Come elections in May, citizens of Portage County have the opportunity to achieve something great together: Saving our Portage park system.
Our park system has been able to grow due to the generosity of individuals, families and organizations donating land, services, talents and time.
But we are now at a critical crossroads. We either invest in these properties or we will start losing what we have achieved. In recent months, our already minimal budget has been picked to pieces.
Our Portage Park District currently includes 1,300 acres of conserved parkland; 14 miles of free hiking and biking trails; picnic shelters and grills; scenic, natural areas protecting water and wildlife; and varied types of recreation. All of these attributes contribute to a healthy community in which to live as well as inviting neighbors to visit and contribute to our local economies.
And how many full-time employees does our park system have? One.
And what is the yearly budget? $99,500.And what do we have to pay when we use our parks? It's free.
The cost of passing the levy, to a homeowner of a $100,000 property, equals the price of one pizza, or about $17.50. For this minimal price, the citizens of Portage County will get so much.
Come voting time, please make saving our Portage Park District a priority. Only by voting "Yes" for the levy will our park system be around for our children.
Elizabeth H. Siman, Hiram