Of the state's 56 historic sites, statues and memorials, 12 will be closed extra days each week or offer reduced hours earlier in the year than normal in an effort to reduce costs, the agency said in a news release, blaming the closures on the general assembly's recently approved budget that cut the sites' funding.
"If the cuts aren't reversed, we'll simply run out of money to operate sites next year," Illinois Historic Preservation Director
Legislators in May approved a budget that included a 19 percent reduction in funds available to operate the sites, the agency said, from
The extra closures at some sites will also mean firing some temporary seasonal workers at its 26 staffed sites, leaving some maintenance work like mowing lawns for other staff to do, said Wills.
But without additional funds, further staff and site cuts and closures could be imminent, the agency warns.
"Reducing hours of operation will not balance the agency's budget," the agency said in a news release Monday. "That would require more drastic steps, such as closing some sites completely."
Historic-site staff has already been cut in half since 2002, the agency said, from 138 positions in that fiscal year to 69 in the current fiscal year. The agency said it has requested from legislators
Details about the site closures are available at the agency's website, www.illinois.gov/ihpa.
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