Supporters of Preservation Parks of Delaware County let their voices be heard at the voting booth on Tuesday.
The district’s combination 0.6-mills renewal and 0.3-mills increase tax levy won passage with 27,785 votes in favor and 16,600 against, according to unofficial results provided by the Delaware County Board of Elections. The levy will be in effect for 10 years, commencing in 2018 with first collection due in 2019, according to the ballot language.
Executive Director Tom Curtin said the win at the ballot box Tuesday was significant for the future of the park district.
“It means we can bring the current projects we’re working on to the public a lot quicker, which is exciting,” he said. “We’ll be able to launch into new projects that we’ve been talking about. Specifically, finishing the Ohio to Erie bike trail through the county. We are looking at acquiring additional park land in the future. It means now we can move with confidence and we can offer a lot more to the people of Delaware County, thanks to their support.”
The levy will provide about $6.5 million annually for Preservation Parks to help make its Ten Year Plan become a reality, according to information provided by the district. Those funds will be used to purchase land for a proposed 230-acre park located along Bale Kenyon Road in Orange Township. The park will feature trails, a year-round picnic shelter, restrooms, as well as access to Alum Creek.
Other plans include renovation of the Bicentennial Barn for year-round use and connecting park trails to trails in Westerville and Orange Township. Also on the agenda for the future is development of a 115-acre park along Pollock Road in Delaware Township and expansion of existing parks.
Park district officials also plan to expand the educational opportunities for children and adults as well as the outreach to local schools. Habitat protection and restoration is also part of the Ten Year Plan.
“We’re incredibly grateful and appreciative of the support,” Curtin said. “It’s just really exciting to see that kind of support and now we’re looking forward to providing the folks in Delaware County with more parks and more trails for their enjoyment.”
To see more details about Preservation Parks’ Ten Year Plan, go to www.preservationparks.com and click on About Us then click on Ten Year Plan.