I wanted to let you know about the status of state funding for the snowmobile grants. Because of the $15 billion state budget shortfall, all funds classified as grants-in-aid to local governments were, in essence, frozen and are subject to a 20% reduction. This includes the snowmobile grants since they go to municipalities. It didn’t matter if the funds came from a dedicated sources such as the snowmobile registrations.
State Parks staff and NYSSA were successful in having the 30% reimbursement from last season released and not be subject to the 20% reduction. Please let me know if you haven’t received reimbursement.
This seasons funds are similarly on hold and subject to the 20% reduction. Nicole Unser, head of the Snowmobile Unit, told me that the NYSSA and State Parks are to working to get the funds released so that the 70% awards for 2020-2021 can be made without a 20% reduction. She doesn’t know when this could or would happen. They are intending to keep the mileage rate the same as last season.
We had a resolution on the agenda of the Dec. 17 Board of Supervisor’s meeting to accept the 2020-2021 snowmobile grant if an award had been made and we could fill in the blanks with the dollar amounts. That resolution will be carried over to the January meeting agenda for action if we have dollar amounts.
Regarding the LVSR reroutes, they were approved by State Parks and the Board took the needed action on the State Environmenta Quality Review (SEQR) resolution at the Dec. 17 meeting — so that is in place.
I wish I had better news on the funding situation at this time but I will keep you posted.
I also wanted to let you know that Jim MacFarland who worked with the Snowmobile Unit for many years has retired. He was always very helpful to us at the County and I think I can say for Terry, we will both miss him and his knowledge and experience.
In spite of everything, I want to wish you all a happy holiday season and sincerely thank you and your clubs for all the work you do throughout the year! Stay safe —