ASHLAND -- Ashland County Park District has a levy renewal on the November ballot.
In 2016, the levy was originally passed, allowing for the construction of new park amenities and general upkeep during the past four years.
Several natural parks and communal areas fall under the Ashland County Park District's jurisdiction, including Audubon Westlands, Byers Woods, Freer Field and Hopkins' Landing.
Stephanie Featheringill, administrative director of the Ashland County Park District, said that the district's daily operation depends on the active levy renewal being passed.
"What we are going to be doing is allocating 65 percent of the funding towards park improvements," said Featheringill. "People can look forward to more paved walking trails, more playgrounds, more restrooms, more picnic pavillions and enhanced parking areas.
"We're trying to focus on those types of improvements."
During the previous levy period, the ACPD added a one-mile paved trail to Byers Woods and a quarter-mile paved trail at the Fire Cabin.
The levy costs community members just over $17 per $100,000 household evaluation in a year. This rate equates to approximately five cents per day, which in turn generates over $500,000 annually for the parks district.
Twenty five percent of the funding will be utilized for staff expenses, while 6 percent will be used for paper, gasoline, electricity, propane, water and lumber. About four percent of the funding will be used to take care of equipment needs for the general upkeep of the parks including lawn mowers.
"This levy will be a renewal which means that there are no increased taxes," said Featheringill. "It's very crucial for the park distrcit to have this levy continue because 88 percent of the park district's funding comes from this levy."
This particular tariff is a 0.5 mil levy. Comparatively, Lorain County operates under a 1.5 mil levy, and both Sandusky and Medina Counties have 1 mil levies.
If this renewal passes, the Ashland County Parks District may be able to provide canoeing and kayaking access to the Mohican River, depending on a grant. Currently, there is no public access to the Mohican river without renting a canoe from Mohican Adventures.
Featheringill also detailed a few of the top projects they completed with funds from the previous levy.
"In 2016, we passed our first levy, and those funds allowed several projects," said Featheringill. "One of the biggest ones included a 300-foot boardwalk at Audubon Wetlands to replace the failing boardwalk.
"That was crucial to providing access to the park."