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Officials to consider state park's future

March 21, 2011

The possible fate of the Big Spring State Park tops the agenda for Tuesday's meeting of the Big Spring City Council, as the municipality — along with members of county government — attempt to formulate a plan to keep the facility open in the face of massive budget cuts by the state legislature.

The council is expected to discuss ongoing efforts by both the municipality and Howard County officials to keep the park from being closed, as well as appoint a committee to evaluate the issues involved in the matter.

The state legislature is dealing with a massive budgetary shortfall expected to cut into the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's 2012-2013 budget by more than 20 percent, equalling a whopping $162 million cut to the department's estimated coffers. Part of those cuts involves TPWD transferring more than a half-dozen parks out of state control, as well as the elimination of two state park regional offices.

Among the parks targeted for transfer are Big Spring State Park, Blanco State Park, Daingerfield State Park, Lockhart State Park, Lake Casa Blanca International State Park near Laredo, Sebastopol State Historic Site in Seguin and Wyler Aerial Tramway in El Paso.

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