Great Parks wants your opinion on the direct debit options

Over the past four years, our Great Parks of Hamilton County team has embarked on a solid process of developing a comprehensive master plan for your parks. We have listened and developed a vision for the future based on your thoughts and feedback. While we originally planned to go to the polls in 2020 due to the urgent need, we realized now was not the right time. However, this had a significant financial impact on Great Parks.

On June 17, the Council of Park Commissioners approved three pick options for certification by the Hamilton County Auditor. These options were based on three major funding considerations:

First, the existing critical infrastructure needs totaling $ 101 million. This includes, but is not limited to, natural resource management, building maintenance, paved roads and trails, playgrounds, and utilities.

Second, new intervention zones for the parks and facilities master plan totaling $ 124 million. These focus areas represent only one third of all master plan projects resulting from the public input process. The areas of intervention are divided into four main themes: conservation projects; more trails and adventure; renewed ports and experiences; and new centers of nature, education and events. Some examples of exciting projects include an ecological restoration of 150 acres of a former golf course; 10 miles of new regional trails and 25 miles of blue lanes; revitalized ports and enhanced gaming experiences; and a new education and events center.

Third, private financing will account for approximately $ 37.5 million of total financing needs over the next 10 years. We have stepped up and increased our commitment to private funding through our fundraising partner, Great Parks Forever. Going forward, this will reduce the burden on taxpayers and allow us to continue to be excellent stewards of taxpayer dollars while providing you with a valuable asset that you can enjoy for generations.

On July 15, the board will review auditor certifications and determine, if any, which options to put in the November 2021 ballot. I believe it is essential that voters and residents understand what each option will allow Great Parks to accomplish.

A great blue heron takes flight from the Miami Forest Lake Whitewater in western Hamilton County.

Crusher option 1.25

What can we accomplish?

If voters approve this option, Great Parks will be able to fund approximately 100% of our critical infrastructure needs and approximately 80% of the focus areas of our master plan.

What is the estimated annual cost to homeowners?

If voters approve this option, Hamilton County homeowners will pay an additional $ 43.75 per year based on the market value of a residential property of $ 100,000.

Grinding option 1.18

What can we accomplish?

If voters approve this option, Great Parks will be able to fund approximately 100% of our critical infrastructure needs and approximately 69% of the focus areas of our master plan.

What is the estimated annual cost to homeowners?

If voters approve this option, Hamilton County homeowners will pay an additional $ 41.30 per year based on the market value of a residential property of $ 100,000.

1.00 Grinding option

What can we accomplish?

If voters approve this option, Great Parks will be able to fund approximately 76% of our critical infrastructure needs and approximately 60% of the focus areas of our master plan.

What is the estimated annual cost to homeowners?

If voters approve this option, Hamilton County homeowners will pay an additional $ 35 per year based on the market value of a residential property of $ 100,000.

Hamilton County Great Parks volunteer Denny Jernigan guides hikers along a snowy trail in Woodland Mound.

If no direct debit is approved by voters

With the current five-year forecasts, critical infrastructure needs will not be met, which will result in the closure of individual facilities and amenities in several parks and a significant reduction in services over the next few years. In addition, the intervention areas of the master plan identified by the public will not be funded, which will further reduce the possibilities of creating an impact in our community.

It is now important that we hear from you regarding these direct debit options. We’ll be hosting five public listening sessions in our parks across the county, including one online, so you can learn more and ask questions.

Please visit grandparcs.org (https://www.greatparks.org/calendar/special-events/future-funding-public-listening-sessions) to find a listening session near you.

Looking forward to seeing you!

Todd Palmmeter is CEO of Great Parks of Hamilton County.

Todd Palmmeter is the CEO of Great Parks.

Comments are closed.