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Posted on: December 13, 2018

Westfield Washington Township Parks Bond Initiative

Westfield Washington Township is a thriving, growing community. People have flocked to Westfield and Hamilton County for many reasons, but the quality of life in our wonderful community serves as the basis for all of us.

One important ingredient in a highly regarded and successful community is its parks, greenways and open space. Recent action by the Township Board has paved the way to have a solid plan for saving open space and developing parks that are open and accessible by everyone. There are opponents to moving the bond effort forward and several citizens have led an effort to remonstrate against the bond initiative. During the next couple of months, you’ll hear more about the process of determining the future of our quality of life in the township. We urge you to get involved, no matter what side of the issue you believe to be the best pathway forward. Through active public participation and information sharing, the Township office will follow the will of the people in this matter.

Below is the press release about the decision made by the Township Board to move forward to petition in favor of the parks bond series. Continue to reach out to the Trustee with any questions you may have.

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For Immediate Release
December 12, 2018

Township Board Approves Moving Forward with Bond Initiative for more parks, open space

Process now in place to gather signatures from concerned citizens in coming months

WESTFIELD, IND. -- The Westfield Washington Township Board today voted 2-0 to move forward to petition in favor of the $15 million park bond series. The park bond series was approved on Oct. 23. The bonds will go toward land acquisition for open spaces and nature preservation, specifically near MacGregor Park, as land becomes available for sale.

This action is a result of a group who opposed the initial parks bond initiative and filed a remonstrance. The group expressed concern about the tax increase associated with the bond’s passage. Because of the 1% tax cap, only those homeowners who have gross assessed values of $111,000 and less within city limits and $143,000 and less in the unincorporated area will pay an additional tax. The tax increase will affect a small portion of residents, and with the passage of the first bond issue, a typical homeowner with the noted assessed values could expect to pay approximately $4 more per year.

“With Hamilton County growth accelerating at breakneck speed, we need to ensure the high quality of living in our Township, and we can do that through park space,” said Danielle Carey Tolan, Trustee. “I’m very happy that the board chose to move forward on this initiative that is so important to our community’s future.”

A legal notice will be published on Monday (Dec. 17) announcing that the Township will move forward with the petition in favor of the bond issue to purchase land for parks.  After 30 days, the Township and the opposition will collect signatures in support of or against the proposed bond issue.  Each side will have 30 days to obtain as many signatures as possible from registered voters or taxpayers in Westfield Washington Township. The Voter Registration Office will then verify the signatures to determine whether there are more signatures in favor or against the proposed bonds.  If the remonstrance against the bond has more signatures, the Township will not be able to obtain the bonds to secure parkland. If the petition in favor of the bond has more signatures, the Township can move forward as planned. 

“This was a simple decision,” said Gary Southerland, Westfield Washington Township board member. “I fully support these efforts to ensure future generations have access to recreation and parks.”

The Trustee’s Office encourages Township residents to participate in this process. The Township will hold educational fairs in early January to provide information on the Township’s strategic plan and expected tax impacts. Visit the website (westfieldwashingtontwp.us) for more information including informational meeting dates, times and locations once scheduled. 

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About Westfield Washington Township

Founded in 1834, the Westfield Washington Township, trustee and elected board are responsible for Township assistance, fire protection, cemetery maintenance, weed control and other duties as specified by the state legislature. In addition, the Westfield Washington Township oversees Parks & Recreation and a variety of recreation activities, programs and event for all ages. Project Ever Green embraces a future that includes park space to ensure a positive quality of life for future generations.

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