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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: April 4, 2016 02:24 PM
From: Representative Brian L. Ellis and Rep. Paul Costa
To: All House members
Subject: Co-sponsorship: Allow DCNR to enter in public-private partnerships to provide additional recreational activities in PA state parks
We are planning to introduce legislation that will allow the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to enter in public-private partnerships to provide additional recreational activities in Pennsylvania state parks.

Our state park system is recognized as one of the finest in the nations, with residents and visitors able to access 121 state parks across the state consisting of more than 300,000 acres. From our newest state park, Washington Crossing in Bucks County, to our most visited, Presque Isle on Lake Erie with 4 million annual visitors, we offer outdoor activities of all kinds.

However, we lag behind neighboring states in not providing a variety of modern and improved lodging and recreational opportunities. West Virginia, for example, has a number of state parks with sizeable lodging facilities, conference centers and golfing. Ohio has similar facilities at nine of its state parks. Pennsylvania, however, has one small bed and breakfast-type lodge at Bald Eagle State Park.

Our legislation would establish a PPP board whose job would be to conduct an inventory of current state park assets and issue recommendations where additional recreational facilities would serve the public interest. It would accept and solicit private sector offers to develop those facilities, and subsequently recommend to the department any appropriate PPP projects that fit the natural beauty of our parks and at the same time accommodate consumer demand for a variety of natural and modern recreational activities.

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Introduced as HB2013