BERLIN - The Town Council approved purchases for this year at its recent meeting.
After the 6-0 vote at Monday’s meeting, with Councilor Rachel Rochette absent, the town will move forward with purchasing a new radio system for the Police Department and begin a road construction program. The council also awarded a bid for the Worthington Meeting House Building renovations, and will purchase a new tent for the golf course.
The radio system, expected to be purchased in June and installed by December, will be paid for with $1.8 million in bonds from the town. The new system will replace the radio system that dates back to 1984.
“The system is at the end of its operational life,” said Berlin Deputy Police Chief John Klett in documents previously prepared for the Town Council.
In October of last year, the Police Department experienced equipment failure, which forced it to use a regional emergency frequency for two days. The part that failed was no longer made or supported by Motorola, the system’s manufacturer, so the vendor had to jury rig a replacement part to get the system up and running.
The department also has two additional frequencies that can’t be used with the current equipment due to it being out of date. The new system would allow for the use of those frequencies, which would give the department more flexibility in their communications.
The new system will be purchased from Motorola, due to its compatibility with the current system, with a state vendor contract to reduce costs.
The road improvement program, taking place between April and October, was awarded $4 million in bonding to pave approximately 5.5 miles of road. With 110 miles of roads in town, Public Works Director and interim Town Manager Jack Healy said the program is planning to repave 5.5 miles of road every year, so that roads are new every 20 years.
The roads are listed on the town website, town.berlin.ct.us, and are prioritized by the Public Works Department, which is conducting the road analysis.
As part of the Worthington Meeting House Renovation Project, the council awarded Smith Edwards McCoy Architects of Hartford the bid to prepare schematic plans for the final design and construction on the project in an amount not to exceed $20,000. The plans would allow the town to move forward in applying for grants to further begin renovating the building.
With $4,000 of funds reimbursed to the town from the state, the Town Clerk’s Office will be going forward in preserving early maps of the town and a vital book, that records births, marriages and deaths from 1850-1873. The book is the only record of such events during the time period. The office will use Kofile Technologies out of Essex, Vermont for the work.
In an effort to reallocate a total of $500,000 in funds from the town’s budget next year to the Board of Education’s budget the council approved a transfer of $9,100 from the contingency account so the golf course can purchase and begin installing a new roof for its tent in April. The project will no longer need to be funded next year with the action.
The current tent has been in place for 10 seasons. By also purchasing the tent now, the golf course will save approximately $2,400.
The council also appointed Richard Bennett of Worthington Ridge to the Historic District Commission and reappointed John O’Brien of Vineyard Drive to the Housing Authority.
The next Town Council meeting is April 18 at 7 p.m. in the Town Council Chambers, 240 Kensington Road.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.