Park Director: Levy would support Bellbrook’s growth

By Anna Bolton -

BELLBROOK — Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Park District officials are asking residents to vote May 8 for the passage of an additional 10-year .6 mill levy.

If passed, the levy would begin in 2018 and cost the owner of a $100,000 home approximately $1.75 per month or $21 per year.

The parks levy would provide necessary funding for operating and capital expenditures — including the improvement and operation of nature reserves; athletic complexes and facilities; the conservation of lands and natural resources; public recreation programs; various school and public educational programs; historic preservation of existing and future sites; wildlife education; protection of area river and wetland corridors; and maintenance of all existing and future park facilities.

The park district is its own entity, not receiving funds from the city or the township.

“We’re no different than some of the other agencies, experiencing some cuts from state funding and local government funds,” Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Park District Executive Director Jeff Stewart said. “So we’ve seen a little bit of reduction.”

Stewart said the growth of the area, although a positive for the community, presents a big challenge. He reported a 350 percent increase in acres managed in the past five years.

Sugarcreek Township experienced the second-largest amount of residential county growth in 2017 behind Beavercreek Township, according to construction valuations from the Greene County Department of Development.

“It’s a great thing but it puts added pressures on the services we provide also,” Stewart explained.

“As a park district, one of the very important tenants of our mission is to preserve land where we can before it is all built out. And when we have resources to acquire land, we like to be able to do that.”

The director said the dollars would help with maintenance, development of property, replacing play structures, matching grant dollars to acquire land, and partnering with schools and libraries.

By Anna Bolton

Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498 or follow @annadbolton on Facebook.

Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498 or follow @annadbolton on Facebook.