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Metroparks moving ahead with first levy

0.6-mill, 10-year issue likely

WARREN — The Trumbull County MetroParks this week took the first step to place a 0.6-mill, 10-year operating levy on the November ballot to raise about $2 million for operations of the various metroparks venues throughout the county.

Zachary Svette, executive director of the metroparks, said this will be the first levy ever placed on the ballot for the day-to-day needs, upkeep and operations. He said the county auditor will certify the exact millage and amount the levy will generate.

Svette said the owner of a $100,000 home would pay approximately $22 per year.

The levy is countywide so all residents would vote on the issue.

The Trumbull County MetroParks system includes Canoe City MetroPark and Thomas Swift MetroPark, both in Leavittsburg, Clarence Darrow MetroPark in Champion, North Road Nature Preserve in Howland, Eastlake MetroPark in Cortland and Foster MetroPark in Newton Falls, as well as the Trumbull County portions of the Western Reserve Greenway Bike Trail.

Funds will be used for the disc golf course in Champion, the bike trails, capital improvement projects and purchases. The board changed its next meeting to 4:15 p.m. July 8 at the parks office to give the final second reading on the issue. Aug. 6 is the deadline to place a levy on the November ballot.

He said the MetroParks system has no levy in place and receives its funding from county commissioners’ annual budget. Mill Creek MetroParks in Mahoning County has had a levy to support its operations for about 20 years.

The Western Reserve Greenway Bike Trail is a large part of the park district, so a large portion of levy money would go toward maintenance and upkeep, such as replacing culverts and paving the worst sections, Svette said.

In other business, the board is still finalizing paperwork to acquire properties in the Braceville / Newton Falls area and in Hubbard and Brookfield townships for additional park land. Svette said the Braceville Newton Falls area is being discussed and final acquiring of the land in eastern Trumbull County should be finalized in August or September.

The one property is known as the Trock Forest Nature Preserve at the corner of Everett East Road and Albright McKay Road in Brookfield. The 40 acres would be used as a nature and recreational area for walking trails, outdoor recreation and benches, he said.

The second property is the West Branch wetland preserve off First Street and state Route 5 in Newton Falls. The 67 acres have 25 acres in a flood plain and 20 acres in wetlands, he said.

Svette said the MetroParks would like to acquire the areas for both outdoor recreational and nature areas. Svette said the Trock Forest property would cost $267,000 with the Clean Ohio grant covering $183,500, and the West Branch property would be $174,275 with the Clean Ohio grant covering $127,000.

In other action, the board:

• Reported the Mahoning River Adventures at Canoe City is open and many people are using canoes on the Mahoning River. Svette said they were busy over Father’s Day weekend and likely will be busy over July 4 weekend;

• Approved contacting the Natural Resources Advisory Council that approves Clean Ohio funds to renominate Svette to the board for a new three-year term. A letter will be sent to the District 6 Public Works Commission;

• Approved a $900 donation from Barb Howley from Outspoken Wheelman for a bench for John Nagy, a supporter of of the parks and bicycling. The bench will be placed near the observation deck off the bike trail;

• Approved a $5,000 donation from George Stevens in memory of his wife, Judy Stevens, for a bench to be placed near the kiosk off the bike trail;

• Approved Anastasia Crankovic at $15 per hour to handle marketing, publicity and promotions for both online and print for promoting the parks. The board approved up to $2,000 for the work and needed materials.

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