Anne Baker, right, executive director of the Toledo Zoo, shakes hands with Wood County Commissioner Alvin Perkins as commissioners James Carter, center left, and Tim Brown look on Tuesday.
BOWLING GREEN – Wood County voters will not be asked to help pay for operations at the Toledo Zoo.
After hearing from zoo officials and a room full of interested residents Tuesday morning, Wood County commissioners unanimously agreed not to put the zoo’s 0.85-mill operating levy on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Zoo Director Anne Baker had asked commissioners to let the county’s voters decide whether or not they wanted to support the zoo by paying the same operating levy currently paid by Lucas County property owners.
If approved in Wood County, the levy would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home $26 per year. It would have raised an additional $2.44 million for the zoo, which is struggling to make ends meet in light of rising expenses and declining tax revenues in Lucas County.
Wood County commissioners said they believe the zoo is a regional asset, but taxpayers have overwhelmingly told them they did not want to see the levy on the ballot.
Toledo Zoo visitors, including guests from Haskins in Wood County, celebrate resident chimpanzee Harvey's 52nd birthday in January.