Oklahoma Seeks $350 Million for Critical State Parks Maintenance Under House Bill 3972

KTUL - April 1, 2024 6:11 am

Millions of dollars are needed for critical maintenance at Oklahoma parks.

Shelley Zumwalt, the Oklahoma Secretary of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage says the price tag for the needed maintenance projects at these parks sits at around $350 million.

“These are hundreds of projects over 38 state parks,” said Zumwalt.

With hundreds of maintenance projects needing to be completed, one bill in legislation is attempting to address those needs.

“We’ve worked with House and Senate authors to create what is essentially an eight-year plan to address the deferred maintenance needs at 38 of our state parks,” said Zumwalt.

House Bill 3972 would create the State Parks Emergency Maintenance Fund for the funding of the agency’s Eight-year State Park Emergency Maintenance Plan.

“The bill lays out over eight years how we would really strategically address the different needs at the parks,” said Zumwalt.

Zumwalt says that for that first year, they’re asking for $75 million.

“For years two through seven, we’re asking for $42.5 million. And the final year is a little over $20 million,” said Zumwalt.

She says they would secure these needed funds through the state bonding authority and the Legacy Fund.

“What we’re asking for is incremental investments that we will then pay back over a 20 or 30-year time period,” said Zumwalt.

HB3972 passed in the Tourism and Wildlife Committee this week and has been referred to appropriations.

 

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