Nebraska’s state parks and recreational areas could see a new infusion of state cash for maintenance projects and upgrades.

The Kearney Hub reported lawmakers voted 32-1 on Tuesday (March 4) on LB814, a bill that would accelerate work on a $43 million backlog. The project list includes installing new water towers, septic systems, toilets and showers, and ensuring that facilities comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

“The sheer amount of basic infrastructure that Game and Parks is statutorily responsible for maintaining is very extensive, and most of it is out of date and out of compliance with federal law,” said Sen. Bill Avery of Lincoln, the bill’s sponsor. “This needs to be corrected.”

Nebraska has eight state parks, 64 state recreation areas and 11 state historical parks, and the system sees an estimated 12 million visitors annually.

“The bill provides us a funding source to help us attack that list of needs,” Nebraska Parks Division Administrator Roger Kuhn said Tuesday. “If we’re going to maintain our quality, a funding source is pretty critical to help us do that.”

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