By William Channell
Record Herald Writer
TIPP CITY – Spurred by a variety of factors, the Tipp City Electric Service Center is getting ready to change locations from First to Sixth Street.
Christy Butera, director of utilities for Tipp City, said the move is primarily the result of poor conditions within the current facility at 230 North First St.
“Currently the facility (we) operate out of is really substandard,” Butera said. “And to say that, I’m being generous.”
According to Butera, as it is the staff at the center essentially operates out of one large room, which results in a lack of desk and storage space and an overall cramped environment.
“It’s just piecemealed as far as where the parts and components and the storage material that we use (are).” Butera said. “The new facility will allow us to have all of that inside, we’ll have storage material right there on the property for them.”
The new building, which will be at 301 North Sixth St., will also provide more space for city trucks, allowing the utilities department to shield them from the elements.
“It’s giving us a lot more storage (internally) for our vehicles,” Butera said. “A lot of the electric trucks have hydraulics that are better suited for them to be stored indoors during the cold winter.
The department of utilities was formerly planning on building an entirely new facility to house the center, though city council directed them elsewhere.
“City council directed us to look at existing properties in Tipp City that we could perhaps re-use,” Butera said. “This location really ended up being (ideal).”
To add convenience, the new facility will be located adjacent to the city’s water and street service center.
“We’re taking it down to the steel studs, we’re ripping off the metal roof, it’s getting a completely new layout,” Butera said.
The city is going currently working with John Poe architects out of Dayton to flesh out possible interior layout designs, as well as space sizing for offices. Butera said plumbing options are beginning to come into play.
Butera and other city officials have visited a new power plant in Piqua in order to generate ideas.
Butera said the city would like to begin bidding with contractors this fall, with construction underway by winter.
The budget for construction is 2 million dollars, which will be funded entirely through the Tipp City electric fund, which residents contribute to as part of their utilities bill.
According to Butera, the old building will not fall into total disuse.
“I think the intent moving forward is that the existing facility…will be used as storage for other city vehicles,” Butera said.