2014 has been busy and productive for the town of Berne

To the Editor: 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the voters of Berne for their support in the election last Tuesday. One thing campaigning affords a candidate is the opportunity to walk up to people's homes and talk with them, answer their questions, and listen to their concerns.

We meet as many residents as possible, but, in the short time that can be spent at each house, it is difficult to convey everything that has been going on in the town in the last year:
2014 has been busy and productive for the town of Berne. 

The library, which moved into a new building last year, has seen more patrons use its services than ever before.  The hamlet of Berne has a new sewer system, and all resident hookups should be complete by the end of the year.  The intersection of routes 156 and 443 in the hamlet, a longtime bane of large trucks, has been widened, making it safer for both motorists and pedestrians.

We have a remodeled Town Hall; an updated phone service for all the town buildings; and new, very user-friendly website.  Once again, the Berne Youth Council offered a weeklong summer program for elementary children as well as programs throughout the year.

For residents of all ages, we held Berne’s second annual Summerfest, with free activities such as a live birds-of-prey demonstration; a climbing wall courtesy of the Youth Council; a car show; an afternoon of local bands; and a chance for residents to come, relax, and have fun with their neighbors. 

Berne is in the best financial shape ever.  On the heels of a half-percent tax reduction last year, there will be a 1.1-percent reduction in the January 2015 taxes, and we hope to see another drop in taxes for 2016.  This is not due to cuts in services but from implementation of better budgeting practices.  As a result, when Berne was audited this year by the State Comptroller’s Office, we earned a commendation for our purchasing policy.

Through the hard work of the town board since 2002, Berne has been the recipient of almost $3 million in grant monies for various projects, saving taxpayers money and seeing the completion of projects that would otherwise not have been possible.

We anticipate another productive year including upgrades to the facilities at the town park and repair and additions to the playground equipment.  We will be working with residents and Time Warner Cable on a stepwise design-build expansion of Internet and cable services

I look forward to serving my fellow residents in the coming year on these and other projects, and invite everyone to our town board meetings on the second Wednesday of the month at 8 p.m.  

Dawn G. Jordan
Berne Town Council

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.