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ok County Commissioner Jim Johnson reported Tuesday that a proposed change in state funding for local snowmobile clubs has been delayed by at least a year.

“Things are fixed temporarily, but we need a long-term solution,” said Johnson, who attended a Dec. 27 meeting held by the Department of Natural Resources in Two Harbors.
County officials and members of the Cook County Snowmobile Club expressed concerns last month when they learned of the proposed change in the state funding formula.

Under that new formula, state funding would be based on the number of miles in each region, rather than on the number of hours spent grooming the trails.

Club representatives told the commissioners that new formula wouldn’t work well for them because Cook County and northern Minnesota experience an average of 80-90 days per winter with a snow pack of 12 or more inches, thus requiring more time and money for grooming and maintenance than places in the southern part of the state with less snow and less frequent snowfalls.
Furthermore, it was estimated that the proposed cuts would amount to a 50 percent reduction in the budget, and be devastating for the club and local snowmobilers. Ironically, the problem wasn’t with the amount of money available statewide, but with the proposed change in distribution.

Johnson said Tuesday that “the funding concerns are still there,” but noted that the DNR has granted an additional year to its Trailways people to find a solution. The original proposal called for the changes to occur in 2008.
Johnson said the DNR staff at last week’s meeting more or less admitted that they just threw a proposal out there to see what the reaction would be, and said they will propose another soon.
Johnson said the DNR staff seemed surprised by the adverse reaction locally, and was impressed by the information and financial data presented by Dick Parker of the snowmobile club. Parker, who attended Tuesday’s board meeting, said he was encouraged by the DNR’s willingness to listen and hoped for more productive dialogue with the DNR.
Johnson also pointed out that the Cook County Snowmobile Club is the top-rated organization in the state because of the amount of equipment it owns and work it does on the trails, and also due to its success in pursuing grants.
The local club is responsible for annual maintenance of about 107 miles of trails. That requires roughly $40,000 in fixed costs plus other variables such as labor and fuel that total over $100,000. If the proposed funding cuts would have been approved, the state reimbursement would have dropped to about $60,000.

What do U Club Presidents think about the new proposed plan?
 

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So far our club is in good shape with this plan in force, we got enough to get thru the year with grooming and maintenance, No money needed for us to pay operators, We all do it for nothing (Volunteer) because of a love for snowmobiling..
 

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Ya we actually got an extra 4000.00 this year over last year so we should have enough to do extra maintenance to widen out some sections of trail that are kind of narrow
 

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Seems like the clubs that take the time to groom the most should get more money. It would be an incentive to get out and do it!!
Also those who groom more are more than likely areas that experience more snow and need funding the most.
 

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Seems like the clubs that take the time to groom the most should get more money. It would be an incentive to get out and do it!!
Also those who groom more are more than likely areas that experience more snow and need funding the most.[/b]
I do agree with you that the north should get more than the rest BUT we do still have bills to pay down here
 

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If any of you have seen the figures, you'll see why this is a heated topic. The funding state-wide has no rhyme or reason, with clubs in adjacent areas having differences in rates nearly as much as 3-1. I don't want to see any of us lose funding, but, getting nearly three times the money to groom trails that are only 50 to 75 miles away seems pretty odd. As with any funding changes, not everyone will be happy. The idea is to make it fair based on snow depth, duration, terrain, and traffic, and the longer the state has the money in their pockets, the more likely it will go somewhere it doesn't belong, such as bike trails etc. I have seen it, and don't any of you doubt that it can/will happen. We can't fight each other and win. Enough said.
 
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