Posted: 5:15 p.m.
Monday, March 7, 2016
MetroParks seeks levy renewal and increase
By http://www.journal-news.com/staff/ed-richter/" rel="nofollow - Staff Writer
BUTLER COUNTY —
next week will consider Issue 6, a six-year levy renewal and increase to fund
MetroParks of Butler County, an action that MetroParks officials say will allow
for improvements at some of its 4,500 acres of land across the county..
is seeking to renew its current 0.5-mill levy and a 0.2-mill increase to fund
its operations starting in 2017. The current revenues for the park district
with the current 0.5-mill levy are $3.4 million.
voters approve the request during the March 15 primary election, it would
generate about $5.16 million for the parks system.
renewal and increase would cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 would be
$24.50 a year or about seven cents a day or an additional $9.19 a year,
according to an estimate from the Butler County Auditor’s Office.
current 0.5-mill levy costs that same owner of a home valued at $100,000 about
$15.31 a year.
funding will be used to keep the parks open, clean and safe,” said Kelly
Barkley, MetroParks senior manager of community relations. “In addition, when
the parks are open, they are a real asset to the county.”
Hecquet, executive director of the Butler County Visitors Bureau, said the
Voice of America Park in West Chester Twp. attracted some 40,000 spectators and
participants from 14 major events assisted by the visitors bureau. He said
those events alone represented a direct economic impact of just under $4
million and about $13 million in overall economic impact to the county.
the VOA park has been a tremendous economic benefit not only to the surrounding
area around VOA park but to the entire county,” he said.
also said levy revenues have also helped to fund various partnerships,
collaborations and sponsorships for capital projects, including the proposed http://www.journal-news.com/news/news/local/river-center-moving-forward-in-middletown/nqdH5/" rel="nofollow - http://www.journal-news.com/news/news/hospital-dedicates-1m-to-sports-complex/nhQcQ/" rel="nofollow - and http://www.journal-news.com/news/news/local/fairfield-county-officials-look-to-tap-into-marsh-/nqYxQ/" rel="nofollow - MetroParks
is working on other partnerships with other communities to improve recreational
opportunities as well, including its http://www.journal-news.com/news/news/sale-of-weatherwax-property-to-metroparks-is-end-o/nnmfb/" rel="nofollow - “We’ve
received a lot of positive feedback,” Barkley said. “Passage of the levy would be
a vote of confidence that we’re doing our jobs.”
levy revenues help to maintain the parks as well as subsidize most programming
costs for county residents, Barkley said. In addition, all county residents,
which she calls the “park customers and owners,” can obtain a free motor
vehicle permit to access all of the parks.
increase was needed, she said, as state budget cuts has cut its funding for
parks by 50 percent and that operational and maintenance costs have increased
due to increased park visitation. Barkley said without the levy funding,
MetroParks would need to close parks and/or reduce park maintenance as it does
not receive any funding from the county’s General Fund.
ISSUE 6: MetroParks of Butler County
six-year 0.5-mill renewal and 0.2-mill increase
Would cost a property owner $24.50 per $100,000 of taxable value
a year, which is broken down at $15.31 for the renewal and $9.19 for the
Projected levy expenditures:
63 percent for operational expenses such as maintenance,
programming, utilities, safety, land stewardship and management.
9 percent for repairs and replacements such as updating worn-out
infrastructure, playgrounds, restrooms, pavement, athletic fields,
trails/walkways and buildings.
28 percent for capital improvements for construction of new
facilities, local match for state and other grants, and for planning and
Source: MetroParks of Butler
County; Butler County