BUTLER — After two unsuccessful attempts, Butler has been awarded $2.625 million from the Indiana Finance Authority to address south side stormwater issues.
The announcement was made Sept. 27.
Two attempts in 2019 to procure funding from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs were unsuccessful.
The project — with an estimated cost of $4.5 million — will create a new stormwater line from R.E. Jones Road (C.R. 30) to the northernmost Norfolk Southern railroad tracks, connecting to a new 48-inch stormwater drain that runs parallel to the railroad.
Butler had sought a $3.5 million grant and planned to invest about $1 million of its own funding to pay for the project.
Funds set aside for an unsuccessful north side water main and lead pipe replacement project could be diverted to help pay for this one.
“It’s been long overdue,” Mayor Mike Hartman said. “It’s something previous councils and mayors wanted to address. They tried but just couldn’t get it done.
“I’m very excited, especially having been turned down twice through OCRA,” he said. After two previous grant applications had been denied, the city’s energies had shifted to replace water mains and lead pipes along North Broadway.
Earlier this fall, the city had applied for — but did not receive — a State Water Infrastructure (SWIF) grant for the North Broadway project.
“(It’s) like a roller-coaster,” Hartman said of recent emotions. “You think you’re going to get one (grant) and you don’t, and the one you don’t think you’re going to get because you’ve been turned down twice, you get.
“Like they say, the third time is the charm.”
“I think it’s a very positive thing for the City of Butler,” utility consultant Dave Wagner said. “It will help them get some storm sewers established on the south side and improve some storm sewers on the north side.
“The most important thing is getting some storm sewers established on the south side.”
“Since we didn’t get the North Broadway (water and waterworks) project OK’d, we may apply that money to the south side, or we could go out and bond it,” Hartman said.
The mayor and Wagner planned to meet Monday afternoon to determine the best course of additional funding.
The new stormwater line will run along the east side of Broadway and will be “strictly a long stretch,” Hartman explained.
“If we have additional funds, our goal is to improve some storm sewers on North Broadway,” Wagner added. “We believe the storm sewers are undersized and are not getting enough stormwater away from S.R. 1.”
“There is no stormwater drainage at all on the south side,” the mayor said. “Hopefully, this will alleviate some flooding in some residents’ basements because this water will actually have a place to go.”
With the grant announcement, design work will begin. One of the conditions, Wagner explained, is to have engineering work completed and permits submitted by Jan. 3, 2022.
The IFA grant announcement was slated to take place in early September, but with the announcement not coming until the end of the month, the city has lost about a month that could have been devoted to design. Wagner said the city intends to ask for an extension in order to complete design work.