Alcona County, schools in talks on school officer after budget cuts

LINCOLN — Alcona Community Schools have been struggling with the loss of its student resource officer after budget cuts forced the Alcona County Sheriff’s Office to leave the position vacant, and the school superintendent has been working with the county on alternative measures.

Superintendent Dan O’Connor met with county officials and the sheriff’s office this week to discuss potential ways to keep some law enforcement presence within the schools.

“We got together to think collaboratively and creatively,” O’Connor said of the meeting, “and think about other resources.”

While no concrete decisions have been made as of yet, there has been an “open-dialogue” about possibilities.

The loss of the officer in Alcona schools coincided with the August primaries, when county voters rejected a property tax millage meant to recover revenue lost because of a state law that limits local governments’ income in certain cases.

The Alcona County Board of Commissioners has been working to trim the budget where possible to stave off a $474,000 shortfall for the 2018 fiscal year, according to documents released by county officials.

In November, a revised property tax proposal will be on the ballot. County officials are working to educate voters before election day on the effects of the tax and how it will help support the general fund for the county.

Kaitlin Ryan can be reached at kryan@thealpenanews.com or at 358-5693.