Lake Wenatchee State Park on Mothball List ?!

According to the Wenatchee World, Lake Wenatchee State Park is one of the local parks that may be mothballed in order to save money during these fiscally challenging times.

 

Don't Let this Happen

Don't Let this Happen

 

 

Washington State Parks website says:

The Governor’s budget proposal, announced in December, was based on a revenue forecast that predicted a 5.7 billion revenue shortfall. The Governor’s budget, requires State Parks to take a 10 percent budget cut (approximately $10 million in general fund). More recently, the state’s revenue forecast was predicted to have a revenue gap of more than $8 billion. As the Legislature creates its budget for the Governor to sign in late spring, this greater challenge may require State Parks to make even deeper expenditure reductions that will affect parks and services. The Legislature has asked State Parks to prepare a scenario that would reduce the State Parks budget by approximately $23 million. The Legislature will adopt and the governor will sign a final budget into law in late spring, then the Commission will implement the final budget.

The Wenatchee World explains that, "Mothballing means gates would be closed and facilities such as restrooms locked up, but people could enter the areas on foot for day use.."

Temporary closure could save the state $169, 723 per year.

What closing Lake Wenatchee State Park could mean:

 

Public comment is being taken at pao@parks.wa.gov

Comments

There is also a good discussion over at WenatcheeOutdoors.org ( http://www.justgetout.net/Wenatchee/16086 ) I remember when I worked for the National Park Service and the parks had to close because Congress hadn't signed an appropriations bill. Instead of being able to take annual leave during the quiet times, more park rangers had to come to work to make sure that folks didn't get beyond the gates of the closed parks.

Please consider raising fees at all facilities rather than close any. We need these parks and our local economies will suffer from the lack of visitors I'd gladly pay more for the opportunity to enjoy all the benefits our wonderful parks offer. Thank you for the opportunity to offer coments.

Folks, this is huge for this area. This impacts local businesses as well. That's our government, setting priorities that cause the most pain to grease the way for asking for tax increases. Are you ready to throw the bums out yet? Al

An email from Park Manager, Rick Halstead Hello everyone - A good number of you have written with questions about the possibility of this park closing ("mothballing" until the state budget improves). Agency leadership has created a list of parks which are at risk of closing for two or more years as a result of a current proposed state park budget reduction of $23 million. $13.6 million of this reduction would be taken from park operations by transferring or mothballing parks. This list was created in consideration of only two factors - net operating costs and attendance. Then this list was further narrowed by excluding most of the smallest parks (too many would have to close to meet the reduction), and excluding most of the largest parks (reason vary for exluding these parks). At this point there has been no consideration of a park's relative value to the citizens - recreational, cultural, historical, and/or natural resources, assets and opportunities have not been considered. Last week's state revenue forecast was significantly worse than a month ago. The situation is severe, and this park may close (no sooner than mid-September 2009). I have been trying to get answers, and also probing possible errors in the calculations which resulted in this park being included on the list. I hope to have most of my questions answered this week, including just how open I can be in expressing my concerns with the public and to what extent I can encourage action from supporters. When I do I'll let you all know whatever I can regarding this situation, and hopefully some of you will share your concerns with agency management (I'll provide contact information). In the meantime you can learn a little from the agency's website www.parks.wa.gov and hit the link to "Current Information". Thanks again for all your support! Rick Halstead, Park Manager Lake Wenatchee State Park (509) 763-3101 (509) 763-1029 fax

Hello Rick, This is your old friend Sue from college days. I was looking for a few old friends including you and Nat. I'm concerened for your job after reading the e-mail message re: park closure on this website. I hope it does not happen and that the economic situation improves soon. Please e-mail me so we could keep in contact. Thank you so much. Sue

I work for icicle outfitters and guides inc which is the horse back riding stables, and if the park is closed we will be out of business and lots of our employees will be out of jobs, this park is really popular they should keep this park open and close ones that arent making money

Teresa - Thanks for adding your voice. It's not just the state budget that we are dealing with here, it's our whole community. The folks at Icicle Outfitters will be effected, the seasonal employees at the park will be effected and local restaurants will be effected.

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