The City of Berea’s Accomplishments for 2017: 35 Highlights

The City of Berea completed several projects in 2017, improving the infrastructure of the city, creating a positive atmosphere for job and business creation, and keeping Berea on solid financial footing, all while addressing the future needs of the community. Here’s just a sample of what the City of Berea accomplished in 2017:

  1. Property was acquired for shared use trails that will link up as much as 15 miles of trails around Berea, expanding tourism options for visitors and creating new health and recreation resources for local residents.
  2. A plan to widen U.S. 25 North from Ellipse Street to the Bypass was approved after city officials successfully lobbied state legislators to fully fund the road project.
  3. Confronted with a 40% increase in electric rates over five years, Berea bid out its contract for an electric power provider and will now be paying lower electric rates beginning in 2019. The change potentially saves rate payers up to $2 million annually.
  4. The Berea City Council unanimously passed a budget for the first time since 2011. Meanwhile, in fiscal year 2016-2017, the city took in $2.8 million more revenue than expected, and spent $6 million less than it had budgeted.
  5. Duerson Stadium was removed and recycled, and the city is working with Berea Independent Schools to install a new facility in time for the 4th of July celebration and the beginning of the Berea Pirates football season.
  6. Parks and Recreation won funding for the Splash Pad at the Berea Swimming Pool, providing for safe summer activities for small children.
  7. Berea City Park fields were improved, including upgrade of baseball and soccer fields.
  8. The City ended the fiscal year with money in the bank, including $2.7 million set aside for emergencies and $2.2 million in a capital projects fund.
  9. Berea Business Development supported and encouraged the opening of several new business ventures in the city, including restaurants, retailers and craft businesses. More establishments, such as Apollo Pizza, are working toward openings after the new year.
  10. The South Cumberland/Hughes Avenue drainage project was completed under budget.
  11. Manufacturing sites in the Berea Industrial Park were shown to 6 prospective clients in 2017, up from just 2 prospective clients in 2016.
  12. The City passed a resolution and provided logistical support for the 2017 Spoonbread Festival, which organizers reported was the best attended yet.
  13. Berea Planning and Zoning is processing new building permits at an increasing pace as the demand for new housing continues to grow.
  14. A 2008 park improvement debt bond was paid off years ahead of schedule.
  15. The Walnut Meadow Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation project was completed.
  16. Hitachi and Novelis finished expansion projects on their property, investing in their Berea operations and employing more people. Both cited a successful partnership with the City.
  17. The City of Berea supported the expansion and continued development of the Central Kentucky Regional Airport, a facility that is vital to future economic progress.
  18. Berea supported a syringe needle exchange program to help combat the scourge of heroin abuse and the spread of deadly disease in Madison County.
  19. The design for a dog park facility was completed and reviewed in public meetings.
  20. The City helped financially disadvantaged residents by partially funding the Summer Food Service Program to the tune of $4,000.
  21. The Berea Police Department continued the Too Good for Drugs program in local schools, encouraging middle school students make positive life choices and resist substance abuse.
  22. The City began extension of the sewer collection system in the Menelaus Road section of the Berea Industrial Park.
  23. Berea Tourism’s craft workshops continued climbing in overall sales, drawing out-of-town consumers that benefited local artisans and boosted sales at Berea restaurants, retailers and motels.
  24. The Berea City Council unanimously passed a resolution denouncing hate and harassment.
  25. Berea Tourism supported new and successful community events, including the Amp-Levitt Concert Series and the Swing for a Cure charity softball tournament. Existing events, such as the Twilight Christmas Parade, Celtic Festival, Berea Maker’s Market and Berea Arena Theater were also supported with Tourism funds.
  26. Berea staged the inaugural First Responders summer camp for local youths.
  27. Most of the Berea Municipal Fire and Safety Building was completed, including needed facilities for new fire and police stations.
  28. Berea’s first online auction of surplus property was a success, enabling the city to recover funds for unused or obsolete inventory.
  29. The City supported the first Berea Business Fest, an event that encourages Berea College students to patronize local businesses and organizations.
  30. Officials worked with Berea College to initiate a low cost “movie night” event in Berea, a pilot project that potentially provides a new entertainment alternative for local residents.
  31. The City has contracted for a study on the prospect of attracting a major grocery retailer.
  32. Berea Business Development trained emerging entrepreneurs through the Kauffman- FastTrac NewVenture program, giving participants skills and tools to launch home-grown businesses in Berea. Some graduates have already opened storefronts in Berea.
  33. The Berea Human Rights Commission recognized Mae Suramek and Nick Carpenter for their contributions in making Berea a more inclusive and welcoming community.
  34. The City of Berea received a clean financial audit for Fiscal Year 2016-2017.
  35. The Berea City Council did not raise property tax rates in 2017.

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