Aging council gets Berne funds; fire protection pacts up in air

    The Berne City Council earlier this week agreed to continue its $3,000 annual stipend to the Adams County Council on Aging in support of the agency's senior transportation system.
    Council on Aging Director Sharon Tester made her annual appearance to request continued financial support, which she said is crucial to the agency's continued operation.
    Senior transportation vehicles, Tester said, traveled some 68,000 miles in the past year to take elderly county residents to medical appointments, grocery shopping trips and other outings. She said 36 residents from the Berne area took advantage of the services for more than 1,200 trips last year, mostly for medical reasons.
    "We know the folks who use our services are grateful for your support," Tester said.

Fire protection talks bog down
    While the yearly agreement with the council on aging went smoothly, the same cannot be said for contracts between Berne and southern Adams County townships for fire protection.
    Berne officials recently requested a 3.5 percent increase over current fire service charges for the townships, but Mayor Bill McKean reported at Monday's city council meeting that township officials have balked at the hike.
    "The trustees are saying they don't have the funds and cannot accept" the increase, said McKean. "They say they would be willing to give us the same as they paid last year."
    Councilman Ron Dull said township officials have similar concerns with fees charged by the Geneva and Monroe fire departments. "We have asked them to do some research on what Geneva and Monroe are charging and to get back with us. The ball is in their court," said Dull.