Frequently Asked Questions


Administration

When are Mayor and Council Meetings held?

Regular Mayor and Council Meetings are held at 7:00 PM on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month. Two specially scheduled Worksessions are held in the spring to discuss the General Fund and Enterprise Funds budgets for the upcoming fiscal year. Occassionally, other special worksessions are held for specific purposes. Please follow the links for a complete schedule of Mayor and Council and other Board and Commission meetings.
How do I get on the agenda for a Mayor and Council Meeting?

If you have a topic you’d like to bring before the Mayor and Council and wish to be on the agenda for an upcoming meeting, please email Town Administrator Laura Allen or call 410-641-4144. Agendas are set by end-of-business the Wednesday prior to the scheduled meeting. There is also a public question/comment period at the end of each meeting.
When are Town Elections/I need more information about Town Elections?

Town Elections are held every even-numbered year. For more information on Town of Berlin Elections,, including Council Districts and schedules, please follow the link, email Administrative Services Director Mary Bohlen or call 410-641-4314
How do I post an announcement on the public access channel (Comcast Channel 4)?

Public Service Announcements must be submitted in writing and can be emailed to mbohlen@berlinmd.gov, faxed to 410-641-2316, or dropped off at Town Hall. Please submit at least two weeks in advance. Questions? Call Mary Bohlen at 410-641-4314. You may also submit your announcement online.
How do I submit a request for public documents under the Freedom of Information Act?

If you are seeking a public document, you may submit the form found by clicking here. Or you can contact Administrative Services Director Mary Bohlen at 410-641-4314 or mbohlen@berlinmd.gov.
What is the CodeRED system and how does it work?

For more information on CodeRED, click here.

Economic and Community Development

Is the Economic and Community Development Department the same thing as the Chamber of Commerce?

No. The Berlin Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization that is completely independent of the Town of Berlin, though the Chamber and the Town have enjoyed a close partnership for many years on many projects and activities. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Chamber, please contact them at 410-641-4775 or www.berlinchamber.org. Please note, the Chamber of Commerce charges annual dues to its members that are completely separate and unrelated to the Town of Berlin Business License.
How do I know if I need a business license/how do I get a business license?

The simple answer is that anyone operating a retail or service business or who owns rental units needs to get a business license. Please click here for the business license application, which also contains information about license fees.
I own, or want to open, a business in Berlin. Is there money available to help me?

The types of available grants vary from time-to-time, and each business’s need is unique. Please contact Ivy Wells, Economic and Community Development Director for more information at 410-629-1722 or iwells@berlinmd.gov.
I want to hold a special event. Where do I start?

Berlin has a variety of special events throughout the year, but there’s always room for more! All organized special events must be approved by the Mayor and Council, at least 60 days prior to the event. For more information, please click here for an application or contact Administrative Assistant Sharon Timmons at 410-629-1716 or stimmons@berlinmd.gov.
I am interested in serving on a committee for Main Street, the Arts & Entertainment District or another type of activity. Who do I contact?
The various business oriented groups in Berlin are always looking for talented people to assist with their projects and missions. To get an idea of what volunteer opportunities exist, please contact Ivy Wells, Economic and Community Development Director at 410-629-1722 or iwells@berlinmd.gov.

Electric

I’m moving to Berlin. How do I get my electric account in my name?
Please click here for a Utility Application for Service –Residential or Commercial. You should contact Customer Service before submitting your application; the form must be printed out and completed and there are other documents that must accompany submission. Please call 410-641-2770 for more information.
What are the rates and fees charged by the Electric Department?

The various rates and fees charged by the Town of Berlin for Electric services can be found in the Town of Berlin Electric Service Tariff.  Please keep in mind that calculating what your electric bill will be is not as simple as multiplying kilowatts used by the rate charged; there are other factors that go into the calculating of a bill and, while our rates for service types are established and cannot change without the Town going through the proper procedure with the Maryland Public Service Commission, other factors of the bill may fluctuate from month to month.  If you have further questions about bill calculation and service fees, please contact Tim Lawrence by email or at 410-629-1713.
What do I do if I think my electric bill is too high? How do I reduce my bill?

