Metroparks Levy Taxpayer Debate

Ruby Basford and her daughter drove three hours from Middleford, Ohio, just to come to Edgewater Park to take in the sights of Lake Erie.

"We are so blown away with it. We said we don't have to go to Florida no more because we love the water," says Basford.

But David Sharp remembers a time - not that long ago - when this park and five others along the lake weren't looking quite so good.

"I've been coming down here for a lot of years, and it seems like over the past four years there's less people, but that's because the state let it deteriorate so bad, and now they are coming back," says Sharp.

Many say the crowds are coming back because of what finally happened a few months ago.

Up until the summer, parks like Edgewater were run by the state, but unfortunately because of funding problems, things were looking shabby. So the Metroparks took over, and since then things have been looking up.

According to supporters of Issue 80, the 10-year, 2.7 mill levy will help ensure the Metroparks can continue to do a good job and make more improvements. On average, taxpayers can expect to pay about five dollars a month more, if they own a 200 thousand dollar house.

"The state did a horrible job," says Ward 9, Cleveland City Councilman Kevin Conway emphatically, "in order for a city to grow. In order for the economy of a city to grow you must have great parks. When people come to a city, they visit the parks, and you know what? When you look at it, place matters. When you have a great park and people go back and they will talk about it."

That's exactly what Ruby Basford says she's going to do when she heads back home to Middletown.

"We'll be telling our family and friends, and we'll be promoting Cleveland because of it."

Voters will have the final say on whether the Metroparks will get more money on November the 5th.

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