We need your help to protect the OHV funding program!
It has come to our attention that the Colorado Joint Budget Committee (JBC) is looking at rescinding all or part of the funding for the Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) program in response to the COVID outbreak. This is the fund that is created from your OHV dollars and it will be used for other purposes despite the fact it is not general tax revenues.
This would mean millions of your registration dollars would be lost!
While we are all concerned about the COVID issues and response, redirecting the OHV fund is not the way to solve this problem.
You can help by emailing the Colorado Joint Budget Committee members!
We need you to email the JBC members (politely) and let them know this is not acceptable. Here are some points that you can cut and paste – but we encourage you to rewrite or add personal experiences with the program.
Comment suggestions to use in opposition to the rescission:
- The OHV is a voluntarily collected fund for the benefits of the trails community and should not be reallocated for other uses as the program benefits all trail use, both motorized and nonmotorized; in fact, it outstrips all funding from other sources set aside for trails by a factor of 5! This is motorized money that is protected by Colorado law. This is not general tax revenues.
- The Governor has repeatedly stated the COVID response is a statewide issue and response should be unified across all residents of the State. It is unfair to place additional burdens or costs on certain user groups simply because there is money available – this rescission would do just that.
- The funding challenges are being encountered in the trails’ community at record levels, given the record visitation to the many dispersed recreational facilities after recreational activity was allowed in the Governor’s COVID orders. This money will be critical to maintaining these facilities in response to the record usages that have resulted from the Governor’s exceptions to the stay at home orders for recreation. It will create another year’s backlog for trail maintenance.
- The OHV program hires more than 400 seasonal employees for shovel ready maintenance projects protecting natural resources, through federal, state, and local agencies. These jobs are critical to the recovery and have already received dozens of applicants for each position as a result of the record levels of unemployment.
- OHV grants are contractual obligations and must be honored as most require the grantee to outlay money and then apply to be reimbursed from the grant. This reimbursement process can take time and as a result, much of the fund may have already been spent and simply awaiting reimbursement from the program. Failing to reimburse grantees is a “double lose” situation as money has already been spent and then could never be reimbursed.
- OHV grants are contractual obligations and governed by Federal, State, and Local procurement statutes and have taken decades of effort to align. Once a reimbursement does not happen these laws are violated and returning the money does not cure these violations in the short term
- JBC members should be asking is not “How do we redirect the OHV fund?” but rather “How do we get the OHV program funds on the ground faster?”
Email JBC members (politely) at the addresses below:
Senator Dominick Moreno – email@example.com
Representative Daneya Esgar – Daneya.firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Julie McCluskie – Julie.email@example.com
Senator Bob Rankin – firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Kim Ransom – email@example.com
Senator Rachel Zenzinger – firstname.lastname@example.org
Easily copy all email addresses to place into your email here: email@example.com, Daneya.firstname.lastname@example.org, Julie.email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org