First Bank of Berne to break ground on Oct. 1 for operations center

Authored by Jim Langham on Aug 14, 2013

Berne City Council passed a recommendation from the planning commission on Monday evening that gives the go-ahead for the First Bank of Berne to break ground for a new operations center on Oct. 1 of this year.
Council president Gregg Sprunger said that the new center will consist of 20,600 square feet of facility and a 40,000 square foot parking area. It is anticipated that the center will be open for operation on Aug. 1, 2014.
Bank president Kent Liechty said on Tuesday that the center, which will be located at the corner of Old Heritage Trail and Sprunger Extended, will give room for administrative expansion, or as Liechty defined it, "people that support retail people, everyone minus the tellers."
Among those services included in the new facility will be loan operations, trust operations, IT staff, call center and any support for branches.
In the process of moving administrative employees from the downtown facility to the new center, Liechty said that Family Life Care and the bank have worked a building relocation.
"We bought their downtown building (former Stan's Men's Wear business) and we are going to open up a retail branch there, a teller line," said Liechty. "They are purchasing our building here and will consolidate their operation under this roof.
"We have a commitment to keep our operations in Berne. Berne is good to us," continued Liechty. "Our operations here are out of space and we need to add more employees. We will be able to do that by going to the new facility."
Council approved the advertisement of the 2014 budget for public hearing in the Berne Tri-Weekly News on Aug. 26 and Sept. 4. On Tuesday, Oct. 13, there will be a pre-adoption public hearing. The deadline for completing the budget process, said Clerk/Treasurer Gwen Maller, is Nov. 13.
The 2014 budget amount is $1,236,120 which breaks down to $936,547 in the general fund, $247,616 in the street fund and $51,957 in the CCDF fund.
"This is the first step," said Maller. "There are several hoops to go through for the budget process."
One of the biggest single purchases that might be made next year, said Maller, is the that of a new fire truck, which is in the early stages of study. The cost for the truck could be upwards to $350,000.
Funding for the truck, if approved, would come from the rainy day fund, CEDIT fund and capital development fund, Maller said.
Max Miller and Louise Wolpert were available to represent the 100th anniversary of the Adams County Peace Monument, which will be held in the courthouse yard at the Adams County Courthouse on Aug. 24 at 2:30 p.m.
The monument was originally dedicated on Oct. 30, 1913 and included names of Adams County veterans from five wars up until 1913.
Wolpert said that anyone wishing to donate toward the project may visit
Also, council approved a request for a variance from Moser Motor Sales to tear down a residence at 306 W. Main St. and construct a parking lot on the site.
In lieu of the passing of Ned Liechty and Dean Hendricks, council has appointed two new members to the planning commission, including Greg Keller and Rod Mosser.
Ron Dull paid tribute to Harriet Habegger for all of her work at the Lehman Park in maintaining flower gardens. Habegger recently passed away.
"She was the best at decorating with flowers," said Dull. "She is going to be hard to replace."


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