BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
The Butler County Commission approved a special election vote for Jan. 29, 2109 at their recent Oct. 9 meeting. If passed, it would increase Butler County property owner’s ad valorem taxes by six mills. Butler County School Superintendent, Dr. John Strycker, proposed the increase to the board of education earlier this year in hopes of resolving a financial crisis within the school
system. Strycker has indicated the system is operating in a structural deficit, primarily due to high debt, and even after making cuts at the central office and other areas within the system there is need to raise more revenue for the schools of Butler County. Though the commissioners expressed disappointment in the way the tax increase proposal was presented for a special election, they all indicated they were for increased funds for the school system. Butler County schools rank 133 out of 137 in the state for school funding. Strycker has indicated the six mill tax increase would cost the average homeowner of a house worth $75,000 by $3.75 per month. In other business, the commissioners approved a $25 per day increase for poll workers. They also approved a onetime $2 per month per year of service lump sum bonus for retirees. Calvin Poole was approved in continuation as legal counsel for the commission for the fiscal year 2018-2019. The commissioners also approved an increase for health insurance coverage to county employees. The new rates will be $471 (single) and family coverage will increase to $678. County engineer Dennis McCall presented a monitoring and debris removal bid to the commission. The bid is associated with cleanup from natural disasters. The commission approved the bids. Tetra Tech will handle monitoring and Looks Great Services of Mississippi, Inc. will handle debris removal. The commission then approved to pay the bills and adjourned.