County Council denies state’s request to transfer ownership of Hyrum State Park

The Cache County Council unanimously decided to deny a request that would place control of Hyrum State Park with the county at a meeting Tuesday. A representative from the Utah Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wrote County Executive Lynn Lemon at the beginning of August asking the county to consider assuming financial and operational responsibility of Hyrum State Park, which is currently run by the state. This request is the result of intent language developed by the Utah Legislature directing Utah State Parks in the last legislative session. The language reads, “The legislature intends that the Division of Parks and Recreation develop a plan to transfer the management of selected state parks to county or local governments and present this plan to the Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environmental Quality Appropriations Subcommittee and the Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environmental Quality Interim Committee by October 2011.”Last year the park had expenditures of $131,000 more than revenues, and in 2010 expenditures were $136,365 higher than revenues. “I’d like to see a breakdown of their budget. How do they spend that much money?” said council member Val Potter.The council agreed to deny the request after looking at the park’s financial documents. The council was unsure what would happen to the park now that the county has refused to accept ownership.”It is a great facility, and I’d hate to see them close it down.” Craig Buttars, vice chairman of the council.The council members agreed, however, that this might be a good time for Hyrum City to review the park’s budget and trim expenditures. The County Council also heard a report from Road Department representative Darrell Erickson Tuesday night. Erickson said the department spent the early summer dealing with flooding issues, and only the Millville bridge road is still closed. –

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