February 2010

February 13, 2010

Dear Club Members,

The February meeting was held on Saturday, the 13th at the Hebron Village Church following the Steak Supper. Eleven

club members and 4 guests attended the meeting.

Announcements:

· The date for the next meeting will be the second Saturday of the month, March 13, 2010, beginning at 7:30 PM, at the Hebron Village Church, Hebron, NH. (Future changes to any regular dates will be published.)

· There will be a fund-raising supper of Roast Turkey from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM prior to the meeting. We always need more volunteers to be able to continue the suppers, so please join us if you can. Many thanks to those who have stepped forward to keep us going. We also need dessert donations. Please contact Sue Waring (603-744-6158) or Ann Sargent (603-744-3192) if you can assist or donate.

· The web site address is www.hardycountrysnowmobileclub.net.

· Email contact address is hardycountrysnowmobileclub@yahoo.com

Meeting Minutes:

President – Tim French

· Called the meeting to order at 7:50 PM.

· Introduced Hebron Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director John Fischer and EMT Linda Fischer who made a very informative presentation regarding emergency medical assistance in relation to snowmobile accidents. Fish and Game Officer Jim Kneeland was unable to come with them as planned since he was called out to locate a lost hiker. The Fischers made several points regarding local infrastructure available and suggestions to assist first responders:

v Cell phone coverage in our area is better than average, widespread use improves emergency assistance, relaying locations and status to local emergency personnel for speedy retrieval.

v Snowmobilers on average are very helpful when coming upon disabled sleds and or accidents; “Good Samaritan” law comes into play for anyone who is first on the scene of an accident. General information to relay (9-1-1 operator will ask these questions) would be:

§ Number of people injured

§ Conscious or unconscious

§ Breathing status

§ Suffering impact injury or trapped

§ Visible fractures

§ Warmth, length of time victim has been injured, likelihood of hypothermia

§ Carrying a GPS helps transmit coordinates, facilitating quicker EMT response; knowledge of the trail system is also an invaluable aid.

§ Move victim only if location puts him/her in more danger or if breathing problems exist. Be careful to keep victim’s back straight; never pull sideways, cradle helmet between elbows with hands grasping jacket and pull ahead. If victim needs to be rolled to the side to maintain a clear airway, complete maneuver without twisting the victim’s spine.

v For more information on dealing with accidents, the Hebron Fire Dept. is offering an American Red Cross Wilderness and Remote First Aid training course beginning on 3/13, and continuing on 3/20, 4/3 and 4/7 at 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM at the Tapply-Thompson Community Center in Bristol. Call Linda Fischer at 744-5584 for details.

v Statewide 9-1-1 mapping project is working its way through the state, from south to north, and will be very helpful when completed.

· There was a discussion on the transport of victims from the scene to hospitals. Linda Fischer reported that Dartmouth Hospital and Maine Medical, Boston MedFlight all cover the area with helicopter med-flights and are very efficient with quick response times, however, they are limited to suitable landing sites. Alan Barnard suggested that Hardy Snowmobile Club could coordinate with the Hebron Response Teams in grooming helicopter landing sites along our trails to minimize recovery time. Night lighting, power lines, size of open space for angled approaches and loose debris need to be considered as well.

· Following the presentation by the Fischers, guest Marie Hixson, Grafton County Director, commented on the progress of the statewide 9-1-1 mapping project as reported at the County Meetings; Coos County has been completed and mapping is working its way south. Alan complimented Marie for the great job she has been doing as NHSA’s Grafton County Director. Sue Waring also thanked Marie for passing the word out to all the clubs about the open water in the center of Newfound Lake, reported by Alan and posted on our website on Friday.

· Tim called for the secretary’s and treasurer’s reports.

Secretary’s Report – Susan Waring

· The secretary’s minutes of the meeting held on January 9th, 2009 were accepted as published.

Treasurer – Vacant

· Tim French presented the treasurer’s report for February; the report was accepted as presented. We are waiting for outstanding reimbursement $4,036.75 for Summer-Fall Grant-in-Aid and for grooming, the requisition which was hand-delivered by Alan Barnard quite awhile ago.

· Since Sharon is no longer our official treasurer, due to increased personal obligations, but has been graciously filling in, we do need to find a full time treasurer to handle our finances. If there is any club member who would be willing to step forward, the club urgently needs you! Sharon has loyally continued helping us but will no longer be able to do so for the upcoming year.

