The state’s roadside rest areas, which provide information and tourism destinations, are the target of budget cuts as the state faces a shortfall of about $176 million.
The Valley News says four rest areas have been closed since 2008 and others have had their hours reduced.
The 15 state-run rest areas left operate on a budget of $3.7 million, down from $4.8 million two years ago. Now state officials are thinking outside-the-box to keep them running.
One possible answer is having private businesses pick up costs of running rest areas and visitors’ centers. That would require a change in the federal law for areas along the interstate highways, but political pressure to do that is building.