COLUMBIANA CO., Ohio (WKBN) – An additional park levy will be on the ballot in Columbiana County, and members of the Columbiana County Park District say if it doesn’t pass, they could run out of money in two years.

This November, there will be a .35 mills additional park levy on the ballot for county parks.

The levy will account for $647,800 each year for 5 years.

For perspective, this would cost a property worth $100,000 just over $12 a year.

About $100,000 of that would go toward cutting the grass at the parks and along the county’s 12-mile long stretch of the Greenway Trail.

“We only get about $20,000 per year, and that’s from government funds and from some gas royalties,” says Eileen Dray-Bardon of the park board. “Obviously, we’re spending down that money to the point where if we don’t do something in the next couple of years, we’re not even going to be able to ‘mow it and blow it’ [grass].”

“Many businesses looking to start a business somewhere, or businesses looking to relocate – they look for those quality of life issues. They look for places where there’s parks and trails and green space,” says Tom Butch, vice chair of the park district board. “That’s where they want to start those businesses … Our parks would be great economic tools for the county.”

The money would go toward park maintenance and other projects, paying two part-time workers and possibly adding a full-time staff position.

Projects include the following:

  • asphalt repairs along the Greenway Trail
  • additions of playgrounds and restrooms
  • light installations in parking lots.

Some of the funds will also go toward applications for federal grants to extend the Greenway Trail.