The year 2013 seems like a very long ways off…especially when the economic guru’s at MSU state THAT is when Michigan will finally be coming out of the economic catastrophe that we are now in. I don’t know if Michigan businesses can stay afloat in another 6 years of this misery.
By May 14th, it will be decided if State FOREST (these are the primitive campgrounds in Michigan, not to be confused with State Parks) will see an increase of nightly camping fee to $14.00. Contrary to popular belief the State Parks and the State Forest campgrounds do NOT receive any help from the general fund; they are supposed to be self sufficient…just like snowmobiling. So there is a concern among certain officials that the increase in campsite fees MIGHT be siphoned off to help the general fund! GEE, do you suppose they should worry?? At most, they better be prepared to wait 45 days for any monies to operate with, right?
Which brings me to the plight of the snowmobile clubs in Michigan. We’ve been talking about this for, what, 2 or 3 weeks now?? First of all, I want to make it clear that I did not become involved with this to just show support to my own local club TASA. I am not involved with this issue even because of being on the TASA board. I am involved because of you, the sledders and because of the economy, or should I say LACK of economy and what the snowmobiling industry does for the economy of Michigan. That is a story for another day, but I do want to tell you about how surprised I have been at the response from our readers! It sounds like you have come through in a big way with letter writing and emailing your Reps and Senators. Some of you have even sent me copies of the responses you have received. Some of those responses from various Reps and Sens. were pretty darn wishy-washy (to be polite).
I forwarded one of those responses on to Bill Manson at MSA and this is a portion of what his reply was; That all sounds good in a letter, but funds were collected from snowmobiler's in the form of trail permit revenue and registration fees. These funds are protected by the Constitution (voted in Nov 06) these funds cannot be used to balance the budget. They must be used to pay for the product, snowmobile trails. Grant sponsors have expended all of their money to provide the state with a BILLION DOLLAR a year revenue stream and now are forced to incur additional late charges, loss of credit, personally sign for more credit or worse, have the bank call their note. The Governor needs to act on this issue before it becomes a PR nightmare or worse all of the Snowmobile Clubs just say they have had enough of the BS and not provide that Billion dollar economic engine to the state!
5 months ago