FY 2009 budget appropriation from Congress is $731.4 million, an increase of about 7 percent from the $682.6 million appropriated to the Institution in FY 2008. This year’s appropriation, which covers the year that began Oct. 1, 2008, includes $593.4 million for salaries and expenses, $123 million for the facilities capital account and $15 million for the Legacy Fund.
The Salaries and Expenses account covers most of the mandated federal pay raise, rents and utilities, salaries and benefits, travel, routine maintenance, security and other operating expenses. The Facilities Capital account includes construction, renovations or revitalizations and planning and design. The Legacy Fund is available when it is matched with private funding and is for renovations and revitalizations.
Salaries and Expenses
S&E changes in the FY 2009 appropriation include an increase of $31 million over the previous year. An amount of $16 million covers some of the mandatory costs. The budget also includes $2 million to increase the security staff for the Donald W. Reynolds Center and the National Museum of the American Indian, $16.7 million for facilities maintenance and $1.3 million to improve collections care (conservation and storage) for the museums and animal welfare at the Zoo. In addition, the spending bill provides the full amount requested for several administrative and programmatic increases: additional staff in the Office of the Inspector General, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer and funding for a secure wireless network.
The FY 2009 appropriation also includes additional funds for housing the new collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum will be located on the National Mall and is scheduled to open in 2015.
The FY 2009 Facilities Capital appropriation has no new construction projects but does include $104.5 million for facilities revitalization and $18.5 million for design and planning for future projects.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided $25 million for facilities work at the Smithsonian.
Among the major revitalization projects scheduled this year are:
National Museum of Natural History—$25.7 million for ongoing renovation work to include HVAC replacement on the ground and first floors, renovation of passenger elevators and replacement of windows in the main building. Some of the mechanical and electrical systems in the building are more than 40 years old and in need of replacement.
National Zoological Park—$21 million to complete critical fire-protection improvements, continue construction of the elephant trail and habitats and continue building repairs.
Museum Support Center, Pod 3—$15 million to reconfigure collections space for additional storage (Natural History and art and culture collections from various museums).
Replacement of the old greenhouse with a new facility located near the Museum Support Center—$8.2 million.