Bazetta Park could close in July after levy failure - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Bazetta Park could close in July after levy failure

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BAZETTA TWP., Ohio -

A popular community park in Bazetta could be on its last leg after an apparent levy failure at the polls on Tuesday. 

The $0.25 mill levy would have generated about $36,000 a year- enough to cover the expenses of the park. 

However, unofficial vote totals put nearly two-thirds of voters against the levy. 

Now, Bazetta Township Trustees say they'll have to look ahead at the future. 

It's not the first time a park levy has failed in Bazetta- in fact in recent years it has failed nearly half a dozen times. But, this instance could be the end of the park. 

Trustees Paul Hovis tells 21 News that the township has been funding the park for several years. 

Hovis said several years ago they were spending about $30,000 to support the park but scaled that back to about $18,000 to get by. 

For the past several years, township officials have been trying to pass levies, as well as sponsoring and co-sponsoring fundraisers with the Bazetta Cortland Optimist Club in order to keep the park operational. 

Hovis said that after Tuesday night's failure trustees will sit down and decide what they can do now, since the community may be out of money to fund the park as early as July. 

"The bad deal is that it affects all the kids," said Hovis. 

The park, which houses the popular Imagination Station, as well as fields used by several community sporting teams, may be forced to shut down once the township runs out of money. 

Hovis says that part of the problem is that basic upkeep of the park requires several expensive investments, including specific flame retardant mulch that must be kept at certain levels and thicknesses. 

The mulch costs almost $4,000 every three years. 

Hovis says he knows Bazetta isn't the only community struggling with a similar situation. 

"It's a shame because it is a nice park and a lot of people use it," Hovis said. 

Trustees are scheduled to meet for their next regular meeting on Tuesday, May 22 at 9 a.m. 

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