City celebrates opening of new utility center

By Cecilia Fox - [email protected]

TIPP CITY — After years of planning, the City of Tipp City unveiled its new electric utility center Saturday morning.

The city held an open house to show off the newly renovated warehouse on N. Sixth St. The new center features a large bay to house the department’s vehicles and other equipment, as well as offices and a conference room.

“It’s a great adaptive reuse of a building that’s going to help the neighborhood as well,” City Manager Tim Eggleston said.

Council had discussed building a utility service center for a number of years before opting to reuse an existing vacant building.

In 2013, council approved the purchase of the former Pak-It property at 301 N. Sixth St. The warehouse on the property was stripped down to the steel beams and converted it for the electric department.

The estimated cost of the project was around $2.4 million. Construction began in February of 2015.

“Thanks to the Tipp City community for supporting this project,” Mayor Pat Hale said. Several members of city council also attended, as well as former utilities director Christy Butera and previous city manager Jon Crusey, who were involved in the project planning. Pastor Jeff Seekins of the Community Bible Church presided over the blessing of the new facility.

The city manager thanked all those involved in the planning of the new center, including city employees past and present, John Poe Architects and Westerheide Construction.

“One of the great things about our community of just under 10,000 is that we do have our own electric utility, which most other communities this size and larger than us don’t have,” Hale said. “We have just been so blessed in our community that we have the electric utility department.”

The city’s electric department operated out of the old power plant on North First Street for nearly a century, until the building was damaged by flooding after a storm in May of 2014. Since last spring, the department has been working out of the conference room of another city building.

The 1917 power plant was built to replace the previous utility building that was ruined in the 1913 flood.

Tipp City Electric was formed in 1897 and is one of approximately 2,000 municipal owned utilities in the country.

The city is a member of American Municipal Power and provides service to more than 5,000 residences and more than 450 businesses.

By Cecilia Fox

[email protected]

Reach Cecilia at [email protected] or at (937) 552-2205.

Reach Cecilia at [email protected] or at (937) 552-2205.

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