Roger Brooks has been in town talking about what Coös County needs to do to become a destination community. I sat in on the meeting at WMCC and was entertained and impressed. I did get the impression if he told some members of the community to jump off the Tondreau Peninsula, they would, but his ideas had merit.
One I liked in particular was the idea of a recessed piazza with sprinklers. In the summer it would be an attraction for families, and therefore businesses. It could also double as a performance venue or a space for art shows. And in the winter you could flood it and make a skating rink, he said, a la Rockefeller Center.
It could take the space of one of the vacant spaces in town. It could be a great addition to the community.
I was sitting right in front of several members of Berlin city staff at the meeting, and they were skeptical of some of the ideas floated by people. The encouraging thing was that Mr. Brooks shot down those ideas. His experience paralleled the experience of Berlin city staff. It seems everyone who knows how to run a city is on the same page.
He talked about making Berlin the urban center of Coös County. Other communities have their niches, he said, but none has the ability to be an urban center like Berlin.
So what would you like to see there? A music venue? Coffee shop? Performance space? I liked Robbie Munce’s wireless downtown.
It takes five years, at least, to transform a downtown, Mr. Brooks said. Good thing Berlin has already started.
By the way, I assume everyone knows, the wall is coming down brick by brick at 92 Main St. The city is on the rise.