Shawn Sandlin

Berea Fire Chief Shawn Sandlin. 

Homeowners will receive a break on their insurance premium policies this fall.

The Berea Fire Department recently received an upgrade on its ISO rating, which was lowered from a Class 3 rating to Class 2. The rating is measure on how well the local fire department can protect its serviced area. Insurance companies use the score to help determine home insurance rates. The lower the number, on a scale of 1-10, the better.

Berea City Administrator Randy Stone made the Berea City Council aware of the change during its bi-monthly meeting Tuesday night at Berea City Hall Chambers. Stone and city leaders praised Berea Fire Chief Shawn Sandlin for taking the initiative to pursue an updated rating, which will take affect in October.

“That’s a big deal,” Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley said. “It’s hard to get that changed from one category to another. All of the citizens that are serviced by the Berea Fire Department will benefit from the change.”

Stone added that residents in Southern Madison County serviced by the Berea Fire Department also will be eligible for lower insurance rates because of the change in the rating.

“It will help those county residents, also,” Stone said. “We appreciate what they did. This was a big effort to go through this. One of the things that helped us the most was the hiring of six people. When we graded less, we didn’t have enough people for first response. One of the things that will help us in the future, with the passage of this budget, is our training officer, to help with the training of the staff that we have. We appreciate what the fire department does and the entire community will get rewarded from this activity.”

In other business:

• Council members approved the addition of Winding Branch, Southfork and Stoney Creek Way into the city’s maintenance program. The total asset value of the streets is set at $1,000,076.00.

• The council gave Fraley permission to negotiate a property purchase not to exceed $60,000 that will help pave the way for improvements on the Cherry Road project.

• Stone told the council the new target date for the completion of the U.S. 25 project is Sept. 1. Stone said state workers have been involved in other short-time projects, including the bridge upgrade on 421, which pushed back the anticipated completion date. Stone added the Bypass extension is still in the “talking stage” in Frankfort. He said the right-aways have been cleared. Stone said paving in the Dixie Park area will begin on Monday and Glades Road will not be paved until the U.S. 25 project has been completed.

• Heard an update on the Room in the Inn program from RITI representative Sierra Marling. She told the council the program was successful in its first year. Marling said the program provided 1,212 meals, 268 beds and featured 325 volunteer shifts in a 59-day period.

• Berea Community Schools Superintendent Diane Hatchett gave the council an update on the school district. Hatchett said the school has an enrollment of 1,100 students in grades K-12 and a 97 percent graduation rate and a daily attendance rate of 93 percent. The school’s 50th anniversary celebration is set for Sept. 27-28.

• Tourism Director Kerri Hensley advised the council of the Berea Craft Festival will be July 12-14. Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for senior citizens. The festival will feature 120 vendors. The Festival of the Learnshops is scheduled to begin July 12-Aug. 3. Hensley said 1,100 people have registered for the learnshops.

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