Westerville News & Public Opinion

Westerville puts parks tax extension on fall ballot

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At its final regular meeting of the summer Tuesday, July 1, Westerville City Council unanimously passed a resolution to place a 20-year extension of the city’s 0.25-percent income tax for parks projects on November's ballot.

Initially passed by voters in 1998, the Parks Recreation and Open Space tax was used to build the Westerville Community Center, new parks and multi-use trails across the community, and make improvements to every existing park in the city. 

The PROS tax, being used to repay bonds that funded more than $30 million in city parks projects, was set to expire in 2020. But Westerville officials said voter approval of an extension of the tax through 2040 is needed now, to fund a new ambitious slate of parks projects.

Councilman Mike Heyeck said securing the dedicated income source for another 20 years will allow the city to issue another set of long-term bonds for more parks and recreation facility improvements.

“We need (the extension) so that we can bond what we actually need to do,” he said.

Council had little discussion on the matter Tuesday, and praised the parks department for not requesting any additional funds. There was no public comment against the matter, and no public hearing. 

Westerville city voters will see the issue on the Nov. 4 ballot. All people employed within the city limits are subject to the tax.

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