Berlin Borough council discusses buildings, water meters

Town hopes for White Horse Pike redevelopment next spring

Berlin Borough Council met Nov. 12 at the municipal building for its monthly session, discussing work along the White Horse Pike, the ongoing water meter replacement project and other issues.

Much of the meeting revolved around reports from council members.

Councilman Len Badolato said the borough is still in the process of working on traffic-calming solutions along the White Horse Pike, in coordination with the state Department of Transportation. The project has been discussed for approximately two years.

According to Badolato, a change in project oversight at the state level resulted in a minor delay recently, but the borough remains hopeful a final plan will be approved soon, possibly by the end of the year.

Council also gave an update on numerous White Horse Pike properties  that have recently begun undergoing renovation or demolition, as the borough begins to acquire and improve sites.

Councilman Andrew Simone said during his report that demolition work at 87-89 S. White Horse Pike was completed earlier this month.

“The building was structurally deficient, so we decided to move forward to demolition and remove it in its entirety,” he noted. “The hole has been filled and it will be capped off with a level of gravel. Hopefully, sometime in the near future — I believe we’ll let it sit through the winter — but when the warm weather comes back, we have plans to utilize that space in some fashion.”

The pike property was acquired by the borough many years ago and had   fallen into disarray. That prompted council to consider it a safety hazard,  thus its eventual demolition.

Council has said it anticipates possibly making the space into some sort of a beer garden next year, as redevelopment along the White Horse Pike and downtown Berlin starts to pick up.

Badolato also updated residents on a deal council recently agreed to for the removal of more than 500 car and truck tires from 71 S. White Horse Pike, a property the borough is trying to acquire.

“Some residents had complained of mosquitoes (in the area), so we’re finally going to get that taken care of,” Badolato said.

Councilwoman Patricia Cummings updated residents on the borough’s current water meter replacement project. An evaluation from Pennoni Associates over a year ago identified approximately 2,150 meters outside the borough, some in Voorhees and Berlin townships, that the borough still operates and must replace due to governmental regulations.

According to Cummings, Phase I of the project is currently underway. She has reminded residents during previous council meetings that the project is important and must be completed after receiving notification. More information can be received by contacting the borough.

Regarding the election on Nov. 3, Mayor Rick Miller thanked residents for a smooth process in Berlin Borough and a ‘huge turnout” in-person turnout at the municipal building and Berlin Community Center, despite the election being mostly by vote by mail.

Miller said the borough did not receive any reports of COVID-19 transmission at either of its polling places.

Council’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 10.