TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - A proposal to create a new tax in Toledo is going before council Friday.
Armed with a consultant study showing Toledo's recreation infrastructure is poor, and a survey suggesting Toledo voters would support it, two members of City Council are placing a levy request on council's agenda, to ask voters to say yes to a new parks and recreation levy.
The proposal will ask council members to put on the November ballot, a levy to raise money and improve infrastructure in the city, such as pools.
If City Council does forward the issue and voters approve it in November, it would be a 10-year levy at 1 mill. The homeowner of a $60,000 home would pay $18 each year to contribute to the $3 million raised annually.
Council members Lindsay Webb and Steve Steel are cosponsoring the plan, which calls for creating a recreation master plan to improve what the city has already.
"We have essentially been starving the recreation, the parks and recreation system in the city of Toledo over the last 30 years. And that neglect is showing and I think we owe it to our community to have this conversation," said Webb.
Webb knows the November ballot will already be crowded with other proposals, but is confident Toledo voters will be able to separate the important issues.
While the pool has long been closed at Highland Park, a family is currently using it. A family of raccoons, that is.
"That is a sad state of affairs. It is adversely that vacant pool structure, boarded up pool structure, is affecting property values," said Webb.
Homeowner Bev Graves, who lives near Highland Park, said something should be done about it.
"It is unsightly and it's been that way for a number of years," said Graves.
According to Graves, she would vote for the levy if it is put on the November ballot.
"I could because it's not that expensive. I spend more than that on groceries," said Graves.
Webb said the new levy would allow a master recreation plan to be formed, to consider the possibility of creating new city parks.
"There are many opportunities. We could be talking about the old Cooks site in the North End, we could be talking about the Libbey site in the South End," said Webb.
Before City Council decides whether or not to put the issue before voters, a committee hearing is set for June 14 at 10 a.m.