Just when it looked like Milford Beach at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area would be closed this summer due to the budget sequestration, a corporation has stepped up with the money to open the beach.
Water Gap Superintendent John J. Donahue says Kinder Morgan, the parent company of Tennessee Gas, is donating the full $41,000 needed to pay for summer operations at Milford Beach.
"This is a great example of good citizenship being demonstrated by a corporation that intends to be a good neighbor for many decades to come,” said Superintendent Donahue in a release. “It also shows how cooler heads can prevail by working together for a solution instead of searching for someone to blame.”
At Kinder Morgan, Allen Fore, director of public affairs, said the company "wanted to help ensure local residents had continued access to a valuable recreation area."
"We are pleased to make this significant donation to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and continue our commitment to a community partnership with Pike County and all of our asset areas," added Mr. Fore.
The National Park Service will provide funding for lifeguards and fee collectors and the company's donation will cover the many maintenance and operational costs to keep the site open. The fees collected at Milford Beach are supplemented by fees collected at other sites in the park and are used to pay for the cost of lifeguards.
“If we don’t collect fees this year, there will be no money for lifeguards next year,” noted the superintendent.
The Park Service received approval to accept the donation and open Milford Beach from the Northeast Regional Office in Philadelphia and from the Washington, D.C. offices late Friday afternoon.
“Now that we have all of the necessary approvals, we can finally say that Milford Beach will be open this summer,” said the superintendent.