NY Snowmobilers to Governor: Hands Off Our Money!
By Dave Lucas
Albany, NY – Snowmobilers across New York are up in arms over a plan by Governor David Paterson to cut state snowmobile trail maintenance funds by $1 million a year for five years. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
In his state budget proposal, the Governor has directed a $1 million to go from the Snowmobile Trail Development and Maintenance Fund into the State's General Fund each year, and there's an additional measure tacked on that would change the Fund's scope and purpose. The cuts are defended as being neccessary to bolster the effort to solve the state's fiscal crisis, but the New York State Snowmobile Association says they are "a betrayal of the trust between" Paterson's administration and the association's 150,000 members. Republican State Senator Cathy Young is calling on the Governor to leave the snowmobiler's money alone. Democratic Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito says an agreement was negotiated with the previous budget director that these types of sweeps would not happen again. Dave Perkins, executive director of the New York State Snowmobile Association says he is most concerned about keeping up the levels of safety on the snow trails. There are over 121,000 registered snowmobiles registered in New York State, which has more than 11,000 miles of groomed trails for snowmobile use which are maintained by 237 local clubs through the Snowmobile Fund.