Greene County News Report
XENIA — During its special board meeting last week, the Greene County Park District (GCPD) voted to approve a resolution to place a 0.9 mill, five-year levy on the November ballot.
“This is not a decision the park district commissioners made lightly,” GCPD President John A. Finlay said. “We have never received levy funds and know that this is the best solution to a long-term financial issue. Our parks and trails are vital to creating a vibrant living environment and economy in Greene County. It’s a great investment for generations to come who choose to call our communities home.”
According to a release from the district, funds from the levy would be a source of sustainable revenue needed as a result of reduction in Ohio Local Government Funds (LGF).
“The park district’s funding is rapidly diminishing with about 75 percent of our funding coming from LGFs, which have been slashed by 50 percent since 2009,” Finlay said. “The park agency has been using its savings to cover day-to-day costs.”
The Greene County Park District and the Greene County’s Parks Department form Greene County Parks & Trails, which manages 2,600 acres of parkland, 62 miles of paved trails, 36 miles of river trails land and 12 miles of hiking trails.
According to Finlay, the levy could provide for daily operations and a five-year capital improvement plan for projects throughout Greene County. Funds would be used to repair bridges, parking lots, boardwalks and trails as well as to eradicate invasive plant species.
According to Finlay, without a park district levy, the future of Greene County Parks & Trails would be at risk, citing possible park closures, as well as a lack of maintenance and environmental protection as possibilities.