Berlin Borough Council introduces ordinance for 2021-2022 budget

Residents should expect an average tax increase of $34.

At its latest meeting on April 8, Berlin Borough Council reflected on the month of March and   previewed a budget that was discussed thoroughly during an earlier session.

During council reports, Councilwoman Patricia Cummings noted the borough will flush water hydrants until April 30, a process that may result in discoloration. Officials say the water is still safe to drink, but may stain laundry. If water is still discolored after flushing is done, residents are advised to run it until clear.

Council President Jim Pearce thanked the Berlin Fire Company during the meeting for transporting the Easter bunny in a year when the usual hunt was disallowed because of COVID.  He also reported that  Emergency Medical Services (EMS) members are 100 percent vaccinated, and of the calls received in the month of March, seven were confirmed COVID cases.

Pearce reminded residents that the Berlin Police Department has information on its Facebook page about how to register homeowner security cameras with authorities. Both residents and commercial businesses can do so.

“They’re (the police) not going to just suddenly come into your house,” Pearce explained. “You would just be registering that you do have cameras, and that you would possibly be open to them contacting you if there was an incident. You could still say no; it doesn’t commit you.

“It just makes it easier.

“Sometimes if there’s a crime in town, they (police) end up knocking on a lot of doors, and if they could get a database of people who might be willing to share their camera footage, they’ll do all the work,” Pearce added.

Councilman Jake Miller announced during the meeting that council’s finance committee has been readying the 2021-’22 municipal budget for introduction at the next council session on May 13.

“Based on the average home assessment of $234,000, the increase to our taxpayers and residents will be $33.65,” Miller noted. “That is an increase of 1.5 cents to our budget, which is the lowest that it’s been for quite some time.”

The increase calculated at the earlier meeting on March 31 was an estimated 2.1 cents.

Last year’s hike resulted in an increase of $42.

Also at the April meeting, Mayor Rick Miller recognized volunteers who have cleaned up trash left in the area and announced they will meet at 9 a.m. on April 17, at Robert’s Bar and Grill/Paris Catering on Cross Keys Road. Gloves and trashbags will be provided for those who want to help clean up.

A community-wide yard sale will take place on May 1; rain date is May 2. The event has been organized and advertised by local Realtor Gen Haldeman. The Church of the Good Shepherd will also participate. Vendors can register until April 23.

A drive through rabies clinic will take place on Saturday, April 10, from 10 a.m. to noon, at  borough hall, at 59 S. White Horse Pike. According to the borough website, licenses will not be issued at the clinic, but registration forms and checks will be accepted and licenses will be mailed shortly thereafter.

The next Berlin council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 13.