TROY — On Wednesday, the city of Troy’s Park and Recreation Committee voted to proceed with legislation to seek the specific millage needed to see a 10-year tax levy to fund the recently proposed $8 million park levy from the Miami County Auditor.
The proposal also includes the organization called “Operation Recreation 2020” raising $4 million in private donations and possible grants as part of its “public/private endeavor.” The donations and possible 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.
Chairman Brock Heath, and members Robin Oda and Doug Tremblay, voted to move forward with the resolution to be voted on by Troy City Council at its next meeting on Monday. The resolution would be designated as an emergency.
The committee did not vote to proceed to provide a recommendation for the Operation Recreation 2020 proposal until the millage was determined by the county auditor.
Heath said he felt more comfortable with proceeding with the legislation to seek the millage needed after many questions surrounding the levy were addressed by the director of public service and safety Patrick Titterington and council member and president of the Operation Recreation Fundraising Committee chairman Bobby Phillips.
“Our understanding from the stakeholders is what they are asking is for the council to simply put the issue on the ballot. Would they like an endorsement from the council? I’m sure they’d feel that would be more as a benefit than a determinant to this levy. They know the work the education and the understanding, that’s part of their commitment and part of their work they have ahead of them until Nov. 8,” Titterington said.
Phillips said the committee understands the work would fall on them to educate the public about the levy.
“We know we need to do a lot of homework and footwork,” Phillips said. “An endorsement from any organization whether it’s a private entity of government agency would go a long way obviously. Because this project is being pushed by private organizations and non-profits, it is to the betterment of the city of Troy and the residents. I would hopefully expect there would be verbal support and vote to support it because it is a vote of the citizenry whether they want to go forward or not. It is not a council decision whether it goes forward or not. This is not a council decision going forward, it is just placing it on the ballot.”
A packet of information was provided, which answered many of the questions raised by members of council and members of the park board of commissioners and recreation department board. Other than Ken Green, Miami Shores Golf Course director, and one member of the Troy Junior Baseball organization who did not speak, no one else other than Phillips attended the meeting as part of the “stakeholders” of the group on Wednesday. Philips explained that the members representing the baseball and softball groups were in the height of their ball seasons and were unable to attend.
On Monday, nine organizations calling themselves “Operation Recreation 2020” presented information to propose to place a 10-year, estimated 2.0-mills levy to generate $8 million for improvements for Duke Park, the city golf course and the senior citizen facility. The proposal projects the levy to cost approximately $70 a year per $100,000 property valuation.
The proposal includes $11.2 million in Duke Park improvements for nine new baseball fields, three full-sized soccer fields and a $300,000 park department maintenance building; $100,000 to fund the Troy Senior Citizens Center’s improvements, including roof replacement, renovations, new doors and windows, parking lot resurfacing, a shuffleboard court and exterior siding; $1.5 million in clubhouse and course grounds improvements and a new driving range at Miami Shores Golf Course.
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