Senator Flanagan Announces Legislation To Aid State Parks

John J. Flanagan

August 08, 2007

Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) announced that he will be introducing legislation to create a $500 million bond to pay for needed maintenance at New York State parks. The $500 million in funding would be available to assist the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation fulfill their duty to provide quality parks to the residents of New York State.

Senator Flanagan announced this initiative during a speech to the Long Island State Park, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commission. During the speech, he also sought the panel’s assistance in persuading the current administration to preserve the entire Nissequogue River State Park including the 360 plus acres that Senator Flanagan worked with former Parks Commissioner Bernadette Castro to add to the state park.

In response to the request, the commission planned on forming a subcommittee to work with Senator Flanagan.

Senator Flanagan also announced that the legislation he is introducing will earmark additional funding for the clean up of contamination at the former psychiatric center. While the details of the funding proposal and the amount that will be used for the cleanup are still being developed, this targeted funding would add greatly to the $25 million Senator Flanagan secured in 2006.

This would provide the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation with a substantial amount of the funding necessary to fulfill the vision former Commissioner Castro and Senator Flanagan originally had for the expansion of the Nissequogue River State Park.

"Last year, I worked with former Commissioner Bernadette Castro to protect this important parcel of land and I am committed to bringing this park to the residents of Long Island. This property represents a great chance to preserve open space and this legislation will enhance what we have already accomplished. We need to commit to cleaning the site up and that starts with securing the necessary funding," stated Senator Flanagan.

The remainder of the $500 million in funding would be used for projects throughout the state.
"Since this is a statewide initiative, it must have a balanced approach to address the needs of the entire parks system. That will maximize its impact for all residents and provide a benefit for everyone. There are over $300 million in capital projects that are currently being delayed due to funding issues and the state needs to find a way to fund them. This bond would cover those costs, help deliver the park to the residents of Kings Park and enhance our entire system for everyone for years to come," added Senator Flanagan.

To become law, the legislation would need to be approved by the public after its approval by the legislature.

Read Cablevision's editorial regarding Senator Flanagan's proposal