Committee to review 2.01-mills rec levy

TCS board president states levy may hurt schools

By Melanie Yingst -

TROY — Troy City Council’s Parks and Recreation Committee will review the proposed park levy dubbed “Operation Recreation 2020” to potentially be placed on the November 2016 ballot at 5:45 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

According to the Miami County Auditor’s certificate of estimated property tax millage rate, a 2.01 mills levy would be necessary to produce $1 million of revenue per year for the 10 year proposed levy.

The proposal for the levy was made by “Operation Recreation 2020” has also pledged to raise $4 million in private donations and possible grants as part of its “public/private endeavor.” The private donations combined with potential public levy funds would finance the proposed $11.2 million in proposed improvements to Duke Park, $1.5 million at Miami Shores Golf Course and $100,000 in work at the Troy Senior Citizens Center.

According to a public information request, in an email on April 28 to all members of Troy City Council, recreation board president Marty Hobart and the Board of Park Commissioners President Alan Kappers, and all Troy City Schools Board of Education members, Troy City Schools’ Board President Doug Trostle expressed his concern about the levy as a resident of Troy, not as the board president:

In an excerpt from the email, Trostle states:

“The Troy City School Board of Education has been discussing the need to critically look at all of our facilities and address the age of our buildings as well as the growth of our district and structure of our curriculum. We have been very conscience of other community initiatives and have identified this period of time (window between issues) to formalize our discussion and develop a master plan with the intent of seeking a bond levy in the fall of 2017. I bring this to your attention because it is my belief any recreational levy presented at this time would have a negative impact on our ability to successfully pass a bond issue next year.

As elected representatives and community leaders I would hope each of you would share in this concern. I have always been an advocate of updating and improving our recreational facilities.”

Trostle later clarified in a follow-up email he was not speaking on behalf of the entire board of education, but as a resident of Troy. Trostle said he was concerned if the recreation levy was to pass, it would harm the schools’ chances to place a levy on the ballot for Troy residents to raise funds to improve its facilities.

“It is my opinion if this recreational levy would pass, it would reduce the available resources available for any campaign to update and/or replace some of our aging facilities and, if the recreational levy would fail, it will be a very divisive issue in our community and could have a negative influence on our future plans.”

The Troy City Schools Board of Education hired a consulting firm on April 27 to review the district’s facility options. The first “Operation Recreation 2020” meeting was held on April 25 for the proposed 10-year-old, 2.01-mill recreation levy. Trostle said prior to the April 25 meeting, he had not heard of the “Operation Recreation” proposal.

Although he wasn’t included in the first email, the city of Troy’s Director of Public Service and Safety Patrick Titterington addressed some of Trostle’s concerns in a reply on April 28:

“I have included my email address above in the event that you inadvertently left me out of your email below. For your edification, clarification and elucidation, I have attached a copy of the report that staff created for the committee last night. I believe it answers all of the concerns expressed in your email below. You should note that the stakeholders group is insistent on a partnership and matching relationship with the city — something you suggest below. They recognize that the city does not have the existing resources to accommodate an $8 million commitment and are suggesting the voters decide on whether they should provide that match. I hope that you share the vision this grassroots group sees for our youth and seniors in the community.

I know it pales by comparison with the potentially huge project the schools are contemplating next year but I think that all of these pieces, when interconnected, will serve to further separate our extraordinary city from other Miami Valley communities. I wish you well in your upcoming analysis of the best course of action for your buildings, be it to renovate those structures or demolish and rebuild new at a potentially substantial premium.”

The committee will meet following two streets and sidewalk committee meetings on Monday.

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TCS board president states levy may hurt schools

By Melanie Yingst

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