Painful park cuts ahead

  • Article by: JOSEPHINE MARCOTTY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 13, 2011 - 6:55 AM

Like many states, Minnesota is struggling to find new financial footing for its state parks. That means the parks will change - this time with service cuts that park users will notice.

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mwallekJul. 10, 11 1:59 AM

Parks don't fit in the new corporate social models for our future. They're not needed and are a tremendous money sump for questionable return. This money can go into other hands, private hands, what hasn't disappeared or been wasted prior. A corporate model is depersonalized, and better for them and the shareholders, if not for the species as a whole.

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MickeyJul. 10, 11 5:13 AM

If we are going to save our state/country we have to make cuts. Parks I feel are a good place to start. Next should be the excess labor in gov't.

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toolman28Jul. 10, 11 6:20 AM

Mickey I tbhink roads should be cut , personaly I like the roads that I use to be in good shape and since I never drive on the roads you use it would make sense to let them fall into disrepair

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toolman28Jul. 10, 11 6:21 AM

Mickey How about sno plowing ? should we cut that ? Just think all those MNDOT workers we do not need - - - untill we need them

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noughsaidJul. 10, 11 8:42 AM

cost effective labor force??...how 'bout putting some of the petty crime criminals sitting in prisons and jails getting off their duffs and make them take care of the parks and trails.

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ruphinaJul. 10, 11 8:46 AM

Regarding the pic: GET A MOWER! Bill G.

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favrefanJul. 10, 11 9:48 AM

I would think that the GOP legislature would prefer to open our parks to the big oil or mining companies. That's what it's all about...RESOURCES and MONEY. You people that use the excuse that you don't use the parks so why should I pay for them are failures. I don't have kids but I have to pay taxes to support the schools that your spoiled, entitled children attend. I say cut the school budgets and you home school them. They will get their jobs at Burger King in no time with your superior skills of teaching. See? The arguments you make are uninformed and unintelligent.

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chucks2Jul. 10, 1112:01 PM

The problem with keeping the parks open seems simple. They cost $35M to keep open and take in $11M. Triple the entrance fees and the problem is solved. Although I expect the people that always expect the government to pay, would object to letting the users pay.

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tired1Jul. 10, 1112:30 PM

I think that the "parks" out grew their original intent. They have become to modern - should have left them as primitive. What about the extra sales tax we pay for natural resources/art?

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stevena58Jul. 10, 11 2:34 PM

I realize that the Three Rivers Park District is NOT part of the Minnesota State Park system, but I will use their wasted spending as an example when it comes to parks. The annual budget for the Three Rivers Park District Public Safety (police department) is $4.2 million. If ALL of our government entities would take a look at their expenses and eliminate some of the wasted spending such as the Three Rivers Public Safety, our government leaders could help eliminate quite a bit of debt. I use the Three Rivers Public Safety as an example of an expense we could eliminate because they are nothing more than security officers/park rangers with the title of police officers, which helps justify why the earn more than $31/hour, plus their health insurance benefits, and retirement. Rather than spending $4.2 million annually for police services, why not allow the local agencies to provide services to our parks since we are already paying for their services through our local property taxes? If public safety presence in the parks is important, eliminate the licensed police officers, continue using their non-licensed park service officers and when a real crime takes place, let the local police officers respond to assist (something the local agencies are already doing when something serious occurs in a Three Rivers Park), if there is a medical emergency, then the park service officers could respond since they are already in the parks. I suspect this approach could reduce the annual operating budget of the Three Rivers Public Safety to something closer to $1.0 - $1.5 million - an annual savings of $2.7 - $3.2 million.

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