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February 26, 2010 - Commissioner Ash Responds to Senator Flanagan's Request for Information

February 26, 2010 - Commissioner Ash Responds to Senator Flanagan's Request for Information

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Senator John Flanagan (New York State) receives response to February 12th letter regarding proposed state parks closures.
Senator John Flanagan (New York State) receives response to February 12th letter regarding proposed state parks closures.

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Published by: Senator John Flanagan on Mar 01, 2010
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03/15/2010

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February
26,2010
Honorable
JohnJ. Flanagan
New
fep1,
State
Senate
Room
613
-
LOBAlbany,
NY
12247
Dear SenatorFlanagan:
I write
inresponse
to
your
Februaryl2'hletter
seeking
inforrnation
regardrng
OPRHP's
rec€nt announcement
that
Nisseguogue
River
StatcParkandCaleb
Smith
Stgte
Psrk
havcbeen
identifiedfor
closure.
Closing
StateParks
and
Historic
Sites
is
obviously
s
vcry
painful
actionfor our
egency
-
but
this
action
is
necessary
to
absorbthc substantial
reductions
to
OPRHP'soperatingbudget in
response
to
thcongoing
fucal
crisis
facirrg
New
York
State.
Overthe
pa^st
threeycarsthe
agency's
operdlng
budge{
has
been reduced
by
a
total
of
35percent.
Given the
faa
that
85percent
of
the
ouroperatingbudget
is spent
on the
costs
of
running
Ncw
York's
213
Stare
Parks and
Historic
Sites, the
sgcncy
has
no
choice
but
to
close
a
significant
numbcr
of
frcilities.
To
respond
to thcspecific
questions
in
yow
lctter:
Criteriefor
Park Closures.
Financialfactors
-
opcrating
expensesand
facility
revenues
-
arc
the
pnmary
criteria
OPRHP
used
to
develop
the
listof
55
State
Parks
and
Historic
Sites
identifiedforclosurc.
We
focused closures
on
frcilitics
thst
are
cxpmsive to run
in
comparisonto
the amount
of
revenuc
thcy
generate
-
tn
otherwords
these
facillties
require
a
significant
statesubsidy
to
covcroperating
costs.
Qsnversely,
we
didnot
propose
to
close
any
frcilitics
that
generatersvenucs
in
excess
of
operating
cxpenses
or that
'break
evcn-"
In addition,we
focusedclosures
on
facilities
with
relatively
low
attendance,thereby
minimizing
the
number
of
impacted
park
and
historic
site
visitors.
Caleb
Smith
Strte
Prrk.
Theannual
visitation
toCaleb Smith
is
30,690*,isitors(calcndarycar
2009).
The
parkbringsin$36.910
in ennual
revenue.
Closing
the
park
willeliminetc
$150,743in
expenses,
Benerating
a
netsavings
of $l13,833.
Emprre
Statc
Plarr
.Agcncy
Brril<ling I
.
Albany,
New
Yorh
12258
.irl
8-474-0443.Fex:5l
&474"
|
165
$
lnntn!
aa
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lulw

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