Trail Master – Miles Sinclair

· Regrettably, the rain on January 25th significantly damaged our trails, as it did for many clubs in the area. Miles and Bill did a survey of our trails and found numerous bridges damaged and multiple washouts. There was no choice but to close all trails until further snow accumulation enables grooming to continue.

· Ice chunks and washouts caused heavy damage on the Hardy Country Trail toward Sculptured Rocks; the log bridge there was impassible. The Brailey Road Bridge, despite its 30-year trouble-free history, was covered with 2 feet of ice and the resultant ice dam had caused flooding of one of our landowner’s property and house, necessitating removal of the entire bridge. Peter Fisher transported Roger Bedard’s 307 excavator and Roger pulled out the bridge and placed it aside for possible reuse. Roger refused payment for the use of the machine, requesting only 2 supper tickets. Miles requested he be given 4 supper tickets in appreciation for his hard work, which was done. Alan will work with the landowner for possible solution for reopening the trail next year. Fortunately, due to the quick response of the officers, the landowner and householder were pleased with the resolution of the flooding problems.

· Miles deferred to Alan to discuss the problems with the Tucker.

· A minor issue with the 180 just prior to the rainstorm caused a sudden shutdown of the machine while out grooming. Tim Gallagher, former Trail Master, was called, with his extensive background with these machines, for assistance in diagnosing/correcting the problem. It appears that the potentiometers on the sticks came out of tolerance and that we should keep an eye on it. David Sargent was able to recalibrate the sensors and restart the machine to get it back home. The 180 will be going into Prinoth after the season for the 3-year maintenance service and this will be checked out then.

· Additional parts had to be ordered to install the pintle hitch and installation will be done when they come in.

· Marie Hixson brought a supply of state snowmobile maps with her; some were distributed at the meeting and the rest would be left at the store with a collection box for the suggested donation. Miles thanked Marie for bringing them.

· Miles addressed the landowner’s concerns regarding potential icing on Orange Road. Landowner offered to roll that trail if Club purchased tracks for landowner’s Rhino, a 4-wheel ATV. Miles said he would relay the offer at the meeting but, due to possible liability and other circumstances, the Club cannot accept the offer. Alan suggested offering him alternative solutions.

· Dave Sargent has done a lot of fabricating for us this year and the Club appreciates his help. He has finished both of the rollers and they work well; the flaps in the back smooth out the grooves and leave the trails as clean as the drags do. He also installed the cutter bar on the drag but it needs some “after-market” adjustment and modification to keep it from yanking and plugging up with softwood rather than cutting brush. It would also be beneficial to have a piston for raising and lowering, as it is extremely heavy.

Trail Administrator – Alan Barnard

· The Ledges Condominiums have changed their method of getting to their well and have notified the Club that it won’t be necessary for us to do any grooming for them. Fortunately, the 2 miles of trail involved will remain unplowed, allaying our concern of last year.

· As noted earlier in the minutes, we are still waiting for the last Summer-Fall’s Grant-in-Aid reimbursement but we did receive the $1750 for the payment for the steel bridge in Dorchester. Miles noted a discrepancy in the club name on the receipt Dorchester sent us; Alan requested a correction, which was received, making that issue completed. We now officially own the bridge and a 5-year moratorium on use of Province Road.

· Marie Hixson reported that the town of Dorchester is upset about parking on their North Dorchester Road. They have requested that snowmobilers don’t park vehicles and trailers along the road even though there are no signs to that effect. Hardy Country recommends that our members refrain from parking there.

· From January 2nd to the 27th, we put in 240.8 hours of billable hours of trail work, for which we have requested $10,001.84 in reimbursement.

· The Tucker transmission, an Allison transmission first used in Tuckers in 2006, has failed, although all standard recommended maintenance has been complied with. During telephone diagnosis, Cook’s judged that it was a “wiring computer reboot problem” causing the Tucker to get stuck in 3rd gear and then go into Safety Mode unexpectedly, then running fine once the machine was shut off and restarted. With increasing problems, the Tucker was taken for repair where they said the transmission was “cooked”, despite there having been no prior indications of transmission failure and having only slightly over 1400 hours on the machine. Expected repairs are estimated at around $5000 and the machine is inoperable until it is fixed. Alan will present the situation to Allison and Tucker SnowCat to see if we can have some warranty redress and will also notify the Bureau of Trails as they have a vested interest statewide in funding groomers.

