O'Fallon Weekly June 27, 2018

Jason Portz resigns as OTHS baseball coach Page 14 Wednesday June 27, 2018 Vol. 4, No. 10 $1.00 Lost loved ones remembered at butterfly release By Annabelle Knef Weekly Reporter Event organizer and Outreach Representative for HSHS Home Care and Hospice Southern Illinois Ashley Dillingham leads the group in a prayer prior to the release of their butterflies at the June 21 ceremony at St. Elizabeth's Hospital. (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Annabelle Knef) Lebanon council investigates more than $12,000 in back payments to city workers By Martha Stoffel O'FALLON - County Assessor Jennifer Gomric Minton was the guest speaker at the Finance and Administration Commit- tee meeting Monday night, providing the committee and residents an overview of assessments, exemptions and the appeal process. Minton indicated the Assessor’s Office has completed the field work for the 2018 quadannual reassessment for properties in O’Fallon Township, and property owners should expect to receive their assessment cards in early August. In between quadan- nual assessments, a township multiplier is By Angela Simmons Weekly Reporter LEBANON - The Lebanon City Council voted down a propo- sed AFSCME contract and is continuing their investigation into exactly how nine city employees were issued “back pay” in the total amount of $12,253.60 without contract approval. At the June 11 council meeting, Alderman Cheri Wright brou- ght up the back pay as a rumor, and Street, Alley and Cemetery Superintendent Jody McNeese confirmed that some employees had indeed received the payments. Wright asked Alderman Al Gerdes to look into the payments, and his investigation led him See "Lebanon Council" on page 7 See "Butterflies" on page 8 County Assessor gives overview of property tax process at city committee meeting Weekly Reporter Resident Bill Eckert demanded aldermen answer why $12,253.60 was paid out to city workers with no council knowledge and no one claiming authorization for the checks. (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Angela Simmons) The butterflies served as a memoriam to loved ones who have passed and were released near the rose garden by the statue of St. Elizabeth. (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Annabelle Knef) O'FALLON - Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) St. Elizabeth’s Hospi- tal in partnership with HSHS Hospice Southern Illinois last week released bu- tterflies in memory of lost loved ones. On June 21, approximately 20 people released the butterflies outside of the hospital near the St. Elizabeth’s statue and rose garden.  Ashley Dillingham, outreach repre- sentative with HSHS Home Care and Hospice Southern Illinois, said that the release was an opportunity for com- munity members to connect and pay tribute to those they've lost. “I thought it was a beautiful moment for the community,” Dillingham said.  Rocks also were designed and placed throughout the rose garden by an HSHS colleague, Dillingham said, which also served as memoriam to loved ones who have passed.  Dillingham said the butterfly release applied to the assessed value. The Illinois Department of Revenue determines the multiplier based on home sales within each township during the previous three years. There are three components to your property taxes: the assessor’s office, exemptions and tax rate. The Assessor’s office sets the value of a property. There are a variety of exemptions that may be applied to a property, if the property owner is eligible. The total tax rate for a property consists of the individual tax rates for all the districts a property is located in, and what those districts levy versus the overall taxable Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) for the district. Property owners are encouraged to review their tax bill and records with the county to make sure they are receiving all eligible exemptions. The most common is the General Homestead Exemption. To be eligible for this exemption, the taxpayer must own and occupy the property as their principal dwelling. The assessment reduction amount is $6,000 and an annual renewal is not required after initial appli- cation. For the Senior Citizen’s Homestead Exemption, owner occupied properties with one property owner 65 years of age or older in the assessment year are eligible for a $5,000 assessment reduction. Appli- See "O'Fallon Committees" on page 8 Sign up today for our E-Newsletter at OFallonWeekly.com