Boardman park levy fails to pass

By jessica hardin


Voters turned down a tax levy Boardman Park officials said would increase the park’s tax millage for the first time in its 70-year existence.

In Tuesday’s election, township residents voted “no” on the 0.3-mill levy with a 0.3-mill increase 8,887 to 8,628. The levy would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home $17.87 annually.

“Obviously, we are very disappointed,” park director Dan Slagle said.

The 0.3-mill increase was earmarked for capital improvements outlined in the park’s five-year plan.

It involves repairs such as repaving trails and restroom renovations. It also details two new projects – an outdoor fitness zone and a splash pad – which are expected to cost about $290,000.

“Without the additional revenue, we won’t be able to make or implement any part of our five-year capital plan,” Slagle said. “Right now, we don’t have a plan.”

This lack of revenue will make it difficult for the park to supplement its general fund with grant funding.

“When you apply for public grants, most of the time there’s a local match, and that can be anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of cost. We don’t have those kinds of resources to provide the local match,” Slagle said.

Slagle blames the levy’s failure on incorrect information about its cost that was circulated in July.

“It’s really hard to determine what exactly caused its failure. ... Unfortunately, once that information gets out there, getting the right information out is much more difficult,” Slagle said.

The 0.3-mill renewal levy does not expire until November 2019, so park officials will have an additional opportunity to pass it next year.

It is crucial the renewal passes, however, because revenue generated by the levy represents 18 percent of the park’s budget, Slagle added.

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