Frequently Asked Questions
Beech Acres Parenting Center Property Acquisition
Why is the Park District buying the Beech Acres Parenting Center property?
Several years ago, we surveyed the residents of Anderson Township and approximately 71% of those surveyed supported the Park District acquiring this property if possible. We saw this as a direct mandate from the people of Anderson Township to secure this property for public use.
How much did the APD pay for the property?
The APD paid $6,300,000 for the 17-acre property, 6881 Beechmont Avenue, adjacent to Beech Acres Park. The APD sold bonds for a 30 year term.
How does the purchase of this property relate to the Park District Levy?
In short, these two exciting events at the Park District are entirely unrelated. It’s unfortunate that the timing of the two overlap, and we understand the confusion – but we were not in control of the timing of the opportunity to purchase the property.
The Park District purposefully kept its “inside millage” unencumbered and available to bond out against should the Parenting Center property ever come up for sale. “Inside millage” is the small amount of funds guaranteed to the Park District from Township resident and business property taxes, separate from any Park District levies. Through this careful planning and stewardship of Park funds, we ensured that should the moment come – we would be ready.
You’ll be hearing much more about the upcoming 1.0 mill capital improvements levy over the next few months, but as an overview – this levy is directed to making park improvements that our operating levy cannot accommodate, but that the residents have said matter to them. Things like additional all-weather fields at Riverside Park, pickleball courts at Kellogg Park, trail extensions at Juilfs Park, and flushable restrooms in several parks – just to name a few. This 1.0 mill levy equates to $35 per year for every $100,000 of property value.
What are you going to do with this property?
Short term, the Park District will continue to use the buildings and grounds located on Beech Acres’ property, which we have been leasing since 2009 to operate and maintain Park Districtwide parks, facilities, and events. Upon the transfer of the property this park addition would be available for immediate enjoyment by Anderson Township residents. In fact, many of our residents have been walking this property for years – not knowing that it wasn’t already part of Beech Acres Park!
Long term, our plan is to expand recreational opportunities to meet the needs of our community of today and in the future. As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. However, the opportunity to grow is only possible if the property is secured.
Will the Township tax base be reduced because of this purchase?
No. Beech Acres Parenting Center is a non-profit organization and thus has never been on the Anderson Township tax roll. The overall property tax money received by the Township will not be reduced by this purchase.
Why did it cost so much?
The price was based on the size of the property (approximately 17 acres) and the market rate set by multiple bidders. In fact, it is our understanding that the Anderson Park District was not a top bidder on the property. To their credit, Beech Acres Parenting Center chose to partner with the Anderson Park District. This is a testament to the bond between their organization and the people of Anderson Township through their 70+ year involvement in the community.
What else can you tell me to put this purchase into perspective?
This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to secure the park land for today’s and future generations. Had we not acted, we would have lost the chance to acquire the land for the public forever and its development would likely change the character of Anderson Township’s most popular park and limit the community’s future recreational growth.
Click Here to view the property purchase resolution approved by the Park Board.
If you have additional questions about this property purchase or the Park District’s upcoming capital levy, contact Ken Kushner, Executive Director, 513.388.2492 or KKushner@AndersonParks.com.
What authority does Anderson Township Government have over the Anderson Park District?
FAQ: WHAT AUTHORITY DOES ANDERSON TOWNSHIP GOVERNMENT HAVE OVER THE ANDERSON PARK DISTRICT?
How is the Anderson Park District governed?
The Anderson Park District is governed by the Ohio Revised Code, established as a Chapter 511 Township Park District when it was created by referendum in 1975. It is a separate entity from Anderson Township Government.
Who appoints the Park Board for the Anderson Park District?
The Anderson Park District’s board is composed of five volunteer park commissioners who are appointed by the Anderson Township Trustees, pursuant to R.C. 511.18(A) and R.C. 511.19(B).
Why does the Anderson Park District no longer ask the Township Trustees for approval to place a tax levy on the ballot?
Throughout the Anderson Park District’s history, the Anderson Township Trustees traditionally approved the Anderson Park District’s request to place a tax levy on the ballot. In March of 2015, the Anderson Park District presented the Anderson Township Trustees with a request to place a tax levy on the November 2015 ballot for the purpose of buying the Beech Acres Parenting Center property. Anderson Township Government (“Township”) sought the opinion of Ohio Attorney General, Mike DeWine, to determine whether the Township Trustees are required to approve the Anderson Park District’s request to place a tax levy on the ballot.
The Anderson Township Trustees at that time were:
• Russ Jackson
• Andrew Pappas
• Josh Gerth
On April 14, 2015, the Ohio Attorney General rendered the legal opinion that the Anderson Township Trustees are not required to approve a tax levy proposal from the Anderson Park District.
The Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office additionally issued their opinion on the matter. The Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office reviewed the Attorney General’s Opinion and determined they were “…not at liberty to recommend a different course of action.”
The Trustees established in the April 16, 2015 Anderson Township Trustee Meeting that the Trustees are not required to vote on an Anderson Park District tax levy proposal. As of 2015, the Anderson Township Trustees have not voted on an Anderson Park District tax levy proposal.
Can I fly my drone in Anderson Parks?
Before you fly a drone or remote-controlled aircraft, make sure you know where you are allowed to operate it.
In the Anderson Parks, no person can use or operate any radio-controlled or other remotely-controlled aircraft, including drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles, or any other similar device in any park or facility without specific written permission from the Executive Director.
The flight of these aircrafts over park district property — especially during events and over areas that contain significant numbers of people — constitutes a potential safety hazard to the users of the parks. The Park Board wishes to minimize this hazard by regulating the use of these aircrafts.
