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State budget woes impact local park districts

Published: Sat, August 6, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.


The Vindicator ( Youngstown)

Gabe Manginelli, left, Chris D’Apolito and Jim Feret, Boardman Township Park grounds-crew workers, begin replacing fencing in the park. The park received about $71,000 from the state Local Government Fund this year.

By Ashley Luthern



As municipali- ties and townships are dealing with cuts in the Local Government Fund from the state, so are area park districts.

“They’re taking the same hit as everybody else. I’m not aware of any legislating that exempts them,” said Anthony Magnetta, budget analyst in the Mahoning County Auditor’s office. The county auditor’s office distributes the Local Government Fund from the state.

Magnetta said Mill Creek MetroParks got $577,435 in 2011 from the fund and likely will receive $402,177 in 2012 — a loss of more than $175,000.

That amount is actually less than the district’s projection of a $210,000 reduction, said Dave Christy, the MetroParks’ administrative director and treasurer.

The 2011 general-fund budget for the MetroParks is about $11,800,000 that is primarily generated through a 1.75-mill operating levy, he said.

Christy said he isn’t sure how the loss would affect operations throughout the MetroParks. Using the 2011 figures, $175,000 is only about 1.5 percent of the district’s total budget.

Elsewhere in Mahoning County, Boardman Township Park received about $71,000 from the fund in 2011 and is expected to receive about $49,000 in 2012, Magnetta said.

The Local Government Fund made up about 4 percent of Boardman Park’s $1.73 million budget in 2011, said Executive Director Daniel N. Slagle Jr.

The loss in state funding might not seem like much, but it will have an effect on the park’s long-term goals, Slagle said.

“Our focus now is maintenance,” Slagle said.

He said progress on the district’s five-year capital improvement and equipment plan will slow because of the reduction. The most recent project from that plan was the North Trail, a mile-long trail that runs along the park’s Main Drive, completed a year ago. The trail was funded in part by grant money, like nearly all of the park’s capital improvements, Slagle said.

Most of the park’s 2011 revenue — about 57 percent — was generated by property taxes.

“We’ve had the same two operating levies for 31 years,” Slagle said. “A lot of people don’t realize that the township and park are separate political subdivisions.”

In Trumbull County, Mike Wilson, the Trumbull County MetroParks Board chairman, said he is not expecting any effect from Local Government Fund reductions.

“We get funding from the county commissioners, so we’re not expecting to lose anything,” Wilson said.

He said a funding cut of any size could stall current and ongoing projects.

“We’re in the midst of building pavilions and boat ramps,” Wilson said. “If we would lose any funding, those types of projects would be affected.”


1piak(508 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

The "financial piper" has come to be paid.
You know, as in "time to pay the piper?"

Did we ever think it would come to this? No, we lived in la-la land; this wasn't gonna happen.

Can't say it enough. The State be broke! Things are going to get tighter around the county. So, figure that some niceties are going to be lost temporarily (we hope).

Hopefully, things will turn around and slowly we'll get back to some semblence of "normal". But we don't want to go back to the old big-time spender days of just recently.

All the more reason NOT to sink SB 5.

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2block50(128 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

The state isn't broke. The 'boy-king' governor is so busy giving tax breaks and grants to his fatcat buddies there's no money left for anything else. SB5 is there only to bust unions and keep state workers down to limit their power to organize. SB5 will save the state virtually nothing. Don't be such a sucker for 'Kasich Krap'.

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3whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

look at those pretty new gloves, not one breaking a sweat.

put the PRISONERS TO WORK !!!!!!!!!

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4paniquimarine(6 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

It is really amazing that those that complain the loudest are those that have absolutely NO knowledge of how our government operates or is funded. It seems like certain individuals are more interested in taking dirty pot-shots at Governor Kasich then stating the obvious truth. First, the whole United States is broke, not just the State of Ohio. Is Governor Kasich responsible for that? NO! President Obama and the Democrats created this problem by their uncontrollable spending on social welfare programs and trying to take care of all the illegal aliens in the world. Second, citizens of the United States, including citizens of the State of Ohio, have been pampered and spoiled by receiving free medical, dental, optical, and food assistance without having to work and contribute in repaying it by making them do the menial labor jobs. Make them do the menial jobs, NOT prisoners. Is that Governor Kasich’s fault? NO! It is the wasteful attitude and uncontrollable spending of American and Ohioans. Third, and most important is the Unions, especially government unions, which demand way too much from governments and big businesses. It is not the Unions that create jobs, pay wages, pay partial healthcare benefits, pay taxes; it is the government and big businesses. Many Union members in the State of Ohio believe that they should have the same wages as people living in California or New York. If the cost of living in Ohio was the same as California and New York was the same, I would agree, BUT the cost of living in Ohio is about ¼ that of both of these states. Union members in Ohio want $30.00 - $40.00 an hour to do a $9.00 an hour job. I hate to tell you government union members, but SB5 is way overdue. I worked for both the federal and county governments, and government employees are way over paid and receive way too many benefits. So in perspective if you want to blame anyone for the State of Ohio being broke, then do it in this order: First, blame the citizens that want everything for nothing; Second, blame the Unions for demanding more than the employees should be entitled; Third, blame the Government for being too permissive.

I have a solution to the financial problems. Why doesn’t the government and big business just pay the Unions and let the Unions pay for the salaries and benefits of the employees? I guarantee that the employees would get a lot less earning and benefits being paid by the Unions then by the government or big businesses.

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5paniquimarine(6 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

I have a solution to the financial problems. Why doesn’t the ALL these lazy, loud mouth complainers get off their huge rear-ends and run for public office if they feel they can do a better job at running the Government then the people that have been duly elected by the citizens of Ohio. If you are truly not satisfied with the way the government is being run, then start a petition to impeach Governor Kasich and his whole government and replace it with another totally worthless government. The problem with loud-mouths is that they are partisans. They believe that ONLY their political party can do a good job. Wake up loud-mouths! ALL POLITICAL PARTIES ARE CORRUPT, BIASED, AND WORTHLESS. They are only interested in putting forth their own agenda instead of doing what is right for the citizens they were hired to take care of. The purpose of a government is to serve and protect the citizens of the State of Ohio and that of the United States, NOT the agenda of the political parties.

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6iBuck(231 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

The fence would go up a lot faster if they'd rent a gasoline-powered post-hole digger.

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7VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

I would use my tractor with a 3-point hitch and a pto driven post hole digger and get the job done in half the time with 2 people. I did the same job alone, by myself, at my place, but it takes a little more time. I'm sure that Massey Ferguson tractor in the background has the equipment to run that post hole digger with ease and I am surprised they did not rent one, or buy one.

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8Rockabilly(93 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

@jeratboy and whitesabbath
You both want to take jobs from law abiding citizens and give them to criminals? No offence but I think that is dumb idea.

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