Levies for parks, social services gain voter approval

Two local tax levies, one to improve Kent city parks and one to fund various Portage County social services, passed last night. Because both levies were renewals, no tax increases were involved.

Issue 22, the Portage County Mental Health and Recovery Board tax levy, was a renewal levy generating roughly $300,000 annually for ten years, beginning with the 2007 tax year. The levy passed 60-40 percent.

“Basically it allows us to continue to provide the services we provide,” said Roberta O’Keefe, executive director of the Portage County Mental Health and Recovery Board.

“We can’t afford to lose the $290,000 this generates. For every dollar of local money, there is about a $3 match from state and federal funds.”

O’Keefe said funds from the levy will go to programs such as Coleman Professional Services, Townhall II and Children’s Advantage.

Issue 24, the Kent City tax levy for recreational purposes, will generate approximately $500,000 annually for a continuing period of time, also starting with the 2007 tax year.

Funds generated by the levy, which was placed on the ballot by the Kent City Council, will be spent on park improvements. The recreational tax levy passed 64-36 percent.

Abbey Stirgwolt