Improving State Parks, Improving the Economy

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Reinventing New York's economy while upgrading New York's aging state parks: That was the goal for law makers with the latest state budget. Over $100 million was included to improve state parks.

Five million of that will go to parks in the North Country - Burnham Point in Cape Vincent, Higley Flow in Colton,  and Wellesley Island - helping a major revenue source for the state and putting people to work.

"This is a way to put people back to work and make sure that we still have the hundreds of thousands of visitors coming to the parks each and every summer," said State Senator Patty Ritchie, R-48th District.

A major chunk of the five million dollars budgeted to improve the parks will go to the Olympic Regional Development Authority, which maintains Winter Olympic venues in Lake Placid.

That part of the project hasn't been planned yet, but officials say it will only add to the amount of people hired to help complete it.

"That, along with the number of people that we're going to put back to work with the Road and Bridge Project across the '48th,' I think there's an opportunity to put a lot of people who have been struggling back to work," Ritchie said.

Upgrading state parks could also boost tourism. Thousands of visitors from both Canada and the United States come to the north country's state parks every summer.

Officials say improvements will keep tourists, and their money, coming back.

"They spend money, whether they're eating at our local restaurants, or going to the store, or buying gas," Ritchie said.

Senator Ritchie calls upgrading the state parks in the north country, 'critical'.

She says she hopes to see the projects, and the jobs those projects will create, start soon.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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