LAKEMORE  Village officials read an ordinance to increase municipal vehicle license fees at the April 3 council meeting.

Mayor Rick Justice spoke about the possible increase, saying the numbers down't add up.

"We looked at statistics and we only have about 1,100 license plates registered in the village," he said. "To me, with more than 1,300 households, that number does not seem right."

The permissive license fees are used for roads. The rate for residents for license tags is $34.50 in which the village receives $2.50 per tag.

 "We are not collecting what we should be collecting when you pay your license fee for our roads," said Justice.

He said that at every council meeting residents are reminded to make sure when getting license plates they state that they live in Lakemore. Unless village residents in 44312 zip code specify they live in Lakemore, the village will not receive the $2.50 cut.

Wage increases

Members of council voted to increase wages for Fiscal Officer Tracy Fast, Foreman Department of Public Services (DOPS) Gene Taylor, Water Supervisor and Laborer for DOPS David Banks and Billing and Collections Clerk Kathy Wix.

Council President Rich Cole praised the dedication and loyalty of the employees. He pointed out that 11 years ago the position of fiscal officer paid $41,200, which is more than Fast receives today.

"In 2012, Mrs. Fast graciously accepted the position of fiscal officer," Cole said. "She is more than qualified, she has her masters in business administration and she has knowledge and knowhow of the village that very few in the village can touch."

Cole went on to say that her predecessor was receiving $50,500 and that she graciously accepted the position for $40,000. The average state wide salary for a fiscal officer is $55,000. Cole said in five years during fiscal emergency there were no raises.

"We gave them a 2-percent raise last year, that has been it," he said.

He made it known that some of the employees have given the village more than 30 years of dedicated service.

"We are still not paying them what they are worth," "Cole said. "You can't buy the loyalty, dedication and the knowledge of the jobs they do."

Justice said it is hard to attract good people to the village at the pay level it offers. For the future, fair wages are going to play a part in getting people there and staying there. He praised the employees for picking up extra duties when layoffs occurred and their dedication to the village.

In other business, council:

- Approved aresolution to renew property and casualty insurance with Love Insurance.

- Approved an emergency resolution for second quarter blanket purchase orders.

- Amended the 2017 budget to increase appropriations for zoning and legal fees. The increase will establish a fund to possibly contract for help with zoning and legal fees. There is a need for additional legal fees for follow through on several situations in the village.

- Amended an ordinance for Hidden Lake Estates performance guarantees.

Announcements:

- Council will hold a public information session at 6:30 on April 17 just before council meetings regarding the income tax increase legislation proposed for the May 2 primary election.

- Art Workshops are held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month at the Municipal Building until the end of school. They are free for school age children and parents.

- The community garden will be used again. Council and Akron Grows are hoping to increase and improve the garden.

- Annual "clean up Lakemore" day is 9 a.m. April 22. Volunteers will meet at the upper waterworks pavilion and return at noon for refreshments.

- Annual "clean up week" starts April 17. As much trash as possible should be put to the curb on the regularly scheduled pick up day.

The next meeting will be held at 7 p.m., April 17 at the Municipal Building with a public information meeting held at 6:30 p.m. for information concerning the proposed tax levy increase.