The financial struggles in Illinois are creating real headaches for state parks and the people who maintain them.But the parks may be getting some much needed financial breathing room.The money from a $2 surcharge on Illinois license plates is finally making its way to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.That money will be used to help cut down a 750 million dollar maintenance backlog at parks across the state.The surcharge is expected to bring in out 30 million dollars.Siloam Spring State Park site superintendent Regan Ramsey says all of the parks are scheduled to get new grills and mowers.But Ramsey says that what he really needs is more manpower.
"We're just really short on manpower right. I mean you can have two brand new mowers but if you only got one employee out there it doesn't do you any good to have two mowers," says Ramsey. "So that's one of the first things that we're gonna be looking at is to get some boots on the ground so we can keep stuff going."Ramsey had eight full-time employees 12 years ago.Now, he only has two....and will be down to just one at the end of September when the other person retires.