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General Herkimer Home may not open in 2011

By GARY LIBERATORE

DANUBE, N.Y. (WKTV) - Remember last year, when a number of state parks and historic sites were shut down for a week, just before Memorial Day because of budget woes?

Well, there's a chance some of those same parks and historic sites will not open at all this season for the very same reason.

Assemblyman Marc Butler says there are signs that the General Herkimer Home in the Town of Danube may be on the state's hit list. The General Herkimer Home was closed in 2010 for a week by then Governor David Paterson. Now, new Governor Andrew Cuomo has urged the State's Office of Parks and Recreation to trim its budget.

During hearings in Albany in December, Andy Beers, the acting director of the State Office of Parks and Recreation identified several parks that will not open for the 2011 season. None of those were in our area, but Beers issued a warning that others would follow.

Assemblyman Butler says he has heard that the General Herkimer Home Site Manager position has already been eliminated, a clear sign, he says, that the historic site will be on the next list of closures.

Butler has written a letter to the acting director of the State Office of Parks and Recreation stating that if the General Herkimer Home is on the list of sites that will not open, that he will work with local officials now, so alternative measures can be explored to try and keep it open.

Butler has also co-sponsored a bill called the Park Closure Bill which would mean that before the state could close a park or historic site, public hearings would have to be held and an analysis performed to determine the closing's effect.

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