The residents of Summit County have a history of generously supporting the Metro Parks and the Akron Zoo, and we hope that trend continues on Nov. 5.
Both have levy renewals on the ballot, neither of which are new taxes. We strongly endorse the passage of both Issues 2 and 3, which will allow the parks and the zoo to continue their excellent service to the community.
Issue 2, Metro Parks, Serving Summit County's seven-year, 1.46-mill levy renewal, would continue to cost the owner of a $100,000 home $44.71 per year. It would begin collecting in 2014 and would generate $15.8 million each year for the operation and development of the district's 14 parks and 125 miles of trails.
The levy, which voters first approved in 2006, is the park district's only source of public funding. That funding is the reason 5.2 million visitors in 2012 alone were able to enjoy Deep Lock Quarry, the Bike & Hike Trail, Cascade Valley and the F. A. Seiberling Nature Realm, just a few of the beautiful destinations the Metro Parks offer. Bikers and hikers would have to go a long way to find another local park system with as many amenities.
Issue 3, the Akron Zoo's seven-year, .8-mill tax levy for capital and operating expenses, would continue to cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $23 a year. Also beginning collection in 2014, this renewal would continue to generate $8 million each year to support the zoo's day-to-day operations, as well as its capital expenditures.
The levy will allow the zoo to maintain, and add to, its many exhibits as well as its hundreds of education programs which nearly 25,000 students experience every year. And of course, the money is necessary to continue giving the animals at the zoo their appropriate environments and care.
We are fortunate to have access to terrific family-oriented resources like the Akron Zoo and Metro Parks, Serving Summit County. We recommend residents vote "For" Issue 2 and Issue 3.