To learn more about safe and responsible operations of unmanned aircraft systems, drone enthusiasts may visit knowbeforeyoufly.org.
Why has the park district removed so many trees lately?
The park district removed a number of trees because of the emerald ash borer infestation. Most of the removed trees will be replaced in the future, and we are doing a preventative program in the highly used areas of our parks.
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an ash tree-killing beetle from Asia, was identified in Ohio in 2003. EAB larvae feed on the living portion of the tree, directly beneath the bark. This eating habit restricts the tree’s ability to move essential water and nutrients throughout the plant. In three to five years, even the healthiest tree is unable to survive an attack.
Adult beetles are dark metallic green, 1/2 inch long and 1/8 inch wide, and fly only from mid-May to September. Larvae spend the rest of the year developing beneath the bark.
The main symptoms of an EAB infested tree are branch dieback, sprouting around the base of the tree, and unusual woodpecker activity. Additional signs include D-shaped exit holes, and if the bark is peeled back, a serpentine pattern of tunnels packed with sawdust.
EAB affects all species of native ash found in Ohio. Because North American ash trees did not coexist in association with this pest, they have little or no resistance to its attack.
What type of water is used in the water play areas?
The water used in the Beech Acres and Juilfs water play areas is fresh running water. We do not use a recycled water process. The water that comes out is the same as the drinking fountains. It runs off and is absorbed by the park so there is no need to clean the water that is coming out. We check the water play areas daily and clean as needed, as well as a weekly pressure wash to help keep the pad from getting too slippery.
During hunting season, can I hunt within the woods in and around the parks since the parks are considered public property?
Under no circumstances can anyone hunt on park property. In addition, State Law (3773.06) maintains that hunting is not allowed within a ½ mile of a township park.
I’ve heard that vendors cannot “set up shop” in APD parks to sell items to the public. Is that true and does that apply to groups that rent a facility in a park and wish to invite certain vendors?
The park district has had a formal vendor policy since 1992. Prior to 1992, no vendor was allowed to operate in any APD park. The 1992 vendor policy was revised at the request of Tournament hosts to allow them to offer outside vendors a chance to provide product or services to their participants. However, because the vendor makes a profit on a tax-assisted facility, a fee was established that would benefit the park system – in essence – all in the community. The typical team photos have been and continue to be exempt from this policy. The APD does allow organizations to charge a gate for their exclusive benefit and to have other fund raising activities, i.e. split the pot, spirit merchandise sales etc. Also, if an organization wants to bring in a vendor for league play, we are happy to negotiate a different deal other than a flat fee so that the organization and the community can benefit as well as the business in question. We are flexible about the specifics, but the bottom line is…the community at-large has to benefit.
In short, the Board of Park Commissioner’s policy is to charge a fee for vendors who are permitted to conduct business on park property. Each vendor must receive prior approval from the APD’s Business Department.
What is a cicada wasp killer?
Coyote sightings in parks
How long does it take to get a marker under the tree?
It usually takes 2‐4 weeks to get the marker engraved. Once the marker is finished, it is immediately placed under the adopted tree, depending on weather.
Do I get a new tree planted or is it an existing tree?
The Adopt‐a‐Tree program is for existing trees in the park district. We do plant young trees throughout the year and we have a wide selection of newly planted and mature trees.
What happens if my tree is damaged, dies or gets cut down?
Trees may be removed due to damage, disease, or other unforeseen circumstances. If an adopted tree has to be removed, it will be replaced in the same spot if at all possible. If the replacement tree cannot be planted in the same spot, the tree will be planted in close proximity.
How will I be notified if my tree has to be cut down?
When trees are removed, a sign will be posted at the removal site stating a new tree will be planted at the next available planting season. The best time to plant trees is mid‐spring and mid‐fall. A notice will also be posted on our website, AndersonParks.com.
Am I responsible for taking care of the tree?
The park district will provide care and maintenance to the trees consistent with the park district maintenance standards. Damaged or vandalized trees will be replaced by the park district at no additional cost.
Why are there so many different types of tree markers?
Throughout the years, product lines have changed on the markers based on availability and best fit for the parks. The current markers are 12”x12”, sand‐colored stone. These stones are shaped by nature and are “perfectly imperfect”. Over time, weather conditions may cause markers to show wear.
Am I allowed to decorate my tree?
We highly discourage decorating trees. Placing items on a tree poses a risk of damage to the tree. However, we do have some guidelines to follow if items do end up on trees.
Any items found on trees will be removed on the 15th and 30th of each month. Removed items may be retrieved by calling the park office at 513‐474‐0003. Items may be removed sooner at the discretion of the park district if damage has been or is being done to the tree. Glass items are not permitted. The park district is not responsible for lost, stolen, damaged, or missing items on trees or tree markers. We highly encourage keeping trees as natural looking as possible for all to enjoy.
Am I allowed to place items or plant flowers under my tree?
We discourage the placement of items under trees. Additional memorial items, such as plant material or other objects, found around or near the tree will be removed at the discretion of the park district based on the items and condition of the items. If flowers are planted, only annual flowers (those with a seasonal lifespan) may be planted. All watering, weeding, and general upkeep of these annuals is the sole responsibility of the planter. Any plants, which appear unhealthy, may be removed at the discretion of the park district. Vases, urns, glass items, and potted plants or flowers are not to be placed under trees and will be removed.
Who should I contact if I have an issue with my tree or marker?
Should you notice any issues with a tree or marker, please notify the park office at 513‐474‐0003 and we will immediately take care of the issue.