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UTV registration not included in state budget

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CANTON - Allowing the registration of utility task vehicles did not make it into the state budget, but proponents believe the time is coming.

“We’re going to continue the strategy we’ve been using, which is convincing the Assembly this is a great opportunity for the entire state when it comes to revenue generation,” said St. Lawrence County Legislator Anthony J. Arquiett, D-Helena, who is involved in the development of the county’s multiuse trail system. “We should not be walking away from an opportunity to create revenue.”

County legislators and members of the county’s trails advisory board have pushed for the registration of UTVs, a larger version of all-terrain vehicles that are popular with senior citizens, couples and families.

The state Senate has passed the measure three times, but the legislation has never made it out of an Assembly committee. This year, the Senate included registration of UTVs in its budget proposal, but it failed to become part of the overall budget agreement.

“This is a bump in the road for us,” Mr. Arquiett said.

Debbie A. Christy, the county’s trail coordinator, said the final discussions had promise because there was mention of when the weight increase might take effect.

“I think that is a very important piece to consider,” she said in an email. “It’s the first time they have ever thrown that out there and it shows our efforts have them seriously considering it. We are not giving up and will be looking at next steps to take as the dust settles from the budget.”

Ms. Christy said she viewed this budget cycle as progress toward the goal.

“We truly raised the profile with members and staff, and we should continue to build on that,” she said.

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