Finally! State responds to institute’s call to privatize services, increase fees and cut costs at state parks
Since the Bluegrass Institute issued its groundbreaking 2005 report, “Mousetraps and Stale Coffee: Making the case for privatizing Kentucky State Parks,” there has been incremental movement toward cost savings at these money-losing behemoths.
Today, the results of a glossy report by an out-of-state outfit called PROS Consulting, were released. And while the report cost taxpayers more than $400,000, at least it offered some cost-cutting recommendations:
•Closing the state’s 17 resort parks on Mondays and Tuesdays during the winter.
•Charge entry fees.
•Increasing fees for overnight resort lodge stays.
•Using temp personnel agencies to hire the part-time seasonal worker that provide needed personnel during peak seasons.
•Cutting workers’ hours.
•Issuing requests for proposals to determine private companies’ interest in operating the parks system’s golf courses and selected restaurants. In areas that allow alcohol sales, the requests will ask vendors to address the possibility of alcohol sales at those locations.
•Improve park programming.
There’s no guarantee that the bureaucracy currently operating our parks system at a financial loss will go along with all of these recommendations. But hard economic times will force them to explain their refusal to accept the kind of cost-cutting measures that the Bluegrass Institute and others have recommended for years.