Finance Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 a.m., August 30, 2000

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Subject Public Hearing
Agenda Item No.
  Approval of the Committee Minutes from the previous meeting.  
  Summary of Minutes  
1. Chairman's Charges (Oral Presentation) Committee Only
2. FY2001 Operating and Capital Budgets and Texas Parks and Wildlife Investment Policy
Staff: Suzy Whittenton
3. Grants
- Local Park Funding
- Boat Ramp Funding
- National Recreational Trail Fund Grants
-Target Range Program
Staff: Tim Hogsett
4. Facility Transfers to: Old Fort Parker; Lubbock Lake Landmark; Jim Hogg; Grand Saline
Staff: Tim Hogsett
5. Contract Dispute Resolution
Staff: Judi Doran
6. Other Business  

Summary of Minutes
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Finance Committee
May 31, 2000

BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 31st day of May 2000, there came to be heard matters under the regulatory authority of the Parks and Wildlife Commission of Texas, in the commission hearing room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Headquarters complex, Austin, Travis County, Texas beginning at 3:10 p.m., to-wit:


Ernest Angelo, Jr., Chair
Lee M. Bass
Carol E. Dinkins
Dick Heath, (absent)
Nolan Ryan
John Avila, Jr.
Alvin L. Henry
Katharine Armstrong Idsal
Mark E. Watson, Jr.

OPENING STATEMENT: Commissioner Ernest Angelo, Jr. called the meeting to order.


Commissioner Ernest Angelo, Jr. asked for a motion to approve the minutes from the April 5, 2000 meeting. The motion was moved by Commissioner John Avila, Jr. and seconded by Commissioner Alvin L. Henry. The motion passed unanimously.


1. BRIEFING - Chairman’s Charges

Presenter: Mr. Andrew Sansom

It was noted that later in the Committee meeting a briefing would be given regarding the status of the efforts to acquire a new contractor for the outdoor connection.

As far as Charge Number 4, monitoring and tracking current initiatives at the Federal level which would enhance funding for our programs, Commissioner Dinkins, Mr. Sansom and key TPW staff traveled to Washington to meet with the leadership of the House of Representatives regarding the CARA bill. The bill passed the House and is now scheduled to be heard before the Senate on June 14, 2000.

As related to the charge to increase our revenue by enhancing our marketing and promotional opportunities, it was proposed that we create a Senior Combo and Senior Super Combo license. Big Time Texas Hunts has been successful. We are preparing another customer mailing to promote next year’s program and are anticipating its growth to be as much as 20%.

We have sold 5,000 license plates and expect to reach total sales of 6,500 by the year-end. We are developing a series of designs for product testing at Expo and should begin selling our second plate in the fall of 2000. We project to generate about $278,000 in license plate sales, and a net of $146,000 will go back into our conservation programs.

In regards to nature lodges, proposals have been submitted for Palo Duro Canyon, Guadalupe River State Park, Mustang Island and Indian Lodge.

2. BRIEFING – Financial Overview

Presenter: Ms. Suzy Whittenton

Account 9 Game, Fish and Water Safety comparisons showed that we have collected 47% of our estimated boat fees. This is slightly less than we had originally estimated, however, it’s still early in the year for boat fees. License revenue is up $1.4 million over the estimated budgeted amount. With the updated license and boat revenue numbers, it is projected that we will have a cash balance at the end of the year of approximately $2 million. No revenue adjustment is recommended at this time.

Account 64, State Parks, comparing revenue through April of the prior year, is up almost 16%, with 67% of park fees collected. Park revenue could be up $2 million over last year’s and almost $3 million over what was originally estimated. To allow for a drought or a hot summer, we only recommend a $1 million increase in our estimate. Therefore, we project our revenue estimate to be $23.3 million. It is projected that the ending balance for this account will be approximately $3 million.

For the FY2001 budget year, each division will be given 95% of their current year budget and will then be allowed to ask for supplementals over and above that amount. We received $33 million in requested supplementals. The grants and capital budgets are considered separately. The grant requests totaled $29 million and the capital budget request totaled $19 million for which we have available bond funds of $13 million. Therefore we have $262 million in requests and estimated funds available of $252 million. We are still working on finalizing the funds available and will begin prioritizing the supplemental requests in order to decide what we can adequately fund without going over our FTE cap. Other decisions that need to be made relate to internal salary equity issues (career ladders, promotions and merit increases), the list of projects that the legislature expects us to complete, vehicles and Sunset issues. We are targeting an internal completion date of approximately July 7.

We will be preparing a legislative appropriations request for Fiscal Years 2002 and 2003 that will be considered at the next Legislative Session. This is the mechanism that we use to ask for the authority to spend our funds. This request is due by August 18.

