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Author Topic: Florida to opt-out of the Recreational Trail Program  (Read 25551 times)
DingoZee
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« on: August 22, 2013, 10:52:35 AM »

I came across this on facebook    http://www.capwiz.com/amacycle/issues/alert/?alertid=62844811
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AintSkeered
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2013, 05:28:32 PM »

Good luck with your alert. Most readers on this website probably voted Scott into office.
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2013, 06:57:26 PM »

I wouldn't jump to any conclusions.  As a contractor who routinely works on federally funded projects, there are certain strings attached that come with federal dollars.  If I didn't need the work, I wouldn't accept the conditions.  It could very well be that the strings attached to this funding are so detrimental to the well being of the state, it's not worth accepting it.  Keep in mind that Florida already has a system in place to generate funds for OHV trails.
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2013, 09:01:16 PM »

OK, I'll bite. What would those strings be? All I can find is this; http://www.dot.state.fl.us/planning/map-21/GovernorScott-083112.pdf
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 09:06:25 PM by AintSkeered » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2013, 02:52:16 PM »

I wouldn't jump to any conclusions.  As a contractor who routinely works on federally funded projects, there are certain strings attached that come with federal dollars.  If I didn't need the work, I wouldn't accept the conditions.  It could very well be that the strings attached to this funding are so detrimental to the well being of the state, it's not worth accepting it.  Keep in mind that Florida already has a system in place to generate funds for OHV trails.

I didn't say that there were strings, only that there could be.  I don't have much of a problem with the use of the funds.  Sure, it would be great if he would spend it on riding areas but he's earmarking it for FDOT.  I can say that the amount of work being let by FDOT is far and away more than I've seen in a very long time.  The work ranges from overlay projects to roadway expansion and bridge replacement projects.  Projects of that variety provide more jobs and contribute more value to the public at large than an OHV park deep in the middle of Franklin County where nobody except deer and racoon will ever use it.  At least the governor has committed to continue to provide money to recreational activities, just not using the federal money for it. 
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« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2013, 05:01:11 PM »

No argument from me on the priorities. My issue is that "they" cannot ever be trusted. I believe RTP funding was promised to quell citizens' concerns that government is closing-off public lands to sportsman, recreationalists, etc., leaving them no place to go. Lest not we forget the false promises made during the closing of The Squares(Picayune Strand)/Everglades Restoration Project. I didn't see where it said that Scott diverted the funding to other priorities and I'm not going to just assume that he's leaving it for the Feds to use on other projects. So, what's he really up to?
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 09:45:28 PM by AintSkeered » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2013, 07:59:01 PM »

The way I read it is that the State had the authority to opt-out of any alternative plan (of which off-road programs were classified) and still receive full funding.  Most government funding has a use-by date attached.  Typically, it's not just a 'use it or lose it' proposition.  States that ask for the money and don't use are penalized in the next funding period.  My guess is that Scott chose to use the money for projects that are ready to go rather than risk asking for money, ear-marked for OHV, then not be able to produce, which would penalize the State in the future.  You have to remember that there is a strong environmental lobby in the State of Florida that stands in the way of any proposed project they don't agree with.  These projects can be tied up for years.  Generally, money ear-marked for a specific purpose cannot be moved to another.  His decision makes sense to me.
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2013, 10:21:41 PM »

What do you make of this? http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/funding/apportionments_obligations/recfunds_2013.cfm

http://www.americantrails.org/rtp/reasons-not-opt-out-RTP.html

http://www.americantrails.org/rtp/Kansas-Florida-funding-2012.html
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 10:31:37 PM by AintSkeered » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2013, 09:41:26 AM »

Several things I would say about the articles posted.  First, the amount provided in the funding is miniscule in relation to the type of project most riders would want.  $1.5 million per year isn't going to cut it and the money must be used within 5 years.  Second, note that the Florida Greenways and Trails is administered by FDEP.  FDEP is the closest thing to a police state security force as anything I've ever come across and if you believe for a second FDEP will ever provide significant funding for motorized recreation in Florida, you're dreaming.  Note also that the funded projects referred to are pedestrian in nature.  And that's probably the rub; if you accept MAP-21 RTP dollars, 30% must be used for motorized recreation and 40% for combined (diverse) use.  My bet is that FDEP has no intention of providing funding for motorized projects and, as such, it would be counter to their culture to accept MAP-21 funds that stipulate they do so.  Unfortunately, un-regulated agencies like FDEP or EPA answer to no one; in fact, the Governor or POTUS (respectively) mostly answer to them.
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"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading". --Thomas Jefferson

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves ... a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
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