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Eye On Olympia

Posts tagged: close

In the face of a $10-$23 million budget cut, state trying to decide which parks to close…

Back in December, Gov. Chris Gregoire called on the state Parks and Recreation Commission to come up with 10 percent in budget savings over the next two years. Lawmakers have now asked to see what a 23 percent budget cut would look like. Neither is final, but the statehouse clearly wants to see what deep cuts to parks (and higher ed, etc.) would look like.

At the $10 million level, parks officials have drawn up plans to cut staff, postpone equipment purchases and to try to get rid of 13 state parks. Those parks, ideally, would be given to local cities or counties to take care of. Two other parks would be closed.

Here’s that list:

Parks Proposed for Transfer

1.Bogachiel State Park
2.Brooks Memorial State Park
3.Fay Bainbridge State Park
4.Fort Okanogan State Park
5.Fort Ward State Park
6.Joemma Beach State Park
7.Kopachuck State Park
8.Lake Sylvia State Park
9.Old Fort Townsend State Park
10.Osoyoos Lake Veterans Memorial State Park
11.Schafer State Park
12.Tolmie State Park
13.Wenberg State Park

Parks Proposed to be Mothballed: 

1.    Nolte State Park
2.    Squilchuck State Park.

At the $23 million cut level, things get even more dramatic. Instead of getting rid of yet more

Pine Lodge gets a reprieve, at least…

Officials at the state Department of Corrections are backing away, at least for now, from a plan to close the only women’s prison east of the Cascades: Pine Lodge.

S-R writer Lisa Leinberger has the story. From it:

The Pine Lodge Corrections Center for Women may not close next year as previously announced by the Department of Corrections.

Superintendent Walker Morton of the facility reassured the Medical Lake City Council as well as many of the facility’s employees who attended the council meeting intending to rally support to keep the center open.

“It has been reported that this is part of the governor’s budget plan to reduce spending due to the revenue shortfall,” Eldon Vail, secretary of the Washington Department of Corrections, said in an e-mail to Morton. “Based on the questions raised by Pine Lodge Superintendent Morton Walker (sic) and his staff, we have decided and are announcing that our previous decision to close Pine Lodge was premature.”

The e-mail went on to explain that the state will undertake a cost/benefit study before any final decision is made and the number of inmates the DOC may be required to house may change as well.

What are the 13 state parks targeted for closure?

Here’s the list:

Lake Osoyoos

Brooks Memorial

Bogachiel

Tolmie

Fay Bainbridge

Fort Okanogan

Wenberg

Fort Ward

Joemma Beach

Kopachuck

Lake Sylvia

Old Fort Townsend

Squilchuck

Nolte

and the Camp Moran environmental learning program.

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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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