Legislative Analyst's Office

Analysis of the 2003-04 Budget Bill

Department of Parks and Recreation (3790)

The budget proposes $103 million for capital outlay for the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). This amount includes $69.1 million from the California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2002 (2002 Bond Act); $24.1 million from the Safe Neighborhood Parks, Clean Water, Clean Air and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2000; $3.7 million from federal funds; $3.6 million from the Off-Highway Vehicle Trust Fund; $1.9 million from the Habitat Conservation Fund; $419,000 from the Recreation and Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Fund; and $110,000 from the Winter Recreation Fund.

California Indian Museum

We recommend deletion of $5 million proposed for the California Indian Museum, as the Department of Parks and Recreation already has adequate funding to begin planning and development of the museum. (Delete $5 million from Item 3790-301-6029 [22].)

The budget proposes $5 million from the 2002 Bond Act for the Phase I development of the California Indian Museum (CIM). Based on our review of the proposal, we find this request for additional funds to be premature for the following reasons:

California Indian Cultural Center and Museum Task Force Has Not Issued Its Recommendations. Chapter 290, Statutes of 2002 (SB 2063, Brulte), created the California Indian Cultural Center and Museum Task Force (task force) to make recommendations to DPR on potential CIM sites, no later than one year after it is convened. The task force is also to make recommendations on cultural and design concepts for the CIM. We understand that the task force will meet for the first time in March 2003 and, according to DPR, the task force will begin its discussions on the site location and design of the CIM sometime this summer.

Prior CIM Appropriation Still Available. Chapter 1126, Statutes of 2002 (AB 716, Firebaugh), provided DPR with $5 million from the 2002 Bond Act for the CIM project. We understand that DPR proposes to combine the $5 million requested in the 2003-04 budget with the prior appropriation to develop a $10 million CIM. Of the $5 million provided by Chapter 1126, DPR has allocated $810,000 for a project study phase to develop an architectural program to confirm programmatic needs, space and use requirements, an overall curatorial and cultural program, a site and facility master plan, a project phasing plan, and cost estimates for the complete CIM. Consequently, the remaining $4.2 million is available to DPR for any other CIM development uses that are consistent with the task force's forthcoming recommendations.

Based on the above, there is no need at this time to appropriate an additional $5 million for the CIM. Until the task force issues recommendations on a CIM site and design, and DPR has finished its study/planning documents and acquired a site for the project, there is no need for additional funding. Therefore, we recommend denial of the $5 million requested for the CIM.

Reduce Funding Request for the California Heritage Center Project

We recommend the Legislature approve $3.4 million of the proposed $10 million project to fund the acquisition of a site for the project and the development of a master plan to establish facility standards, project programming, and site plan. We recommend deletion of the remaining proposed funds for future project phases, as the monies are not needed in the budget year. (Reduce Item 3790-301-6029 [9] by $6,557,000.)

The 2003-04 Governor's Budget requests $10 million from the 2002 Bond Act to fund the acquisition of a site in the Sacramento area and construct a Phase I facility for the California Heritage Center. This project would provide a facility to house and display various historic and culturally significant artifacts that DPR has acquired over time. Currently, DPR is using a leased warehouse facility to store many of the artifacts, and the rest are being stored in various facilities throughout the state. It is our understanding that the current warehouse facility, along with most of the other facilities, are not designed to store historical artifacts. As such, it is difficult to maintain an appropriate storage environment (temperature and humidity) for preserving the artifacts.

The budget proposal requests funding of all project phases, including a master plan study and site acquisition. According to the DPR proposal, it first needs to identify and acquire a site in the Sacramento area and develop a master plan for the project site. We understand that the master plan study will establish facility standards, identify needs for public access and research, define the program for the entire project, and plan the site for phased development. These are all tasks that should be completed prior to requesting funds for preliminary plans, working drawings, and construction. Also, like the CIM project discussed above, we recommend the Legislature not support a request for construction funds when DPR has no site on which to begin planning and construction of the project.

Based on the above, we recommend approval of $3 million for site acquisition, and $443,000 for the master plan study. With the completion of these phases, the department will have an accurate statement of cost and scope for the project, and can propose funding for future phases in subsequent budget acts.

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