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Posted on: September 4, 2019

State Parks Commission meets Sept. 19, in Richland

OLYMPIA – Sep 4, 2019 – At its next regular meeting, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will consider approval of policy options for 2020 agency-request legislation and supplemental budget requests as well as real estate items.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, Richland Public Library, 955 Northgate Drive, Richland. (Driving directions). The Commission has regular meetings six times a year in pre-determined locations around the state. The meeting agenda provides time for public comment at all regular meetings. A full agenda, including information about opportunities for public comment is available at parks.state.wa.us/154/Commission-meetings-agendas.

2020 agency-request legislation
In September, state agencies may propose statutory changes for consideration by the Governor’s Office and the Legislature. These proposals, known as agency-request legislation, are evaluated and approved by the Governor’s Office and require sponsorship by a member of the Legislature. At the July State Parks Commission meeting, three main policy options were approved for further consideration:

  • Increasing the Discover Pass fee, along with authorizing the Commission to adjust pass fees in the future based on inflation.
  • Making changes to the procedural authority of the Commission by:
    • Eliminating the requirement for a unanimous vote of the Commission to dispose of property or to enter into lease or concession agreements between 20 and 50 years.
    • Increasing the limit on lease and concession agreements from 50 to 99 years to expand opportunities for public-private partnerships.
  • Changing the Commission’s classification from a Class III to a Class IV Board and Commission.

The proposed policy changes will be discussed during the meeting, and staff will provide recommendations to the Commission on potential modifications to these options.

2020 supplemental budget request
In a separate item, the Commission will consider the agency’s 2020 supplemental budget requests to be submitted to the Office of Financial Management (OFM) in September. Supplemental budget requests are limited to the following:

  • Non-discretionary changes in legally mandated caseloads or workloads.
  • Necessary technical corrections.
  • Changes to federal or private/local funding.
  • Highest priority policy enhancements consistent with Gov. Jay Inslee’s priority goals.
  • Capital projects that address emergent needs and cannot wait for the 2021-23 capital budget.

The supplemental operating budget request will include unanticipated cost increases, while the supplemental capital budget request will include funds to implement or complete capital projects.

Real estate
The Commission also will consider two real estate matters:

  • Authorize a 50-year lease of Helen McCabe State Park Property to the Kittitas Environmental Education Network, Inc. (KEEN) to construct and operate an interpretive center on the property.
  • Authorize the transfer of 174 acres known as the Grant County Sportsmen State Park Property to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The property, which is an isolated parcel in a landscape where most public land is managed by WDFW, would remain open for public use.

In other business, the Commission will also hear a financial update on 2017-19 biennium operating and capital budget expenditures and an update on the earned revenue forecast.

Commission work session
A work session is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, at Richland Public Library, 955 Northgate Drive, Richland. Commission work sessions are open to the public; however, there is no opportunity for public comment, and no formal action is taken. The agenda for the work session includes updates on:

  • The 2021-31 strategic plan.
  • The history and context for selecting an agency-owned property for development of a new destination park.
  • Capital Program report.
  • The environmental review process for the proposed City of Kenmore ballfields lease at Saint Edward State Park.
  • State Parks Trail Program.

Commission tours

Tuesday, Sept. 17: Commission members will tour the Hanford Reactor B Visitor Center, 2000 Logston Boulevard in Richland at 1 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 19: Commission members will be biking from the Columbia Point Lodge in Richland to Sacajawea Historical State Park and then touring the park, departing at 3 p.m.  

For more information about the meeting and tour logistics, contact Becki Ellison, executive assistant, State Parks Director’s Office, (360) 902-8502, or becki.ellison@parks.wa.gov.

News media contact:
Sandy Mealing, Communications Manager, (360) 902-8559

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About Washington State Parks

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.

 News release number: 19-069


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