Bill Text - HB558 (2010)

(2nd New Title) establishing a procedure for leasing state parks.


Revision: April 6, 2010, midnight

HB 558-FN – AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE

13Jan2010… 0011h

10Feb2010… 0417h

24Mar2010… 0878h

2009 SESSION

09-0765

04/03

HOUSE BILL 558-FN

AN ACT establishing a procedure for leasing state parks.

SPONSORS: Rep. Taylor, Graf 2; Rep. P. McMahon, Merr 3; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 24

COMMITTEE: Resources, Recreation and Development

AMENDED ANALYSIS

This bill establishes a procedure for the leasing of state parks and repeals the lease provisions for the leasing of Cannon Mountain and Mount Sunapee.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

13Jan2010… 0011h

10Feb2010… 0417h

24Mar2010… 0878h

09-0765

04/03

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:

1 New Subdivision; Lease of State Parks. Amend RSA 216-A by inserting after section 6-a the following new subdivision:

Lease of State Parks

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 the state park system advisory council, established in RSA 216-A:3-k. Only for the purpose of performing its duties under this subdivision relative to the evaluation of proposed leases of state parks and the monitoring of leases of state parks, the membership of the state park system advisory council shall also include the following individuals:

(a) If state historical sites or facilities are involved, the commissioner of the department of cultural resources or designee.

(b) The executive director of the fish and game department, or designee.

(c) The commissioner of the department of environmental services or designee.

(d) The director of the appropriate regional planning commission as determined by the commissioner of the department of resources and economic development.

(e) A representative from each local community who shall be appointed by the governing body of the local community.

VI. “Local community” means any municipality or unincorporated place:

(a) In which the state park which is the subject of the proposed lease is located, whether in whole or in part; or

(b) That abuts the state park which is the subject of the proposed lease; or

(c) That provides services to, or is affected by, the operation of the state park which is the subject of the proposed lease, as determined by the director in consultation with the appropriate regional planning commission.

VII. “State park” means any land or infrastructure, whether in whole or in part, 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 the written report prepared pursuant to RSA 216-A:6-d, V, and subsequent approval of the 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.

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 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.

(e) The environmental effects of the proposed lease.

(f) Any relevant issues in local communities which may be caused by the proposed lease, including land use, infrastructure issues, and emergency and other community services.

(g) Whether the activities in the proposed lease would be permitted under state or federal law.

(h) The proposed lessee agrees to the retention of as many state employees as is practicable under the proposed lease.

(i) The proposed lease will have a minimal net adverse impact on the economy, aesthetics, historical sites, public health or safety, or quality of life in a local community or in the state as a whole.

(j) The proposed lease shall specifically address any additional financial impacts to local communities in the areas of public safety and infrastructure maintenance and improvement and provide a means to meet such additional needs.

(k) The proposed lease shall contain a 10-year development plan detailing proposed expansion and improvements on the land which is the subject of the lease.

(l) If the lease involves any portion of Franconia Notch state park, the lease shall include a provision requiring that, pursuant to 1925, 260, the portion of Franconia Notch state park known as the Franconia Notch forest reservation and memorial park, which was dedicated as a memorial to the men and women of New Hampshire who have served the nation in times of war, shall be undisturbed except for necessary care and maintenance, that no burial site located in the memorial park shall be moved or disturbed in any way, except for necessary care and maintenance, and that the memorial park shall remain free of charge to visitors.

IV. The committee shall hold at least one public hearing in a local community 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, the chairperson of the senate energy, environment and economic development committee, and to the members of the governing body in each local community.

VI. The committee shall hold an informational meeting in a local community, 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 Lease Payments. All lease payments to the state shall be deposited in the state park fund established in RSA 216-A:3-i.

216-A:6-f Applicability. This subdivision shall not apply to any leases validly executed before the effective date of this subdivision or to the renewal of such leases.

2 New Paragraph; State Park System Advisory Council; Members. Amend RSA 216-A:3-k by inserting after paragraph I the following new paragraph:

I-a. In addition to the members listed in paragraph I, the council membership shall include the individuals set forth in RSA 216-A:6-b, V(a)-(e) only for the purpose of evaluating and monitoring leases of state parks pursuant to RSA 216-A:6-b through RSA 216-A:6-f.

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.

LBAO

09-0765

Amended 04/06/10

HB 558 FISCAL NOTE

AN ACT establishing a procedure for leasing state parks.

FISCAL IMPACT:

      The Department of Resources and Economic Development states this bill, as amended by the House (Amendment #2010-0878h), may increase state restricted revenue, county revenue and expenditures, and local revenue and expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2011 and each year thereafter. There is no fiscal impact on state expenditures.

METHODOLOGY:

    The Department of Resources and Economic Development states this bill establishes procedures for leasing state parks and directs any revenue from the leasing of state parks be deposited into the state park fund. The Department states it is not able to determine the amount of revenue that would come from future leases of state parks. To the extent county or local governments lease a state park, they may have an indeterminable increase in expenditures and revenue.

    The Department states the 1925 parcel (Franconia Notch Forest Reservation and Memorial Park) of 5,244 acres is not tracked separately from the entire property of 7,109 acres. Visitors are charged admission to the ski areas, campgrounds, and park attractions (Flume, Tram, and Echo Lake Beach), however visitors are not charged a fee for the remainder of the park, which includes the park memorial areas. As the park memorial areas are not tracked separately from the rest of the park, the Department is not able to determine the fiscal impact of care and maintenance or free admission for visitors to the park memorial areas.

None