1:11pm

Fri February 19, 2010
More News From WRVO

NYS Recommends Closing 41 Parks and 14 Historic Sites

Oswego, NY – The Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) today put forward a list of closures and service reductions in order to achieve its proposed 2010-11 agency savings target and help address the State's historic fiscal difficulties. As part of a comprehensive plan to close an $8.2 billion deficit, the 2010-11 Executive Budget included necessary cost reductions to each executive State agency, as well as cuts to education, health care, social services, and every other area of State spending.

OPRHP's plan includes the closure of 41 parks and 14 historic sites, and service reductions at 23 parks and 1 historic site.

The plan also assumes $4 million in park and historic site fee increases that will be identified at a later date, and the use of $5 million in funds from the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) to finance OPRHP operations. These two actions were part of the 21-day amendments to the Executive Budget and are intended to reduce the number of parks and historic sites subject to closures and service reductions.

In a statement, Paterson said "New York faces an historic fiscal crisis of unprecedented magnitude. It has demanded many difficult but necessary decisions to help ensure the fiscal integrity of our State. The unfortunate reality of closing an $8.2 billion deficit is that there is less money available for many worthy services and programs. In an environment when we have to cut funding to schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and social services, no area of State spending, including parks and historic sites, could be exempt from reductions. We cannot mortgage our State's financial future through further gimmicks or avoidance behavior. Spending cuts, however difficult, are needed in order to put New York on the road to fiscal recovery. Going forward through the budget process, I look forward to a productive dialogue with the Legislature on parks and historic sites, as well as other issues."

Here is a list of closures and service reductions that affect central and northern New York:

Central Region

Chittenango Falls State Park, Madison County: Close Park
Clark Reservation State Park, Onondaga County: Close Park
Fort Ontario State Historic Site, Oswego County: Close Historic Site
Helen McNitt State Park, Madison County: Close Park
Herkimer Home Historic Site, Herkimer County: Close Historic Site
Hunts Pond State Park, Chenango County: Close Park
Old Erie Canal State Park, Onondaga County: Close Park
Oriskany Battlefield/Steuben SHS, Oneida County: Close Historic Site
Pixley Falls State Park, Oneida County: Close Park
Robert Riddell State Park, Delaware County: Close Park
Selkirk Shores State Park, Oswego County: Close Public Swimming Beach

Finger Lakes Region

Beechwood State Park, Wayne County: Close Park
Bonavista State Park, Seneca County: Close Park
Chimney Bluffs State Park, Wayne County: Close Park
Newtown Battlefield State Park, Chemung County: Close Park
Springbrook Greens State Park, Cayuga County: Close Park
Two Rivers State Park, Tioga County: Close Park
Buttermilk Falls State Park Tompkins Close Public Swimming Area
Seneca Lake State Park, Seneca County: Close Lake Swimming Beach
Stony Brook State Park, Steuben County: Close Public Swimming Area

Thousand Islands Region

Canoe Island State Park, Jefferson County: Close Park
Cedar Island State Park, Jefferson County: Close Park
Eel Weir State Park, St. Lawrence County: Close Park
Keewaydin State Park, Jefferson County: Close Park
Macomb Reservation State Park, Clinton County: Close Park
Mary Island State Park, Jefferson County: Close Park
Point Au Roche State Park, Clinton County: Close Park
Sackets Harbor State Historic Site, Jefferson County: Close Historic Site