Budget Cuts Affect Local Beaches

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Water fight season is back and with it comes a break for parents like Angie Amburn.

"The kids have been bickering amongst themselves all morning but now we come to the park and they're getting along great," said Amburn who took her three daughters swimming at Burchfield Park in Holt.

But come next week no one will be running into the water at Burchfield. With the county still facing budget cuts swimming there will only be open on weekends and holidays this summer.

"We limit our swimming to weekends where we are able to have a lifeguard on duty," Assistant Manager of the park, Tim Buckley said.

Even though the beach is closed, activities like disc golf and boat rentals at Burchfield will be open on weekdays.

Tight budgets caused county parks to stop offering free days, where everything from entrance fees to boat rentals had no charge.

The park relies in part on revenue from entrance fees to help fund operations and maintain full staffs. Amburn says the limited beach schedule may not help.

"It would be nice if it could be open during the week we would come more often," Amburn said.

One thing beach staff say won't be affected by budget cuts is letting people know about weekly water quality testing and results. They plan on continuing to post that information on the county website.

"We actually started doing our water samples three weeks ago prior to opening," Buckley added.

Even though you can't go swimming at Burchfield every day, the county's other beaches at Hawk Island and Lake Lansing will remain open seven days a week.

That's something Amburn says she is looking forward to.

"At home we have to tell them to be quiet but we can come out here and they can just be kids," she shared.

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