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BUTLER — Indiana Michigan Power may have an interest in building a new electrical substation in Butler.

City Planner Steve Bingham said while no formal offer or site plan has been presented, he told Butler’s Board of Works and Public Safety on July 1 that the utility company has expressed an interest in possibly acquiring the Susie Park property at the northwest corner of Federal and Walnut streets.

Part of the property includes the former Eel River Railroad right-of-way, owned by the state of Indiana, he said.

I&M operates an electrical substation at the southwest corner of Federal and Walnut streets.

Board of Works members Eric Johnson and Tammy Davis approved a $19,268 quote from Peerless Midwest to make repairs to one of the city’s water pumping wells.

Water Superintendent Brian Moore said the issue was discovered during a recent test of the well. Butler has two wells that pump water at alternating three-month intervals. Moore said Peerless Midwest recommended updating electrical equipment in the other well at some point in the future.

The board also approved a $12,500 quote from Baker Tilly to perform a water utility rate study.

The last study was performed in 2016. “We are slowly losing money” in that utility, said Clerk-Treasurer Angela Eck. Eck blamed the losses on aging water meters. While city crews are in the process of the meters, there are many needing to be replaced. It is hoped they can be replaced by the end of the year.

The rate study will take a few months to complete. Eck and Mayor Ron Walter didn’t anticipate any more rate increases this year. The rates just increased with the July billing statements, Eck noted.

Because Butler’s application for federal funding to clean up the former Butler Company property was turned down earlier this year, Bingham said SES Environmental will not charge the city to submit a new application for the next grant cycle this fall.

In late June, Butler participated in an application review with other communities submitting proposals. Bingham said Butler’s application lacked detailed information about the cleanup procedures and community impact. He noted there was a short deadline window to meet for the previous application.

Bingham noted several commercial and industries properties up for sale.

The former Hendrickson Suspension facility at 200 W. Cherry St. will be offered at auction with no reserve on Aug. 1.

The lease for the Family Dollar store at 349 W. Main St. expires at the end of 2019, Bingham said.

The former barber shop at 339 W. Main St. is being listed by a realty company.

Police Chief Jim Nichols reported approximately 300 people attended the police department’s Butler Night Out event June 25 in Maxton Park.

Public Works Manager Dan Hudson said about three-fourths of the lots have been planted in the Butler Community Garden in Hendrickson Park on Federal Street.

City Attorney Cedric Hollabaugh said the Town of Waterloo has approved an inter-local agreement with the city of Butler to use Butler City Court to hear any municipal ordinance violations.

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