Lewisburg council responds to COVID-19

By Kelsey Kimbler - kkimbler@registerherald.com

LEWISBURG — The Village of Lewisburg Council discussed its COVID-19 response during a meeting on Thursday, March 19.

Council met at the Tri-County North Community Building so officials could be properly spaced out in practicing proper “social distancing.”

Mayor Marsha Jones said, “Just a reminder to keep a safe distance and proper hygiene, check on the vulnerable and look out for each other. Hopefully we can get our community through without any incident.”

Village Manager Jeff Sewert thanked council members for their willingness to be relocated for their meeting and Fire Chief BJ Sewert for arranging the council seats with six feet apart, for social distancing practices.

“We’ve been monitoring the situation very closely, myself and the Governor’s office with the press conferences he has each and every day, as well as the Ohio Department of Health. I’ve also attended some meetings with out local health department just to stay on top of [policies and procedures],” he said.

He provided council with a copy of a letter he would like to post online, detailing the closing of various village offices. He asked council if they would approve the letter and the closure of offices to the public. Council voted unanimously in support of closing the village office to the public until council can meet again in April, at which time they can re-open the office or vote to extend the closure.

Police Chief Rick McGee said they are limiting access to the Lewisburg Police Department with the exception of essential or emergency situations. They are still handling non-priority calls, but not face-to-face. Citizens are encouraged to call ahead at 937-962-4677 to determine if the department can serve you without requiring face-to-face interaction.

“The biggest thing is, we don’t want to [transmit] the virus to our elderly population. I think most of my officers are pretty healthy, they’ll be fine, we just don’t want to transport to anyone else,” he said.

Chief BJ Sewert discussed his department’s response guidelines with council. Until further notice, the Fire/EMS building will be locked. For non-emergency access call 937-962-4640 or ring the buzzer next to the front door of the fire station. For emergency calls, the public is urged to call 9-1-1 as normal.

In other business:

•Mayor Jones shared, council member Belinda Harry was honored as City of Eaton Employee of the Year for her job as Deputy Clerk with Eaton Municipal Court.

•Harry asked Village Manager Jeff Sewert for an update on the safety committee meeting she attended. Sewert updated council on volunteer pay and raising the part-time pay scale. He also talked about full-time staff and how to retain and encourage employment in the department. Sewert plans to have a meeting with Chief McGee to get his input on what is needed with the police department. At that point, they can move forward to determine how to increase pay within both safety departments.

•Council approved the purchase of a vehicle for the police department from the police levy fund at a cost of $56,500.

•Council approved the purchase of a replacement first responder vehicle for the fire department from the general fund levy dollars at a cost of $46,875.

The Village of Lewisburg will hold its next council meeting on Thursday, April 2, at 7 p.m.

By Kelsey Kimbler


Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH