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Trail Fund proposal explanation 8-30-21



New York State Snowmobile Association
P.O.Box 740
Central Square, NY 13036.
Tel: (888) 624-3849 Fax (888) 317-2441
Executive Director
Dominic Jacangelo
To: All Club Officers
From: Dominic Jacangelo
CC: NYSSA Board of Directors
Date: September 1, 2021
At the Wednesday, August 18th meeting of the NYSSA Board of Directors four motions passed that will have implications for all snowmobile clubs in NY. The Board feels, if these four motions are implemented, it will have a positive impact on the sport and the sustainability of clubs for several years. The NYSSA Annual Meeting scheduled for 10AM, October 2, 2021 at The OnCenter, may be one of the most important NYSSA Annual Meetings over the past decade. The meeting will set the direction on snowmobile registration fees and how funds are distributed to the municipal sponsor and onto the Trail Maintenance Entities (TME aka the club). Please read all the material in this email and come to the meeting prepared. We all know that, in the current system, trail maintenance work is severely underfunded and if the clubs and the sport are to survive, we must increase revenue to the Snowmobile Trail Fund. The registration fees that are dedicated to the Trail Maintenance and Development Fund, have not been increased in 15 years for nonmembers and 17 years for members.
At the Annual Meeting, the Trails Committee will make a series of four motions to increase revenue and distribute that revenue to the TMEs.
The motions will ask the delegates to endorse:
Motion 1: A $65 member snowmobile registration fee and a $135 non-member snowmobile registration fee. (approx. $2 million in additional revenue)
Motion 2: A two tier funding program comprised of a $225/ trail mile set up payment and a second tier that would include major projects and grooming.
Motion 3: Planning Grants equal to this past year’s maximums per mile.
Motion 4: Holding state projects from the Trails Fund to $500,000 a year max.
Motion 1:
The fees proposed are:
$65 for a club member registration; and,
$135 for a non-club registration
While these fees are significantly more than what has been charged in the past, I will point out that there HAS NOT BEEN any increase in the NYS snowmobile registration fees since 2004 for club members and since 2006 for non-club registrants. Applying, an inflation calculator since the $45 was implemented would put the current fee at $65. Exactly what we would like the State to implement.
Motion 2:
What would happen with the new revenue? The Trails Committee spent countless hours on a new distribution paradigm. Please read it completely and judge it on the following:
1. How will this impact your club;
2. How will this impact club operations; and,
3. How you may feel that club members might respond.
Background: This BOD proposal was developed by the Trails committee over three days of evening web meetings on 8-09, 8-12, and 8-15-2021 [via GoToMeeting] as a result of:
• The complete loss of the ATGP program; and,
• A desire by OPRHP and NYSSA to simplify distribution of the trail fund monies.
NYSSA brings forth the following proposal to OPRHP for a new Trail Fund Distribution System.
This system shall be based on Two Categories of reimbursement expenses that may be applied against a TME’s “Planned Grant Award” as follows:
Category 1: Normal Trail Set-up/Take Down (Funded Trails Only) Expense.
o Flat Rate of $225 per mile to expense toward “Planned Grant Award” distribution.
o Reimbursement qualification will only require an Attestation Document signed by the club President that all Normal Trail Set-up/Take Down for said club’s funded trail network will be completed in accordance with OPRHP requirements.
Category 2: Grooming Hour (G) & Bridge-Culvert/Special Trail Project (SP) Material/ Equipment Leased/Rented Expense.
Proposal Conditions and Definitions:
• Normal Trail Set-Up/Tear Down Work- Includes the following tasks/items
o Volunteer labor;
o Donated and In-kind Equipment Used;
o Signs/Sign Stakes and Materials;
o Stake Paint/Reflective Material;
o Brush Chopping and Trimming;
o Volunteer Medical/Liability Insurance;
o Equipment Insurance;
• Special Projects- Includes the following tasks/items;
o Each Special Project total expenditure must be equal to or greater than $1,000.
o Special Project must be:
▪ Part of the TMEs Three-Year Plan;
▪ Unplanned trail Re-Route;
▪ Catastrophic in capacity; or,
▪ Implemented due to an Act of Nature.
o Approved Expenses will be:
▪ Bridge and Culvert Material
▪ Equipment Leased or Rented that meet the category definitions.
• Grooming (G) Requirements
o Until GPS Units are implemented for groomer tracking data, all Grooming Logs must be kept and submitted.
o There will continue to be the 60-day requirement to turn in groomer logs until GPS unit data is available.
• Special Project (SP) Requirements
o Before and After photographs must be submitted;
o GPS coordinates of project location must be submitted;
o Expenses must be itemized with an associated receipt/proof of payment and submitted;
o Equipment Leased/Rented must have associated receipt/proof of payment and submitted.
o There will be a 60-day requirement to turn in the expenses.
Motion 3:
Proposed Two Category Trail Fund Distribution Details
NYSSA Propose to OPRHP that a Planned Grant Award be utilized annually. The Planned Grant Award will be determined from and fixed to the following rates:
o $336/Mile for Class A Trails
o $276/Mile for Class B Trails
o $300/Mile for High Snow
• Any other balance that is available in the “Snowmobile Trail Fund” account, shall be distributed proportionally based on all TME approved expenses that exceed their Planned Grant Award amount above.
• Any shortfalls of expenditures to a TME’s Planned Grant Award amount shall be added to the “Proportional Balance” available for that season.
• The traditional 70%/30% payment to TMEs shall be paid on the following schedule:
o 70% of Planned Grant Award amount shall be paid out in November;
o 30% of Planned Grant Award amount shall be paid out in August; and,
o The “Proportional Balance” shall be paid out in August.
i. This proposal ensures that no TME would lose funds as a result of new distribution method providing that they met their Planning Grant Award amount;
ii. This proposal also allows those TMEs that do have expenditures greater than their Planned Grant Award to get reimbursed for a percentage (up to 100%) of those expenses from the “Proportional Balance” based upon:
a. The available revenue to the Trail Fund minus all allowed expenditures.
i. Variable rate depending on total allowable expenses.
b. Any TME with expenses greater than its Planning Grant Award amount shall be reimbursed proportionately for such expenses based on:
i. Annual Trail Fund Revenues Remaining for distribution; and,
ii. The TME-wide total expenditures.
Motion 4:
In addition, the committee will bring forth a 4th motion to restrict Parks and DEC to $500,000 each year for projects on state land instead of the existing language which allows up to 30% of the Trail Fund balance to be used for state projects. With the new registration fees in place, it could mean as much as $1.5 million for state projects could be used from the Trail Fund.
If the fee increase motion fails (Motion #1), the balance of the motions become moot.
If you have questions, please reach out to Jim Rolf or John Winterton (Trails Committee Chair).
You can reach Jim Rolf at