Violet Township officials will ask voters this spring to support a 25-year, 4.6-mill levy to fund the construction and operation of a community center.

The township trustees -- Terry Dunlap Sr., Darrin Monhollen and Melissa Wilde -- voted unanimously Wednesday night, Jan. 23, to request the Fairfield County Board of Elections place a parks and recreation levy on the May 7 primary election ballot.

The levy, if approved, would cost homowners in the township $13.39 per month per $100,000 of home valuation, according to township officials. The annual cost would be $160.68 per $100,000 of home valuation.

It is projected to generate about $5.31 million annually for 25 years.

Township officials said they would use the tax revenue to finance construction and operation of a $46 million community center on 30 acres they expect would be donated by the Ricketts family at the southeast corner of Pickerington and Refugee roads.

In seeking the project, the trustees chose to move forward with a 25-year levy, as opposed to a continuous, permanent one previously considered. They passed the resolution to proceed to the ballot without comment Jan. 23.

About 12 people attended the meeting, and only one resident spoke regarding the community-center proposal.

Roger Mathews, who moved to the township within the past year from the Nashville area, didn’t state opposition or support for the levy. He only said the increase in his taxes would be felt.

“I pay my taxes twice a year,” Mathews said. “When I realize that I’m paying almost $500 more a year, that kind of hits my wallet.”

Mathews also asked officials what membership fees might be instituted for community-center users.

Township development director Holly Mattei told Mathews membership fees haven’t been finalized but said information for how much it would cost to use the facility would be shared in the near future.

“We will be providing that information prior to it going to the ballot,” Mattei said. “We’re still working internally to get those numbers in place. It’ll be different for residents vs. nonresidents.”

Design plans for the community center haven’t been finalized.

However, in December, township officials unveiled conceptual plans that called for a 2-story, 95,000-square-foot facility that would feature two gymnasiums, a welcome desk, staff offices, a child-care area for parents who are using the facility, three multipurpose rooms and a study or "quiet" area on its first floor.

Those designs showed a competition swimming pool and a leisure pool, as well as separate locker rooms for men and women, a universal family changing room and "team" room also would be on the first floor.

The center's second floor, as proposed, would feature a 0.1-mile track. Inside the track would be a fitness space, two exercise classrooms, a "messy arts and crafts room" and the facility's mechanical equipment.

Township officials said if the levy passes, the center would be built to allow for future expansion, and the project would serve as an anchor of sorts for economic development to occur around the site.

For more on this story, read the Jan. 31 edition of ThisWeek Pickerington Times-Sun.

nellis@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekNate

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Violet Township trustees set to vote Jan. 23 on 4.6-mill, 25-year community-center levy request

The Violet Township trustees will consider whether to put a levy to support the construction and operation of a community center on the May ballot after shortening the term of their possible proposal to 25 years.

The trustees are slated to decide Wednesday night, Jan. 23, whether to request the Fairfeld County Board of Elections place a 4.6-mill, 25-year levy designed to fund a community-center project on the May 7 primary election ballot.

The meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the township’s administrative offices, 12970 Rustic Drive.

On Tuesday, Jan. 22, the trustees voted unanimously to request the Fairfield County Auditor’s Office to certify the amount of revenue a 4.6-mill levy would generate. The vote was similar to action the group had taken Jan. 9, except the latest move is for a levy that would expire after 25 years, rather than be a continuous, permanent levy.

“That will be the resolution to proceed,” John Eisel, Violet Township director of operations, said of the pending vote. “After (the Jan. 23) resolution, we will have everything required by the (Fairfield County) Board of Elections to get it on the ballot.”

He said the indication was that voters were turned off by the idea of a permanent levy.

"The feedback we've received from some residents is, 'I'm not going to support it because it's forever,'" Eisel said Jan. 18. "The board (of trustees) will modify it to be a 25-year term. It's still the 4.6 mills, but it will be for a 25-year term instead of continuous."

The proposed levy is designed to fund the construction and operation of a $46 million community center for 25 years.

If the issue makes the ballot and is approved by voters, it is expected to generate about $5.31 million annually for the community center’s construction and operation.

The levy would cost homeowners $13.39 per month per $100,000 of home valuation, according to township officials. The annual cost would be $160.68 per $100,000 of home valuation.

Conceptual plans call for a 95,000-square-foot community center to be built on 30 acres expected to be donated by the Ricketts family at the southeast corner of Pickerington and Refugee roads.

It would include a first floor featuring two gymnasiums, a welcome desk, staff offices, a child-care area for parents who are using the facility, three multipurpose rooms and a study or "quiet" area.

A competition swimming pool and a leisure pool, as well as separate locker rooms for men and women, a universal family changing room and "team" room also would be on the first floor.

The center's second floor, as proposed, would feature a 0.1-mile track. Inside the track would be a fitness space, two exercise classrooms, a "messy arts and crafts room" and the facility's mechanical equipment.

Township officials would have to evaluate how the community center's operations and maintenance would be funded beyond 25 years, said Holly Mattei, the township's development director.

nellis@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekNate