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Township trustees adjust to one less duty

With a new law that went into effect yesterday (Tuesday), township trustees in many areas of the state, including Harrison County, now have one less duty. The property tax reform bill passed by the Indiana General Assembly this year calls for all assessing duties to be passed to the county assessor.
Bill Lyskowinski, the trustee in Franklin Township, said he fears outside corporations will be asked to do the assessing in the counties.
‘It’s not going to be the same,’ he said. ‘Nobody knows the township like the trustees that live there. We’re closest to the people.’
Lyskowinski said he’s not sure what the future may hold for the township trustee position, but he will continue to help those in his township.
‘I guess we’ll survive,’ he said.
Lyskowinski has used some of his riverboat allotment to help residents in his township by purchasing green address markers for their mailboxes. He has placed, with the help of township advisory board member Harold Scott, about 500 of the green signs in the Lanesville area.
‘I guess you could say we’re going green,’ said Lyskowinski.
The high visibility markers are reflective, making it easier to see at night in emergency situations or in inclement weather.
‘I’ve had a lot of good comments on them,’ Lyskowinski said, adding that it is a time-consuming project but one that is well worth the effort because he gets to interact with many of the township residents.
‘It’s good for public relations,’ he said.
Last month, the Harrison County Council approved $110,000 to be split among the 12 township trustees. The township trustees’ allocation is based on each township’s population. The trustees can use the money for any project in the township.
Lyskowinski said most trustees use the money for cemetery restoration, fire departments or to reduce county park admission fees. Lyskowinski began two years ago providing $3 per run for the Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Dept. He also provides funds for Boy Scouts to cut and trim trees in and around cemeteries.

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