If you think your bill is too high in a given month, it is possible that the meter was “over” read. If this is the case, it is important that you contact 410-641-3401 or email the location to us as soon as possible; the sooner the meter can be read after the initial reading, the easier it is to ascertain if a mistake has been made and to fix it. You can also read your meter yourself to try to determine if the reading was incorrect.

If you think your bill is too high overall, we may be able to assist you by suggesting changes that could save you energy, thereby reducing your bill. While we can’t offer all services to all customers, you should still contact us to see if we can help. There are also numerous sources on the internet that you can research to determine some simple and in-expensive ways to conserve energy; use caution when making any purchase or hiring independent consultants or contractors.

How do I report a streetlight that is out, or not working properly?

If you notice a streetlight that is dark or not working properly (i.e. it doesn’t come on when it should, stays on during daylight hours, or flickers), please call us as soon as possible. We often don’t know about streetlight problems because our personnel are not typically at work during dark hours. If possible, have the pole number (there is a small metal tag on every pole), the nearest street address or cross street. To report an outage online, please click here.
I think that my meter isn’t working properly. What should I do?

Although it is rare, electric meters, like any mechanical instrument, can stop working properly. You can request that your meter be tested at any time; however, we will only test at no-charge once every 18 months.

Finance

Can I make a payment online?
Utility bills can be paid online at https://www.logicsolbp.com/berlin/login.aspx. Real property taxes are billed for Berlin by the Worcester County Treasurer’s office; more information can be found at www.co.worcester.md.us/trs/treasindex.aspx. Unfortunately, online payments are not available for other bills payable to the Town of Berlin at this time. Payments can be mailed to: Town of Berlin, 10 William Street, Berlin, MD 21811. For more information call 410-641-2770 or email info@berlinmd.gov.
What do the various line items on my bill mean?
On the back of your bill are explanations for most of the items. If you still can’t find the answer you’re looking for, please refer to our Tariff (for electric bill questions), or our Town Code regarding water and wastewater. Still have questions? Please call or email: 410-641-2770 or info@berlinmd.gov.
Can I get a copy of the Town Audit Report?
Visit the Finance Department webpage to access the last Fiscal Year financial statements online, or they can be reviewed at any time at Town Hall, or for purchase upon request. For more information, please contact Acting Finance Director Natalie Saleh at 410-641-2770 or nsaleh@berlinmd.gov.
Can I get a copy of the Town Budget?
Visit the Finance Department webpage to access the annual budget. If you have any questions, please contact Finance Director Natalie Saleh at 410-641-4355 or nsaleh@berlinmd.gov.

Human Resources

Is the Town currently hiring/how do I find out if there are open positions?
The Town advertises its open positions on this webpage and in local and/or regional venues. For a current list of job-openings, please click here.
Can I submit an application at any time? How do I apply for a job with the Town?
The Town will accept applications at any time and they will be kept on file for one year. Applications can be picked up at Town Hall, by clicking here.

Parks

How do I reserve the park for an event?
Both Stephen Decatur and Henry Park have pavilions that can be reserved for use for activities such as picnics, birthday parties, etc. Please note: the pavilions tend to be reserved on weekends well in-advance; so you are advised to contact us as soon as you have a date in mind. Other areas of the parks are available for use at any time without a reservation. Please click here for a Parks Reservation Form.
I want to hold a class/sell ice cream, etc. in the park. What do I need to do?
Anyone wishing to use the parks for business-related purposes (in this case defined as any activity in which money exchanges hands for goods or services), must make application to the Mayor and Council. Please click here for the appropriate forms. For more information/to arrange appearance before the Mayor and Council, please contact Mary Bohlen, Deputy Town Administrator at mbohlen@berlinmd.gov or 410-641-4314.

