by Catherine Konieczny
With budget season getting into swing there is a push (but not enough) to find more savings to cover spending. The joint committee of Appropriations on Natural and Economic Resources met today to discuss the benefits of combining duties in regard to attractions between Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Cultural Resources (DCR). In theory there would be greater efficiency because DCR has more experience running attractions that make use of public land.
Chief Deputy Secretary of DENR spoke about three main benefits; the ability to use dynamic pricing to capture more revenue, leveraging assets to increase donations and patronage, and marketing regional attractions together as destinations. All three mean that tax payers will get a better return on their dollars spent to support the attractions.
The proposal is also included in the governor’s budget proposal since the reorganization requires legislative action to complete. As of yet there are no strong quantitative projections to say how much would actually be saved and how much the transfer of responsibility would actually cost. More research will need to be done to nail down the numbers but the streamlining of attractions to cultural resources and the limiting of DENR to regulatory issues is a good sign.
Read more about the proposal.