FALLIN seeks to add state parks needs to special legislative session agenda

Friday, June 1st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin wants the environmental problems of state parks to be included in this summer's special legislative session.

Fallin on Thursday asked Gov. Frank Keating to add state parks' need for $11 million in repairs to the legislative agenda.

Five state parks need repairs to sewage lagoons, lift stations and other items. If the repairs are not made, fines and other action could result.

Fallin heads the Tourism and Recreation Commission, the Tulsa World's capitol bureau reported.

``The height of Oklahoma's tourist season is upon us,'' Fallin said. ``Tourism is the lifeblood of the economies of many rural communities surrounding the affected parks.

``As a state, we cannot afford to jeopardize this vital part of our economy over this funding issue.''

The needed repairs cannot wait, Fallin said. The Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation requested the money from lawmakers, but didn't receive it.

``We don't have any plans to add that to the call for the special session,'' said John Cox, a Keating spokesman.

``We are sympathetic to the issue, but the `rainy day' money has not been deposited yet. It would be our plan or goal to address this once next session rolls around.''