Revision: Jan. 14, 2010, midnight
HB 558-FN – AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE
HOUSE BILL 558-FN
AN ACT establishing a procedure for leasing state parks.
This bill establishes a procedure for the leasing of state parks, creates a local community assistance fund, and repeals the lease provisions for the leasing of Cannon Mountain and Mount Sunapee.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nine
AN ACT establishing a procedure for leasing state parks.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
216-A:6-b Definitions. In this subdivision:
I. “Commissioner” means the commissioner of the department of resources and economic development.
II. “Director” means the director of the division of parks and recreation, department of resources and economic development.
III. “Division” means the division of parks and recreation, department of resources and economic development.
IV. “Lease” means a written instrument to which the state and a lessee are parties which provides for the development, management, or operation of a state park and the payment of rent to the state.
V. “Lease evaluation committee” or “committee” means a body consisting of the commissioner or designee, the director or designee, the executive director of the department of fish and game or designee, the director of the appropriate regional planning commission, a representative of each local community appointed by the governing body of the local community, and 3 members of the state park system advisory council, established in RSA 216-A:3-k, appointed by the chairman of the council. If state historical sites or facilities are involved, the committee shall include either the commissioner of the department of cultural resources or the director of the division of historical resources in the department of cultural resources. The commissioner shall oversee the formation of the committee.
VI. “Local community” means:
(a) Any municipality or unincorporated place in which a state park is located, whether in whole or in part; or
(b) Any municipality or unincorporated place abutting a state park; or
(c) Any municipality or unincorporated place that provides services to, or is affected by, the operation of a state park, as determined by the director in consultation with the appropriate regional planning commission.
VII. “State park” means any property or facility owned by the state and managed by the division for recreational, cultural, historical, or educational purposes.
216-A:6-c Lease of State Parks.
I. Except as provided in this section, no state park shall be leased to any entity without legislative approval of a proposed lease recommended by the commissioner, and subsequent approval of such lease by the governor and council.
II. This section shall not apply to operations related to souvenir and food service concessions, ski instruction, rental, or repair, or to any other similar type of auxiliary activity where the management and overall operations of the state park remains with the state.
III. This section shall not apply to any leases validly executed before the effective date of this section or to the renewal of such leases.
216-A:6-d Evaluation of Proposed Lease.
I. The commissioner shall review all lease proposals and determine which proposals shall be submitted to the committee.
II. If the commissioner submits a lease proposal to the committee, the committee shall first determine if the lease proposal contains sufficient information to be evaluated under paragraph III. If the committee determines additional information is needed, it may request the lease applicant to provide such additional information as the committee determines is reasonably necessary to properly evaluate the proposal. The additional cost of providing such information to the committee shall be borne by the lease applicant.
III. The committee shall evaluate the proposed lease of a state park using the following criteria:
(a) The effect on the current 10-year strategic plan for the specific state park and the role of the state park in the state park system.
(b) The proposed lessee possesses the financial, technical, and managerial capabilities to ensure that the state park shall be managed and operated in accordance with any conditions the committee may deem necessary.
(c) The financial benefit of the proposed lease to the state park system.
(d) The proposed lease will not interfere with the development of local communities, or with the responsibilities of local governing bodies, or municipal or regional planning commissions.
(e) The benefits of the proposed lease to the public using the state park, to the public using the state park system, and to local communities and businesses in the area of the state park, and in the state as a whole.
(f) The environmental effects of the proposed lease.
(g) Any relevant issues in local communities which may be caused by the proposed lease, including land use, development and growth, infrastructure issues, emergency and other community services, master plans and other community plans, zoning, and property valuation.
(h) Whether the activities in the proposed lease would be permitted under state or federal law.
(i) The proposed lessee agrees to the retention of as many state employees as is practicable under the proposed lease.
(j) The proposed lease will not adversely affect the economy, aesthetics, historical sites, environmental quality, public health or safety, infrastructure, or quality of life in a local community or in the state as a whole.
(k) The proposed lease contains provisions requiring the lessee to make payments to the department of resources and economic development to be deposited in the state park local community assistance fund established in RSA 216-A:6-e.
