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Published: Wednesday, 9/12/2007

Genoa Village looks to replace park levy

BY ERIKA RAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Slotnick Slotnick
MORRISON Enlarge

Veterans Memorial Park in Genoa will continue to be maintained and improved throughout the next five years if voters choose to replace a tax levy for the park in November.

Genoa Village Council has placed a five-year, 1.3-mill replacement levy on the Nov. 6 ballot to operate, maintain, and improve the 35-acre park off Washington Street.

Councilman Betsy Slotnick said the levy has been on the books for years, but council voted to ask for a replacement to receive additional revenue because it would be applied to current property values.

"It's been in place for years," she said. "We just want the extra money."

A mill is $1 in taxes for every $1,000 in assessed property value.

If passed, it will raise $51,500 annually and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $41 a year, $6 more than they're paying now, Ottawa County Auditor Jo Ellen Regal said.

Councilman Jennifer Kreager said if approved, funds from the levy would specifically go to improve the restrooms at the park by adding more stalls and making them handicapped-accessible.

Funds also go toward paying park employees' salaries and needed equipment like lawn mowers, Mrs. Slotnick said.

Levy funds will not, however, be used for the village's proposed master plan for the park, she said.

"It's to maintain and use what we already have, whereas the masterplan would be an upgrade," she said.

The master plan has been discussed at length in council's ad-hoc committee for more than a year. Instead of focusing on how much the plan will cost, members have instead concentrated on throwing out ideas of what they'd like to see in the park.

If everything in the master plan would come to fruition immediately, it could cost between $5 million and $6 million, said Mrs. Kreager, the committee chairman.

If all plans are implemented, the park would be home to amphitheater seating, an expanded skate park, baseball and soccer fields, tennis courts, a sledding hill, a farmers' market, and a children's water park.

Surrounding the existing quarry would be a new scuba- diving staging area, a picnic shelter, a walking trail, and a pool house that would include showers and concessions.

The park already has sand volleyball courts, a water slide, a horseshoe pit, a basketball court, and stone path around the quarry.

There is no timetable for any of the proposed upgrades.

The last time the village was on the ballot was in November, 2005, when voters approved reallocating 0.5 percent of the 1.5 percent income tax from the sewer project into the general fund.



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