For the last 2 years rider activists from Ohio Motorized Trails Association, American Motorcyclist Association, ABATE of Ohio, and the Ohio State Snowmobile Association have been working on a legislative effort to restore the State Recreational Vehicle Fund Advisory Board, and create a grant system for accessing money in the SRV Fund.

The SRV Board was originally created in 2009 to give riders direct input into how ODNR uses our money for trail projects. However language was slipped into the original bill that dissolved the board after 2 years. Restoration of this board is critical to trail expansion for Ohio riders.

The State Recreational Vehicle Fund has been around for years, but in 2009 riders campaigned to raise our own fees so there would be adequate trail funding available. That fee increase has stayed, but we lost the board. Also there has also never been any mechanism for accessing the fund for projects off of ODNR property. Keep in mind, every dollar in the SRV Fund is our money, paid exclusively by riders.

A rider populated advisory board in combination with a grant system for disbursement of funds has been a successful formula for creating trails in many other states. Our neighbor state to the east, Pennsylvania, has a similar system in place that funds destinations such as Mines & Meadows and Majestic Trails, as well as many other riding destinations across PA.This is a system that works.

On Thursday, May 16th, 2013, in the Ohio Senate Finance Committee, State Senator Frank LaRose will introduce an amendment to HB59, the state budget bill. The amendment reestablishes the SRV Fund Advisory Board, and defines the duties of the board, as well as establishing in Ohio Law a grant system that allows public entities such as county parks systems, or private land owners such as “pay to ride parks” to apply for grants from the SRV Fund to provide public trails.

None of the language in this amendment increases any fee! It is all about providing rider oversight and access to OUR money.

We need every rider to call and write your State Senator, as well as members of the Senate Finance Committee, and express your support for this amendment. Tell them to support the amendment establishing the State Recreational Vehicle Fund Advisory Board and creating the State Recreational Vehicle Fund Grant Program.

Whether you call or write (you should do BOTH!), remember to be respectful, polite, encouraging, and enthusiastic. Don’t forget to point out that motorized recreation is a significant part of our state economy, from dealers who sell and service new units to independent parts and accessory shops. Remind them that since Ohio currently has very few legal places to ride surrounded states are reaping the economic benefits of Ohio riders traveling outside Ohio to ride!

You should also know, there are people who want to see this legislation fail. Including upper level staff at ODNR who prefer the status quo, with ODNR having exclusive authority and access to our trail fund. You can be sure they will be expressing their opinions to senate leadership. We must make our voices louder than theirs!

Find your State Senator by clicking here.

Find the Ohio Senate Finance Comittee by Clicking here.

Make sure you also contact Ohio Senate President Kieth Faber!

Don’t forget to send a thank you email to Senator Frank LaRose!

One Response to “OMTA ACTION ALERT!”

  1. Jim "SNAFU" Elgin
    May 15, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    We are in!