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February 24, 2010 - 1:07pm

Assemblyman Hawley decries proposed budget cuts and closure of dozens of state parks and historic sites

posted by Billie Owens in batavia, genesee county, parks.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C—Batavia) released the following Tuesday in response to the 2010-11 New York Executive Budget:

According to the Executive Budget, there would be reductions in the operation budget of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation (OPRHP), resulting in the closure of 57 State Parks and Historic Sites throughout the state, including the Oak Orchard State Marine Park.

"The planned closing of the Oak Orchard State Marine Park, and other state parks, as part of the state’s budget reduction proposal is the wrong approach and just another one of Albany’s budgetary gimmicks,” Hawley said. “Once again Albany is forcing Upstate residents to make unfair sacrifices because the special interests in New York City won't give up their demands.

"At a ratio of 33 to 1, these closures will overwhelmingly damage Upstate communities that depend on their state parks not only for local recreation and ‘staycations,’ but for support of their local economies through job creation and tourism. Additionally, many parks charge admission and parking fees, which with longer hours and a longer season could help cover their operating costs.

"Closing parks and restricting operating hours is unwise at a time when the slow recovery from the recession and higher gas prices will lead many families to spend their vacation dollars in local state parks and historic sites,” Hawley continued.

"Despite the announced closures, the State Assembly and Senate can allocate an additional $5 million from the Environmental Protection Fund (through a 21-Day Amendment to the executive budget) to help pay for operational costs at selected parks throughout the state. However, to date the Orchard State Marine Park is not listed among the selected parks that would be eligible for the funds.

“If the state is serious about closing the impending budget deficits then real budget cuts should be made, not cuts to our parks and historic sites. Earlier this month, I joined many of my colleagues, from both sides of the aisle, in sending a letter in opposition to these closures to Speaker Silver. It is my hope that the legislature will find a bipartisan solution that properly allocates the $5 million from the Environmental Protection Fund in a way that prevents any state park closures this year,” Hawley concluded.

Karen Miconi
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Joined: Feb 5 2009 - 4:48pm
Like Ive said till Im Blue in the Face. Upstate Ny is suffering for the Sins of NYC. We will continue to be the Whipping Post as long as we allow them to whip us. Its all about "We The People" standing up for ourselves instead of "Sucking From The Hind Teet" as someone once commented.
doug smith
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Joined: Nov 16 2009 - 7:59pm
welfare recipient (a woman with two children) is able to receive a tax-free welfare-benefit package costing taxpayers $32,571 annually.....there are roughly 1.6 Million welfare recipients....do the math..... because so many people suck us tax payers dry we have to close parks ......it will never get better till we let people feel a little hunger......it s a good motivater.....let them find jobs ...like ones illegals do on our farms.....send them back home..... vote in some people who are willing to protect our manufactoring base from free , unfair trade.....willing to kill carbon tax .....

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