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Bill merges ODNR’s Divisions of Parks and Water in efficiency move



COLUMBUS – State Senator Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville) announced Tuesday the signing of legislation aimed at enhancing efficiency within the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

Senate Bill 293, sponsored by Balderson, eliminates departmental redundancies within ODNR in order to improve efficiency. By merging the Division of Parks with the Division of Watercraft, the bill frees up an estimated $1.3 million to improve boat ramps, docks and other park facilities across Ohio.

“As Ohioans take advantage of our state’s wonderful outdoor opportunities this summer at our parks and recreational areas, we want to make every effort to ensure their experience is the best it can be,” said Balderson. “This bill creates a more effective and efficient department than before, and I am grateful to (ODNR) Director Zehringer and ODNR for working with Governor Kasich and the legislature towards the bill’s passage.”

Senate Bill 293 also requires law enforcement associated with the new Division of Parks and Watercraft to be cross-trained to respond to situations either on land or on water. In addition, the bill eliminates the restrictive patrol boundaries that had previously separated park officers from watercraft officers.

With Governor Kasich’s signature, the bill will take effect in 90 days.



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