Toledo Zoo’s Renewal Levy Campaign Kicks Off

Daily Dose  |  09/09/2011 7:00 am

Lucas County voters will have an opportunity to show their support for the Toledo Zoo when they vote YES on November 8 for the Zoo’s renewal levy. To raise awareness of the levy and begin the drive to rally supporters, community leaders kicked off the campaign today.

The levy is a renewal – not a new tax. It is a .85-mill, five-year operating levy, and funds will be used to help pay for day-to-day expenses, such as food for the animals, veterinary care, utilities and maintenance. Levy support helps keep Zoo admission costs down and provides Lucas County residents with special benefits such as free Monday visits, free school group visits and free school outreach programs.

“Lucas County citizens can all agree that the Zoo is a valued community treasure we must preserve,” Bruce Baumhower said. “There’s something here for everyone. The Zoo is safe. It’s affordable. It’s top-notch entertainment for the whole family.” Mr. Baumhower serves as co-chair of the levy campaign, along with Toledo Mayor Michael P. Bell, Sam Burnett and Betsy Brady.

Ms. Brady emphasized the Zoo’s economic impact on the region. “A study by Bowling Green State University showed that the region gets $6 in economic benefit for every $1 of tax funds,” she said. “There is a large benefit to having the Zoo in our community, but to realize these benefits, we must keep the Zoo the great attraction it is today. In my mind, the Zoo levy appeals to the head and to the heart. I urge Lucas County citizens to join me in voting FOR the zoo levy.”

Also present at the kick-off was Dr. Anne Baker, the Zoo’s Executive Director. “Levy funding is vital to the Toledo Zoo. Without it, the Zoo would not be anywhere near what it is today,” she said. “We do understand that times are tough, which is why we have asked for a renewal levy, not a new tax. We are grateful to the voters of Lucas County for decades of solid support, and we humbly ask them to renew this levy and continue that support.” Lucas County’s support over the last four year has enabled 100,000 Lucas County schoolchildren to experience the Zoo at no cost, in addition to the quarter of a million Lucas County residents who have been admitted to the Zoo for free Monday visits.

The total impact of the renewal levy on a person who owns a home valued at $100,000 will be about $2.16 per month – no change from the current level of support.

At the Thursday news conference, officials unveiled the yard sign artwork for the levy campaign, which features an illustration of the Zoo’s beloved African elephant calf, Lucas. More information on the Toledo Zoo’s levy campaign can be found on the levy website,