North Lewisburg council, mayor to receive pay raise

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Anyone winning an election for a position in the village of North Lewisburg can expect a pay bump over current levels.
North Lewisburg Village Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to increase the compensation for council members and the mayor. Because public officials cannot vote to increase the wage they currently earn, the increases will take effect after each position comes up for reelection.
According to Mayor Cheryl Hollingsworth, the village contracted for a salary study through Clemans Nelson & Associates to compare compensation of village employees and officials with similar villages. Some of the municipalities compared in the study were Anna, Bradford, Fort Loramie, Jackson Center, South Charleston, St. Paris and West Liberty.
Currently, two sitting council members in North Lewisburg are paid $600 annually while the remaining four receive $1,000 based on a previously voted increase.
The survey found that the average compensation for similar councils averaged just more than $2,100 per year. Because of this council opted to increase the compensation for council members to $1,500.
This increase will take effect for two council seats up for election in 2020 and for the remaining seats when they are on the ballot in 2022.
The position of mayor will also receive a pay increase. Hollingsworth currently makes $2,500 per year and the salary survey found that the average compensation in similar villages was more than $5,000.
Council voted to increase the mayor’s salary to $5,500 for the next term of the position which will be voted on in 2020.
The study also resulted in a pay increase for one of the village employees.
The study found that street superintendents in similar villages make an average of $21.62 per hour. North Lewisburg’s street superintendent Bart Stokes currently make $18.62 per hour and council approved an increase to $21.50. That increase will be retroactive to the first of the year.
Hollingsworth also reported that she and village fiscal officer Jennifer McCombs were engaged in an undertaking that is taking them back through the history of the village. The pair is sorting through the village’s record retention facility on East Street, discarding hundreds of pounds of old paperwork that no longer needs to be stored.
For example, Hollingsworth said boxes of water bill stubs dating back to the 1950s are being discarded. Records of such utility billing are required to be kept for three years before they can be destroyed. She said canceled checks for utilities date back nearly as far, into the 1960s, but are also only required to be kept for three years.
Hollingsworth said it has been her goal clear out the old records since she was elected.
“I think people have just been too busy,” she said.
The mayor said she and McCombs are checking through boxes to make sure the contents match the labeling and confirming they can be discarded. Different records must be retained for different periods, for example mayor’s court records must be held 15 years while village council minutes must be kept forever.
The work has revealed some interesting documents, according to Hollingsworth. The water bills from 1955, believed to be when the first water system was installed in the village, mandate a $5 per month set fee for all residents.
“It’s a little higher than that now,” she said.
She also found council minutes dating back into the 1800s from what she believes is the first council meeting where the village was established.
The women have currently collected 1,290 pounds of records to be destroyed and believe they can finish clearing the outdated records with two more days of work. File 13, a paper shredding operation of UCO Industries in Marysville, collects and disposes of the records.
In other business, council:
-Approved Ted Murphy to serve as council president by a 5-0 vote. Murphy abstained from the vote.
-Approved McCombs to go through public records training on behalf of the village.
-Approved the final 2019 budget for the village.
-Learned that new energy efficient street lights have been installed throughout the village.
-Heard from Hollingsworth that village employees have collected 15-20 discarded bicycles. Residents who may be missing a bike can call the village with a description to see if it matches any in the inventory. Hollingsworth said the bicycles will be donated to a charitable organization after 10 days.



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