Butler begins Main Street initiative

Butler Main Street announced its official formation at Aug. 19’s City Council meeting. The first activity will be a Harvest Festival on Oct. 5. From left are board members Mayor-elect Mike Hartman of M&S Automotive and Hartman Auto Body, treasurer Curtis Rash of Farmers & Merchants State Bank, President Jodi Barber of Heidtman Steel and Jerry Eldridge, Butler City Council, First District. Board members not shown are Secretary Veronica Sebert of Sebert Oil, Terry Lewis of Therma-Tru, Lori Kaiser and Orie Foster of Eastside Junior-Senior High School, Shannon Carpenter of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce and Mollie O’Rourke of the DeKalb Visitors Bureau.

BUTLER — Butler will undertake a Main Street initiative.

The board of directors for the Butler Main Street Association (BMSA) made the formal announcement at Aug. 19’s City Council meeting.

The purpose of Butler Main Street is to stimulate economic development in the downtown business district of Butler through organization, promotion and design, explained board President Jodi Barber.

Organization efforts would include encouraging cooperation and building leadership in the business community. Promotion would include creating a positive image for downtown by promoting the downtown as an exciting place to live, shop and invest. Design would incorporate improving the appearance of the downtown area.

Barber emphasized that the group will work to preserve the historic character of the downtown business district and to protect the features that define its character to foster a sense of cooperation within the community at large and other organizations.

In addition to Barber, who is a community liaison and recruiter at Heidtman Steel Products, the board of directors includes:

• Treasurer Curtis Rash, representing Farmers & Merchants State Bank

• Secretary Veronica Sebert, representing Sebert Oil Co.

• Mayor-elect Mike Hartman, of M&S Auto Parts of Butler and Hartman Auto Body of Waterloo

• Terry Lewis, a controller at Therma-Tru

• Lori Kaiser, a guidance counselor at Eastside Junior-Senior High School and Eastside administrator Orie Foster

• Shannon Carpenter, acting president of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce

• Mollie O’Rourke, social media coordinator for the DeKalb Visitors Bureau

• Jerry Eldridge, Butler Common Council representative, First District

• Steve Bingham, Butler city planner.

The Butler Main Street opening event will be the Butler Harvest Festival to be held 5-8 p.m. Oct. 8 in downtown Butler. The event will be produced in conjunction with Indiana Main Street “Downtown Development Week” activities throughout Indiana, including DeKalb County cities and towns.

The festival will include harvest-themed activities including pumpkin decorating, a pumpkin pie contest, hayrides, apple bobbing, a harvest-themed walkway and a parade.

In the spirit of encouraging community involvement in activities that enhance Butler’s livability, several area businesses and organizations have signed on to sponsor festival activities, Barber said. State Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, will also serve as the honorary guest for the event. Additional information regarding the Butler Harvest Festival will be announced in the coming weeks.

After the Harvest Festival, the BMSA board will invite the participation of Butler businesses, organizations and citizens in the following committees that will be formed to carry out the mission of Butler Main Street:

• Design — Placemaking/Streetscape

• Community Organization and Development

• Economic Vitality

• Promotions

Additional information regarding Butler Main Street activities can be found on Facebook at ButlerMainStreet and Instagram at ButlerMainStreet.

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