Friday, June 21, 2013

Sequestered

I know the Sequester has disappeared from the news, but the various agencies affected are dealing with the impacts. We are starting to feel and see the impacts of the Fish & Wildlife budget cuts.

At the end of May everyone's favorite maintenance man Stephen Zadroga. You are probably saying "Who?". That's because everyone knows him as Ziggy. Unfortunately, due to the sequester F&WS will not be replacing him.

Light Chronicle: GM20130618 &emdash;

Not that you could ever replace Ziggy. He seemed to do the work of two men. If he didn't stop and tell you stories he would probably be doing the work of three! What we all loved about Ziggy was he was driven to get things done, and done well, using the resources he had.

I had never noticed until Alan mentioned it that when they rebuilt the bridge on the Lower Impoundment outflow they repurposed the cement curbing from the old parking lot. The next time you are enjoying the view from the observation deck, take a moment and remember the guy that built it.

You may have noticed the signs that were posted in the restrooms. Another impact of the sequester is to save money they had to terminate the cleaning contract. F&WS staff will be cleaning the restrooms, but probably not with the same frequency.

Of course this is a double whammy because that's time they won't be doing what they normally do. You can help out, by helping to pick up the loose trash that others leave behind or neatening up after yourself. If you feel inclined I am sure that they have plenty of things that they would appreciate some volunteer time.

Elsewhere in the refuge you can see the slowing down of minor problems & issues being handled. The one nice benefit of the flooding was that the hornet's nest under the bridge was probably flooded down river.

The full text of the restroom notice follows. Feel free to follow up with Susan with any questions (or to volunteer).

Due to the impacts of sequestration, we are operating with a reduced staff and have received less funding, therefore we are unable to renew our annual cleaning contract for the Concord restroom. Staff will be making an earnest effort to keep the facilities cleaned and stocked with toilet paper and Purell hand sanitizer; the ability to maintain the current standards is not feasible and this is only a temporary fix for the summer season.

We are uncertain if we will be able to keep the restrooms open long-term. One way we anticipate to generate funds is to implement the Recreational Fee program at the Concord Unit. We received approval to establish an entry fee for the site in 2005 and have determined we are in need of these entry fees more than ever at this time.

More information will be made available this summer about the Recreational Fee program. We ask for your patience as we transition into adding this role into an already very busy schedule. Thank you.

Please feel free to contact us if you see any issues or have matters to bring to our attention.
Susan J. Russo
978.443.4661 x34