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2020 is looking to be a pivotal year in politics. But this year's elections are about much more than the race for the White House. And the coronavirus pandemic is proving to be a complicating factor. WKSU, our colleagues at public radio stations across Ohio and the region and at NPR will bring you coverage of all the races from the national to the local level.

Summit County Voters Approve Metro Parks Levy

a photo of Springfield Bog Metro Park
Springfield Bog is one of 16 Summit Metro Parks

Summit County voters resoundingly approved a 2-mill levy for Summit Metro Parks.

The tax is a renewal and an increase. Homeowners currently pay $3.47 per month for a home valued at $100,000. This levy will raise that rate by $1.58 per month.

Summit Metro Parks spokeswoman Stephanie Walton said the funding this levy provides is essential for them to continue operating.

“The levy provides about 90 percent of the park district’s funding, so this election was absolutely critical," Walton said. "These funds allow us to continue operating at our expanded size since the last levy that was passed about 14 years ago, so we’ll be able to continue providing those clean and safe parks and delivering free educational and recreational programs to the residents of Summit County.”

Summit Metro Parks oversees 16 parks and 150 miles of trails.  The Metro Parks attract about 5 million visitors each year.

Governor DeWine designated Metro Parks as an essential service during the pandemic and encouraged people to get out and enjoy parks. Many people have, but Walton does not think that played a significant role in the levy's passage. "This area has a rich history of supporting their parks, and I think recent weeks have just kind of driven that point home."