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Metro Parks Launch Campaign for Proposed 0.95-Mill Levy

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega Metro Parks Launch Campaign for Proposed 0.95-Mill LevyMetro Parks Executive Director Tim Moloney Leads the levy campaign launch at the Scioto Audubon Metro Park. Photo by Lauren Sega.
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On Wednesday, the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks kicked off the campaign for their proposed 10-year levy, which will appear on the local ballot as Issue 3 for the general election on Tuesday, November 6.

At 0.95-mill, this levy is a 0.2-mill increase from the levy the public passed in 2009, which expires at the end of 2019. This new levy will run until 2029 and is a $12.82 increase for the owner of a $100,000 home.

Expected to gather roughly $28 million annually, these funds would maintain and improve the Metro Parks’ existing parks, trails and facilities, as well as allow the attainment of three new park areas over the next 10 years.

One of those three parks, the 230-acre Quarry Trails Metro Park, has already been purchased and is in the design stages. It’ll be located just west of Upper Arlington, along the Scioto River. It has an expected opening within the next two years.

Peg Hanley, Public Information Officer for Metro Parks, says they’re aiming for another park south of the Scioto River, and a third adjacent to Blendon Woods.

“We’d also like to do 50 miles of trails,” says Hanley. “The other thing, besides the trails, we’d like to enhance our education programs and make more programs available for kids, adults and people with disabilities.”

The levy would fund efforts to enhance access to the region’s parks by providing alternative means of transportation.

In the last 10 years since their previous levy was passed, Metro Parks opened up four new parks, including Walnut Woods, Rocky Fork, Homestead and Scioto Grove, and conducted 36,000 free events for kids and families. They also opened the Battelle Darby Creek Nature Center and expanded the Scioto Audubon Metro Park. Annually, the park system accommodates nearly 11 million visitors.

According to a community survey conducted by the Metro Parks, the levy has the public support to pass, with 82 percent of 600 registered voters advocating for it.

For more information, visit metroparks.net.

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