May 10, 2024

Fay bond bill to promote design, development and maintenance of Maine trails signed into law

AUGUSTA – A bipartisan bond measure sponsored by State Rep. Jessica Fay, D-Raymond, that would provide $30 million over four years to invest in the design, development and maintenance of trails statewide was signed into law last week and will appear on the November ballot.

State Rep. Jessica Fay
If approved by a majority of Maine voters, funding would provide grants to nonprofits, municipalities and other divisions of government across the state to support non-motorized, motorized and multi-use trails. The funds would be managed by the Bureau of Parks and Lands, which currently manages the federal Recreation Trails Program.

Funding would be distributed over four years, and applicants would be required to demonstrate at least 20 percent in matching contributions, leveraging at least $6 million in additional funds.

“Although Maine people love our trails for walking, hiking, biking, skiing, snowmobiling, ATVing and many other purposes, the state makes almost no investment in this resource,” said Fay. “I want us to strive for a future in which people across the full range of abilities have access to trails that provide options for exercise, inspiration, transportation and thrills. If approved by voters, this bond will get us started on the path to funding some great projects across Maine that will improve and expand our trails.”

The bond measure has been supported by many environmental organizations in Maine.

“The Trails Bond is supported by more than 520 organizations, businesses and towns from every corner of Maine,” said Pete Didisheim, advocacy director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. “At a time when so many things seem to be dividing us, this bond that will be on the November ballot offers a rare opportunity to unite us around something we all value – our trails, the ones we have today and the ones we could build for tomorrow.”

Fay is the House chair of the Government Oversight Committee and is a member of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. She is serving the community members of Casco, Frye Island, Raymond and part of Poland in her fourth term in the Maine Legislature. <

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