Governor Paterson announced yesterday that new regulations will be placed on the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) that will ensure that all snowmobile state funding will go towards trail maintenance and other related programs. As a result, the new regulations should help to nearly double the amount of funding that was taken away from snowmobiling during the budget process.
“This is good news for our snowmobile clubs and our upstate economy,” said Assemblyman Peter Lopez (R,C,I, Schoharie). “The New York state budget offices’ sweeping monies set aside for snowmobile trail development and maintenance worked against the original purpose of the fund. This measure will protect the dedicated fund from now on.”
This announcement by the governor follows the efforts by Assemblyman Lopez and his colleagues who delivered hundreds of hand signed petitions to the governor by the people of New York for funds to be restored to the snowmobiling budget. The new procedures announced are expected to increase local snowmobile trail grants from $2.87 million in 2007-2008 to $5.34 million in 2008-2009. The regulations also require the OPRHP to re-evaluate revenue from snowmobile registration fees at the end of each fiscal year. Surplus funds will be dedicated to trail maintenance efforts and additional grant payments.
“By signing this important legislation, Governor Paterson has proven that he is listening to upstate New York,” said Lopez. “I look forward to working with him on critical issues facing our families, farms and small businesses. Working together, I believe that we can continue to improve our quality of life.”