State reverses decision on federal trails grants
The New Mexico Department of Transportation has decided to opt back in to some federal grant funds for recreational trails.
The department on Aug. 28 told the Federal Highway Administration it was opting out of Recreational Trails Program grant funds. The funds pay for up to 80 percent of work to build, improve and maintain trails for motorized and non-motorized use. Trail groups were angry at the decision and started a flurry of emails and website actions calling on Gov. Susana Martinez to reverse the decision. RTP funds are derived from a portion of the motor fuel tax on fuel used by dirt bikes, snowmobiles, three-wheelers and other all-terrain vehicles.
It was all a misunderstanding, according to Greg Blair, a spokesman for Gov. Susana Martinez. “There was a temporary miscommunication between staffs at NMDOT and New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources [which administers the grants through the New Mexico State Parks Division] over how these funds are used, which was quickly resolved,” Blair said.
On Thursday, Department of Transportation Secretary Alvin C. Dominguez sent a letter to the FHA saying he had reconsidered the decision and the state will accept the grant funds for this year.
edit: We get over $200,000 a year from this funding.
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