County not ready to give up on Cook Park yet

NORWICH – Just as funding for state parks got tossed up while juggling this year’s budget, county legislators are wondering whether this might be the year to pull the plug on Cook Park.

Finance Committee Vice Chairman Dennis Brown, D-Pharsalia, floated the idea at a meeting of the Ag, Buildings and Grounds Committee Tuesday. The Greene-based, 116- acre campground is totally taxpayer-funded, with $23,000 projected for operations next year.

“Twenty-three thousand is twenty-three thousand,” Brown said. “Maybe it’s best put somewhere else like highways. We have to cut someplace.”

Many improvements were made to the county’s largest public park over the past two years, and both revenues and seasonal reservations have been up. Chenango County Youth Bureau Director Kathy Clemens coordinated a $16,500 facelift in 2008, opening up summer jobs for 15 youth volunteers affiliated with Headwaters Youth Conservation Corps and The Place. Other county agencies, such as Soil and Water Conservation, assisted.

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