Voters cry foul over budget cut to Butler County Metroparks

By Tiffany Teasley – bio | email

WEST CHESTER, OH (FOX19) - Voters in Butler County are crying foul, after commissioners voted to cut county funding to their MetroParks. Voters approved a levy to increase park funding last year, and now their money won't be funding the projects they were counting on.

"I felt somewhat slighted, I voted on the levy knowing that it was going to help open up some of the parks," said Lisa Wall of Fairfield Township. Whether it's sledding in the winter or fishing in the summer, Butler County residents are passionate about their parks. "We enjoy going down to the park frequently," said Wall.

Voters approved a .5 mill levy to fund the parks in November, but now the improvements and upgrades they're supposed to be funding are stalled for now.

"Debt is going to coming out of our levy, which is going to reduce the things that we can do for the public, and I don't think that's fair to the public," said MetroParks Commissioner Greg Amend.

Amend says the cut means about $400,000  less in funding a year, which means delays to projects like expanding the Voice of America Park.

"We've had a number of people calling and complaining, they voted on this levy for the park system, and they feel that us losing that to the commission, that they were back-doored," said Amend.

Especially votes like Lisa Wall, who voted in favor of the levy and looked forward to the upgrades.

"It was kind of like a bait and switch to me, I'm very, very disappointed and it makes me think twice again for any future levies," said Wall.

Park commissioners say they are organizing a meeting with county commissioners to talk about the possibility of the funding being restored in the future.

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