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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Williams statement on Bergey

Gee Williams

Berlin Mayor Gee Williams on Wednesday emailed a statement addressing Jay Bergey’s comments during a public meeting Tuesday night on the findings of the Matrix Consulting Study.

He attached a copy of the most recent audit of the Berlin Fire Company, from June 30, 2017, and included the following:

“This most recent audit of BFC finances reports their assets include $2,224,504 in cash, and another $617,539 in restricted cash. This total of cash on hand equals $2,842,043 of the BFC’s total assets, including property and equipment, totals $5,468,872. This information is on page 3 of the attached audit report.

“In April of this year, the Mayor and Council made an inquiry to the auditing firm as to the handling of money for the planned new station 3, east of Berlin on US 50. The response from PKS & Company was as follows:

  • In 2015 the BFC moved approximately $450,000 from the EMS building fund, contingency fund and operating funds and designated these funds for the proposed new building (Station 3).
  • In 2016 and 2017, the funds received from Worcester County of approximately $325,000 for out of town calls to service were designated for Station 3.
  • Then in 2017, $403,567 was moved from the new building fund to a fund for the main headquarters reducing the amount allocated for Station 3.
  • During this time, the BFC received approximately $112,000 of donations for Station 3 and incurred $7,579 in expenses related to the proposed new building.

“Unfortunately, near the end of the meeting there was a provocative statement, not made by any member of the Berlin Fire Company or any representative of the Town of Berlin, that sought to undermine the credibility of our town’s genuine concerns about the financial management of the BFC.

“A brief, but heated discussion followed and I recognize that my response was strong, but I maintain was appropriate, in light of the dispersions that were made to apparently undermine a better working relationship that both the Town and the BFC are working to accomplish.

“The town stands by the findings and recommendations of the Matrix Consulting report. We are looking forward to resolving any differences between the Town and the BFC and are confident a well-thought, well-defined contract for Fire-EMS services, currently being discussed between the Town and the Fire Company, is the foundation for long term success that will insure the continuation of top-notch fire- fighting and EMS services to the residents and guests of Berlin for decades to follow.”