Senate Bill 1200, which would transfer the former Mining & Mineral Museum from the Arizona Historical Society (AHS) to the Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS), passed 5-0 in the Arizona Senate Rural Affairs and Environment Committee yesterday.
The bill directs AZGS to re-open the museum as the Mining, Mineral, and Natural Resources Education Museum, to include the elements planned for the proposed Centennial Museum that was never developed - agriculture, livestock, specialty crops, tourism, and education. The bill's sponsor, Sen. Gail Griffen, told the committee that her intent is that the museum would encompass forestry, range management, and wildfire impacts as well.
The bill would also transfer $428,300 from the Arizona Historical Society to AZGS to cover the rent on the building and the salary for one curator. [Right, the former museum drew as many as 25,000 school students each year]
A report from the Arizona Dept. of Administration and AHS completed in December, estimated it would cost an additional $2.1 million in one-time capital costs to make the building ready to open and annual operational costs including an educational program, would run $294,000. Those costs are not factored into SB1200.