Proposed budget cuts could mean less safety at state parks, ODNR says

Proposed budget cuts could impact families visiting state parks in the Miami Valley this summer.

On Thursday, News Center 7 spoke to people at Buck Creek State Park in Springfield who each said safety tops the list of things they want at Ohio state parks.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Mary Mertz said safety could be impacted if some proposed budget cuts stick.

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“One of the biggest complaints we hear from our visitors is they never see a ranger and they want to,” said Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Mary Mertz. “They want to see those folks out there.”

Mertz testified to an Ohio Senate committee this month that the Ohio House version of the budget removed $55 million from the budget increase in Governor Mike DeWine’s original proposal.

Mertz said the agency would use millions of that money to hire more law enforcement officers.

“All of us are safer every single day because of what they do,” Mertz said.

We’ll have to see if ODNR budget cuts make it back into the Senate version of the state budget. That’s due out after the Memorial Day weekend.

News Center 7 will continue providing updates.