Costs of Implementing the Recommendations Made to the House Select Committee Studying the Effectiveness of Ohio?s Historical Programs and Partnerships

Alan C. Tonetti -- Trustee, Ohio Archaeological Council

February 1, 2002

Chairman Metzger:

Following the Ohio Archaeological Council's January 16, 2002 testimony, Representative Miller requested that the Council determine the cost of implementing the recommendations made in our testimony. You also requested recommendations on potential funding sources for such activities and programs. The Council researched these matters and this letter constitutes our reply. Following the list of estimated costs for the activities and programs and the list of potential funding sources is an explanation of how the costs were derived and a brief discussion of other considerations associated with implementing the activities and programs.

In addition to providing you and the Committee with the requested information, the Council wants to emphasize that although there are costs associated with implementing these recommendations, there are costs if the recommendations are not implemented. For instance, it is difficult for state agencies to streamline their costs to comply with federal and state laws determining the impact of their projects on important archaeological sites when the state does not have an archaeological preservation plan that streamlines the decision making process concerning identifying important archaeological sites. The lack of a state archaeological preservation plan places Ohio at a competitive disadvantage to states implementing their plans, both in terms of preserving history and in growing the economy. Important archaeological sites and other historic places need to be treated and managed as social and economic assets rather than as burdens to growth and development, as they are often perceived.

Estimated costs for implementing our recommendations

Develop and implement a state archaeological preservation plan, $300,000

Develop cultural resource management plans for State Memorials, $25,000 per State Memorial

Develop and implement an avocational archaeology outreach program, a State Register of Archaeological Landmarks, a State Archaeological Preserve program, and an abandoned cemetery and unmarked human burial ground preservation program, $200,000 per year

Develop and implement a program to take into consideration the impacts of state and state- assisted projects on archaeological resources, $500,000+ per year

Potential funding sources, the proceeds of which would be deposited into an Ohio Historic Places Preservation Fund

Permit the manufacture and sale of "Discover Ohio's History" motor vehicle license plates

Permit a taxpayer donation check-off on the state income tax form, similar to the one currently available for funding certain programs of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Establish user fees for for-profit researchers using information at the State Historic Preservation Office

A percentage of user fees from state park visitors

A percentage of the state gasoline tax

A percentage of taxes or fees on real estate transactions

A percentage of taxes associated with tourism, entertainment and athletic events

A percentage of taxes or fees associated with state-permitted mining, drilling, timber cutting and other extractive industry operations that impact archaeological resources

A percentage of the proceeds from the State Lottery and/or from state-regulated gambling, should the latter be developed

State Archaeological Preservation Plan

Arriving at a cost for developing a state archaeological preservation plan was accomplished by seeking information from states that have developed and are successfully using such a plan. Colorado's plan is timely and exemplary. The Colorado plan was funded in large part by a grant of $202,000 from the State Historical Fund. The State Historical Fund receives a percentage (28%) of the proceeds from state-regulated casino gambling. The Colorado plan was developed by the Colorado Council for Professional Archaeologists, the Ohio Archaeological Council's counterpart in Colorado, in cooperation with the Colorado State Historic Preservation Officer, federal, state and local agencies, Native Americans, and other interested stakeholders. The plan streamlines the process for making decisions about which archaeological sites are important and, thus, need to be considered during federal and state environmental review processes.

In Ohio, the state archaeological preservation plan should be developed by the State Historic Preservation Office in cooperation with federal, state and local agencies, the Ohio Archaeological Council, the Archaeological Society of Ohio, the Native American community, and other interested stakeholders. The State Historic Preservation Office, federal, state and local government agencies, private industry, professional archaeologists conducting archaeological research for government agencies and private industry, and the Native American community would be the main users of the plan.

The approximate cost of developing the Colorado archaeological preservation plan was $250,000. The Colorado plan was developed over four years, between 1997 and 2000. The plan was published in 2000. It replaces a plan developed in 1984.

Plans must be periodically revised. Revisions to a state archaeological preservation plan depend on a number of factors, but supplemental information should be added every two or three years. The cost for supplements is estimated at $50,000 every two or three years. The life span of the state archaeological preservation plan is approximately ten years, at which time a major revision would be necessary. The cost for a major revision is estimated at $125,000.

Cultural Resource Management Plans for State Memorials

The estimated cost for developing a cultural resource management plan for a State Memorial is $25,000. The cost is based on the Ohio Historical Society's projected cost for developing the Newark Earthworks State Memorial cultural resource management plan, approximately $27,000. Because of the varied size and nature of Ohio's State Memorial's, some cultural resource management plans may cost much less, while other may cost more. The purpose of a cultural resource management plan is to plan for the diverse uses of State Memorials by the public. The Ohio Historical Society would develop the cultural resource management plans in cooperation with interested stakeholders.

Avocational Archaeology Outreach, State Register of Archaeological Landmarks, State Archaeological Preserve, and Abandoned Cemetery and Unmarked Human Burial Ground Protection Programs

The estimated cost of these programs, $200,000, is based on our cost estimates for establishing a three-person office for developing and implementing these programs. These programs involve outreach to private organizations and citizens, state agencies, and local governments to protect archaeological sites and places of human burial. The State Historic Preservation Office frequently works with these stakeholders and should develop and implement these programs. The Ohio Revised Code requires the Ohio Historical Society to cooperate with avocational archaeologists and develop a State Registry of Archaeological Landmarks and an Archaeological Preserve program.

Although the Ohio Revised Code does not require the Ohio Historical Society to develop and implement an abandoned cemetery and unmarked human burial ground preservation program, a program to help protect the tens of thousands of abandoned cemeteries and unmarked human burial grounds in Ohio is urgently needed from both a social and economic standpoint. Ohio is one of the few states that does not have state legislation specifically designed to protect such places. The lack of such a process results in stalled economic development projects while disputes concerning the ownership and treatment of such places are addressed in lengthy legal proceedings. The protection of abandoned and unmarked cemeteries is strongly supported by the public. Successful protection programs demonstrate that protection is most effectively accomplished by inviting the participation of local government planning agencies, law enforcement agencies, affected landowners, preservation organizations, and citizens into the process of creating and implementing the program.

Review of Impacts on Archaeological Resources from State and State-assisted Projects

The estimated cost of this program, $500,000+ per year, is based on a number of factors including our estimated costs for the State Historic Preservation Office to consider the impact of Federal projects on important archaeological resources in the Federal program known as Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Projected costs for state agencies to comply with the state review provision are also included in the cost estimate. This is a minimum first-year cost estimate. The State Historic Preservation Office and certain state agencies, for example the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency, would implement this program. The costs include staffing at these agencies and contracts with cultural resource management consultants for developing model cultural resource management plans for state parks, natural areas and preserves, and other state lands. The cost of archaeological investigations on state-assisted projects on private lands would be borne by project applicants.

We trust this information will be useful to the Committee and the Council welcomes the opportunity to be of further assistance.

 

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