Mono Lake closure to save $111,278? Actually, it’s even less.July 25th, 2011 by Geoff, Executive Director
As the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting, the state’s plan to close the State Park at Mono Lake saves very few dollars.
In fact, based on information the Mono Lake Committee has obtained from the Department of Parks and Recreation under a public records act request, it’s even less than the $111,278 cost assigned to operating the park.
Two points worth noting:
First, the operating cost of $111,278 is apparently based on full staffing, which we haven’t had here for several years. In the current “reduced service” mode, in which the Mono Lake ranger spends 90% of his time at nearby Bodie State Historic Park, costs are much lower.
Second, the state’s plan after closing 70 parks including Mono Lake is to keep them in “caretaker” status, which requires occasional patrols by rangers. In the state’s documents this is estimated to cost $25,000 annually at Mono Lake.
So … take the $111,278 and knock off the $25,000 and you drop the net savings of closure down to $86,278.
Consider that the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve could continue to stay open in “reduced service” mode, and you’ve got that net savings number down to about zero. And closing a park for $0 savings just doesn’t add up.