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Plymouth Park Board Sends Favorable Recommendation to City Council to Extend Services to Townships

June 5, 2012
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   06/06/12 Not many people took advantage of the Public Hearing Monday evening during the Plymouth Park Board meeting to comment on the proposal to extend park services to Center and West Townships.  Less than an dozen citizens came to the meeting although it was clear that they were opposed to the plan to tax citizens in the townships.

Park Board President Dave Morrow said an intern conducted a survey of citizens using the park last summer and found that 57% of the users were from outside the city limits although it did not specifically list out which townships they were from. Because of those results the park board decided to consider extending park services to the two townships so users could share in the responsibility of operating the park system.

A petition drive was conducted with a total of 69 certified signatures from West Township and 51 from Center Township.  It was explained that 2% of the total votes for the Secretary of State in the last election represents the required number of signatures to move the plan on to the Park Board.  Two percent for West Township would be 27 and 40 in Center Township.

Terry Borggren, West Township Trustee calculated that his personal property tax would increase by $77.  He gave another example, a farmer in West Township who has $130,000 in personal property plus 500 acres of land in both townships.  If Center Township voted to expand services and West did not his tax would increase by $714.  If West voted in favor and Center did not the impact would be an increase of $143.  If both townships voted in favor the increase would be $630.

One lady in the audience, obviously from West Township asked why the park board didn’t just require the Blueberry Festival to charge a $1 admission fee to adults attending the festival so the park could use that funding source to extend services instead of a tax on the township residents.

When asked what expansion of services the park was proposing, it was noted that funds would be used to service facilities they already have.  A study committee is working on a major tennis court project and an exploratory committee is looking at a pool project.  Another new committee will be working on an all-inclusive playground too.  A question on a park in West Township was asked and park board member Jim Causey said former West Township Trustee Lloyd Anderson had talked about such but it had never went any further.  The park board does not have any current plans to extend a park into the townships but could consider it in the future.

After about a 30 minute discussion and question and answer period the Plymouth Park Board voted unanimously to send a favorable recommendation to the City Council to extend park services to Center and West Townships.

If the City Council were to approve a resolution the matter will be placed on the ballot in November for registered voters to make the ultimate decision.

 

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2 Responses to “ Plymouth Park Board Sends Favorable Recommendation to City Council to Extend Services to Townships ”

  1. BoatBoy on June 6, 2012 at 10:25 am

    CommonCents, lets review the article shall we. 120 signatures were gathered in support of placing the park district issue on the ballot(its not being crammed down anyone’s throat). Assuming my math is correct that far exceeds “less than a dozen citizens” that spoke against putting the issue on the ballot. The Park Board did listen! I wonder what township you actually live in and if you dont live in Center or West Township why it matters to you what the outcome of this vote is?
    I am tired of the “we dont use the park” story, I suspect that the vast majority of Center and West Township residents have in fact used or use the Plymouth Park System, whether it be walking, playing or watching they have used the Park. It is unfair for the residents of Plymouth to solely support the Park system that I see so many non city residents use everyday free of charge.

  2. CommonCents on June 6, 2012 at 6:24 am

    So let me get this straight, less than a dozen people attended the meeting to voice their opposition to the new tax. Then, the Park Board votes to send a “favorable” recommendation to the City Council (despite the opposition). Whatever happened to listening to your constituents? It would appear the gathering was simply a formality for the Park Board which is clearly intent on taxing the township residents in an effort to gather more funding. I don’t live in either township, but I object to cramming a tax increase down anyone’s throat. I also didn’t read the response to the person asking about charging admission to the Blueberry Festival. I can’t believe it would be better to tax all residents who may not use the park over having everyone attending the BB festival pay a small fee. I would think this would be a gold mine.