Workers at Kentucky's State Parks will continue full-time employment this winter. Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker says a 23 percent cut in staffing over the past seven years is a result of what she calls "right staffing. " The reduction was achieved through retirements and workers leaving the department.
Although, during recent winters, hours have been cut, this year workers can expect full hours through the off-season.
“With those modified hours, that means it gives some of our full time staff the ability to do some of the deep cleaning and fixing up that we need to do to make sure that in the spring when people start to come en mass to our parks, we put our best foot forward,” said Walker.
The state parks commissioner says the stable schedules for off season workers helps them maintain their household budgets.
“Some of these are single moms and dads who are trying to raise a family and it’s been very very difficult for them to know how to budget," said Walker. "So just to tell them that your hours are protected at 37 and a half year round gives them the confidence of knowing exactly what money they’re gonna bring in which is the same confidence that all the rest of the state employees have."
Walker says there is no intention of closing any state parks. If fact, all 17 resorts parks are open every weekend throughout the winter. She says the governor’s recommended budget calls for pay raises for many park employees.