New Albany Parks and Recreation is ready to put another levy request on the November ballot.

New Albany Parks and Recreation is ready to put another levy request on the November ballot.

"We're considering right now going back on the ballot in November," said Dave Demers, New Albany's representative to the parks district board.

Demers and the village's other appointee, Richard Williams, spoke to New Albany City Council on June 21.

Jeff Johnson, the New Albany-Plain Local School District's representative to the parks board, told the school board June 22 that the parks district will ask for the same 1-mill permanent levy in November.

"This is strictly for operational needs," Johnson said.

Voters rejected Issue 8, a 1-mill replacement levy, in the May 3 election. It would have replaced a 0.75-mill permanent levy, which was approved when New Albany Parks and Recreation was formed as the New Albany-Plain Local Joint Park District in 1999 by New Albany, Plain Township and the school district. Each entity appointed a representative to a parks board and the group worked to schedule events and operate facilities within the school district's boundaries.

Issue 8 was defeated by a narrow margin: 497 votes to 482.

"A 12- to 14-vote loss has not sat well with us," Williams said. "The community supports and wants the parks. Our land is four times what is was 11 years ago when we started. We're a victim of our own success."

New Albany Parks and Recreation has grown to include programming for 3,700 participants annually and operates three park complexes in northern Plain Township, according to the parks district's website. The current 0.75-mill levy generates $496,000 annually and is being collected at 0.53 mill, parks director Dave Wharton said last spring.

Johnson said the parks district is receiving many complaints about safety and quality, and it will need more funds to maintain the facilities.

A 1-mill levy would generate $922,000 annually for parks programs, officials said last spring. During the campaign, parks officials said the funds would be used to install irrigation systems to help fertilize fields, as well as make several improvements to each park.

Demers said the parks board believes Issue 8 may have passed if more voters would have gone to the polls in May.

"There was a lot of apathy," he said.

Demers said he since has talked to a lot of people and discovered that many assumed it would pass.

Williams said the parks board had a long meeting after the issue failed and decided it was best to ramp up the campaign and go back on the ballot.

Council member Chip Fellows asked if the parks board believed it got the message out. Fellows said he thought many parents would have been willing to go door to door and talk about the issue.

Williams said parks board members did not get the word out as much as they could have. They chose, for example, not to send people door to door.

Fellows asked what other issues would appear on the November ballot because other levies could cause competition for the parks levy. Demers said at least one other countywide tax issue would be included.