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It's official, Thacher Park slated to close

Its official, John Boyd Thacher State Park is slated to close as a result of reductions in the 2010-2011 executive budget.

The announcement came via a press release from the governor's office just two days after officials from the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historical Preservation said that no definitive decisions were made on which parks, or how many parks will have to be closed as a result of the 20 percent cut the office took in the proposed 2010-2011 budget.

On Wednesday, Feb. 17 Dan Keefe, Deputy Public Information Officer for the office, said There is no decision made on which parks will be closedreports of specific park closings are inaccurate, and misleading to the public.

However, on Friday, Feb. 19 the governor's office release a statement that said 41 parks and 14 historic sites will be closed in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, including Thacher Park.

"In an environment when we have to cut funding to schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and social services, no area of State spending, including parks and historic sites, could be exempt from reductions," said Governor David A. Paterson, in the release.

In same release Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historical Preservation Commissioner Carol Ash said "The 2010-11 Executive Budget included reductions to every area of State spending. As such, the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation has today put forward proposed closures and service reductions to meet its agency savings target. These actions were not recommended lightly, but they are necessary to address our State's extraordinary fiscal difficulties,"

Keefe said the process in determining which parks would be closed was an imperfect one. "It's an imperfect process, we looked at attendence, operation costs, and avaliablity of other parks and recreation in the area," said Keefe.

He said the office will save $255,000 through the closing of the park.

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