LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – Another attempt by the Columbiana County Park District to pass a levy on the ballot failed. More than 1,500 voters denied the .35 mill levy. It lost by a little over 5 percent.
Tuesday night, the park district held its first meeting since the election and is trying to figure out what to do next.
“Although we had a decent showing, percentage-wise, we picked up a percentage point or two,” said chairwoman of the park board Eileen Dray-Bardon.
For about the last 10 years, the park district got money from the natural gas boom. But with that money running out, the levy would have helped with operational costs. Now, they must proceed without it.
“We might need to look at the first of the year in terms of how we proceed from a financial perspective because our money is getting tighter and we have some decisions to make,” Dray-Bardon said.
They’ll still be able to complete some projects that are funded through grants. One board member says that might help for the next time.
“Maybe if some of these construction projects come to a successful conclusion that might get some impetuous to get people more excited,” said park board member Tim Brookes.
While the next election isn’t until May, the park board has until February to decide if it wants to put another levy on the ballot.
“It’s still fresh in everyone’s mind and I think in May, we might have a more positive populus voting at that point in time,” said park board member David Hughes.
But the issue is that it costs money. The $95,000 cost is split between every issue and candidate on the ballot, and 65 percent must be paid upfront.
Dray-Bardon estimates there will not be many items on the ballot in May, which wasn’t the issue for the election last week.
“That’s why the last two times we’ve done it,” Dray-Bardon said. “In a year where you’ve got state and federal elections because those guys carry the ball.”