Saturday, January 30, 2016

Bill reintroduced to transfer mining and mineral museum to AZGS

Sen. Gail Griffin has reintroduced her bill, SB1440,  to transfer the former Arizona Mining & Mineral Museum in Phoenix, rom the Arizona Historical Society to AZGS to be re-opened as the Arizona Mining, Mineral, and Natural Resources Education Museum.  The bill is essentially the same as the version that passed last year in the Legislature, 25-0 in the Senate, and 58-2 in the House.  Governor Ducey vetoed that bill.

The museum was transferred from the Dept. of Mines & Minerals Resources  (DMMR) to the Historical Society in 2010 in anticipation of converting it to the Arizona Experience museum for the 2012 Arizona Centennial, but funds were not raised.  The museum shut down in 2011 and has been vacant and closed since then.  DMMR was merged into AZGS in 2011.

Fans and advocates of the old museum have campaigned relentlessly to have it reopened.  The new museum would have a dramatically expanded mission, adding agriculture, livestock, forestry, and education to its portfolio.    SB1440 would transfer an unstated amount of funds for the rent, plus one curator position.  Additional funds would come from the fees paid for centennial license plates.

The bill faces an additional complication this time, since Gov. Ducey is proposing that AZGS's duties be transferred to the University of Arizona. 

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:54 PM

    The only thing I see wrong in this bill is that it doesn't do near enough money wise to support the move.In addition to the rent (just a paper record, the State already owns the building free and clear) money should be taken from the Ariz. Historical Soc. budget to purchase some of the things that AHS has taken from the building and disposed of it in one way or the other. Things like mineral cases, lapidary equipment, items from the gift shop, etc. The list is too long to go on.
    I see no problem with the AGS duties being transferred to UA. They just leave one of their members in Phoenix to take care of the people who don't want to go to Tucson for information and work with the new curator and the many volunteers that will help return the museum to its former self. The K12 educational program is already going out of the volunteers homes, so its move to the building will be easy and will continue as if nothing has happened. The opening of the building,(if AHS is made to return the items taken from the building)will also allow the thousands of K12 kids who used to visit for a great day of learning about the part minerals play in our everyday lives and how Arizona contributes to this, to once again spend the day.