WESTERVILLE — Voters in populous Genoa Township will be voting on a renewal of a proposed tax levy they initially approved.
“A renewal of a tax for the benefit of Genoa Township for the purpose of parks and recreational purposes that the county auditor estimates will collect $682,000 annually, at a rate not exceeding 0.6 mill for each $1 of taxable value, which amounts to $19 for each $100,000 of the county auditor’s appraised value, for 5 years, commencing in 2023, first due in calendar year 2024,” reads the ballot language.
In 2020, Genoa’s Parks Advisory Committee created a Parks and Trails Master Plan. The committee works with the Genoa’s Maintenance Department and township trustees.
“Township parks were historically funded through the General Fund until 2021 after voters approved the Township’s first-ever Parks and Trails Levy in November 2020,” the township said. “Before a levy was in place, park improvements were limited as they contributed to a declining balance in the General Fund. Transferring the expenses of the parks to a special revenue fund simultaneously extended the General Fund while increasing investment in township parks.”
The township has the following park properties:
• Center Green Park, 7846 Center Green Drive, Westerville.
• Freeman Road Park, 6460 Freeman Road, Westerville.
• Gateway Park, State Route 3 and Mt. Royal Avenue, Westerville.
• Hilmar Park, 6533 Hilmar Drive, Westerville.
• Jaycox Park, Jaycox Road near Sheffield Park Drive, Galena.
• McNamara Park, 7049 Big Walnut Road, Galena.
• Township Hall Park, 5111 S. Old 3C Highway, Westerville.
• Worthington Gardens, 4539 Worthington Road, Westerville.
“The 2020 park levy was the reason for a multitude of park improvements both directly and indirectly,” the township said. “The renewed focus and dedication to parks contributed to the township’s success in receiving park investments in the form of state grants and tax-increment financing funds, where appropriate.”
In a levy fact sheet, the township summarizes park improvements in four categories.
• Capital improvements: These include repaving more than three miles of trail.
• Grant funding: This included relocating the old township hall to McNamara.
• Environmental stewardship: This included expanding raised bed plots at Worthington Gardens.
• Park comfort and ease of use: This included the opening of Gateway Park.
Assistant Editor Gary Budzak photographs and reports on stories in eastern Delaware County and surrounding areas.