Kasich proposes merger of state parks, boating operations

Officials crack down on public indecency at state park. (WDTN- Jamar Black)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s parks and watercraft operations would be combined under an agency budget proposal aimed at trimming costs.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources was preparing to release details of the budget plan Thursday.

The administration of Gov. John Kasich, a Republican running for president, says merging state parks with the watercraft division will ultimately drive more dollars to boaters, park visitors and other outdoor enthusiasts. Combining them would save the boating operation an estimated $1 million.

Almost every one of Ohio’s 74 state parks contains a lake or river used for recreational boating. At the same time, parks staff are the ones who maintain docks, marinas and boating access points.

A single office would be created under the plan with a unified corps of officers available to provide service.

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