The park director believes that even in tough economic times, residents will support the park.
By NANCY TULLIS
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
EAST PALESTINE -- Two five-year levies for park operations expire in December, and the park board intends to seek their renewal, said Grant Springer, city parks and recreation director.
Springer said East Palestine residents have always supported the park and he doesn't think that will change, even in tough economic times.
"People visit here from out of state and the first thing they comment on is our park," Springer said.
City Finance Director Connie Robinson said a five-year, 2-mill levy for park operations generates $89,490 per year. It was first passed in 1988, and renewed in 1992 and 1997.
City council voted Monday to place the 2-mill levy on the November ballot.
Robinson said an additional 1-mill, five-year levy first passed in 1997 also expires this year. That levy generates $44,745 per year.
Council must vote again to place the 1-mill levy on the November ballot, she said.
Planning for campaigns
Springer said the park board will begin to plan for the levy campaigns at its August meeting.
He said he is happy about the park operations and excited about the projects in progress: a new concession area and patio at the swimming pool, and new baseball and softball fields. Major renovation of the park tennis courts is about to begin.
Although some of the projects such as the swimming pool sliding board were funded by grants, Springer said the park operating money is vital to the park's success.
Springer said he regularly receives phone calls from park officials in surrounding communities, asking about East Palestine's various park projects.
"There have been great improvements over the years and I can't believe how much we've accomplished since I've been here," he said.