Five Rivers MetroParks notched a big win at the polls Tuesday when voters strongly approved a levy that the organization counts on for the bulk of its funding.
Montgomery County voters overwhelmingly approved Issue 6, a replacement levy for the MetroParks that increases property taxes. More than two-thirds of votes were in favor of the levy, according to the unofficial final results from the Montgomery County Board of Elections.
The measure passed with about 132,589 votes in favor and 65,603 against, the results show.
MetroParks has one levy that generates more than 80 percent of its revenue, meaning Tuesday’s election had very high stakes for the park system, supporters said.
Most county residents visit and use the parks and understand their value and importance for healthy living, entertainment, outdoor experiences and festivals and programming, Jim Gross, campaign manager for MetroParks levy committee, said this week.
“People in Montgomery County truly understand Five Rivers MetroParks is a community asset that improves their quality of life,” he said.
Five Rivers MetroParks asked voters to approve 1.8-mill levy with an additional 0.2 mills on the ballot. The levy, which is for 10 years, replaces a levy voters overwhelmingly approved in 2009.
The owner of a $100,000 home right now pays $4.35 per month to support the MetroParks. They can expect to pay about $1.48 more per month.
The replacement levy is expected to generate about $18.1 million annually. The current levy generates about $16 million each year.
The 18 parks in the Five Rivers system last year welcomed about 3.6 million visitors, and had around 300,000 people participate in the organization’s programs and event.