Levy proposal goes to 3rd reading

Next reading for parks and rec levy on June 20

By Melanie Yingst - myingst@civitasmedia.com

TROY — Troy City Council will have a third reading of a proposed 10-year 2.01-mill park and recreation levy on June 20.

Council member John Schweser made a motion to move the levy to a third reading at its regular meeting later this month.

President Marty Baker and Bobby Phillips were not in attendance.

The proposed levy would generate approximately $8 million over the 10-year period for proposed Duke Park North baseball and soccer field improvements, Miami Shores golf course clubhouse renovation and repairs and maintenance at the Troy Senior Citizen’s Center. If passed, the levy could cost $70.35 per $100,000 property value per year.

The levy was proposed by the grassroots organization called “Operation Recreation 2020” and is not a city-led effort. The group has also pledged to raise more than $4 million in private donations and possible grants as part of its “public/private endeavor” for the improvements.

During the public comments prior to council’s vote, three residents spoke in favor of the levy and one against it.

Wade Westfall asked council to support the park and recreation levy for residents to vote on in November. Westfall is the president of the Mid-West Ohio Baseball select team,one of the organizations part of the “Operation Recreation 2020.”

Westfall said the building of the new ball fields at Duke Park North would not affect the organization, but the new complex could bring potential league opportunities through large, regional tournaments for the for-profit select baseball program.

Westfall said the expansion of the park would benefit the community as a whole as a local investor and property owner in Troy, downtown Troy and Miami County.

Westfall also said the levy is an opportunity to invest in future generations.

Parents and coaches of the Troy Junior Baseball program, Roric Hoke and Mick Berning also spoke in favor of the levy as members and coaches of the Troy Junior Baseball program.

Troy resident Lester Conard said he is against the proposed levy. Conard said the city’s golf course is already costing the residents of Troy.

“It’s just a waste of good money,” Conard said. “I understand the people with the kids, I understand that. Next year with the school wanting to put another levy on, you’re just going to zap the citizens dry. We can’t afford much more. We are getting desperate out there.”

Conard also noted storm and water fees have tripled in recent years and the proposed improvements to the senior citizen center was an afterthought in hopes to garner their support of the levy.

“You are all playing games with the citizens of Troy and their money. You’re not doing it for the citizens of Troy, you are only doing it for the city of Troy,” Conard said.

The levy proposal includes approximately $11.2 million in Duke Park improvements. The proposal estimates do not include the city’s acquisition of the Huelskamp farm (now called Duke Park North) or the privately funded Miracle League of the Miami Valley’s special needs baseball field which will be part of the park’s expansion. The levy proposal includes $9.5 million for the Duke Park North Development for nine new baseball fields, three full-sized soccer fields; $400,000 for Duke Park infrastructure; $1 million for the park’s existing development and $300,000 for a new park department maintenance building.

The levy proposal includes $100,000 to fund the Troy Senior Citizens Center’s improvements. A breakdown of the costs include a $25,000 metal roof replacement, $5,000 for re-siding, $5,000 for foundation drainage, a $5,000 shuffleboard court, $15,000 for sidewalks and curbs, $10,000 for interior renovation, $5,000 new doors and windows, and $30,000 parking lot resurfacing,

The levy proposal includes $1.5 million for upgrades at the Miami Shores Golf Course. The costs include $1,250,000 for clubhouse and land renovations and a $250,000 driving range at the course.

The Operation Recreation 2020 group represents the following organizations: Troy Junior Baseball, Midwest Ohio Baseball, Troy Christian High School, Troy High School Softball Organization, Troy Junior Trojans Baseball, Troy Posts No. 43 and Troy TL Boosters Inc., Troy Soccer Club, Troy Senior Citizens Center and Miami Shores Golf Course.

Council also passed a resolution for “Estimating Aggregate Maximum Amount of Public Funds to be Awarded.”

For more information, visit www.troyohio.gov.

Next reading for parks and rec levy on June 20

By Melanie Yingst