Saginaw Children's Zoo may seek county tax money

The Children's Zoo in Saginaw wants to ask county voters whether property taxes should help pay for operations.

The Saginaw News reports ( ) that the zoo became privately run in 1996 by the Saginaw Valley Zoological Society after decades as a city-run operation. It now faces increased expenses and declining revenues.

Zoo's executive director Nancy Parker says she's cut all she can without affecting exhibits or services. The society wants the Saginaw County Board of Commissioners to place a 10-year property tax levy on the ballot in the Aug. 5 election. Zoo leadership plans to go to the Board of Commissioner's County Services Committee meeting in March with more details.

Parker says that before 2009 the zoo's annual budget was more than $1 million. Now it's about $840,000.