· Tim is working on new signage for the Dorchester Bridge, which we now own, over the South Branch of the Baker River. The logging operations in that area will be expanding for a few weeks but without snow, any conflict with the snowmobiling there will be moot.

· Alan has been communicating with the Bureau of Trails and our NHSA County Rep in order to clarify liability issues regarding an individual using our trails for sleigh rides. The answer is that our insurance does not cover horse-drawn sleighs and any incidents are not our responsibility. Alan suggests sending a letter to him and to our landowners alerting them that he needs to have his own insurance in order to use our trails and his own permission to cross private properties. If the snow ever comes back, riders should be aware that they may come upon the sleigh in their travels around Hebron and Groton; for information on their routes, check out their website at http://carriageride-nh.com. Alan will send out the letter.

· In conjunction with that, grooming for the fields at the Audubon Society land may be a community benefit that Hardy Country could provide which would give access for both the sleigh and cross-country skiers, gating the area for alternate activities only. Initially, the Audubon has not been interested but opinion seems to be changing. Tim made the motion that this would be a good thing for community relations; a vote was taken and passed to pursue this with the community. Alan will look into it, making the suggestion to the Audubon and sleigh-ride operator that Hardy Club would be willing to do the grooming.

· Alan brought full size copies of the in-progress trail map for Hardy Country, showing the link to Baker Valley trails that we have been working on for a number of years.

· Advertisements – Alan checked out the Baker Valley website for suggestions on how to present advertisements on ours. Baker Valley charges $25 per year for a small block ad on their home page.

· Sharon’s email response to Alan updated the progress on the IRS issue. She has enlisted the assistance of an enrolled agent to rectify the problem. As we completed all of our paperwork, the reason for the difficulty is hard to understand but Sharon believes it will be resolved to our benefit.

Other business:

· Follow-up on Rte. 118, where the trail work done by HCSC did not meet with state highway endorsement, a letter was received from the State Highway Department stipulating that we repair the damage by June 1st to their satisfaction. Tim contacted our insurance company to see if we could get assistance through them but without much cooperation. An alternate trail is also being considered so that we won’t have to be grooming there again.

· Coming to the end of the year, we voted on our annual donations:

v $100 was donated to accompany the $87 member donations to the Easter Seals.

v $350 donated to the Hebron Church for the use of the hall

v $350 donated for the Little League baseball team as we did last year, which provides advertising with our names on the players’ shirts, a banner on the fence and a listing in the program.

· Time again for the nominating committee to be appointed. Adam Hollows was asked to be our nominating committee and reluctantly accepted.

· Tim noted that our bylaws have become outdated and need revamping. The officers, along with former president, Frank French, should get together to review the bylaws.

· Our grill, which we use for the steak suppers and the summer barbecues, is falling apart. Only intervention by Tim and Frank French made it possible to use it for the supper as the charcoal tray disintegrated when it was pulled out to be filled. It desperately needs a major overhaul. Tim will research costs to replace the charcoal tray and, while we are at it, how much it would be to redesign the leg attachments to give us more grill surface.

· Tim thanked Alan for his work on the trail maps. There was discussion about adding map features showing cell phone coverage areas and other points of interest. Once the state has completed the 9-1-1 mapping in our area, we can add them to the map, as well as signs at each junction coordinating with the 9-1-1 system.

· Supper Report: For the Steak Supper, we served 110 people with 9 landowners and 4 complimentary tickets for the bridge removal, for a total of 123 people. With the proceeds from the supper, a $25 donation (a reimbursement for food donation from last month’s supper was donated back to the club) and $58 from the 50/50 raffle (which was won by Alan Barnard, who returned his winnings to the club) and one membership through Outdoor Performance, we made at total of $676.72.

· Next month’s supper will be Roast Turkey on March 13th. We always welcome volunteers to help prepare and serve – and to donate desserts. Please contact Sue Waring at 603-744-6158 or Ann Sargent at 603-744-3192 to sign up for donations.

· The meeting was adjourned at 10:20 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan M. Waring,

Secretary, Hardy Country Snowmobile Club