Government Profile

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Location

Bernville Borough is located in southeastern Pennsylvania in western Berks County, along State Route 183.  It is approximately 12 miles northwest of the city of Reading and 5 miles south of Interstate 78.

 

History

The earliest known inhabitants of the Bernville area were the Delaware Indians who named the area “Tulpehocken,” meaning “Land of the Turtles.”  In the early 1720s, thirty-three families of Palatinate settlers in New York moved to the Tulpehocken Valley.  They settled on land that was part of the original grant to William Penn made by Charles II of England in 1681.

In 1737, 220 acres in the Tulpehocken Valley were granted to Stephanus Umbenhauer.  (Records show that Stephanus Umbenhauer emigrated from Bern, Switzerland.) In 1819, Johann Thomas Umbenhauer (grandson of Stephanus) set aside 46 acres that were parceled into 62 building lots; this would become Main Street. The town was officially named Bernville on January 20, 1820, and the borough was incorporated in 1851. On December 14, 1950, through an Act of Annexation, most of the remaining Umbenhauer acreage was incorporated into the borough. Currently, the borough comprises approximately .4 square miles (or 236 acres) with a population of 955 (figure taken from the 2010 census).

 

BERNVILLE GOVERNMENT PROFILE

Bernville is a borough governed by a seven-person council and a mayor.  The borough council and mayor are elected at large for four-year terms. The council and mayor are supported by both the planning commission and zoning hearing board. The borough retains a solicitor and municipal engineer. Daily operations are administered for the borough by a part-time borough secretary/treasurer.

Council is the legislative body having the authority to set policy, enact ordinances, make resolutions, adopt budgets, and levy taxes. In addition, council performs executive functions such as enforcing ordinances, developing the budget, approving expenditures, and hiring employees.  Following their election to office, the council members select a president and vice-president. The president presides over meetings and appoints various committees. The council establishes commissions/boards such as: planning, shade tree, and the zoning hearing board. The police department is under the direction of the mayor. The mayor also oversees the functions of the special fire police and auxiliary police via the police chief.

Bernville Borough Water System

Bernville Borough owns the borough water system, but the system is managed under an agreement with Select Environmental Solutions. The “water system” is that collection of facilities and rights-of-way required to render water service in and for the borough.  Inquiries related to the municipal water system are to be directed to the Borough Secretary.

 

Federal, State, and County Elected Officials

Name/Office/Phone Address
Tom Wolf, Governor
215-560-2640
717-787-2500
There is no toll-free number.

 

Governor’s  office serving Berks County:
200 S. Broad St., 11th Floor
Philadelphia, PA  19102
Website: pa.gov
Bob Casey Jr.
US Senator
717-231-7540
1-866-461-9159 toll-free

 

200 North 3rd Street, Suite 14A
Harrisburg, PA  17101
Website: casey.senate.gov
Pat Toomey
US Senator
1-610-434-1444
1150 S. Cedarcrest Blvd.
Suite 101
Allentown, PA  18103
Website: toomey.senate.gov

 

Daniel Meuser
US Representative
(202) 225-6511
121 Progress Avenue
Suite 110, Losch Plaza
PottsvillePA 17901
Website: https://meuser.house.gov/
David Argall
State Senator
610-562-3411
1-877-327-4255

 

61 North Third Street
Hamburg, PA  19526
Website: senatorargall.com
Barry Jozwiak
State Representative
610-378-4407
(office in Reading Regional Airport)

 

2501 Bernville Road, Box 4
Reading, PA  19605
Website: repjozwiak.com
Christian Leinbach, Chairman
Kevin Barnhardt
Mark Scott
Dial 610-478-6136
(Listen for automated message and press designated # to reach a specific commissioner.)
For all County Commissioners:
Berks County Services Center
13th Floor
633 Court Street
Reading, PA  19601
Website: co.berks.pa.us.com