Media Archive

Snowmobile clubs need all kinds of support

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 165, No. 7, February 12, 2003

To the editor:

Is not the Feb. 5, 2003 edition of the Observer paradoxical ? The front page articles that on the one hand tell of the town's consideration of cooperative efforts to attract tourism, among other things, and yet the Chairman of the Sebec Board of Selectmen appears to desire to withhold funds from the local snowmobile club.

The members of the Big Bear Club have worked extremely .hard to maintain good riding trails over the years. Though the membership is not large, they have been able to maintain riding conditions as good as the snowfall permits for the many who not only live in this town and are not interested in becoming members of the club, but the many, many "from away" who access the ITS trails through this area. These riders are a part of the tourism trade so important to any area. They do bring money to this town.

The club receives partial funding, not from the town, but through sled registration and grant funds awarded from the state, based on the number of miles of maintained trails, and the number of hours of hard labor
invested by the members who work on the trails (Some have been known to spend the better part of the night in near zero weather grooming so that the riders might enjoy smooth sledding the next day. A luxury most of the workers do not have time for).

Instead of withholding funds from this hard-working small group, wouldn't the -town .receive greater benefit by researching a way to raise even more revenue for the club to develop more trail miles with good equipment. Seems that would greatly enhance the tourism trade in Sebec.

Many organizations and clubs are "private" whose members are sponsored / voted by the existing members ; all of which do great service for their community. Why then would anyone be against a club having this type of policy? Are they worried that the by-law would not include them if they could not work the trails? $50 is not much to pay for a winter of sledding fun, especially knowing that the Club is using the funds for trail / equipment maintenance,

I say ~ support your local snowmobile club with a willingness to pay, either by working on the trails, or public fund-raisers, and, in Sebec, the 4th of July Celebration, or be willing to contribute monetarily if you are unable to do this hard work.

Judi Walter
Sebec Village

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.