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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Council meeting: Wastewater plant fix could be costly

In the early portion of the Butler city council meeting last night, much time was lent to discussion about issues regarding the city's wastewater treatment plant. Kurt Higgins of engineering firm Allgeier Martin of Joplin talked about keeping dissolved oxygen levels within legal tolerance in the stream that is nearby the plant. 

This is a complicated matter due to the fact that regardless of runoff upstream of the wastewater plant, the city is still responsible for maintaining dissolved oxygen levels downstream. The fix could be a 4 million problem, however Higgins introduced Geosyntec, a consultation firm that specializes in dealing with complex environmental problems such as this; and they will being working toward a resolution with the Missouri DNR which most importantly, should lower the price tag significantly.

The situation with the Butler police department looks rather bleak at the moment- new officers are needed but applications are not rolling in as hoped. In fact, there were only two job seekers in the last month and neither worked out for one reason or another. More discussion is sure to be coming in the next meeting.

Butler residents are to expect a slight increase in their electric bills as the recent cold snap has turned out to be quite costly. The additional cost, which was close to one million dollars will be divided up over the next few billing periods, as opposed to forcing users to pay one large lump sum. 

The city is to receive Covid relief money and there is ongoing discussion as to where would be the best place to apply it. The amount should be in the neighborhood of $700,000 and certainly is welcomed. It was suggested using it to help offset the high energy cost mentioned above, among a few other things.

There was also a discussion about 'tiny houses', which have become a trend in recent times. To be considered a home in the city of Butler, the dwelling must have at least 800 square feet of living space, which has prompted concerns. Expect more on how this will be handled in future council sessions.

The council is currently working to put together another town hall meeting to provide an open forum for the public. With Covid and other concerns, that date will be forthcoming.

Electric City Downtown asked for permission to host the 'Brick Street Bash' to be held June 26th, 3 to 8 pm. Full details on this family oriented event coming soon.

The phone system at city hall is in bad need of an update and that is scheduled to happen on April 27th.

Some more good news? Starting April 20th, city council meetings will again be open to the public. AND city hall will reopen to the public next Monday, April 12th.  

The Butler city council meets on the first and third Tuesdays, 7 pm, at the Butler city hall. Come and get involved!