Butler Township – A Five Year Look Back
Over the last five years, the Township Trustees have worked hard to make sure that we are watching the Township’s budget but also making sure that the Township is still operating and improving the infrastructure needed to provide the services that all the residents enjoy. Here is a look at what we have worked together to accomplish for the township over the last five years.
Improvements to Township Buildings – We have completed the improvements on all of our township buildings that should last for the next 25 years. We completely remodeled and expanded Fire Station 88 and purchased a new building and made renovations for the government center which now shares space for the police department and the administration functions. Both improvements cost the tax payers 5 million dollars which is 1 to 3 million less than what was originally proposed in Singing Ridge in 2009.
Retirement of Debt – As of this year, the township has retired some significant debt. In 2015, the last payment was made for some fire equipment that was purchased in 2005. In 2013 and 2011, a lease for a dump truck and rescue truck ended. In 2013, the township also retired 1.4 million dollars in debt for the York Commons/Commerce Center infrastructure project whereby we saved the taxpayer over $400,000.00 in interest payments over the life of the 20 year loan that began in 2008.
Increased and Strengthened the Police Force – The Township was able to hire five (5) new police officers over the last 2 years which has increased the number of certified officers from eleven (11) to sixteen (16). This could never have happened if the JEDZ had not passed in August of 2013. Thanks to all the voters who helped pass this crucial financial tool for the department. The PD is now able to aggressively patrol the township like never before. Please see attached department improvements.
Paved and Constructed over 38 streets within the Township – The Township has been able to pave over 37 streets and construct one (1) new street within the township. We have made an investment of over $3,822,600.00 with Road Levy and TIF/RID Funds. All roads within the Brantford Meadows, Irongate and Downing Plats have been repaved along with just about every township roadway north of I-70 (with the exception of Stonequarry and Kershner). We have also replaced a good portion of all township road signs with new reflective signs to meet new federal guidelines. We have spent $3,000 per year since 2011 upgrading the reflectivity on the street signs to meet the new federal standards which include increasing the font size. We purchased a sign machine in 2010 to make the new signage at a cost of $15,000. This has cut our cost for the signs in half.
Developed a Capital Improvements Plan – This plan includes a vehicle fleet replacement schedule which has reduced our maintenance costs by over 50% since 2009. We have also sold equipment we no longer needed and replaced aging equipment which included a new fire engine in 2013/2014. We now work with our neighboring fire departments to share equipment and the costs to maintain that equipment.
Economic Development Projects – We also believe that we need to invest money in infrastructure in the community to attract companies to locate here which in turn improves the values of the property in our area. In 2013, over $1,044,600 was invested into the community with Township dollars. We were able to complete a number of projects including extending a water line on Engle Road from Vandalia Rental to Old Springfield Road. This facilitated the maintenance building improvements made by Vandalia Rental in the township. Vandalia Rental eagerly joined the Vandalia JEDD in exchange for water. The Township also installed a 48” storm water line through the new Progressive site on N. Dixie Drive and extended a sewer line for Singer Properties behind the Progressive site to attract Progressive to the community. The Township has also been helping the owner on Towne Center at Benchwood to fill in their site for future development. Sidewalks were also installed on Miller Lane and Commerce Center to link all the existing businesses and complete a more pedestrian friendly area in the business district. A business plan for the JEDZ area was adopted in 2012 and the township has been making improvements to the business district per the plan. Part of those suggested improvements included branding the township. The Board developed a standard for signage which started with the government center sign and the new sign at the fire department. We also installed new entry signage at N. Dixie and I-70 and signage along N. Dixie to Benchwood. The township also installed the township logos in the pavement in the business district. The total cost for all signage was $205,000. All signs were paid for with TIF/RID monies as they are capital projects.
Investment in Partnerships with other Local Governments – We have been working together with our adjacent neighbors to lower the costs for services by sharing costs and personnel for those services. In 2010, the Trustees and the City of Vandalia put in a motion a plan to share fire stations and jointing staff each one of those fire stations. Today, we continue to invest in that partnership and work together to respond to calls in the Township and the City. We continue to try and purchase equipment and vehicles together to help save money. We also work with the City to provide recreation events such as the Easter Egg Hunt and Fourth of July Celebration each year and the schools to provide support for the After Prom activities. The Township has also been participating with the schools and the City of Vandalia on taking back local control of the schools and all the tax money that is sent to the State and never returned to the township.
New Businesses who Now Call Butler Township Their Home – We have also enjoyed the company of all these new businesses who have decided to locate to Butler Township. They include Agil IT/Elevation Healthcare, HER Realty, Progressive, Taco Bell, Untangled Salon, Buckeye EcoCare, Clearing Paths Counseling, Concept Schools, Express Employment Professionals, Farmers Insurance, Homeland Security Systems, Liquid Nics, Neurology Diagnostics, Route 25 Storage Facility, Vandalia Rental, B&D Automotive, Batteries Plus (expansion), Christian Life Center (expansion), Fazolis, Flamingo Tan, Gauntlet Awards, Hearing Solutions, India Restaurant (coming soon), Luxury Nail Spa (expansion), McAlisters Deli, Mortgage 1, Redemption Christian Tabernacle, Schock & Poores, CPA, Spherion Staffing Firm and Springhill Suites (coming soon). Welcome everyone to Butler Township!
The Township has seen a lot of changes over the last five years. Looking back, the Township has reduced its operating budget by 19% from 2009, retired $1.4 million in debt for the York Commons Improvements and refinanced the remaining debt from 5% to 2.3% in interest, decreased our benefits package for our employees to better match what is going on around us, improved the life expectancy of all the township buildings by investing in some much needs capital improvements, and increased our visibility in the community by participating in more Chamber and community organizations and events. The Trustees are also committed to increasing our presence in Montgomery County and creating an identity for Butler Township which we have started through new entry signage and will continue to do over the next several years with way finding signage, banners, landscaping, pedestrian improvements, street lighting/signage, and new entrance features at I-75