Not just for funPublished 12:00am Sunday, July 29, 2012
This fall, Ironton voters will go to the polls and give thumbs up or thumbs down to the proposed renewal of the city’s five-year, half-mill recreation levy.
City officials contend the levy is absolutely essential for the maintenance of city parks and the continuation of youth programs.
What it is
Ironton Recreation Director Brett Thomas emphasized the levy is a renewal levy — meaning city residents are already paying it. The existing levy expires at the end of this year and the city is asking residents to agree to continue paying the levy.
Thomas said the levy brings in $63,456 annually. It is used to maintain city parks as well as pay for necessities associated with large-scale citywide events.
“This includes Etna, Moulton Field, Eighth Street Park and the spraypark,” Thomas said. “We cut the grass, plant flowers. We mulch. We also help with the Gus Macker program.”
Upkeep of the city’s parks may not sound like a big expense. However, Thomas said the department of one full-time position and one part-time position is responsible for cutting 16 to 18 acres a week.
“And at $3 and something a gallon for gas, it can be expensive,” Thomas said.
Thomas said the money also pays for the city’s youth basketball and youth cheerleading programs. Last year the youth basketball league had 27 teams with 220 players. The league played 80 games.
“We spent 12 hours a day on Saturdays at the gym,” Thomas said.
This year, 70 girls have signed up for the youth cheerleading program that runs through football season.
Thomas said he knows of no organized opposition to the levy.
What it costs
Lawrence County Chief Deputy Auditor Chris Kline said if a person owned a $100,000 house, the levy would cost them $15.31 a year; a person with a $50,000 house would pay $7.65 a year.