A meeting will be scheduled for the Commissioners to review the budget requests prior to the August meeting.

3. ACTION – Reinstatement of Reciprocal License Agreement with Louisiana and Oklahoma

Presenter: Mr. Ken Kurzawski

Commission approval was granted to reinstate our reciprocal fishing license agreement with Oklahoma and Louisiana, however our reciprocal license agreement with Louisiana won’t go into effect until Louisiana takes action to ratify a legislative problem regarding their fees. The proposed rule was published in the Texas Register for public review and comment, and no comments have been received. We are unable to estimate fiscal impact since the reciprocal license agreements were only expired for a period of eight months.

A motion was moved by Commissioner Nolan Ryan and seconded by Commissioner Katharine Armstrong Idsal. The motion passed unanimously and was recommended for the consent agenda.

4. Briefing – Texas Outdoor Connection License Point of Sale System

Presenter: Ms. Jayna Burgdorf

Ms. Burgdorf discussed the status of the transition of the new Point of Sale Licensing System. Our final request for offers was released on April 10 and we received five bids from three different vendors. Bids were received from EDS, Central Bank/ALS aka Automated Licensing System and MCI Worldcom. The proposal’s contents cannot be discussed in a public meeting, therefore a confidential handout was distributed that highlighted the key points. Our request for offers included certain requirements that we expect any legitimate bid to address. That included an online system, 30-second response time, graphic capability for our printers, a display screen, online connections to the Internet and telephone sales, and a separate pricing structure. The most significant difference for our customers will be the license format, and for our retailers/vendors will be improved accuracy with fewer voids. Our statewide rollout is planned to be completed by June 2001.

5. ACTION – Senior Combination Licenses

Presenter: Ms. Jayna Burgdorf

House Bill 1785 in the 74th Legislative Session established the senior fishing license. Resident seniors age 65 after August 31, 1995 may purchase a discounted fishing license for $6. The legislation grandfathered those who were already seniors at the time. When we first sold senior licenses in FY96 we sold almost 14,000. Last year we sold almost 40,000. By 2020 we expect to sell almost 180,000, over a million dollars in revenue. Therefore it is expected to become a significant revenue stream. In public hearings we asked individuals what they thought of a Senior Combo and a Senior Super Combo license. We received 69 total responses. Of those 36 thought it was a good idea, 10 thought that seniors should pay the same as everyone else and 23 felt like there should not be a fee. We haven’t received any additional public feedback since then and we did present this to the House Recreational Resources Committee and they were generally very favorable. In the future we could consider creating a Senior Texan which would include the Texas Conservation Passport as recommended by Chairman Ellis of the Subcommittee.

We recommended to the Commission to approve the Senior Combination at $10 and the Senior Super Combination at $25. A positive revenue impact is expected.

A motion was moved by Commissioner John Avila, Jr. and seconded by Commissioner Alvin L. Henry. The motion passed unanimously and was recommended for the consent agenda.

6. ACTION – Saltwater Sportfishing Stamp Surcharge

Presenter: Mr. Larry McKinney

This item was heard in conjunction with the Regulations Committee.

7. ACTION – Proposal for Contract Dispute Resolution

Presenter: Ms. Judi Doran

A new law last session under the Government Code Chapter 2260, requires each State agency to adopt rules to implement procedures for contract claims against the State. An interagency task force was developed and staff adopted rules for TPW. The rules contained key definitions, procedures for negotiation, and for department counterclaims, and for mediation. Timetables were established for TPWD and contractors to follow in order to assert their contract claims. Procedures are also in place for appeals to the State Office of Administrative Hearings.

A motion for approval to publish the proposed item in the Texas Register for public comment and consideration was made by Commissioner Alvin L. Henry and seconded by Commissioner Carol E. Dinkins. The motion passed unanimously.

A motion was moved by Commissioner Mark E. Watson, Jr. and seconded by Commissioner Katharine Armstrong Idsal to move the item to the full Commission. The motion passed unanimously.


Chairman Ernest Angelo, Jr. adjourned the Finance Committee at 3:50 p.m.

Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Andrew Sansom

Finance Committee
Chairman's Charges
August 2000

(This item will be an oral presentation.)

Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Suzy Whittenton

Finance Committee
FY 2001 Operating and Capital Budget and
Texas Parks and Wildlife Investment Policy
August 2000

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 12.)
This item will be mailed under separate cover prior to the meeting.

Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Tim Hogsett

Finance Committee
August 2000

(These are Public Hearing Agenda Items)

Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Tim Hogsett

Finance Committee
Facility Transfers
August 2000

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 13.)

Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter: Tim Hogsett

Finance Committee
Contract Dispute Resolution
August 2000

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 14.)


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