Portage Parks levy passing with 30 precincts counted

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With results from 30 of 131 precincts counted, the Portage Parks District's .5-mill levy is passing with 58.39 percent of voters casting ballots in its favor and 41.61 percent of voters against it.

The levy would bring in $1.63 million annually and cost the owner of a  $100,000 home $17.50 a year, according to Portage Parks District Executive Director Christine Craycroft.

In addition to more aggressively exploring trail expansion, Craycroft said the additional money would provide help provide staffing (the Portage Park District employs two, currently), improve programming, and develop and open to the public four existing parks: Chagrin Headwaters Reserve, 95 acres, in Mantua; Breakneck Creek Reserve, 63 acres, in Ravenna Township; Morgan Preserve, 504 acres, in Shalersville; and Walter Preserve, 80 acres, in Palmyra Township.

"We're going to develop parks that are closed, due to lack of funding," she said.

In all, Portage Park District owns 1,300 acres of parkland and maintains 14 miles of hike and bike trails, but more than 800 acres are closed to the public, due to a lack of funding, according to an online flier at http://portageparkdistrict.org/citizens-for-portage-parks/.

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