Aulander uses funds for new police vehicle

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 13, 2006

AULANDER – There’s a new law enforcement tool in this Bertie County community.

Taking advantage of assistance from USDA Rural Development, the town of Aulander has added a 2006 Ford Explorer to its fleet of emergency response vehicles. This latest addition comes fully loaded with safety equipment and will be utilized as Aulander Police Chief Jimmy Barmer’s primary vehicle.

USDA Rural Development provided an $11,000 low-interest loan plus a $13,300 grant in order for Aulander to purchase the vehicle.

“We are happy to be a part of this project and extend the funds for this police vehicle,” USDA Rural Development Area Director Garland Burnette said on Tuesday during a check-passing ceremony at Aulander Town Hall.

Burnette continued, “Police, fire and rescue service in rural communities are vital to the well-being of the citizens served by these departments. We understand the needs of rural communities and we’re here to help you in any way possible.”

Burnette said the Rural Development office in Williamston, which covers 16 counties, has extended over $60 million in project funds over the past two years. He noted that Aulander had earlier benefited from a $250,000 USDA grant to renovate a downtown building for the purpose of economic development.

“It’s thanks to Senator Richard Burr and Congressman G.K. Butterfield for working hard in Washington to ensure funds like these are available to our rural communities,” Burnette said.

Representatives of the two federal legislators n Reuben Clayton (from Butterfield’s office) and Betty Jo Shepheard (Burr) n shared greetings from their bosses.

“This is a team effort that Congressman Butterfield is excited to be a part of,” Clayton said. “He is doing all he can to provide for the citizens of North Carolina’s First Congressional District.”

“Northeastern North Carolina communities are very important to Senator Burr,” Shepheard said. “Please remember that Senator Burr’s office door is open and he will do everything he can for Bertie County and all of northeastern North Carolina.”

Town of Aulander officials were just as excited to offer improved emergency response to its citizens.

“Thank-you all for what you have done for us in the past, what you’re doing for us today and hopefully what you can do for us in the future,” Aulander Mayor Joe Jernigan said.

Chief Barmer was also appreciative of the efforts of USDA Rural Development as well as the offices of Senator Burr and Congressman Butterfield.

“This vehicle is already in use and has already made an impact on serving the citizens of Aulander,” Barmer noted. “I’d like to thank Mayor Jernigan, members of the Town Council, (Town Clerk) Barbara Jernigan and (Town Administrator) David Overton for all their help and for backing this project.”

Barmer also personally thanked Susan Christensen of the Rural Development office in Williamston.

“Susan went to work on this project just as soon as I inquired about the possibility of funds for a police vehicle,” Barmer said. “She worked extremely hard on this and really came through for the citizens of Aulander.”

Following the check presentation, Chief Barmer noted that Central Ford of Ahoskie was to be credited with “going the extra mile” in orchestrating a great deal on the new vehicle.

“Central Ford won the low bid for the vehicle, but they didn’t stop there,” Barmer said. “Jerry Stace and his staff at Central Ford stood beside us the whole way, working hard to put together a great deal.”

USDA Rural Development’s mission is to deliver programs in support for increased economic opportunity and to improve the quality of life for rural citizens.

Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting