MAYVILLE - The county parks system could have an additional person maintaining it in 2013.
The county parks' system is in dire need of maintenance help, members of the Chautauqua County parks commission told county legislators on the Public Facilities Committee on Monday. Commission members spoke to the legislature's Public Facilities Committee and formally requested the equivalency of two additional full-time employees in the 2013 county budget. The staff is needed to help the shorthanded department.
"The (parks) are very well used," said Martha Anderson, commission member. "The maintenance is shady to say the least. The parks need attention. Without the help we cannot keep it up on our own."
Members of the Chautauqua County parks commission speak Monday to the legislature’s Public Facilities Committee. The commission requested additional staffing for the parks’ system.
P-J photo by Eric Tichy
Volunteers are pictured working to maintain a trail in Chautauqua County. Parks Commission members say volunteer crews aren’t enough to keep up with required maintenance in the county parks system.
The commission said to keep the parks and trails maintained at a "minimum level," one full-time and two seasonal workers would be needed. The department currently has one full-time employee.
Anderson said residents in recent years have voiced concern over downed trees and debris-filled trails. She noted a trail sign-in sheet with numerous complaints and suggestions.
"We have a major investment here," said legislator Tom Erlandson, D-Frewsburg. "It just makes sense to maintain it."
Erlandson suggested reducing the maintenance account in the county Public Facilities Department next year to make room for one additional seasonal worker. He added that help from volunteers needs to be explored further.
George Spanos, Public Facilities director, instead suggested taking the funds from the department's deforestation account from timber sales.
After lengthy discussion, the committee approved a motion to add the additional employee with money from timber sales. The legislature's Audit and Control Committee will take up the budgetary item Thursday.
In other news, the Public Facilities Committee approved a resolution to accept state funding to expand Runway 24 and parallel taxiway at the Dunkirk airport.
The county received a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to pay 90 percent of the $3 million expansion project. The balance of the costs will come from state and county funding, approximately $150,000 each.
The committee approved a local funding increase of $53,839 to cover an amendment in incoming federal funding for the project.