NY Governor David Paterson really is blind. He is planning the closing of a popular state park on Chautauqua Lake to save $43,000. Below is the article and link posted to my local newspaper the Post Journal.
Long Point Closure Will Save $43,000
By Nicholas L. Dean Post-Journal.com
Long Point State Park is not worth $43,000 in Gov. David Paterson's eyes.
Confirmed Friday, the state stands to save less than $50,000 from the full closure of Long Point State Park. Similarly, a budget savings of $171,000 is projected from the proposed cuts to Allegany State Park.
"It truly is penny wise and pound foolish," state Sen. Cathy Young said Friday. "To close the park to save just $43,000 out of a $235 billion state budget is mind-boggling."
Young will be hosting a rally at the Quaker area of Allegany State Park on March 13. A second rally is being organized for March 6.
"It's a $214,000 total hit to our region," Young said of the savings from closing the two parks. "It just doesn't make sense. Long Point generates a lot of revenue to our region and it's important to our economy. Just the fishing tournaments alone bring in lots of people. We really want to keep Allegany State Park Open too. They're looking to close the swimming and a lot of the recreational activities there and that would be counterproductive.
According to Dan Toomey, Young's director of communications, some of the $171,000 in cuts to Allegany State Park equate to a $54,563 reduction to the recreation program and the $35,000 elimination of the swimming at the Quaker area of the park.
"You can't tax and spend your way out of an economic downturn," Sen. Young said. "You have to grow your way out of it and we need to focus on the state level on endeavors that will grow our economy, that will turn around the economy. We're going through the state budget process right now."
"We've had the committee hearings and we'll be negotiating the budget during the next several weeks," Young continued. "I have several priorities and keeping our state parks open is one of them because it will have a positive effect on our area."
A motion opposing the Long Point State Park's closure was passed unanimously by the County Legislature on Wednesday.
The motion was added to the evening's agenda by Keith Ahlstrom, D-Dunkirk. However, once it was added, Ahlstrom said the entire legislature signed on as sponsors.
"Really, all we want to do with the motion, is let Gov. Paterson and our state representatives know that we think, out of a long line of bad ideas, this one is just as bad as the rest of them," Ahlstrom said. "It's very short-sighted, I think, of New York state to be looking at a minimal amount of savings in that area when the return on the investment there is substantial,"
As a tourist destination, Long Point State Park's closure is a big hit on the economy, Ahlstrom explained - mentioning the marina, the boat launch, the accessibility of fuel to boaters on the lake and the snack stand.
"It's amazing on a weekend the number of people that access Long Point State Park from the water, not counting the people that come in and use it as just a boat launch," Ahlstrom said. "We have fishing tournaments that run almost on a weekend basis during the summertime and that is the best place to put in the water. Certainly there are other avenues, and our business bureau and the sportsman boards are looking at other alternatives to make sure they can keep people coming in. ... I really don't know what the state's thought process was in making this decision."
Voicing his full support of the motion, James Caflisch, R-French Creek, said Wednesday that he hopes the state considers putting the parks out to bid for private contracts. Doing so could possibly mean the parks would stay open at little cost to the state, Caflisch said.
"The state's proposal to close not only Long Point but other state parks is a very nearsighted proposal by the governor," Caflisch said. "It's unfortunate that New York state has decided that this is a venue for them to use, to make the people of New York state uncomfortable and try and give them a hard time about enjoying the wonders of New York state."
Tags: David Paterson, Long Point, State Park, $43, 000, Blind Budget
Location: Jamestown, New York, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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