Beavercreek, Bellbrook voters being asked to increase park district funding in November election

Beavercreek and Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Twp. residents are being asked to approve park fund requests in the November election that will increase the amount of taxes they pay annually.

Beavercreek city residents are being asked to pay for an 1.93-mills additional park levy to develop the city’s newest and largest park to date, and Bellbrook-Sugarcreek residents for a 0.6 mill replacement operating levy to maintain its current parks.

New park plans in Beavercreek

Beavercreek residents will vote on the tax increase that, if passed, would allow the city to develop Spring House Park, and fund staff and equipment to maintain the entire parks district.

The levy would raise Beavercreek property taxes beginning in 2024 by $68 per $100,000 of the county auditor’s appraised value.

The levy millage is the middle of three options city council considered in July for the park build-out: 1.6 mills, 1.93, and 2.14, which would have funded a full build-out.

Development of the park includes both unpaved and paved trails, leaving some parts to be natural space, while other areas are developed similar to Rotary Park, now the city’s second largest. Funding would go toward base infrastructure including roads, utilities, landscaping, and trails, as well as maintenance facilities and restrooms.

Construction would also include a splash pad, playgrounds, picnic shelters, a dog park, six pickleball courts, a fishing dock, and disc golf course. The levy request has an additional $6 million for amenities, including an event center, an outdoor fitness center, basketball court, archery range, and six more pickleball courts.

The option would also hire 10 full-time employees for the whole district, including a Senior Center coordinator, two recreation programmers, five maintenance staff members, a building attendant, and a mechanic.

All three levy options included a base 0.45 mills, which is needed to maintain current levels of service and equipment, the city previously told the Dayton Daily News.

The master plan for Spring House park was developed with public input last year.

The 148-acre park is located along Grange Hall Road between Patterson and Shakertown Roads. The city purchased the land last year after it was awarded $738,000 in grants through the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund. The city matched the grant using park fees, which is money collected from developers and can only be utilized for parks.

Bellbrook Sugarcreek Park District

Bellbrook and Sugarcreek residents will vote on a 0.6-mill replacement levy for the Bellbrook Sugarcreek Park District. This levy will replace an expiring 0.4-mill levy, originally approved by voters in 1993 and last renewed in 2013.

This levy will provide operational funding of approximately $420,000 per year for a 10-year period, approximately $200,000 more than the 0.4 mill levy, said parks executive director Jeff Stewart, and will go towards all the normal operations of the park district.

This includes improvements and maintenance of playgrounds, hiking trails and paths, shelters and athletic fields, park staff, developing new parks and trail systems, conservation of natural resources, and programs.

The levy will cost approximately $21 per year for each $100,000 of assessed home value, about $10 more than the previous iteration of the levy, for each $100,000 of appraised home value annually.

The Bellbrook Sugarcreek Park District was created by residents in 1970, and today manages over 700 acres of parkland.

The districts’ operational funds also serve as local matches for state and national grants for park improvement projects, land acquisition, and programs, Stewart said, adding that the parks district has secured $3.2 million in grants in the last seven years.

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