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      Cuts could be coming at Illinois State Parks

      Jim Assell has been at the park for 35 years and he said if his budget faces more cuts, people who visit the park will see a difference.


      Illinois legislators appear to be going down to the wire over the state budget for next year and some of those decisions could have far reaching impacts across the state.


      One of those places is the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the state parks operated by the IDNR.


      The Siloam Springs State Park is located in eastern Adams County and the park superintendent said his budget has been cut by about 50% over the last 10 years and he's gone from a staff of eight full time employees to a staff of three full timers.


      Jim Assell has been at the park for 35 years and he said if his budget faces more cuts, people who visit the park will see a difference.


      "The camping areas might not get mowed as often as we like. Both due to manpower and timing of weather and our budget. Our budget is supposed to be cut by 13.5% again for July 1st and there's going to be less money to go around," Assell said.


      There has also been discussion at the state level about charging admission fees to get into a facility operated by the Illinois DNR, but Assell doesn't think that's a good idea because he thinks it would cost more to man an entry point to collect the admission fees.


      He thinks a slight increase on hunting and fishing licenses could help raise revenue for the state agency.

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