BERLIN – An impasse between the town and the Adkins Company has again resulted in the closure of a portion of Harrison Avenue.
A year after it was temporarily closed to through traffic in 2015, the section of Harrison Avenue in front of the Adkins Company is again blocked off to vehicles.
Richard Holland of the Adkins Company says that if the town needs the section of road owned by the store it will have to buy it.
“I haven’t closed the road because I wanted to close the road,” he said. “I’ve closed it for a purpose. That purpose is the land is ours and we’ve not been offered an equitable price.”
Berlin Mayor Gee Williams, however, says the town shouldn’t have to buy a piece of road that’s been used by the public for decades.
“We shouldn’t have to seek eminent domain for a right of way that’s been in public use for generations,” Williams said.
Municipal officials and representatives of the Adkins Company have been in on-again, off-again communications regarding Harrison Avenue for years. While streets in Berlin are typically the responsibility of the town, the portion of Harrison Avenue in front of Adkins Company is considered part of the company’s four-acre property. According to Holland, the store has maintained the road for years. When town officials in 2015 asked the company to put up $37,500 toward the repaving of the street, however, Holland balked.
“Paving lasts 15 years at most,” he said. “Someone’s going to have to fight this fight again. Every other road in Berlin is paved by the Town of Berlin.”