Budget Bill Would Give Iowa Park Rangers More Time To Move
Park rangers working in the state of Iowa got some harsh news late last year that they would need to move out of houses in 26 state parks. The reason? It was going to cost too much to repair and bring the homes up to code. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources estimated it could cost nearly $1 million to repair all the properties. Rangers were told they would have until the end of November of 2022 to find housing.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that a new budget bill approved last week by the Iowa House would extend that deadline and give Iowa Park Rangers more time to find suitable housing for themselves and their families. The Gazette reports that the Agriculture and Natural Resources budget would give staff until "at least July 1, 2024" to remain in state-owned housing.
The Iowa DNR told the Gazette that moving rangers and other park staff out will not affect park safety. However, the Johnson County Sheriff told the Gazette that moving the ranger out of Lake McBride State Park in Solon will mean his deputies will now more often than not be the first responders to an emergency call.
The overall budget bill was approved last week on a vote of 61 to 35.
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