A few of us attended the Lake Metroparks Board meeting on Wednesday, November 15th, at their administrative offices on Spear Road in Concord.
It seems to be a very well run organization, and proud of their achievements. They measure their performance by the number of visitors that they have each year.
From their 2018 Budget report they stated that the past twelve months over 3.5 million visitors came to the parks which is an increase of 3.37% or 114,711 visitors over last year.
The total 2018 District-wide budget request for all expenditures is $25,271,210 which is a decrease of $542,039 from 2017 or 2.1%.
They state that they will be able to operate within their projections until 2022 without a need for any additional real estate tax revenue.
Did you know that the Lake Metroparks operates two golf courses; Pine Ridge and Erie Shores. The 2017 Golf expenditures are estimated to be $1,450,000. When matched against the number of rounds played – 57,073 – that means their cost to operate per round is $25.41.
Their 2018 Golf Budget request is for $1,528,280, with a large portion of the increase going to address the problem of dead trees as a result of the Ash Bore.
During the public portion of the meeting, we did speak to the Board of Directors. We expressed our concern about the ever increasing real estate taxes and the problem of pricing seniors and those living on fixed incomes out of their homes. We also asked what their goals are as far as increasing the number of acres held by Lake Metroparks. As the park grows in size, it removes acreage from the tax roles, and that will put an increased burden on the taxpayers to make up for lost tax revenue. (We did not receive any comments from the Board on our questions)
We are not sure that the Board of Directors understand the power that they possess. They are not responsible to the Lake County Commissioners. The Lake County Probate Court Judge, Mark J. Bartolotta, appoints a three member board of citizens to govern Lake Metroparks. (We will be communicating with Judge Bartolotta and the the three member board soon to ensure they understand our concerns)