Bazetta opts to seek road levy in Nov.

Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael SempleTaunya Brady of Niles pushes her son, Logan Brady, 15 months, on the swing at Imagination Station playground inside Bazetta Township Park on Tuesday. Township officials said enough money has been raised through donations and fundraisers to keep the park open through 2019, so they instead will seek a road levy in November.

BAZETTA — Township trustees have decided not to place a park levy on the November ballot but instead will ask voters to support a road levy.

Trustees on Tuesday took the first step to placing a 3.0-mill, five-year additional road levy on the ballot to generate $420,000 annually for road and bridge improvements, mostly for road paving.

Trustee Chairman Ted Webb said the owner of a $100,000 home would pay $105 per year.

He said having funds for the roads gives the township the opportunity to seek state Issue 1 money, which requires a local match.

Fiscal Officer Rita Drew said the road levy is a new one that will be in addition to a 0.6-mill road levy on the books now. She said over the five years, the levy will generate more than $2 million for needed road paving and other work.

A second vote by trustees will take place in July to meet the August deadline to get the issue on the ballot.

Trustees decided not to try again with a park levy after the defeat of a 0.25-mill, five-year additional levy in May that would have raised $36,188 annually.

Drew said with donations, fundraising and GoFundMe money raised, in addition to a $17,000 donation from the Cafaro Foundation, there is enough money in the newly created park fund to keep the park open this year and in 2019. The park is open from April 1 to Nov. 1.

Rock of Grace Church is holding a fundraiser for the park 6 to 9 p.m. June 29. Drew said those funds should help keep the park open into 2020.

“The park is OK for a few more years if we maintain minimal upkeep of lawn cutting and maintenance,” she said.

Webb said the trustees felt the roads are in most need of work, so a road levy should be sought before a park levy. He said the trustees may look at a park levy again in the future.

Officials said it takes between $6,000 and $7,000 to keep the park open until Nov. 1 with bare minimum work, such as cutting grass; it takes $17,000 to keep the park open seven months.

During winter months, only plowing of the park’s main road is done since the gates are closed.

The park includes the Imagination Station play area, two baseball fields, three pavilions, a gazebo, a volleyball court, walking trail and picnic areas.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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