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10/31/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

In regards to a letter to the editor by John Ashley (“Area resident against Metro Parks levy”) in the Oct. 24, 2013, issue, Nathan Eppink, chief of marketing and communications for Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, requested the following clarification:

“The park district’s $16 million carryover is the result of leveraging public money to further improve the Metro Parks, and it will fund several significant projects already on the drawing board.

“Since 2007, when the current levy took effect, we have acquired nearly $20 million in grants to help construct the new Freedom Trail in Tallmadge, build the Bike & Hike Trail bridge over I-271 in Sagamore Hills and create Springfield Bog Metro Park in Springfield Township. The catch: We had to pay for these things up front, and then we were reimbursed.

“I should point out that Issue 2 is not an ‘increase for seven more years,’ as Mr. Ashley asserts. It is a renewal levy that will still cost property owners less than $45 a year per $100,000 valuation, and it is the only local source of public dollars that support 14 parks, 125 miles of trails, more than 5 million annual visits and dozens of free programs and events each month.”

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