Malloy's proposed budget would impact state parks - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Malloy's proposed budget would impact state parks

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Some state parks could look different this year (WFSB) Some state parks could look different this year (WFSB)
SIMSBURY, CT (WFSB) -

Connecticut state parks could look a lot different this summer with the massive cuts hitting the department that cares for them.

The spokesman for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Dennis Schain, said the proposed budget could significantly change the way parks are run.

Roughly $6 million would be stripped from DEEP’s $18 million budget.

Dawn Carter visits Talcott Mountain State Park as much as possible and doesn’t want to see state lawmakers vote to change the way it looks or operates in any way.

“I think would be a disadvantage to not only CT but a lot of people from out of state,” Carter said.

Cuts were made to parks and forests last year, but Schain said the damage was minimal.

Some small campgrounds closed, fewer lifeguards were on duty. The state was still able to hire about 500 seasonal staff members.

Under Gov. Dannel Malloy’s new proposal, DEEP:

  • Would see $6 million in cuts
  • Would have to run parks differently
  • Less maintenance
  • May need to close some bathrooms

Rocky Neck, Sherwood Island, and Hammonasset would likely be spared.

All of this happening as park workers gear up for the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day weekend.

The budget year starts July 1, just before the July 4 weekend kicks off.

Schain said some layoff notices went out to DEEP staff last week, others, this week, but no firm number was available for potential layoffs.

He added that state cuts will likely mean hiring far fewer part-time workers than last summer.

Learn more about the proposed budget here.

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