October 31, 2017

Contact: Senator Robert Cowles: (608) 266-0484

Cowles Bill to Improve Water Infrastructure in  State Parks Approved by Senate

MADISON- Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) released the following statement after 2017 Senate Bill 421, named the Parks Revitalization Act, was passed by the Senate on a voice vote:

“Our state parks are not only critical in showcasing the best of our state’s natural beauty, but they provide hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity while generating thousands of jobs in the tourism and service industries. While the environment in our state parks may be outstanding, in many cases the infrastructure is degraded.

“The Parks Revitalization Act is designed to tackle the ongoing issue of degrading water infrastructure in some of our most visited parks. Good drinking water quality should not be optional when it comes to the health and safety of our visitors. By addressing the critical water infrastructure projects identified by the DNR, we can continue to ensure that our state park visitors have an enjoyable outdoors experience and continue to use our parks.

“I want to thank my co-author, Representative Tusler (R-Harrison), for his work on this legislation to this point.”

The Parks Revitalization Act uses up to $4.5 million in unspent Knowles-Nelson Stewardship funds from FY 2016-17 to complete water infrastructure projects in some of the most frequented state parks. Some of these parks may include Devil’s Lake, High Cliff, Kohler-Andre, Peninsula and Willow River State Parks. The projects that would be completed under this bill were identified by the DNR as critical health and safety water infrastructure projects. Some of these projects may include drinking water fixture replacement, septic system replacement, vault toilet replacement, water line replacement, and waste storage areas.