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Butler Township finances get boost from land sale

| Saturday, March 1, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The $2.45 million that Butler Township received by selling land to a developer for a VA outpatient center might sound like a lot of money.

“It's not, once you think of things we might need to spend it on,” said Ed Kirkwood, the township's manager.

Kirkwood plans this week to recommend to the township commissioners that the money goes to a variety of uses, including new cameras in police cars and stormwater management improvements.

“The in-car cameras for police are at the end of their useful life. They are old and now unreliable,” he said. He said he also will suggest buying new Tasers for the police department.

Much of Butler Township is rural and has open ditch lines for stormwater drainage.

“In the winter, that leads to icy spots on roads in many locations,” Kirkwood said.

Adding pipes in areas where there are open ditches will be expensive and time-consuming, said Kirkwood. He did not have a precise cost estimate.

Joe Hasychak, president of the township's commissioners, said he does not think the township should spend all of the money at once.

“We are just in the very early stages of this,” Hasychak said.

He proposed that some of the money go into an emergency fund for unforeseen expenses.

“Road crews have been paid $20,000 in overtime in just the past two weeks. We've spent much more on road salt this year than was budgeted,” he said.

Hasychak said some of the money likely will be spent on improvements to Preston Park, which has 88 acres but no permanent bathrooms.

The township got the money last year when it sold nearly 16 acres to VA Butler Partners, a Cleveland developer that had an agreement to build a Veterans Affairs center on the site. The VA terminated its lease with the developer on Aug. 9 after finding problems with the bid.

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