BEAVERCREEK — A .05 mill additional levy on the Nov. 7 ballot would allow voters to maintain and improve Beavercreek Township Park District parks for less than a penny a day.
City and township residents will vote on the levy, also called Issue 14, which supports Victory Park and Owen’s Place, Beavercreek Community Park and Angel’s Pass Memorial and the bike connector from Dayton-Xenia Road to Creekside Trail.
Owen’s Place is a completely accessible playground designed for children of all ages and abilities. Angel’s Pass Memorial remembers eight Girl Scouts and two troop leaders killed in a 1959 accident when their car was struck by a freight train.
Money generated from the levy continuing over a period of time would allow the park district to maintain the parks and add potential improvements, like a covered pavilion for gatherings at Community Park and restrooms at Owen’s Place.
“It is the smallest levy that I can ever remember,” Beavercreek Township Park District Commissioner Vic Toney said at a Candidates and Issues Forum, hosted by the Beavercreek Republican Women’s Club Oct. 23.
If passed, taxpayers would pay an estimated $1.75 annually for each $100,000 of appraised property value. The owners of an average $200,000 city or township property would pay $3.50 per year, which still amounts to less than a penny per day.
Currently, the park district is solely funded by local government funds of $21,000 annually. As a direct result of the township — after 50 years — no longer providing free landscaping, mowing and reservation support due to funding limitations, the cost to operate and maintain the parks will jump from $21,000 to $37,000 in 2018.
According to Beavercreek Park District Chairman Ernie Muller, the two parks don’t fall under county or city levies; they are in a gap, which means this levy is critical.
“Our main thing is to make these parks nice,” Muller said. “Parks — they’re not static.”
According to Toney and Muller, the future of the parks will be uncertain if the levy doesn’t pass.
“We have stewardship of those two parks,” Toney said. “By the end of 2018 if we don’t have revenue we will not be able to operate our parks.”
Muller agreed that the park district does not have sufficient money, internal resources or a large staff to maintain the parks without the levy.
If the park district entered fiscal crisis and eventually dissolved, the $21,000 of annual local government funds for the parks would also dissolve, officials explained, which would mean the city or county might have to step in.
“When you look at the parks now you see that somebody cares about those two parks,” Toney said, calling them “a great crowning jewel in Greene County and Beavercreek.”
Toney continued, speaking to voters in the audience, “All I can tell you is this — we don’t know what will happen if we don’t get the levy.”
Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.