Thursday, November 02, 2000

Green Twp. levy would fund parks program

By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        GREEN TOWNSHIP — Residents will be asked on Nov. 7 to approve a five-year 1-mill levy that will both maintain the township's system of parks and provide funds to buy greenspace in the community.

        The first-ever levy is expected to generate more than $900,000 in revenues and will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $31.50 a year.

        “We feel it's real important and we think it's a pretty sound investment in the future of the township,” said Roland Johnson, a member of the Parks/Greenspace Tax Levy Committee, which is leading the campaign for Is sue 29's passage. “This park system is growing. It needs that support.”

        The township in just the past few years has done much to improve its five parks, which consist of about 100 acres. Improvements have been done recently to Blue Rock Park off Blue Rock Road, and a playground and a German Heritage Museum were added in just the past year to West Fork Park off West Fork Road.

        Township Trustee Tony Upton said the levy is important because the township stands to lose millions of dollars in the coming years as the estate tax is reduced.

        The township has realized $7 million to $8 million in the last six years from estate taxes, said Mr. Upton.

        “We understand (the legislature) may want to eliminate it at some point,” said Mr. Upton. “If indeed the legislature wipes it out, then the general fund money will be reduced. That's one of the reasons we've been able to do what we've been doing with the parks here.”

        “It's important because parks and greenspace enhances your way of life,” said Mr. Upton. “Just look at the parks and how well they're used.”

        Currently, the township spends about $550,000 a year on its parks. If Issue 29 passes, parks would get about $631,000 a year, and $341,000 would be used for greenspace preservation.

        The township has not targeted any land for acquisition or preservation, but a successful levy would set up an advisory committee. It would look at greenway corridors and greenspace buffers between land uses, such as commercial and residential areas.

        “The idea would be to preserve it forever,” said Mr. Johnson. “The voters will decide how green Green Township will be.”


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