LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Herkimer Home in Little Falls is one of the 55 state parks and historical sites that reopened this holiday weekend.
The State Senate passed legislation on Friday, hours after the State Assembly did the same.
Assemblyman Marc Butler of Newport was on hand Saturday morning to assist Herkimer Home Site Manager Tom Kernan in officially reopening the site. Butler says it was a battle over what kinds of things could be included in the bill to make up for the $11 million needed to reopen the parks and historic sites. In the end, Butler says he voted no, because he thought there could have been other measures for revenue generation rather than some of those that were included.
Butler says under the bill, some fines and fees for certain companies around the state will be increased. He says for example, Kodak, which is headquartered in Rochester will now have its fees for hazardous waste removal doubled, from $400,000 to $800,000 per year. Butler says more locally, "in Lowville in northern Oneida County, we have a Kraft dairy processing plant that obviously it's good on a couple of levels, because the farmers and agriculture gets to provide the raw milk to create their product, but their fees under this bill, as I understand it, would go from $360,000 to about $800,000." That's one reason why Butler says he voted against the bill, he reiterated he wanted to come up with other measures to raise money, but he says he is glad the parks have been reopened just in time for the Memorial holiday weekend.