Businesses and homeowners could see a reduction in their property insurance after a recent state inspection and audit of New Bern Fire-Rescue.  New Bern’s new Class 2 rating puts it in the top 2 percent of fire districts nationwide.  In North Carolina, New Bern now ranks as one of the top 28 fire districts out of 1,533 total. “This is a big deal for New Bern,” said City Manager Mark Stephens. “We hope it will enhance economic development and benefit commercial developers, businesses and homeowners.  Many large corporations strongly consider higher fire protection ratings when locating to new communities, and we hope this will moveRead More →

Aldermen meet this evening to hold a public hearing into how the city will spend taxpayer and user fee money during the next fiscal year. This is the first budget for the newly coined Board of Aldermen, which met during budget workshops last week that lasted just over 11 hours. As presented by city staff, the draft budget is fairly status quo and would not result in any additional taxes or fees. However, City Manager Mark Stephens also laid out a number of steps aldermen could take to raise addition revenue to pay for new projects. (Fun fact: “Raise revenue” is boffin-speak for new feesRead More →

A tradition within the New Bern Fire Department and its ancestors since 1879, threatened by a row over former mayor Lee Bettis, is now no longer a habit, a tradition, or a whim — it’s city law. Aldermen passed a resolution on Tuesday making it official city policy to add the name of the mayor in office when a fire truck is authorized for purchase. The policy gives a mayor the option to decline the honor. The resolution passed on a vote of 5-2, with Mayor Dana Outlaw and Alderman Jeffrey Odham voting against the measure. The controversy arose when the previous Board of AldermenRead More →

First off, the obvious Things are getting back to normal now that the holidays are behind us. Just kidding. With snow and ice blanketing the region, it’s like having an extra week off for the Christmas break. Schools have been closed since Wednesday. So much of New Bern was shut down on Thursday, it nearly felt like Christmas Day. Though we were well supplied with food, cabin fever drove us from the house and we thank the folks at Sonic and Piggly Wiggly for braving the weather and serving our needs. Other businesses were open, too … these are just the two we happened toRead More →