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The Board of Park Commissioners of MetroParks of Butler County has placed a ½ mill six year property tax levy on the county ballot for the November 2nd, 2010 election.
The proposed levy would cost a Butler County homeowner .00 for every 0,000 in taxable valuation per year (about 4 cents per day).
What would levy funds be used for:
* Maintain and Operate and Existing Parks and Natural Areas. Some funding and/or services to be shared with City and Township park areas.
* Protect Drinking Water Sources by preserving natural green space recharge areas for local aquifers and through educational programs.
* Improve Water Quality of Rivers, Lakes and Streams by protecting and conserving upland areas.
* Preserve Wildlife Habitat by managing park areas for wildlife protection and diversity.
* Improving Existing Parks and Natural Areas by replacing worn out and/or installing new play equipment, restrooms, parking, paths, trails, shelters, footbridges, forests, wetlands, playing fields, etc across the county. A list of capital project priorities for each park area is available.
* Provide Recreational Opportunities such as hiking, walking, jogging, fishing, boating, camping and more.
* Match Local Funds with State, Federal and Private Dollars. Over million in grants and donations for park improvements and acquisition are currently pending and dependent on adequate local funding. Additional grants and donations are available if adequate local matching funds are available.
* Acquire Park Lands from Willing Sellers Only. Two new park areas are pending. Ownership is dependent on adequate local match for grants and sufficient operational dollars.
* Open Closed Parks and Restore Educational Programs.
Funding cuts from the State and County Commission have resulted in the closure of 4 parks and the elimination of many nature and historical programs for families, school children and seniors Levy funds would insure all park facilities currently open to the public remain available for public use, that those parks closed can be re-opened, that current programs are continued and those cut can be restored.
The Proposed Levy would not be permanent. Unless extended by voters, collection would start in 2011 and would end in six years.
The Levy Would Provide the Park System with the First Ever Direct Local Tax Support. Since 1955 the MetroParks have operated parks county-wide by relying on financial assistance from the Butler County Commissioners and funding from the State Ohio. However, these revenue sources have been cut substantially leaving the MetroParks today with only 75% of the funding available in previous years and anticipating another 25% reduction beginning in 2011.