A major announcement came from Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley at the regular meeting of Berea City Council Tuesday evening when he revealed that the local manufacturing plant of Hyster-Yale will be expanding.
“Hyster-Yale officials have advised us that they will be adding 160,000 square feet to the facility, which will increase the plants size by approximately 30%.” Fraley said. “Hyster-Yale’s capital investment in our city is significant and the decision to expand in Berea demonstrates faith in the Berea plant, the plant’s employees, and the City of Berea.
Councilman Steve Caudill commented on the very positive impact the expansion will have in the local economy and asked how many jobs would be created. Fraley said Hyster-Yale officials will announce those numbers at a later date.
The expansion will be on a parcel of land adjacent to the plant on the southeast side. Construction is expected to begin in the third quarter of this year. Construction equipment will be on site soon, as prep work begins.
Council also heard first reading of an ordinance allowing for limited alcohol sales in the Gay Stevens precinct. The results of a 2016 local option election permitted sales in qualified historic sites. The historic option has greater flexibility than the liquor sales law, commonly know as a moist option, that applies to the entire city. , Drinks can be sold without the sale of food, and a stand-alone bar would be allowed at specified historic sites. . Currently, there are two historic sites in the Gay-Stephens precinct – the Welcome Center train depot and the Tate Building. The Berea Arts Council, which occupies space in the Tate Building, is in the process of applying for a license.
Miriam Pride gave the annual report for the Berea Human Rights Commission. Kim Kobersmith and Randy Dinsmore followed her presentation addressing specific things the BHRC is doing. It was announced that Rachel Burnside has been appointed to fill the seat on the Human Rights Commission that became vacant with the recent death of Janice Blythe.
Mayor Fraley presented proclamations making April World Autism Awareness Month in Berea and recognizing April 2 as National Service Recognition Day in the city. City Hall will be bathed in blue light for the month of April in honor of autism awareness.
The city received three bids for protective fire fighting clothing Vogelpohl Fire Equipment was the low bidder at $56,405, 911 Fleet and Fire Equipment came in at $57,275, and High Tech Rescue bid $68,268.56. The bids were referred to Fire Chief Shawn Sandlin who will revue them and make a recommendation to Council.
In other business
Council heard second reading of ordinance 2019-04, rezoning property owned by the Davis family, it passed with six aye votes and Councilmen David Rowlette and Jim Davis abstaining for reasons of kinship to the owners.
Unanimously passed Ordinance 05-2019, listing items as surplus.
Heard first reading of a budget amendment ordinance and two resolutions relating to grants for the Walnut Meadow Pump Station.
Fraley announced the appointment of James Anderson to a three-year term on the city Codes Enforcement Board
Councilman Jerry Little requested that council be aware of the need for financing fro maintenance and upgrades to city streets and drainage issues.
Councilman John Payne introduced Raymond McKinney, a local runner who will be in the Boston Marathon.