GRIFFO SAYS THAT SNOW JOB IS UNACCEPTABLE
State Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R-IP-C, Rome) today condemned the Governor’s Budget proposal to “sweep” $5 million dollars from the snowmobile trail development and maintenance fund into the general fund over the next several years.
“We’ve returned to where we were two years ago when the Governor attempted to take $1 million during the 2008-2009 budget process,” said Senator Griffo. “Back then – after Senate Republicans prevented the grab - snowmobilers were given assurances from the Governor that money from the fund would be dedicated to reimburse snowmobile clubs to maintain the trails, and support trail development and maintenance activities carried out by the Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Snowmobilers supported raising registration fees because they believed this.”
The law also provides for funding of the snowmobile unit at OPRHP, including personal services, salaries, benefits, travel, and other direct expenses. Griffo says that the sweep amounts to about 20% of the Budget earmarked for snowmobilers who use the trail system.
Members of snowmobile clubs pay $45 to register their sleds with $35 of that going to the state’s Snowmobile Trail Development and Maintenance Fund. Non-club members are charged $100 to register a snowmobile in New York.
“I’m opposed and appalled at this latest initiative to raid the trail fund,” Griffo added. “I’m urging my fellow legislators and members of the 239 snowmobile clubs throughout the State and those enthusiasts who come from outside New York, to urge that this money stay where it’s supposed to go.”
Griffo also noted that according to a recent New York State Snowmobile Association analysis of economic studies, snowmobiling contributes over $1 billion to the state’s economy each year.