LEWISBURG — Currently, the Village of Lewisburg has two permissive taxes in action, which are optional taxes that can be levied by counties, municipalities, and/or townships on vehicle registrations. The current maximum permissive tax for registration year 2018 in any single taxing district is $20 per registration per registration year.
During the council meeting on Thursday, June 21, council approved ordinances to enact the remaining two permissive taxes, bringing the total tax from the village to $20 on vehicle registrations. This change will take affect in 30 days.
The funds will go towards improving and maintaining public roads, highways, and streets within the municipal limits. This is a way for Lewisburg to keep the money within village limits and use it to improve roads, accoring to council members.
In other business, council discussed the ongoing issue of funding for School Resource Officers (SROs).
Tri-County North is in talks with the Village of Lewisburg to obtain an SRO that would be a shared employee between the school district and the village. Currently, Chief Rick McGee acts as the district’s SRO. According to council members, he has had an office within the school building for several years now, but he obviously cannot be at the school full-time. This is why the school will be implementing a full-time SRO in the near future.
Municipal Manager Jeff Sewert presented council with a cost estimate for the SRO, basing the information on the “worst case scenario,” which he explained would be an officer at the highest pay scale. He hopes that a new officer coming in would not be on the highest pay scale and does not believe they would be.
“Rounded, the cost estimate is $70,000,” Sewert said. “Now, when we hire an employee we have different pay scales. Those are based on their skill level and experience. Normally you’re going to start out at a smaller step, but I gave [council] the estimate at the highest pay scale. I think there are four or five steps, so this employee might start out at step one, but might eventually get to the highest step and it could cost us $70,000 at that time.
“If this employee was hired today, at the highest pay scale, with the highest benefits, the cost estimate would be around $70,000. It probably won’t happen there, but I wanted to council to know how much it might cost. That is the total cost of an SRO, which will be a shared cost between the village and the school district.”
The school has 180 days in session and for the other 80 days the officer would work for the village.
“Every school district in the county is in the process of doing this right now,” Councilman Mark Madigan said. “Preble Shawnee has approved three SROs.”
Sewert said he expects hiring an SRO to actually save the village money. He was seeking support from the council before moving forward with this project, which they gave with a request for additional information.
Tri-County North School District and the Village of Lewisburg are in contract negotiations over how the shared cost will be split. Sewert hopes to have a number for council to approve during the council meeting on Thursday, July 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fire Department.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH