Lebanon School District approves 3.99 percent levy increase

By Angela Simmons

LEBANON – The Lebanon School Board recently voted to approve their 2018 tax levy. The total levy for $4,209,892 will now be filed with St. Clair County. The 3.99 percent increase in the levy will begin bringing in funds for the district in the 2019 fiscal year.

$2,600,265 is being levied for the education fund. Other levied funds include $407,564 for operations and maintenance, $163,025 for transportation, $543,528 for tort immunity, and $32,604 for special education. $40,755 is being levied for both the working cash and fire prevention & safety funds. 

$159,601 is being levied for Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund and $197,668 for Social Security contributions. 

“This is put together in December, and finalized or approved in March. This is the tax collected from local homeowners, businesses and railroads, and any other farmland, for next year’s school year,” explained Superintendent Patrick Keeney. 

He also explained how the TIF district would impact the district during future levies, but indicated that there were no effects from it at this time.

The board also approved the purchase of a large bus with storage in the amount of $81,284 through Midwest International. The bus will hold up to 71 passengers and come equipped with storage for team bags and a camera system and is ready to deliver to the school.

The board approved the purchase of two large buses last month, one with storage underneath and one without. Since then, a third bus began having issues and Keeney and the district transportation director recommended replacing it. Trade in-value for the bus with issues would be $6,700. 

Board member Pam Leggans was the only vote against the purchase, citing concerns of spending large amounts and then possibly having to be hit with multiple buses needing to be replaced in a single year in the future.

The next board meeting will be January 16 at 7:30 p.m.

In Other News:

• Parent Roberto Roma is encouraging the school board and soccer coaches to make him a Christmas wish list. He offered to help with the Lebanon High School soccer team, particularly helping students that wouldn’t otherwise be able to play have the means to pay for the program. 

Roma, who is originally from Italy and has previously played professional soccer in his home country, has two sons that are very active in the sport. His oldest son has played internationally and was on the high school soccer team this past season. Roma noticed that the team could use some equipment that it currently cannot afford, and wanted to help make the program available to any child that wants to play. 

He will be partnering with a local nonprofit organization, Chapter One Project, as a means to distribute funding. Also through the Chapter One Project, any student that needs cleats or other equipment will be able to get what they need. 

Roma and his sons are also nationally licensed referees, and he has 20 years of coaching experience. He assured the board that he does not want to coach the team, but does want to lend his experience to Head Coach Cameran Keepper and the assistant coaches. 

“There’s only one coach, and that’s not what I’m here for,” Roma said. He also volunteered to utilize all of his connections in the sport to bring in more resources to help the team. 

Roma said “The cool thing is there’s nowhere to go from here but up.”