The National Park Service (NPS) wants to relocate its West Coast regional offices out of San Francisco to cut down on rent and living expenses for the agency and its employees, The Hill reports.
NPS is considering moving 150 agency staff from the office space it leases in California to an agency-owned building in Vancouver, Wash. The Washington office is on a national historic site.
“The NPS considered various factors in developing this proposal including, the more favorable cost of living, the expected long-term taxpayer savings from using an NPS-owned building rather than leasing, and the preservation benefits of adapting a historic building for modern use,” NPS spokesman Andrew Munoz said in a statement, according to The Hill.
The move could save taxpayers $3.8 million a year in rental costs and salary and benefits for staff living in the San Francisco area. Fixing up the historic building in Vancouver and outfitting it for a modern office space would negate another $12 million in deferred maintenance and restoration costs, NPS estimates.
San Francisco rents are some of the highest in the country, with some residents paying $2,400 a month to live in 220 feet boiler rooms and basements. (RELATED: SF Housing Prices Are So Bad People Are Paying $2,400 For 220 Sq Ft Boiler Rooms And Basements)
“We have struggled with recruitment in San Francisco for years due to the high cost of living,” NPS Pacific West regional director Stan Austin said in a staff memo obtained by KQED.
The Pacific West office manages 60 national parks across Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and three U.S. territories, The Columbian reports.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has approved the move. The plan was sent to Congress last week for its final approval. The move would happen after the NPS’s lease in San Francisco is up in 2021.
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