Bill offers hopes of sustainability for IDNR - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Bill offers hopes of sustainability for IDNR

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IDNR is short staffed due to budget constraints IDNR is short staffed due to budget constraints
Some facilities are closed because IDRN doesn't have the cash to make repairs. Some facilities are closed because IDRN doesn't have the cash to make repairs.
Red Cedar Trail inside Giant City State Park is still closed due to damage done by the leap day tornado the agency can't afford to clean up. Red Cedar Trail inside Giant City State Park is still closed due to damage done by the leap day tornado the agency can't afford to clean up.
CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) -

A bill awaiting Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's signature gives hope to a state agency that's plagued by short staffing and budget cuts.

The Department of Natural Resources Sustainability Bill calls for a $2 increase in license plate renewal fees and other revenue increases to raise more than $30 million per year for IDNR.

An IDNR spokesman says over the past 10 years the agency's budget has been cut in half which has led to staff shortages and more than $750,000 worth of deferred maintenance at the state's 324 state areas.

"There was a lot of hope that this bill would pass," said IDNR Site Superintendent Bill Reynolds. "We've done as much as we can with so little for so many years it's hard to imagine just what else we could do to keep things open and try to keep things safe for people."

Reynolds oversees operations at Ferne Clyffe State Park, Giant City State Park, Trail of Tears State Forest, Tunnel Hill State Trail, Cache River Natural Area. He took over the duties of other site superintendents who retired and were not replaced due to budget constraints.

Once the governor signs the bill, it'll go to the legislative rules committee to determine how the money can be spent. while site workers say they need the money now, the IDNR spokesman says it could take 9 to 12 months before the funds trickle down to state sites.

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