Thursday, January 24, 2002

Park District to put levy on ballot

By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP — The board of park commissioners of the Hamilton County Park District will put a replacement 1-mill parks levy on the May primary ballot.

        The levy would replace a 1-mill levy that was approved by voters in 1988. The replacement levy will be for 15 years.

        Park district officials said the replacement levy is necessary for long-range planning and to be in a position to acquire additional park land.

        “The time to acquire greenspace is now before the property is developed,” said Jon Brady, park district director.

        If approved, the replacement levy, which is based on property values, would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $29.25 a year, or about $12 more.

        It would generate about $18 million a year for the park district, or about 42 percent of the district's budget. About 54 percent of the park district's budget is generated by park user fees, such as golf, camping, fishing and annual permit fees. Another 4 percent comes from other tax sources and donations.

        The park district staff's recommendation for a replacement levy was based on surveys and a number of meetings where residents had said acquiring park land and preserving greenspace was an important mission of the park district.

        Mr. Brady said the costs for land, personnel and equipment have gone up since the 1988 levy was passed.

        Jack Sutton, park district planning director, said that more than 1,800 acres have been added to the park district since 1988, and that property now totals more than 13,000 acres. About 11,000 acres are devoted to preservation, and just 2,000 acres have been developed for recreation.

        “It's to be able to continue long-range planning,” said Mr. Sutton of the need for a replacement levy. “Our mission is preservation and protection of natural resources. So it does take a considerable amount of planning and preparatory work before we can implement projects. We heard very clearly the citizens' concerns to protect natural resources while they're still available.”

        If the levy passes, 62 percent of the money generated would be used for continuing operations and improvement of the parks, and 38 percent would be spent on land acquisition, outdoor recreation and developing new regional parks.


No dropouts: At one school, it's not just a goal, it's a fact
Jailed since 2000, accused acquitted
Labor supply called key for Hyundai
Senate OKs redistricting legislation
Changes to police panel proposed
Council finally closes housing deal with ReStoc
CPS aspires to be more parent-friendly
Galloway sought to avoid release on parole
Highway's safety examined
Network of friends shares generosity
Reece on running mate list
Shirt proclaiming pride of country makes impression
Tristate A.M. Report
HOWARD: Some Good News
Computers for cops Mason priority
Glen Este, Amelia highs combine music
Hamilton OKs road through Millikin Woods
- Park District to put levy on ballot
Regionalism essential to succeed, Cox says
Talawanda to decide building strategy
Township draws inn, shopping complex
Gov. Taft to donate Enron's money
Arena? No money for that, says governor
Bill would let all vote in primaries
Chamber endorses slots at tracks
Getaway car burns after holdup
Independence seniors get advocate
Kentucky News Briefs
Man faces prison time in beating case
Program to help felons get work helps employers