TROY — Voters of Troy turned down the levy seeking funds to add amenities to the Paul G. Duke Park.
According to unofficial results as of press time, the levy was voted down with 2,144 (56 percent) against the levy and 1,678 (44 percent) for the levy.
“Certainly a disappointing result, but it’s certainly understandable,” said William Lutz, council member at-large and incoming president of Troy City Council. “It’s very difficult to try to add new taxes, whether it’s property tax or income tax. We really appreciate the folks that came out and voted. I think the message that was sent to the city tonight is to continue to do things that we do well and that’s what we’ll focus on in the future.”
Lutz said there has been no discussion as to whether to seek another levy or to move forward with improvements at this time.
The levy was a new 10-year, 1.2-mills property tax for Paul G. Duke Park improvements. It was the second attempt to raise funds for the park improvements.
The proposed additions to Duke Park would have consisted of five lighted baseball and softball fields and two T-Ball fields, an 18-hole miniature golf course, three soccer fields and a splash pad. Other proposed components included a new park maintenance building and concession/storage areas in the central part of Duke Park. The soccer fields and another park entrance would have been added to the south. Approximately 500 new parking spaces also would have been added as well as two new park entrances.
The Duke Park field improvements was once part of a larger effort to improve recreation in the city of Troy. The Operation Recreation 2020 levy was a proposed 10-year, 0.25 percent earned income tax to raise $25.7 million for expansion plans at Paul G. Duke Park, the golf course clubhouse renovation and driving range, upgrades to the facility at the Troy Senior Citizens Center and to add a $10 million second ice rink at Hobart Arena.
In May 2017, voters defeated the levy by 63 percent against the levy versus 37 percent for the levy. In November 2016, the first proposal of another property tax levy was withdrawn by city council the day before the general election. An error in the placement of a decimal point in the ballot language was discovered prior to the general election and would have collected at a lower rate if approved by the voters.
This spring, the city completed a new clubhouse at the golf course for a total of $1.7 million from general funds.
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