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Star Prairie Village Board approves 2018 tax levy of $234, 435

Star Prairie Police Chief Steve Lewis recently announced his retirement effective Jan. 4, 2018. File photo

Following a quiet public hearing last Wednesday, Dec. 6, the Village of Star Prairie Board of Trustees unanimously approved a tax levy for the 2018 budget of $234,435. The levy represents a roughly 1 percent increase from the 2017 levy and contributes to a total budget worth $354,267. For questions regarding the budget, contact the village hall.

The Village finds itself looking to fill the considerable shoes of two of its most valued employees following the resignation of Police Chief Steve Lewis at Wednesday night's board meeting.

"After much thought, 35 years in law enforcement is enough. I started with the Village in 2010. I'm grateful that I could finish my career here. It's been a pleasure to be able to serve the village residents. I enjoyed working with the current board and the past board and also with Village Clerk, Patsy Johnson. Once again, thank you to everyone," stated Lewis in his letter of resignation.

"Thank you for everything you've done for the Village. I know you've forged plenty of relationships in the Village during your time here. The Village is grateful you decided to serve here with us. You've handled everything we've asked for with respect and dignity. I don't know what else to say, just appreciate what you've done for us. We look forward to finishing out this last month and getting your input on finding your successor as well," said Village President Chad Peterson.

Lewis' resignation is effective Jan. 4, 2018. With Village Clerk-Treasurer Patsy Johnson also scheduled to retire in March following tax and election seasons, the Village will be starting the new year with new faces and, most likely, considerably less experience.

Other business

• Trustees accepted a proposal from Rural Mutual Insurance Co. representative Tom Jenkins to renew the Village's general liability policy for $14,271, an increase of $420 or 4 percent from the 2017 policy.

• Trustees approved the first rate increase in 15 years from Village Attorney Tim Scott. Scott's hourly rate will increase from $150 per hour to $175 per hour.

• Trustees set the date for the Village Caucus for Jan. 3, 2018.

• Following a closed session, the Board announced the hiring of Patricia Maus to fill the position of Clerk-Treasurer being vacated by Patsy Johnson's retirement. Maus was scheduled to begin training Monday, Dec. 11.