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    Michigan's governor signs bill to increase snowmobile fees

    Posted by AmSnow
    on Wednesday, January 7, 2009

    Governor Jennifer Granholm signed on January 6th a bill to increase snowmobile registration and trail permit fees for the 2009-2010 season, according to Megan Brown, Deputy Press Secretary to the Governor's office.

    Under the Senate bill the registration would increase from $22 to $30 starting July1, 2009. In addition, the trail permits would increase from $25 to $25 in 2009-2010 season and then to $45 for 2011 through 2015, according to the press release.

    Bill Manson, Executive Director of the Michigan Snowmobile Association, said his organization lobbied hard for the increase, and he was very pleased with the governor signing the bill.

    The fees were increased in an effort to prevent a $1 million deficit, according to a Michigan Snowmobile Association press release.

    The funding is designated for the Snowmobile Trail Fund, which included a permanent trail easement to prevent a loss of a trail section due to private land being sold. The fees will be used to help stop the closing of trails and maintenance.  

    "Industry stakeholders did the necessary homework to conclude that permit increases is the only way to adequately fund snowmobiling in Michigan as we know it," Manson said.

    The funds would, also, be used for long term infrastructure projects such as bridges.

    In addition, the Michigan Snowmobile Association said the lack of funding would affect snow patrols by law enforcement.

    The Michigan Snowmobile Association sent out a survey to snowmobilers in and out of state, and 80% supported the increase, according to the press release.

    The legislation was co-sponsored by Sen. Jason Allen and Sen. James Barcia. It was approved by the House and the Senate.


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