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Portage parks at a critical crossroads

Published: March 27, 2014 4:00 AM

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.

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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

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redleg6 Mar 28, 2014 12:19 PM

Q...Please explain the need of an $80,000.00 parking lot/boat access by the Red Fox sewer treatment facility? Is there that much boat traffic to justify that expense? I never see boats on the river. Is somebody going to have a canoe/kayak concession besides Camp Hi?

Q...Please explain why after the fancy sign was put up at the Morgan Preserve, the Park people also put up a metal gate with a chain and pad lock so you cannot get into the little gravel parking area? Do I need to schedule a guided tour to look at swamp/marsh land? For years I would take my kids and now grandkids to sit in the lot from time to time, at evening and watch the deer/turkeys come and go, or listen to a ball game and watch the sunset, now its locked. Thanks....PS..If it would have been up to Mr. Morgan, the area would be part of an international jetport he wanted along time ago, from the arsenal all the way to Shalersville.

Q...How come every levy is the cost of a pizza? Seems these folks copied the same taking points as the schools when they want money. How many pizza's have property owners purchased over the years?

I vote NO on the levy, but I would support a different way to finance the parks without putting an unfair burden on property owners, make everyone pay. Sales tax? Sin tax? Legalize marijuana and have a Green Tax? But NO on the Levy Tax!!!!

little_r_republican Mar 28, 2014 11:51 AM

tiggy...why wait to be taxed? Give them your money now...they will surely take it and not have to pay a percentage to bureaucrats as happens with any tax collection.

TaggR Mar 28, 2014 11:29 AM

Our local parks are something to be proud of!  Silly tiggy can afford $35 a year to contribute to a worthwhile cause, our local park system.  I will be voting yes to support the Portage Park District.  

little_r_republican Mar 28, 2014 11:08 AM

silly tiggy...go back to counting your foodstamps.

TaggR Mar 27, 2014 3:54 PM

lol, If they start charging fees to use our local parks, little whiner will be the first to start whining. Guaranteed! 

little_r_republican Mar 27, 2014 12:32 PM

Why punish only the residential property owners? Find some other way to confiscate money. Charge a fee for a permit for those who want to use the parks. chage a fee for a bike license to use the bike trails. Charge a fee for dog license for park use..