2023 Recreation Levy

2023 Recreation Levy
Posted on 01/09/2023

Recreation Levy

1.5-mill 5-Year Term
Replaces an expiring 1-mill levy.
Unincorporated and Incorporated Washington Township, including the City of Centerville.

May 2 Ballot

This article is for information only and is not intended to support or oppose the proposed levy.

Facts at a Glance

  • 1.5-mill parks and recreation replacement levy with a 5-year term
  • Funds recreation services in both the incorporated and unincorporated Washington Township, which includes the City of Centerville
  • Replaces an expiring 1-mill levysummer camp

What the Levy Provides

  • Generates an additional $1.34 million in revenue, ensuring the recreation department can pay competitive wages for staff, enhance current infrastructure, and fund improvements and repairs to aging facilities and equipment.
  • Funds 50% of the recreation department budget. The other 50% is funded through user fees, memberships, and grants.

What it Costs

rec levy per 100k

Homeowners would pay $52.50 per $100,000 of home value, a $1.82 per month increase. “The recreation department has always been an excellent steward of taxpayer money, and we believe this levy will allow the Township to continue investing in events and programs that benefit the entire community,” says Dale Berry, Washington Township Trustee President. “Additionally, maintaining competitive wages is critical to ensuring that we continue investing in our most valuable resource: the recreation staff who run our summer camp program, teach aquatic lessons, manage senior enrichment activities, and more.”

what the levy would fund

Taking Care of What We Have

The Recreation Department’s mission is to build “a shared sense of community for all ages by providing diverse programs in a safe and engaging environment,” said Mark Metzger, recreation director. “This is about re-investing in what we already have. Making our spaces even more accessible and enhancing the exceptional programs we offer is how we continue serving the community at large.” These investments include:

  • Building storage space for senior programming
  • Repairing aging parking lots
  • Replacing aging vehicles for senior and youth transport
  • Repairing the women's locker room
  • Replacing a failing bridge in Countryside Park
  • Replacing deteriorating bleachers in the pool area
  • Repairing the A-Frame shelter in Countryside Park

town hall

To successfully serve the community, the RecPlex operates through thoughtful stewardship, financial stability, and sustainability. 

Stewardship | Stability | Sustainability Success

The recreation department strives to take care of what we have and protect taxpayers investments through planned maintenance, strategic repairs, and responsive enhancements to better serve residents. Securing funding for preventative maintenance and repairs helps ensure stable and uninterrupted use of service.

Washington Township believes that retaining a passionate and dedicated part-time staff is crucial to providing the excellent, high-quality programs that residents have come to expect. In order to retain and develop those staff, the recreation department must offer competitive wages, professional development, and upward mobility. 
grant funding

Example of Leveraging Grants

Revitalizing Countryside Park is a priority for Washington Township. The project will be completed in multiple phases and, when completed, will have restored aquatic habitats in all three ponds located within the Park, controlled erosion and enhanced access to fishing, kayaking, and other water-based activities in the park. This investment represents a concerted effort by the Township to be strong stewards of Tom Stolz's gift to the community so that his generosity can be enjoyed for generations to come.
grant funding

Who Pays for Recreation?

Recreation pays mostly for itself. Unlike most government services, program fees, memberships, and grants provide approximately 50% of the Township's recreation budget. One recreation levy funds the rest. This cost-recovery model balances user fees with tax dollars to ensure equity and inclusion for all residents. It also allows the recreation department to avoid incurring debt and to leverage alternate funding resources, such as grants, since many grants require the organization to match funds.

Serving the Community

The RecPlex represents Washington Township at both the state and national level. As a member of the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association and the National Recreation and Parks Association, Washington Township is recognized as a leader inNRPA the recreation field and is a model of excellence for other communities looking to meet the programming needs of their residents. 

In addition to traditional program offerings, the RecPlex also plans and budgets for the unexpected, including being utilized as a Red Cross Shelter, a water distribution center, a warming or cooling center, and a rally point for the schools. 

Washington Township is dedicated to delivering on our promise to be the leading life enrichment and wellness destination for our community.

Senior Adult Programs

Since the pandemic shuttered senior centers across the nation, the Joyce Young Center has rebounded in an extraordinary way. Comparing similar time frames, there has been a 70% return to 2019 visit numbers. This compares to 36% in 2020 and 43% in 2021.

recplex seniors

In response to a Senior Programming Survey, the Joyce Young Center has increased program offerings by including 4 new weekly activities, 2 new monthly clubs, 2 field trips, and multiple presentations, in addition to the regular offerings. Additionally, the Center offered lunches for seniors on almost every Tuesday throughout 2022. 

Washington Township has been designated as an Age-Friendly Community by the AARP. This designation means that the Township is dedicated to strengthening the features and services that help make our community livable for residents of all ages. By joining the AARP network, the Township can utilize the resources to become more age-friendly by tapping into national and global research, planning models, and best practices.

Community at Large

One of the measures of success for the RecPlex is how well they are improving access, inclusion, woodland lightsand safety for all residents. Popular community events include the Cruise In to the Ice Cream Social, the Centerville Noon Optimist Annual Fishing Derby, Lantern Fest, and Woodland Lights. The levy funding will allow the department to develop infrastructure that delivers an enhanced user experience and broadens the RecPlex's role as a Washington Township destination and community center.

In addition to popular community events, the RecPlex maintains strong and reciprocallogo relationships throughout the community with the schools, parks, and libraries. The opening of the new Creativity Commons inside the RecPlex is an example of such a relationship. Powered by the Washington-Centerville Public Library, Creativity Commons is designed to provide residents a makerspace for innovation, learning and creativity. It's one more way that the RecPlex is positioning itself to be more responsive to the needs of the community.