Governor Paterson Releases Park Closure Plan

George Winner

February 19, 2010

Albany, N.Y., February 19—A plan released earlier today by New York Governor David Paterson to close more than 50 state parks and historic sites would impact several regional parks, State Senator George Winner (R-C-I, Elmira) said.

The parks in Winner’s legislative district that would face closure or service reductions under the Paterson plan are the Newtown Battlefield State Park , Chemung County (full closure); Buttermilk Falls State Park, Tompkins County (closure of public swimming area); and Stony Brook State Park, Steuben County (closure of public swimming area).

Winner released the following statement:

“Every legislator recognizes the enormous fiscal challenge facing New York State and the consequences for the local communities we represent.

“The Senate Republican conference has offered a plan to respond to this long-term, deep-rooted fiscal crisis by taking actions to encourage economic growth, cut government waste, and permanently cap state spending.

“What’s most important now is that every tough choice is given a full public airing.  New Yorkers shouldn’t stand for final decisions being made by Albany’s leaders behind closed doors without careful consideration of the direct consequences for local communities and economies.

“I believe that’s especially true when it comes to Governor Paterson’s plan to close state parks.  Many of these parks have long operated as mainstays of the upstate tourism economy and they need to be carefully examined in that context.  In an upstate region already under siege, it makes no long-term sense to take any short-term actions that weaken an already fragile economic foundation.”  

[See Governor's announcement]