Supporters Of Parks Levy Refine Message In Clark County

Nov 7, 2011

Tuesday, there's an issue on the ballot to support the parks district in Clark County. Last year when voters were asked to approve the 1.62-mill levy, it failed. WYSO's Wayne Baker reports that supporters of the levy are attempting to make the levy more palatable to voters.

This year, supporters of the levy are asking for less money. Voters are being asked to pass a sixth tenths of a mill levy, which would require the owner of a $100,000 home to pay $21 per year. But levy supporters are also clarifying their message. Mike McDormand of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, says voters last time were confused where their money was going. Instead of funding golf courses and the city's water park, supporters of the levy are emphasizing that money is going to bike trails, parks and green space maintenance.

"I think the challenge with any new taxes is difficult in an economy like this. And so, you really have to understand what you are getting with any new dollars that will be going out there from the standpoint of the taxpayer," says McDormand.

McDormand says another part of the message is that the levy will benefit taxpayers because better parks, will mean a better economy for the region.
  "I like to tell people that if you want to attract the Thirty One Gifts, the Code Blues, those about 2,000 jobs that we have attracted recently to the community, the three things that people look at are: schools, hospitals and the quality of life," says McDormand.
  The second levy request comes in the face of state budget cuts. Last year budget cuts led to the closure of bike trails and the Little Miami Scenic Park. McDormand says if this levy fails, more park closures can be expected in the future.