MIAMI COUNTY — This November, Miami County voters will consider replacing Miami County Park District’s current levy with a 1.5-mill operating levy.
The board of park commissioners approved to replace its current 10 year 1.1 mill levy with a 10 year 1.5-mill levy on June 27.
According to the park district’s press release, the tax levy is a replacement with increase. If passed, the existing levy of 1.1 millage will be cancelled and replaced by the new proposed levy.
The district is in the eighth year of the current 10-year levy.
According to Miami County Park District Executive Director Scott Myers, the new operating levy would raise $3.4 million per year or $1.1 million more than the current levy.
If passed, the levy will cost $52.50 per year for the owner of a $100,000 home, or an additional $18 per year compared to the current levy.
Myers said the park district has seen an increase in attendance at nearly all its parks from 445,770 visits in 2009 to 679,021 visits in 2016 .
“People enjoy our parks and there’s something for almost everybody,” Myers said.
The park district’s programs have expanded from 12 in 2001 to approximately 260 in 2016. Full-time staff has increased from 10 to 18 employees in 2016 and part-time staff from 36 up to 64 members in 15 years.
The levy accounts for approximately 85 percent of the park district’s budget. The levy funds pay for a wide range of expenses including school education programs, environmental protection, park maintenance, public events and park safety, according to the press release.
The Miami County Park District has expanded from 7 parks in 2001 to 15 parks in 2016 and has nearly doubled its park acreage from 1,290 acres to 2,116 acres in the same time period.
Myers said there are no current plans to add more parks to the current system. Myers said the long term plan is to add additional bathrooms at the Lostcreek Reserve and expand the park district’s bike trails and maintain the park’s current infrastructure.
The park district has been operating at a 1.1 mil levy level since 2001.
For more information, visit www.miamicountyparks.com.
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