One of Montgomery County’s treasures is facing some serious budget problems, and that could mean the facility may have to close its doors at the end of this year unless it finds the money to remain open.
KYW’s Brad Segall reports that officials of the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown have gone to county leaders asking for emergency funding in an effort to fill a $200,000 budget gap.
Zoo executive director Bill Konstant says the shortfall can be attributed to a combination of factors that include cuts in state funding and private contributions, and a drop in attendance this year during June and July, when it was hot:
“(It’s) he time of the year when we typically make up the loss that we incur during the winter months, because during the winter attendance is low. But our fixed expenses to maintain the animal collection, to maintain the grounds — all those things don’t decline.”
The zoo has already cut wages and staffing.
Konstant says attendance picked up in August and they have a number of events planned for the fall.
He expects to meet with the county commissioners next week to see what can be done to keep the zoo afloat into early next year.