IV. The committee shall hold at least one public hearing on the proposed lease prior to the preparation of its written report. The commissioner shall post notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing at least 10 days in advance on the Internet site of the division of parks and recreation, in the town hall of each local community, and in at least one publication of general circulation in each local community.
V. Upon completion of the evaluation, the committee shall prepare a written report of its findings and recommendations on the proposed lease. Copies of the report shall be submitted to the commissioner, the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the chairperson of the house resources, recreation and development committee, and the chairperson of the senate energy, environment and economic development committee.
VI. The committee shall hold an informational meeting, to occur not more than 30 days after completion of the written report. The commissioner shall post notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing at least 10 days in advance on the Internet site of the department of resources and economic development, in the town hall of each local community, and in at least one publication of general circulation in each local community.
VII. The commissioner shall not recommend a proposed lease to the legislature unless it meets the criteria set forth in paragraph III.
VIII. The committee shall monitor approved leases for the duration of the lease period to ensure compliance with lease terms.
216-A:6-e Local Community Assistance Fund Established.
I. The state treasurer shall establish a separate and distinct account known as the local community assistance fund and shall deposit into said account a portion of the revenue determined in accordance with the lease agreement. Any remainder derived by the commissioner of the department of resources and economic development resulting from the lease of a state park shall be deposited into the state park fund established in RSA 216-A:3-i. The fund shall be nonlapsing and continually appropriated to the department of resources and economic development for the purposes set forth in this section. Moneys in the fund shall be available to local communities and may be used by such communities to pay for fire, school, ambulance, or other capital items, or to meet the costs of increased growth and development in local communities as a result of the lease. Local communities may receive moneys under this section only to the extent of available funds. A local community may apply for funds under this section once per fiscal year on a form to be provided by the commissioner. The commissioner may require the local community to provide such information as the commissioner determines is reasonable and necessary.
II. The attorney general may retain counsel for local communities to assist in determining the appropriate proportion of total lease revenue to be deposited in the local community assistance fund to compensate local communities affected by the lease of a state park. This paragraph shall not prohibit any person or local community from being represented by counsel.
III. The commissioner may adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to application procedures, deadlines, criteria, and limits on disbursements.
2 New Subparagraph; Application of Receipts; Local Community Assistance Fund. Amend RSA 6:12, I(b) by inserting after subparagraph (299) the following new subparagraph:
(300) Moneys deposited in the local community assistance fund established in RSA 216-A:6-e.
3 Repeal. RSA 12-A:29-a, relative to terms of lease agreements for Cannon Mountain and Mount Sunapee, is repealed.
4 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.
HB 558-FN - FISCAL NOTE
AN ACT establishing procedures for leasing state parks for use by private entities.
The Department of Resources and Economic Development states this bill may have an indeterminable effect on restricted state revenues and expenditures and increase local revenue by an indeterminable amount in FY 2010 and each year thereafter. This bill will have no fiscal impact on county and local expenditures or county revenue.
This bill establishes procedures for the lease of state parks or ski areas to private entities and establishes an enterprise fund for the benefit of municipalities which abut the leased state park or ski area. The Department of Resources and Economic Development states this bill consists of two components that may have an indeterminable effect on restricted state revenues, restricted state expenditures and local revenues. The first component requires the Department to conduct a public benefit analysis prior to the lease or private management of any state park or state ski area to a private entity. In the event that the Department would consider leasing a state park or ski area, the Department estimates the costs associated with the public benefit analysis would increase state park fund expenditures by $750,000 per study.
The second component of the proposed legislation effecting state restricted revenues and expenditures and local revenues is the requirement that any lease entered into pursuant to the proposed legislation, requires the lessee to make lease payments directly to a separate and distinct account, held by the Treasurer, called the enterprise fund. As stated in the proposed legislation, the enterprise fund shall be non-lapsing, continually appropriated to the Department and made available to local municipalities abutting the leased property. In the event that the Department was to lease a state park or ski area under the proposed legislation; this would have an indeterminable effect on state restricted revenue and expenditures due to the uncertainty of the ultimate fiscal impact of any potential leases entered into. However, any lease entered into would increase local revenue by an indeterminable amount due to the proposed legislation’s requirement that lease proceeds be designated for municipalities abutting the leased property.