|Park district tax burden averages 7 cents per day|
|Tuesday, April 16, 2013 11:44 AM|
BY STEPHANIE GROVES
The Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District (JAMPD) will place a ¾ mill replacement levy on the May 7, 2013 ballot, which is the only levy the Park District has and represents the primary source of funding for all operations.
Park District Director Kevin L. Haver said the West Central Ohio Board of Realtors reported the average home value in Allen County is $105,900. For an average home, the .75-mil replacement levy will cost $24.32 per year, or approximately 7 cents per day.
“Residential property values decreased by 6 percent last year,” Haver emphasized. “The Allen County Auditor has estimated that the parks will lose and additional $127,000 due to delinquent property taxes.”
The .75-mill levy was first approved by the citizens of Allen County in 1993. Since it was approved in 2003, Ohio Legislative action in 2005 has greatly reduced the revenue generated by the levy and by the year 2020, the Park District will receive close to $310,000 less for the same millage. In addition, the Ohio Legislature has kept another $73,000 per year of Local Government Funds that came from Allen County to fund the Park District. It is estimated the district this year will collect $156,000 less than received in 2011.
Park commissioners and staff have made substantial changes in order to keep parks open — a number of projects, programs and procedures have been cut, while others have been modified and/or delayed due to the legislative action.
The .75-mil replacement levy will secure the finances needed to operate an efficient and stable park system from 2014 through 2023, with no new millage. Fixed costs such as maintenance, staffing, insurance, educational services, and safety/law enforcement are included, as well as capital improvements. Local monies are also needed to apply for outside grants.
The replacement levy represents 80 percent of the Park District’s entire operating and capital improvements budget.
“This is the smallest county-wide levy,” Haver stated.
JAMPD was created in June 1972 according to the Ohio Revised Code and is a separate political subdivision of the State of Ohio. Since inception, JAMPD has maintained clear objectives which includes: acquire lands for the conservation of the natural resources; acquire lands with unique characteristics in forestry, ground cover, water, terrain, wildlife or historical significance; create and promote the use of parks for the benefit of all generations; search for and maintain an inventory of the natural areas; provide education programs; and promote ecology.
The comprehensive park system is designed to enhance the quality of life of the citizens of Allen County by providing outdoor recreational and educational opportunities while conserving and protecting the natural resources of the area.
The Park District currently has 12 park areas with over 1,200 acres and includes: McLean Teddy Bear, Heritage, Allen County Farm, Kendrick Woods, Ft. Amanda, Agerter Road River Access, Deep Cut, Rotary Riverwalk, Ottawa Metro, Motter Metro, Lippincott Bird Sanctuary, and Veterans Freedom Flag Monument.
For more information, please visit these sites: johnnyappleseedparks.com and enjoyourparks.com.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 11:51 AM|