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Opportunities created in New Berlin thanks to community support

NEW BERLIN, N.Y. (WBNG) — The Village of New Berlin is building a brand new firehouse and community center, all thanks to a public-private partnership.

The Chenango County municipality is using a combination of state grants and donations from local businesses such as Chobani and Preferred Mutual to fund the $900,000 project without affecting taxpayers.

The village mayor said the fire station has served New Berlin well, but as time has gone on, it no longer fits all of the needs of the community.

“What we’re doing is getting it out of this congestion downtown, and I think everybody can agree we’re not the same New Berlin we were even ten years ago,” said Terry Potter Wednesday. “There’s a lot more traffic, so what we’re looking to do is address some safety concerns that were brought to our attention.”

Village officials are hoping to break ground on this project by the end of the summer, with the hope of opening it by the end of 2019.

Chobani is donating $550,000 to the project, its second serious investment in New Berlin after helping fund a new Little League field back in 2011. The director of social impact for the yogurt company told 12 News giving back, is what Chobani does.

“There is nothing more important to us than our relationships with communities, and the people who live there,” said Jason Rahlen. “We make yogurt everyday, but what we really want to make is a difference.”

Preffered Mutual has operated in the village since 1896, and donated $150,000 for the project. The company sent 12 News a statement, which you can read below:

“We’ve been proud to call New Berlin home since our inception as The Preferred Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Chenango County in 1896. The New Berlin Firehouse has special meaning to us, as our legacy is deeply embedded in fire prevention, safety and a strong sense of community. To say we are proud supporters of firefighters, and all first responders, and the work they do to serve families, friends, neighbors, and businesses, and to protect lives and property is an understatement. We are honored to be able to show our unwavering support to the New Berlin community by leading the development of a new firehouse,” the company said.

Josh Rosenblatt

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