Lewisburg council discusses budget, staff amid COVID-19 crisis


By Kelsey Kimbler - kkimbler@registerherald.com



LEWISBURG — According to Mayor Marsha Jones, Preble County Auditor Lavon Wright sent the Village of Lewisburg a letter asking representatives to look for ways to cut approximately 20 percent from the village budget. Jones discussed this letter with village council during a virtual meeting on Thursday, April 16.

“The letter was asking us to look for ways to cut approximately 20 percent in the budget due to potential loss in revenue from property taxes, license plates, gas, so I think [Village Manager Jeff Sewert] will have more information on that, but she just asked us is to begin to plan now for quick revenue downturn. So, we appreciate that information that she passed along,” Jones said.

“I believe that Lewisburg has the team in place for sure a time as this. As difficult, uncertain, and unexpected as reality is, once again, our community can pull together, volunteer, help where needed, and continue to contribute to the history of our town. Please stay at home when possible, practice social distancing and proper hygiene, and as you are able, care for the vulnerable and ask for help when needed. I thank you all for your support and cooperation.”

Mayor Jones also thanked Lewisburg’s essential employees for their service over the last several weeks.

“I’d like to thank the Lewisburg employees for continuing our essential services and keeping our community safe by practicing environmental, health, and safety guidelines during this COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve really done a good job, Jeff [Sewert] has kept us informed about how they’re practicing the extreme measures for safety during this time,” she said.

Sewert echoed the mayor, thanking staff and department heads alike for their efforts and dedication.

“I truly want to thank our department heads for keeping out employees safe. Our employees are the best,” he said. “Since we met last time, it’s pretty much been business as usual. Nothing to stop and we will continue that customer service level for our citizens and businesses within the community Like Marsha [Jones] said, we will hopefully stay safe, stay healthy, and this too shall pass. I just want to say thank you to everybody and especially the Mayor and Village Council for your support, it is much appreciated throughout the village.”

He also mentioned an update they were planning on posting to the village’s Facebook page, informing citizens of hours and operations of various village offices and departments.

He talked about financial changes and concerns as well, stating they are keeping a close eye on the situation moving forward.

“We’re fortunate enough that we went into this situation where we already got our first half of property taxes, which actually had our replacement levy dollars in there, which was a good thing. Obviously, we’re right around the time when our income taxes were due, so and so fourth, April 15 deadline hit. Right now, we are okay, but I think we’re going to have to look at it in the next month,” he said.

The next time they meet for regular council meeting, Sewert will have more information on the village’s financial situation.

“I do see some changes coming down the road, maybe, potentially on the finance side. We’re watching it and I’ll talk to the Mayor frequently, but if there is something that comes up that I need to let council know, I’ll do it as well. With that said, again, stay safe, stay healthy, and God bless everybody as we move forward,” he said.

The Village of Lewisburg will hold its next regular council meeting on Thursday, May 7, at 7 p.m. at the Lewisburg Fire Department, unless noted otherwise.

By Kelsey Kimbler

kkimbler@registerherald.com

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

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