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Metro Parks Levy (Issue 1) Explained

Franklin County voters will have the opportunity to approve a 0.75-mill property tax on May 5, 2009.

Why now?
Metro Parks’ current 10-year levy expires at the end of 2009. Central Ohio residents have enjoyed the benefits of the previous 10-year levy. This levy will allow Metro Parks to continue to operate clean, well-maintained, safe parks that are open daily throughout the year and are free to the public while continuing to acquire and manage natural areas to protect wildlife and water resources.

Did Metro Parks fulfill all of its promises during the last levy?
Yes. During the current levy period, Metro Parks added five new parks, acquired more than 7,500 acres of land, built 80 miles of trails, provided educational programming for more than 50,000 school children and thousands of visitors each year, developed programs for senior citizens and urban youth, enhanced protection of wildlife habitat especially in the Darby Watershed, and increased yearly visitation by more than a million people. Each year more than 6 million people enjoy a visit to a Metro Park.

How much will the levy cost?
The cost to the owner of a $100,000 home would be about $23 a year or about six cents a day.

How long will the levy last?
The ballot issue is a proposed 10-year levy, so it would run until 2019.

How much money would the levy provide?
The 0.75- mill levy will provide about $21.5 million a year.

How will Metro Parks use the money from the levy?
Metro Parks will:

  • Maintain existing park grounds, trails and other facilities, as well as provide programs and activities throughout the 15 Metro Parks
  • Expand programming for school children, senior citizens, and special populations and continue the urban youth initiative
  • Build a nature center in the Darby Watershed and develop programs and exhibits to highlight the importance of this valuable water resource to the community
  • Acquire land and build 50 miles of trails and manage more of the Greenways Trail system
  • Expand the Scioto Audubon Metro Park on the Whittier Peninsula near downtown Columbus
  • Open three new parks: 1. Within the Rocky Fork Headwaters in northeast Franklin County in Plain Township near New Albany 2. Along Little Walnut Creek in Madison Township near Canal Winchester and Groveport 3. Along the Scioto River in southern Franklin County near Grove City
  • Acquire land and restore habitat to further protect the rare species of Big Darby Creek as a partner in the Darby Accord
  • Restore 1,000 acres of wetlands to attract wildlife and improve water quality, continue programs to enhance the forests and prairies at existing parks

How can you help? The levy committee needs phone bankers, people to display yard signs, letters to the editor, and financial support.

For more information, visit the Metro Parks Levy website.


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