- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana senators are contemplating a fee system to pay for repairs to pedestrian trails around the state.

The Senate Highways and Transportation Committee took no immediate action after hearing House Bill 604 Tuesday.

Rep. Edward Greef’s proposal would apply a $2 fee to vehicle registrations with the expectation of collecting roughly $1 million annually to fund trail repairs until the fee’s termination in 2021. Registrants could opt out of the fee.

Greef says walkers, joggers, bicyclists and skaters enjoy the paved trails that were constructed in the last 20 years using primarily federal dollars.

The Florence Republican is confident Montanans would be willing to collectively fund repairs to the trailways based on informal surveys. Greef says he’s also encouraged by the minimum 65 percent of vehicle registrants who currently opt in to a $6 fee benefiting state parks.

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