The only local issue on the May 3 ballot is Issue 8, a 1-mill replacement levy for New Albany Parks and Recreation.

The only local issue on the May 3 ballot is Issue 8, a 1-mill replacement levy for New Albany Parks and Recreation.

Issue 8, a permanent levy, would replace the 0.75-mill permanent levy approved when New Albany Parks and Recreation initially was established as the New Albany-Plain Local Joint Park District in 1999. According to the group's website, the district was formed by New Albany, Plain Township and the New Albany-Plain Local School District and each entity appointed a representative to a parks board.

New Albany Parks and Recreation has grown to include programming for 3,700 participants annually and operates three park complexes in northern Plain Township.

Parks director Dave Wharton said the current 0.75-mill levy generates $496,000 annually. It is being collected at an effective rate of 0.53 mill.

According to the parks board, the owner of real property with an assessed value of $400,000 currently pays $65.32 a year for the parks levy. If the 1-mill levy passes, that owner would pay $122.50 per year, or an additional $57.18. The total does not include the amount property owners already pay on two parks bond issues -- a $6-million bond issue approved in 2004 and a $5-million issue approved in 2003.

The levy increase to 1 mill would generate $922,000 annually for parks programs, such as improving field maintenance with the installation of irrigation systems to help fertilize fields. Also, according to New Albany Parks and Recreation, Bevelhymer Park would receive some lights for athletics fields and more leisure options for families, such as basketball courts, a pavilion, a playground and fitness stations along the walking path. Thompson Park would receive grills and landscaping and Wexner Park would receive grills and sliding doors on its pavilion.

- Lori Wince