Tennessee struggling to maintain parks

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - While more Tennesseans are vacationing in affordable state parks, many are disappointed to find the aging facilities with broken plumbing, rusty equipment and chipping paint.

A national professional group of civil engineers ranked Tennessee a D-plus for its state parks and officials say a tight budget has created a $100 million backlog of maintenance projects at its 54-park system.

Still experts say there's no safety risk to the more than 30 million visitors to state parks this past year. More are expected to visit in 2009.

Richard Jones, a co-author of the Tennessee Infrastructure report card, told the Tennessean that besides the budget problems and mounting maintenance issues, many of the parks infrastructure is over 60 years old.

Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com

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