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Newcomb vic reduces operating hours

NEWCOMB - In an effort to save money, the Adirondack Park Agency has announced the Visitor Interpretive Centers will be operating at reduced hours.

According to APA spokesman Keith McKeever, the Newcomb and Paul Smith's VICs will now be closed on Sunday and Monday. However, the trail systems will remain open daily from dawn to dusk.

The two interpretive centers will now be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, McKeever said.

The reduction in operating hours comes after Gov. David Paterson ordered all state agencies to review potential methods of saving funds, McKeever said.

Official estimates indicate that the coming 2009-2010 New York State budget may feature a deficit exceeding $14 billion.

"We have to look at every department to find ways to reduce costs across the board," Paterson said in a recent press conference.

According to McKeever, the VIC operating hours will remain as they have been throughout the winter.

Typically, the operating hours are increased during the summer months to accommodate an greater traffic.

The APA Visitors Interpretive Centers are meant to allow visitors to not only explore Adirondack landscapes, but to also understand the ecosystem which they are observing.

"Reduced hours at the VICs will help the agency achieve a more robust interpretive program and still fulfill our mission to protect and conserve the unique public and private natural resources of the Adirondack Park," McKeever said.

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