Mar 14, 2011 8:13 PM by John Romero
Come this summer you may notice a few changes when visiting your favorite state parks and wildlife areas. The state Division of Wildlife and the State Parks Department are set to be merged into one department on July 1st. For the most part it all comes down to money. "Everyone knows the state's in a very difficult situation with its budget." explains Todd Hartman with the state Department of Natural Resources, "The Governor has asked us to fundamentally look at ways to make significant changes."
One of the biggest questions now is how it will affect the overlapping jobs once the merger happens. Hartman says through retirements and other methods, they will likely cut some jobs. "Over the first 2-3 years we can find efficiencies that could result in perhaps saving 25 positions as far as eliminating those positions." he says, "But I want to stress that this will be done in a way that makes sense. It will be done properly."
The state says they believe the merger can be done cleanly and actually improve service to Coloradans. The thought now is buildings can be combined, fleets could be merged and ultimately the citizens could see the savings. "We expect it to lower the cost of doing business because you're going to require fewer people in many cases to effectively so the same work." says Hartman.
Before any of this happens the state legislature must present and approve a bill creating one large agency. That bill could be introduced as early as this week.