Washington State Parks Face $64M Shortfall
The Washington State Parks system is facing a $64 million shortfall in its efforts to build a healthy and sustainable system, legislators were told as they toured state parks in East Jefferson County.
The Peninsula Daily News reported that members of the state House of Representatives, including Rep. Steve Tharinger, a Democrat from Sequim, toured Dosewallips, Fort Worden and Fort Flagler state parks Monday with State Parks staff, which provided options for raising more money for parks.
“It’s easy to think that we are all sharing our successes with you today, that things are all OK and that the funding cuts across the years haven’t had an impact, but they have,” said Shelly Hagen, State Parks finance director.
“Across the agency, there is work that’s not being done that is not easy to see at the surface,” she said.
Hagen said the operating budget for the parks system has fallen from $134 million in 2009 to $107 million allocated for 2015.
“The agency is operating under capacity,” she said. “Work is not getting done throughout the system and this is not sustainable.
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