Nov 10, 2013

Park District levy gets overwhelming voter approval

BY BOB ROBINSON
ASSOC. EDITOR
GREENVILLE – By nearly a 2 to 1 margin, the Darke County Park District’s 0.5 mil replacement levy received the approval of voters in the Nov. 5 General Election.

“I’m just tickled to death,” Roger Van Frank said when the final tally of 5,870 for and 2,983 against showed up on the Internet screen from the Darke County Board of Elections. The margin of approval was 66.3 percent.

Van Frank estimated about a 25 percent increase in their revenues but was quick to point out the District was going back to the same funds it had 20 years ago.

“The millage is the same,” he said, “but the revenue from that millage had been steadily decreasing each year. Now we can start doing the same things we were able to do 20 years ago.”

He noted community grants will go back to $50,000 to help local parks with improvements and repairs. In 2012 the grants amount had decreased to $25,000.

“The ‘Wish List’ for community parks can now get bigger,” he said.

The District’s ‘Wish List’ is a needed new roof for the Nature Center and barn at Shawnee Prairie and bathrooms at some of the other parks.

“We have to make sure we can maintain them (the bathrooms); they need to be safe,” Van Frank said, “but the visitors are asking for them.”

He added the dollars aren’t being used for personnel or new programs; they will continue to be frugal with their budgets.

Levy co-chairs Roger Brocious and Eileen Litchfield were pleased with the degree of voter support for the replacement levy.

“I’m excited for the future,” Brocious said. “I can relax now. We can continue enhancing the parks, make them more usable to everyone in Darke County.”

Litchfield commended the volunteers who worked on the levy.

“It’s a good group,” she said. “It’s also a testament to the work the park district has done for the last 20 years.” And to the voters who supported them? “Get out and use your parks!”

The levy commences in 2014 and is first due in 2015.

Other local results:

Arcanum Village Pool and Parks Additional: approved 418 to 181; Castine Village Current Expenses Additional: approved 9 to 8; Castine Village Fire Protection Additional: approved 9 to 8; Gordon Village Current Expenses Additional: approved 42 to 17; Hollansburg Village Fire Protection Additional: approved 31 to 21; Hollansburg Village Police Protection Additional: approved 28 to 24; Union City Village Police Operations Income Tax: Defeated 98 to 95; Monroe Township Fire Protection Additional: approved 199 to 55; Tri-Village Joint Amb District Emergency Medical Services Additional: approved 812 to 500.

For complete results of the Nov. 5 election, Election Results

Parks levy co-chair Roger Brocious (left) and Roger Van Frank celebrate the passing of the District’s replacement levy.

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