Story Courtesy of Mid-America Live
Highlights from the Butler city council meeting last night. All members present with the exception of Denny Rich.
Guest Jordan Blevins approached the council regarding the extension of time allowed to sell fireworks within the city limits. This year, sales may begin on June 27th, Blevins asked if a week could be added for sales to start on the 20th. The council advised that such changes would require additional meetings and there is not enough time to squeeze through such a change on short notice. Blevins noted that the longer time would benefit the city in terms of taxes collected, giving Butler an equal opportunity when competing with other fireworks stands outside the city limits. The council may give the suggestion consideration for next year.
The airport commission is looking at grants to help pay for paving and a new beacon light. The grants would pay 90% of the bills, leaving the city with only a small amount to kick in.
A long discussion was held regarding Sunset Park in south Butler again, and a decision was made to take action. It turns out a playset was donated and has sat in storage for a very long time and the park board would like to have it installed along with a new swing set. To accompany both pieces of equipment, a rubber type matting must be installed for safety reasons. The total bill for all would be over $7,000.00 and the decision was made to forego the swing set and additional rubber mat for now and get the playset put up in the meantime. Other items on the wish list for Sunset Park include a shelter house and drinking fountain which should come at a later date.
Bids were opened and the lowest rate for a lease-purchase loan came from Citizen’s Bank to purchase a new excavator for the water department. Cost of the unit is $107,270.00.
The city has several road projects to do and unfortunately the price of crude oil has gone up, thus driving up costs. About $265,000 was budgeted, but the lowest bid for the same work now is $342,472.00. Phillips Paving Company was the chosen low bidder.
The city originally set aside $20,000 for remodel work at city hall and that project is in danger of going over budget as well. For the time being, the project has been tabled until council can review drawings and details.
Clerk Corey Snead reported that the city audit in complete and it went well. Full results of the audit will be available in a couple months.
The police department has stepped up enforcement in key trouble spots, so watch out… also reported was that two new officers will join the beat soon. New equipment will be installed at the PD to record phone calls and radio traffic as legally required. Fortunately, the bid for the equipment came in well below the estimate of $20,000 at just over $12,000.00. Computers in the department are in need of upgrading and installing laptops in patrol cars will become reality. The laptops will allow officers more time on patrol vs spending time in the office doing reports, etc.
The city is still mulling ideas how to spend the over 700k stimulus money that is incoming. There are guidelines, more is expected from city attorney Joe Lauber soon.
In a discussion that started at the recent town hall meeting, pigeon droppings are a big problem around city hall. There are concerns about disease and other factors that go along with it. So far wire spikes have been put up on the front of the building and some trapping has been done but the pigeons seem to be winning. The council would gladly welcome any ideas the public has to combat this issue.
Remember the Butler city council meets on the first and third Tuesdays, 7 pm upstairs at the Butler city hall.