Although budgets have been lean the past decade, funding could vastly improve at Starved Rock State Park due to a new $2 annual license plate fee from what is called the “sustainability bill.”
Illinois Department of Natural Resources expects between $18 million to $20 generated this year from the fees, said Chris McCloud, DNR spokesman.
“It’s a bit too early to discuss what might be proposed for the park in fiscal year 2014, especially now that the sustainability bill has passed,” McCloud said. “We have to go through the rulemaking process to determine what funds will be able to be used where.”
One thing is for sure: The budget for the DNR lands division (which includes parks) will go up in Fiscal Year 2014 because of the new fees, he said.
“We don’t budget per park,” McCloud said. “We have a budget for the lands division and divide that budget among our sites (including parks) based upon need.”
StarvedRockState Park superintendent Mark McConnaughhay said he hopes for funding for road repairs, trail upgrades and bridgework.
McCloud provided past expenditures for Starved Rock.
“The bulk of these expenses (roughly 80 percent) is personal services contracts (payroll),” he said. “Other expenses include repair and maintenance, supplies, fuel and telecommunications.”
Þ Fiscal Year 2011 — $1,357,564.61.
Þ Fiscal Year 2012 — $1,322,693.86.
Þ Fiscal Year 2013 through October 2012 — $101,357.56. Fiscal Year 2013 ends June 30.