VALDOSTA — Lowndes County school system lowered its millage rate for the third year in a row.

At a board of education meeting Monday evening, the board approved reducing the millage rate from 16.541 in 2018 to 16.384 this year.

“That will put us over the last three years as over a half a mill lower than we were then,” said Ken Overman, assistant superintendent. “We’re excited to be able to do that. We’re good where we are with budgeting, so let’s give back to the taxpayers.”

The millage rate was 16.911 in 2016.

Overman said that translates to paying almost $14 less in property taxes than last year if a residence is valued at $200,000.

“Being in the position we are financially, this is just another demonstration of being good stewards of taxpayer money,” Lowndes County School Superintendent Wes Taylor said. “It’s just the right thing to do.”

No members of the public spoke in favor or against the decision at the meeting.

Also during the meeting, the board approved a contract for 15 school resource officers for a total of $790,435.15 for this school year. The contract provides at least one SRO per Lowndes County school.

The total yearly salary for an SRO ranges between $61,346 and $40,776, which does not include benefits such as health insurance, life insurance and retirement.

According to the contract, the school district and Lowndes County Sheriff's Office want to provide a safe and secure learning environment on or around the school's campus. 

"A SRO is in essence, community policing in the microcosm of the school environment," the contract states. "The program is an investment in the future of our community, which the district and LCSO will benefit from."

The board also approved the capital outlay application of $14,779,372 for the Lowndes High project from the state.

Thomas Lynn is a government and education reporter for The Valdosta Daily Times. He can be reached at (229)244-3400 ext. 1256

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