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What’s next for Imagination Station after levy defeat

Imagination Station figures out what's next after levy defeat
Imagination Station figures out what's next after levy defeat(WTVG)
Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 6:57 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - After a levy defeat leaders at Toledo’s Imagination Station are trying to figure out what’s next.

Voters said “no” to the science center’s operating levy and its increase Tuesday night.

Those dollars fund about 30% of the operation.

Going forward hours will stay the same, Saturdays will still be free for Lucas County kids. For voters they may see this proposal on another ballot.

“We’re taking a look at everything and then revaluating what is best and what are next steps,” said Imagination Station CEO Lori Hauser.

Hauser says the operating levy helps fund 30% of the facility, the rest comes from things like admissions, memberships and donations. The current levy dollars run out at the end of 2022 so there is still money to keep things going. Another run at the ballot is not off the table.

“I think we might be back at some point. I don’t think we’ve picked a timeframe yet. Trying to get our arms around everything that’s going on into 2022,” said Hauser.

Tuesday’s ask was an increased levy. Hauser says that’s because when the levy was first approved it was supposed to generate $1.5 million. When home values dropped in 2009 that levy only started generating $1.1 million.

This new levy was supposed to return to the original dollar figure. Hauser calls the public funding vital and hopes the public keeps their support for a levy that had been supported for over a decade.

“We want to be responsible with it. We don’t want to ask for a huge amount of money and then show you how we are delivering and what we are bringing into the community,” said Hauser.

The hope is that in the next levy push they continue to show that value to Lucas County voters which also includes things like free school programs.

That levy could happen as early as next Spring but nothing has been decided just yet.

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