Worcester County

(Aug. 9, 2019) The Worcester County Commissioners took the following action at their meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 6. 

Berlin annexation 

The commissioners agreed to approve the 6.1-acre annexation of the IG Burton property by Berlin, once the responsibility for a road on the parcel is clarified. Currently, Barrett Road is a county owned and maintained road, but if IG Burton is annexed to Berlin, a portion of Barrett Road will be surrounded by the town line. 

Berlin must decide if they want to own and maintain Barrett Road. Commissioner Ted Elder moved to proceed forward only after the street issue is clarified. Commssioner Chip Bertino seconded. 

According to Ed Tudor, director of review and permitting, the proposed annexation matches county zoning. Kelly Shannahan, assistant chief administrative officer, said county officials would have to speak to Berlin officials about the road’s ownership. He suggested sending a letter to the town about the annexation and Barrett Road.

Methane gas investigation 

Methane concentrations exceeded the lower explosive limit by five percent at the central landfill facility south of Cell 5 during gas samplings in February and May. 

Because the area exceeding the limit is not an active landfill site, it is believed that the landfill itself is not the source of high methane. 

“It could be old decaying material from farm use years ago,” John Tustin, public works director, said. 

Commissioner Chip Bertino moved to approve further testing by EA Engineering to determine the source. Commissioner Joshua Nordstrom seconded. 

“There’s no imminent danger,” Tustin said. 

Higher levels of methane are flammable and can cause headache, dizziness, increased breath rate and loss of coordination. The total cost of the investigation is $7,641.94 and is in the allocated budget. 

Diakonia renovation update 

Kim Reynolds, senior budget accountant, gave an update on the Diakonia renovations. A Community Development Block Grant of $276,128 was awarded to renovate two sites used as emergency shelters and food pantries for the homeless on Old Bridge Road. 

Thus far, the parking lot has been paved, new laundry equipment was purchased and installed and electric work for both buildings is nearly complete. Diakonia now awaits a start date for one siding project. 

The roofing project for site one began on Wednesday. Reynolds said the siding and roofing for site two, as well as signs, lockers, bathroom, flooring and kitchenettes for both sites need to be re-quoted before they bring back work to the county on those items.

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