Trumbull MetroParks to gauge possible tax levy support - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Trumbull MetroParks to gauge possible tax levy support

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CHAMPION TWP., Ohio -

The Trumbull County MetroParks is considering whether to go to the voters for financial support as revenues continues to dwindle.

"We've been operating on bare bones," Zachary Svette said, director of parks operations.

Svette says he's considering a tax levy, but wants to meet with members of the community to gauge their level of support and find people interested in forming a levy committee

The meeting is scheduled for March 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Kent State Trumbull Technology building, room 117.

"All the revenue sources have been declining for the past five to eight years, especially our oil and gas revenue. 

Svette says the MetroParks used to bring in about $25,000 a year from oil and gas wells leases, now that number is down to roughly $5,000 annually.

Trumbull County is among the few counties within the region without a parks levy in place. Ashtabula, Geauga, Mahoning and Portage counties all have park tax levies.

With fewer dollars coming in, cuts are looking more like a reality.

"We're talking about basic services like lawn mowing, port-a-johns and garbage," Svette said. "We're looking at either eliminating some in its entirety or looking at severely reducing some of those."

Parkgoers like Carl Antonelli believe the parks are worth supporting. He volunteers in the Mill Creek MetroParks and often uses the bike trails in Trumbull County near his house.

"It's extremely important, everyone needs quality of life, everyone needs recreation, everyone needs some cultural activities," Antonelli said, of Champion.

Bike trail maintenance and re-paving is another expense that Svette says his budget can't afford. Portions of the Western Reserve Greenway are on the list of capital projects that he says will eventually need to be addressed. 

Svettee says bridges, including the Western Reserve Greenway Baughman bridge project, is also on that list.

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