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Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Butler City Council: Everyone urged to attend Town Hall Meeting next week

All council members were present for the regular session of the Butler City Council meeting last night

Guests were Joanne Godfrey and John Nelson, owners of Luna Umbra Winery located on the south side of the Butler square. Godfrey asked the council for permission to put a few tables and chairs on the sidewalk for customers to use during business hours. The council expressed concern about alcohol being served outside without direct supervision and it was noted that steps will be taken to insure there will be no issues; likewise it was noted there is plenty of space for the wrought iron chairs and tables on the sidewalk along with ample room for pedestrians as well. The council unanimously voted to allow the outdoor seating.

Four ordinances were adopted, Substitution for language in section 22-12; amending sections 18-26 and 18-27 to update planning commission membership; several sections updating the duties and powers of the planning commission; and updating requirements for rezoning and conditional use permits in accordance with state law. More information on the exact verbiage of these are available at city hall.

Clerk Corey Snead reported that the city audit is underway and most likely will last all week. He also reported that Jim Hertzog inquired about the Butler industrial park sign along I-49 that is not longer used; Hertzog offered to put the sign to good use to promote his business, have all expenses covered and pay the city $1,200.00 a year for it. The council voted yes to the plan.

Police Chief Jerret Wheatley reported that dispatch received 2,500 telephone calls in the last month; 345 of which resulted in a calls for service.

City attorney Joe Lauber reported that he is still awaiting information on ARPA (Covid stimulus) money. At this juncture, the city is discussing where the money needs to go and this would make for good conversation for those attending the Town Hall meeting next week.

It was duly noted that the mayor and council are preparing for the Town Hall meeting next week, June 7th, 6 pm at Happy Hill Church of God on south main street. The public is highly encouraged to attend and participate.

There was a brief discussion about putting the internet use tax back on the ballot at some point- this topic appears to be highly misunderstood as most citizens believe they will see an increase in taxes. This however is not the case as outlined by city administrator Mike West awhile back, you can read more here https://www.midamericalive.com/2021/03/butler-internet-use-tax-question-it-may.html.

Mayor Jim Henry offered condolences to the family of Bill Thornton, former mayor and local businessman who passed away May 26th. 

Kudos were paid to the parks department for keeping up with mowing and maintenance at the cemetery and parks. Rain has certainly added difficulty to these tasks.

Prior to the last few council meetings, all members and the mayor have been touring city facilities; a few weeks back it was the power plant and last night it was the water and wastewater plants which gives new council members a little more insight to our city's internal workings.

Approved were lease purchase agreements on some badly needed equipment, a trackhoe for the water department and a bucket truck for the electric department. The equipment being replaced is quite worn and could create safety issues.   

Remember the Butler city council meets on the first and third Tuesdays 7 pm at the Butler city hall.