Berlin cuts storm shelter ribbon, prepares for community festival

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With accessible parking completed, Berlin’s storm shelter was declared “officially ready for use” Monday, June 17, 2024. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

BERLIN, Ala. – The Town of Berlin cut the ribbon on its new storm shelter Monday, June 17, following completion of accessible parking spaces, and Mayor Patrick Bates during Monday evening’s town council meeting declared the shelter “officially ready for use.” He added that the Town will reach out to Cullman EMA to add the shelter to the list of available shelters in the event of a weather emergency.

“That’s our first major project outside of our road work,” said Bates, thanking the North Alabama Regional Council of Governments, Cullman County Commissioner Kelly Duke and the Town of Vinemont for their assistance with the project.

The council unanimously approved an amended business license ordinance, exempting businesses making less than $10,000 per year within the town limits, as well as renters who make less than $20,000 per year in the town.

Getting ready for big July event

The council announced the hiring of Event Coordinator Kalynn Sallee, who will begin immediately helping with plans for the upcoming Farmers Market Community Day special event, held in conjunction with Sweet Grown Alabama Day on Saturday, July 13, 2024. Additionally, the Town has hired Glen Laney to assist closer to the event, and has two other temporary part-time positions available. Originally requiring applicants 18 and older, Bates announced that the Town now has the necessary permits to offer the jobs to qualified 16 and 17 year olds.

Town Clerk Keirstyn Montgomery, who oversees the Farmers Market, told the council that 16 or 17 vendors have already completed necessary paperwork to participate in the event, and around 26 more are in the process of completing theirs.

Bates observed, “So it’s going to be the biggest event we’ve had, including the first one that we did.”

The council also passed a resolution to apply for a Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) grant to construct handicapped-accessible bathrooms for the planned park and recreation area around Berlin Town Hall and the Farmers Market.  Bates said design work on the park continues, and he hopes to be able to put some items out for bid at the next council meeting, with construction starting as soon as November.

Bates told the council he will seek bids for reconstruction on County Roads 1612 and 1614, as the roads are temporarily reconverted to gravel. The Town needs to relocate water lines, and hopes to widen the roads to two lanes, though such a change would require widening of the right of way after consultation with property owners on the roads.

The Berlin Town Council meets at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at Berlin Town Hall. The public is invited to attend.

Berlin’s storm shelter, far right, is located on the northeast side of Berlin Town Hall. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)