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Columbus Zoo Director Thinks Voters Will Approve Levy Renewal

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Tom Borgerding, WOSU Radio
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Columbus Zoo officials hope voters will pass levy renewal in November.

Pending the approval of the Franklin County Commissioners, the Columbus Zoo plans to ask voters to renew its operating levy in November.

Last year a new, permanent levy that would have expanded the zoo was soundly defeated by Franklin County voters.

Zoo Director Tom Stalf says opposition to the levy renewal is unlikely.

"We have talked with some of the folks that, in the past, were opposing our levy. And they said from the start if this was a renewal, if there was no tax increase, they love their zoo and they support their zoo," he said.

Renewal of the 10-year, 0.75 mill levy represents about one-quarter of the zoo's operating budget. It costs taxpayers $21 per $100,000 of property value.

The renewal levy would not fund any additional zoo locations, which was a major part of a failed permanent levy brought forth by the zoo in May 2014.  

The zoo reported record attendance of nearly 3 million people last year.