CVS robbery drives up cost at Berne Police Department
Clerk-Treasurer Gwen Maller asked city council to appropriate an additional $16,000 to the Berne City Police Department at Tuesday night's meeting. The first regular meeting of October was held on Tuesday rather than Monday due to observation of Columbus Day.
"They are running in the red and it's mainly because of overtime," Maller told council members. "The reason for that is a split between overtime and repair and maintenance expenses. We have cash in our general fund to cover for this amount."
Council member Mark Wynn asked where the extra hours were coming in; Mayor John Minch replied that some of it is due to the 24-7 coverage that is provided by the local department.
"There are actually two reasons concerning personnel," said Minch. "We can no longer use reserves to patrol unless there is an officer out there.
"But mainly it is the cost due to the detective for all of his hard work in the CVS robbery. I don't know how many hours he put in but there was a large amount of required work in order to obtain the evidence to convict. One person from the state told me that he has never seen such a thorough investigation to convict the person as was done here. But that crime cost us quite a bit. Plus, there are many other things going on that require his assistance that we don't always hear about."
Shannon Smitley reported that the Board of Zoning Appeals heard a request concerning two lots along Main Street, located directly across from the funeral home. While the area is currently zoned residential, there was a request to grant a business status to just those two lots for the purpose of possible construction of a business on that property.
"There are two houses there; we have a request to tear those two houses down and build a law office there," said Smitley. "The BZA approved the request to give a variance for those two lots."
Council then approved the recommendation from BZA, but with the understanding that various steps of the project be monitored and that appropriate legislative steps be taken as needed.
Ron Dull emphasized the Harvest Festival this Sunday at Lehman Park from 12:30 until 4:30 p.m. Dull noted that there would be a raffle involving 90 available items at 12:30 p.m. Also, there will be a pie baking contest at 12:30 p.m. followed by a bake sale.
"Next year the festival will be back on a Saturday," said Dull. "It is already reserved for the first Saturday in October."
Council recessed for two hearings. The first hearing was associated with granting a 10-year tax abatement to Ring-R Engineering, Inc. The new business establishment will bring at least 13 to 16 jobs to this city, initially, with possibly more to come. The company will construct two new products for its Berne line, including river barges and farm tillage machines.
Attorney James Beitler, representing the company, noted that total salaries paid out would be in the area of $380,000.
"This is a fine win for this company and Adams County," noted county economic development director Larry Macklin. "It is 13-16 new employees to start with but I expect that we will see an increase in this in time."
"We appreciate all of the help and support. It is exciting to start moving into Berne," commented company president Kip Gerber.
Council members approved request for the abatement. The second hearing was a pre-adoption public hearing for the 2012 budget.
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