The Cuyahoga Valley National Park says it'll do what it can to overcome the loss of 35 seasonal staff members - a side effect of a 600-thousand dollar federal budget cut related the budget battle in Washington.
And visitors will likely notice the budget cuts in effect...particularly in the park's busiest season of summer.
"They may notice that a visitor center was open longer last year, and it's going to be open less in a day this year," park spokesperson Mary Pat Doorley tells AkronNewsNow.com. "They'll notice that that the grass isn't cut as what they're used to."
And yes, one of the jobs usually performed by those seasonal workers is cleaning the park's restrooms.
Doorley says the restrooms -will- remain open, just without the regular cleaning schedule normally done by the workers.
"So, it's still going to be sanitary, it's just not going to be at the level (park visitors) are used to," says Doorley, noting that the park's restrooms usually get high marks for customer service.
She says that the restrooms be spot checked for any problems.
(Earlier ANN coverage) Maybe that springtime hike should include a roll of toilet paper in your backpack.
The Cuyahoga Valley National Park says it's working to keep all restrooms open as the weather improves but keeping them clean may be a casualty of the sequester.
The park says the national government-mandated cuts to meet five percent budget decreases will flush $600,000 from it's spending plan through September 30th.
Along with reduced restroom cleaning the park system says it will have 35 fewer seasonal workers this summer which will also impact grass cutting and trail maintenance.
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(Cuyahoga Valley National Park) Effective March 1, 2013, Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) was required by sequestration to reduce its annual budget by five percent. The park must absorb this reduction in the remaining six months of its fiscal year, which ends September 30. For CVNP, this amounts to a $600,000 reduction in spending.
The park has implemented a variety of actions to meet this mandated reduction. Among the areas of spending reduced or cut are training, overtime, service contracts and supply purchases, fleet vehicles and the hiring of employees. Visitors will notice in particular the impact of 35 fewer seasonal staff going into the summer season, which will affect the level of basic park operations. Among the areas impacted are visitor center hours, education programming, restroom cleaning, trail maintenance, and mowing.
The park had developed a sequester plan in which some restrooms were going to be closed due to a lack of seasonal staff. The park has adjusted the plan and will now open all restrooms, but at a reduced level of cleaning.
“We are working diligently to continue to provide high quality visitor experiences during the required budget cuts,” said Stan Austin, superintendent of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. “Like many national parks, we are unable to retain our previous level of staffing and there will be fewer staff positions in the park this year compared to last year. The result is a reduction in the level of service visitors have come to expect. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and continued support in helping to maintain a clean and safe park environment.”