As Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley was participating in the regularly scheduled city council meeting, he could hear ice being scraped by the Berea Fire Department from his office window at city hall.
This, Fraley said, was only one testament to how the city and all its departments have responded to the winter weather that has rocked much of Madison County.
“Anything I could say tonight would pale in comparison to the work done by city staff; not only these past few days, but also last week with the storm we had on Thursday,” Fraley said. “Last night I could hardly go to bed because I just envisioned those linemen out there trying to get people restored. I am very proud of the work they did. I am proud of the work public works did…
There is nothing I could say verbally that would express the thanks that we all owe those people for doing their job, and doing it so well to keep the power on, getting power restored and keeping the streets cleared,” the mayor said Tuesday night.
According to Kevin Howard, the general manager of Berea Utilities, he and his crews had worked almost a full day with no sleep to restore nearly 1,600 homes that lost power throughout the early part of the week.
A majority of those, he said, were restored before Tuesday morning.
“I am really, really proud of the guys here,” Howard said of his crew. “It was a team effort…These guys, we had to make them go home because they did not want to, knowing there were people out there without power.”
His office alone received more than 600 calls, and 100 tips on their website about conditions, and repairs needed.
The utilities company’s response to the outages, as well as the public works, fire and police department's efforts for roads, was another testament to the city of Berea according to council member Steve Caudill.
“We are really fortunate… the fact that we have 1,500 to 1,600 people last night without power — and it sounds like we have 1,200 households — is really a testament and a job well done by everyone in that department,” Caudill said.
“Also the job that has been done in the city the past two weeks, as we have seen weather move in, is really impressive on all fronts,” he added.
Council member Cora Jane Wilson, who is retired from working in utilities, said the work was near and dear to her heart.
“I know when we have storms like this, it is not just the utilities team working,” she attested. “I have been down there at night until late hours answering the phones.”
She stated the roads in Berea looked great compared to other areas she had seen, and appreciated the work done by all city staff.
“It takes every department to make the city function good, and I just want to say thank you to all,” she said.
• The entirety of the Berea City Council voted to approve a bid for mountain bike trails in the city. A total bid price of $101,550 was approved for Parsons Construction out of Greensburg, Kentucky.
• The first reading of Ordinance 04-2021 was approved, which repeals and replaces an ordinance that pertains to the city’s communication services. This was created so that all providers in city limits are “treated equally and subject to the same rights and obligations when operating the city’s right of way.
• A second reading for the sale of surplus property was approved. The property for sale includes a custom cab fire engine, a 2010 Dodge Charger, a 200 Ford Crown Victoria, a 2001 Ford Explorer, a 2011 Crown Victoria, and a 2004 Silverado dump truck.
The next Berea City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 2, at 6:30 p.m.
Reach Taylor Six at 624-6695 or follow her on Twitter at @TaylorSixRR.