LAKEMORE Road repairs are a big concern for the Village of Lakemore, which is why village officials are hoping a 0.25-percent income tax increase passes during Tuesday's election. The additional revenue would be earmarked for capital improvements.
At a public meeting prior to the regular council meeting, Mayor Rick Justice provided information about what the dollars would be used for.
"We hear all the time that we need to work on our roads, and council and I agree," said Justice.
The tax increase would increase the income tax rate from 2 to 2.25 percent, which is what many communities in Summit County collect. The increase is estimated to collect $92,000 in additional funds. Those dollars will be dedicated to the capital improvement fund to be used for roads, building maintenance and equipment.
Justice said, currently, the village budget allows for $30,000 to $35,000 dedicated for road repairs.
He added that the reason council chose a tax increase as opposed to a levy was that an income tax does not affect those who are retired. The taxes will affect those working in the village and Lakemore resident who work outside of the village in a community that collects a tax rate lower than 2.25 percent.
During the regular meeting:
- Council approved a transfer of funds that have been unclaimed for five years to the general fund and to amend the appropriations for the fiscal year.
- A second read authorizing bids for the sale of property owned by the village.
- A first read for a resolution to reinstate the Lakemore Police Department with Ken Ray as chief at a salary of $55,000 a year. Ray will not receive compensation until the termination of the police contract with Springfield.
- A first read to hire a full time police sergeant at $52,000 with health insurance after the provisionary 60 day period.
- A first read for a part-time patrolman position with compensation of $15 an hour.
- A first read for a full time police administrative assistant for the department compensation at $14 an hour with health insurance after 60 day probationary period.
- A second reading to increase the vehicle license fee $5.
Justice reported that he was part of a round table discussion with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.
"It was a very informative time," he said, adding there were 15 other people who participated. "We talked about the upcoming federal budget. They want to cut the HUD fund. We receive about $100,000 a year in various grants to fix things in Lakemore from those funds."
Justice said the Federal government believes it is not they are not seeing results from those funds.
"I disagree," Justice said. "I made it clear at the meeting. The things we have done with the money helped to transform the village. If we wouldn't have had the money for the bridge on Lakeview, culvert pipe under Sanitarium and the water system we would not have been able to do fix them."
Justice said if you add that up around the country, the funds make a huge difference.
"We let the senator know about that; he heard our voice."
Justice also spoke about "a victory we had in the accounting department."
Fiscal Officer Tracy Fast said because of being in fiscal emergency, the village had to have an independent auditor come in the last few years.
"We were able to use the same one as the last time," Fast said. "We got a call that because we were released from fiscal emergency, we could apply for a shorter audit and we will save almost $6,000 on the audit."
- Lakemore Fire Department will hold the pancake breakfast at 9 a.m. May 29 (Memorial Day).
- The annual Memorial Day Parade will be at 1 p.m. May 29
- There will be one more free art class before summer on May 9. It is for school age children.
The next council meeting will be held at 7 p.m., May 1 at the Municipal Building.