Monday, April 05, 2010

Centennial Museum bill passes committee, 4-3, after contentious hearing

Late this afternoon, a state Senate committee passed the 'strike-everything' bill HB2251 (i.e., a replacement bill), 4 to 3, that moves the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum from the Arizona Dept. of Mines and Mineral Resources to the Arizona Historical Society to become the Centennial Museum.

There were two hours of contentious testimony this afternoon and some Senators spoke how conflicted they were over their votes.  In the end, Committee Chair John Nelson cast the deciding vote but noted that unless the stakeholders work out their differences on the bill, he does not want it to come to the Senate floor.

I have lots of notes that I will try to summarize later when I get home from the hearing.


  1. So if the Centennial Museum gets the building, where is the ADMMR going to move? What will happen to all of their priceless maps, historic documents and other materials? Will I still have access to them, or with the AHS hide them away? This is a terrible decision. There are scores of (larger) vacant buildings owned by the State - why not leave the Department and their museum alone and use the other facilities? The current museum barely houses their material, how can it hold displays for 4 or more additional industries? There is no funding or business plan for the Centennial Museum - talk about getting the cart before the horse... What a mess.
    Mark B.
    Vail, AZ

  2. Mark, the 3 staffers remaining in ADMMR are tentatively planning on moving into vacant offices in the Executive Tower, adjacent to the State Mine Inspectors office. HB2251 specifically mandates that their maps and files will stay with them. ADMMR director Madan Singh told me there is enough storage space there to accommodate their files.

  3. However, the ADMMR staff uses the mineral collection as well as the documents in their work. For example, they can show a miner what a particular ore looks like. Separating the scientific mineral collection from the documents is a disaster for the mining industry.