hugely successful Memorial Day Parade so now hopefully over the summer and fall we can meet, get the committee going and start the nitty-gritty of developing the facility.”

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.