Thursday, November 30, 2000

Green Twp. to wait on park levy

First try defeated Nov. 7, but parks will be kept up

By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        GREEN TOWNSHIP — Township trustees are reluctant to go back to voters and ask them again to approve a parks and greenspace levy, after residents here overwhelmingly defeated a parks and greenspace levy Nov. 7.

        “Not at this time,” said Trustee Tony Upton. “Of course, we're still going to maintain the parks.”

        The five-year, 1-mill levy that was rejected by about 64 percent of the voters would have generated about $900,000 a year to maintain the five parks and its 100 acres in the township, as well as provide funds to purchase greenspace.

        It would have cost the homeowner of a $100,000 home $31 a year.

        Both Mr. Upton and Trustee J. Dale Proffitt said that when the township received an inheritance tax payoff of about $3 million it could have muddied the issue.

Levy was important
        But Mr. Upton had maintained during the campaign that it was important to have a parks levy to help make up the difference once the estate tax was reduced, costing the township millions of dollars in the coming years.

        There was also a belief, some think, that since the township had done a good job until now maintaining and even improving the parks, that an additional tax was unnecessary.

Not in the future
        “I don't think it's appropriate at this time to go ahead” and place it on a ballot in the future, said Mr. Proffitt.

        “My intent after the first of the year is to do some projections of income versus expenditures and see where the dollars are. Generally speaking, I think people are tired of taxes. We've done a lot over the past four or five years with parks. I think people might have been saying we have enough.”

Successor awaited
        The two trustees also don't want to make that kind of decision before choosing a successor for Trustee Bill Seitz, who is leaving the board of trustees the beginning of the year for the statehouse in Columbus. Mr. Seitz was elected state representative for the 34th House District.

        Mr. Proffitt said the township also will be asking residents to approve two levy renewals next November: a safety and a road levy.

        “As far as I'm concerned, our main obligation is to make sure we're providing proper police, fire and roads,” said Mr. Proffitt.


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