Planning & Zoning

How do I know if I need a permit to complete my project?
The best way to find out if you need a permit and what type of permit you need is to call us at 410-641-4143 or email cduffy@berlinmd.gov.
How much does a permit cost?
If you know what type of permit you need, please click here. If you have ANY questions about what type of permit, please contact us at 410-641-4143 or email cduffy@berlinmd.gov.
Can I submit permit or other application paperwork online?
Many of our forms and applications are available via our webpage, however, we are not yet set up for electronic submission. To view a particular form, and complete on your computer, please click here.  At this time, you will need to print out the form and submit a paper copy to the office.
How do I report a property that needs attention (for instance: grass too tall, junk in yard, etc.)?
Please contact us at 410-641-4143 or email cduffy@berlinmd.gov. All reports are confidential.
When does the Planning Commission/Board of Zoning Appeals/Historic District Commission Meet?
Please click here for the meetings schedules.

Public Works Department

How do I know what day my trash or recycling is collected? What time do I have to put it at the curb?
The Sanitation crew starts its workday as early as 6:00 AM, so we recommend having your trash or recycling at the curb no later than that; it is acceptable to put it out the night before. We also recommend having it out that early because our route can sometimes vary – for example: we may typically be on your street at 7:30 AM, but something may occur on a given day which causes us to get to you earlier or later.

For information about when your street is scheduled for pickup, please contact the Public Works Department at 410-641-4001 or email wpurnell@berlinmd.gov. Keep in mind that holidays or other closures may affect the collection schedule.

What should I recycle and how should it be prepared?
For detailed information about what and how to recycle for curbside collection, please click here.
Does the Town schedule special collections such as for yard waste or appliances?
Yes, there are two Yard Waste collections and two Bulk Item collections scheduled each year. For more information, please click here.
How do I get a landfill permit?
The landfill is actually run by Worcester County. You may call 410-632-3177 for more information.
Where do I report...?
Please click on the category below to email the responsible department, or you may contact Town Hall at 410-641-2770 for any of these concerns.
How do I arrange to have trash/recycling collection for my business through the Town?
The Public Works Department does offer commercial trash and recycling collection for a quarterly charge based on volume. For more information, please contact Superintendent Wendell Purnell.

Water Resources

What is in my water?
The best source for information about the Town’s water is in our annual Consumer Confidence Water Report, which is published every June for the preceding calendar year.
What are the rates and fees charged by the Water Resources Department?
The various rates and fees charged by the Town of Berlin for Water Resources Department services are outlined in Resolution 2012-03, passed in March of 2012.   Please keep in mind that calculating what your water bill will be may not be as simple as multiplying gallons used by the rate charged; there may be other factors that affect the total due.  Rates for service types are established and cannot change without the approval and passage of a Resolution by the Mayor and Council.  If you have further questions about bill calculation and service fees, please contact Jane Kreiter by email or at 410-641-3845.
Isn’t sweeping lawn trimmings, dirt and leaves into the street okay, because it’s all natural?
No. All of these natural materials also pick up other materials such as oil, trash, feces, etc. as they travel through the storm water system, which then break down and contaminate our coast bays in various ways.
I think my water bill is too high, what should I do?
If you believe that your water bill is too high, there are several things to check for: First, there is a possibility that the meter was misread; you can compare your bill to the same period for last year either by looking at your own records, if you have them, by using the Town’s online utility payment system, or by contacting the billing department at 410-641-2770. If it seems that the meter is misread, we can reread it and you will be issued a corrected bill. Another thing to look for is a water leak; if you notice an area of your yard or the area under your house that is always wet, there is a strong possibility that you have a leak. While we can assist in determining that there is a leak and locating it, we can’t actually work to fix any plumbing that is between the meter and your building, but finding the leak is an important first step. Also, if you hear or see water dripping from a faucet or hear your toilet running, it can make a huge difference to your bill to get this fixed. A dripping faucet or running toilet can use gallons of water over time – water that runs through your meter.
What do I need to know about filling my pool or using a sprinkler or irrigation system?
The Town allows residents to pay only the water portion of a pool fill-up once a year. Pool owners must contact the water department prior to fill-up to submit an application and pay the $20.00 fee. It is very important to contact us after the pool has been filled in order to determine the proper credit. The Town also allows a resident with an in-ground irrigation system to have a separate meter installed to meter the water that is only being used for irrigation and does not charge for sewer on these particular meters.