Liberty trustees may transfer park operations to Trumbull County
By danny restivo
Township trustees are weighing an option to transfer a park’s operation to Trumbull County.
The board of trustees met with officials from Trumbull County Metro Parks and discussed an operations agreement for Church Hill Park in a special meeting Thursday at the township’s administration building.
Zachary Svette, project coordinator at the MetroParks, offered a proposed operating budget that included mowing, supplies, maintenance, repair services and administration.
The proposed figure of $21,020 is a significant savings for the township’s park budget, which operates two parks. Trustees said the township has spent an average of $120,000 each of the last three years to maintain its parks.
Trustee Jodi Stoyak said a majority of the township’s park budget is allocated to Church Hill Park. The other township park is behind the administration building and consists of a baseball field.
Stoyak believes the financial benefits of an agreement with the county are evident, but wants to test the waters before committing.
“We have an open mind,” she said. “We would like a situation where we could do this for a year and see how it works for both parties.”
Trustee Jason Rubin believes a county-run park would help the township improve the park. He said MetroParks has more knowledge and expertise in grant writing, as well as experience securing funds from federal and state sources.
“The county can do certain things the township can’t,” said Rubin. “This will mean more opportunities for us.”
Stoyak said the trustees wanted to explore an option to lease the park before voting.
Svette said the agreement had to be approved by the county’s board of park commissioners.
According to the Trumbull County MetroParks website, the county operates five parks open to the public and nine properties totaling 1,680 acres.