BUTLER TWP. — Residents of Butler Township will soon have another layer of defense against severe weather.
The Township Trustees voted 2-1 on Monday to participate in the Warning Siren Project of the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management. That program would pay approximately half the cost of installing a siren at the Government Center which would reach the Smith Middle School and the Miller Lane Business District.
The project would spend around $12,000 out of the Harson Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds – a selling point to Trustee Mike Lang, who voted in favor.
“All forms of technology should be leveraged, but we can pay for this out of TIF funds instead of the general fund,” said Lang before casting the deciding vote.
Trustee Joe Flanagan argued that sirens, in today’s world, have little effect.
“This is World War II technology,” said Flanagan. “With today’s technology, they have lost effectiveness and their benefit is so minimal that they don’t deserve investment.”
Trustee Nick Brusky spoke in favor.
“I’ve been in a tornado in a different part of the state,” said Brusky. “We have good technology now with the Hyper Reach system, but I want to have every option going forward.”
Hyper Reach is a joint effort of Vandalia and the township that sends electronic notifications and phone calls to residents affected by an emergency.
In other action, the Trustees raised the revenue budget of the TIF by $307,851.39 to reflect increased revenue over what was budgeted and also increased the appropriations budget by $103,616.39 to reflect the portion of that revenue that will be paid to the Vandalia-Butler City Schools.
They also authorized Fire Chief Dan Alig to purchase emergency lights and other equipment for two recently purchased staff vehicles from K.E. Rose at a price of $15,200. They also authorized Acting Administrator Erika Vogel to enter into a contrat with Careworks Comp for participation in the Group Rating program for the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation Claims. The cost of the contract is $5,258.
The Trustees also initially authorized Vogel to purchase one of the Service Department’s lawn mowers at a cost of $1,500. The mower was valued at $1,500 by two different businesses.
Trustee Brusky said that while the transaction was legal and had been done in the past, he would not be voting for any in the future.
“This is the last time I’m going to do this,” he said while noting that others may see some inside advantage to employees of the Township purchasing surplus equipment. “I’m voting for this, but next time I’m not.”
Flanagan said that he “sees no problem with it.”
Brusky’s comments prompted Vogel to back out of the transaction.
Lang said that Brusky “put Erika in a bad spot” with his comments.
Following the public part of the meeting, the Trustees went into executive session to discuss personnel matters including the Administration.
The Butler Township Trustees will hold their next regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, May 9 at 7 p.m. at the Township Hall, 3780 Little York Road.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.