November 2010

November 13, 2010

Dear Club Members,

The November meeting was held on the 13th at the Hebron Village Church. Twenty-one club members attended. Announcements:

· The date for the next meeting will be the on the second Saturday of the month, December 11, 2010, beginning at 7:30 PM, at the Hebron Village Church. There will be a pork roast supper before the meeting.

· Regular meetings are held the second Saturday of the month, beginning at 7:30 PM, at the Hebron Village Church, Hebron, NH. Changes to the regular date will be published.

· 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 7:47 PM.

· Tim thanked everyone for coming to the meeting; nice to see new people attending the meeting.

· Called for the secretary’s report.

Secretary’s Report – Susan Waring

· The secretary’s minutes of the meeting held on October 9th were presented as distributed and the report was accepted as written.

· Showed a sample of this year’s landowner supper tickets and gave a supply of complimentary tickets for exceptional service donations to the Trail Master. Comment: Dave Sargent deserves a handful of those for his hundred hours of work on the excavator in the last couple weeks.

· Presented a product sample for Strap-Sack, a weatherproof bag to protect the ratchets and straps on tie-downs to keep ratchets from icing and straps from flapping when used and tangling when stored. They can be seen at http://www.tie-down-storage.com/.

· Tim inquired as to the secretary’s need for postage stamps; Tom had already delivered a supply for secretarial mailings.

Treasurer – Tom Lloyd

· Feels more prepared than he did a month ago as he has had more time to review everything.

· The treasurer’s report was distributed, showing the Summary of Accounts and the income and debits to date as well as the outstanding debits that have not yet cleared.

· Extended compliments to Sharon Chauvin for the comprehensive records that she passed along when she retired; upon receipt of the complete set, Tom was able to follow the accounting records and found a minimal discrepancy of a few dollars which he is confident he will reconcile by next month.

· Miles responded to a question from Bill Noyes on the cost of the repairs to the groomer over and above the customary 3-year maintenance. During that maintenance, Prinoth discovered problem with wear to the shaft on the on the passenger side that would have affected the brakes and the drive train if it failed, leaving the groomer stranded on the trail. After consultation with the club officers, Miles okayed the necessary work. Fortunately, we had dropped off the groomer in time to take advantage of an off-season discount which helped the expense.

· Second question from Bill Noyes was whether we could use rough sawn hemlock but it has been found more effective to use the pressure-treated lumber so bridge maintenance doesn’t have to be done so often. The old hemlock on the 47-foot bridge was so rotted in places that it couldn’t support foot-traffic.

· Tom reiterated his intent to pay bills promptly and explained the process of turning in receipts, some of which are reimbursable under the grant program. Bill Noyes suggested that the receipts be notated as to which job or equipment the expense is to be allocated for.

· The motion was made to accept the treasurer’s report, it was seconded and it was so voted to accept the treasurer’s report as read and explicated.

Tim French – President

· Tim asked the treasurer to report on the on-line banking status. Tom said that it was up–and-running and makes keeping track of income and expenses much more timely. Four of the officers have access to the accounts but, as a security measure, no transactions can be made online.

· Next, Tim asked the Trail Master to give his report.

Trail Master – Miles Sinclair

· Additional information on treasurer’s report:

1. The fuel fill for Yeaton Oil was for the 314C excavator which was a little thirstier than the smaller one (a 311C) we had last year but had more power and was more maneuverable. We also used the excavator for 5 weeks, and were able to get much more done.

2. On the spruce log bridge on Route 11 South that Dave Sargent did, we used 2x8s instead of the 4x6s as it was a log bridge and not pressure treated telephone poles or metal frame. The revision resulted in a credit at Brookside, so we now have a credit of $364.15, a modest portion of which was used towards the purchase of 2 bundles of grade stakes.

· Dave Sargent used the excavator to work on Route 11 South to the end of our territory and drastically improved that section. The trail is wider and smoother with the addition of two new bridges (using pressure treated telephone poles from the Braley Road Bridge on one), also fixing a waterhole and unplugging a culvert.

· Following that, Dave took the excavator to the Hobart Hill and made improvements all the way out to the powerlines. A new log bridge was also put in there as well.

· From Hobart Hill, the excavator was moved to the Bryant Pond Road parking lot and the new trail was excavated down to Route 118, eliminating the sharp corner and clearing a lot of stumps and brush.

· Finishing up the excavator work, Chris Colby worked on the Dorchester side of the 47-foot bridge, going from there to Bryant Pond Road, smoothing and widening the trail and easing out a sharp turn at the bridge which was difficult to navigate.

· On the 47-foot bridge, Miles has all the timbers for that and it has been stripped. Redecking will begin tomorrow (November 12) but it will take a minimum of 3 weeks to finish, including railings.

· The new location for the fuel tank is in progress; Miles has spoken to the landowner who is willing to have it located on his land and he is very receptive, even willing to install an outlet box on his garage to power the pump. We need to get the cement containment tank for it and Miles has given the dimensions to Bruce Barnard who will look into that. It will also need to be roofed to keep the containment tank from filling up with water. It may not be done this year as the trails and bridges must take precedence.

· Bruce Barnard had taken care of a culvert in back of Ed Gempke’s that needed fill. We have the seed to revegitate that area but will need to get more hay to cover that when it’s done.

· The club 4-wheeler which is used to haul the tools and timbers to the work sites has been acting up and was taken to Outdoor Performance for repairs. Current repairs are at $459.60 but Bill Sargent reported that Outdoor Performance estimates it needs almost a thousand dollars to do everything it needs. Since it is a 14 year old machine, the club might be better off getting a new machine which may be covered by a grant. Adam Hollows was generous in donating the use of his ATV for last weekend’s work on the trails while the club’s was at the shop.

· Regarding the payment the club had to make to repair the roadside damage on Rte. 118 last June, Miles has done some further investigation with the NHSA and has filed all the necessary paperwork for an insurance claim on that expense.

· Miles concluded with the statement that trailwork is in high gear and will be until the snow flies and the weather shuts us down.

Trail Administrator – Alan Barnard

· Alan deferred to Tim on the report about the Trail Master’s meeting.

· Alan put in the hours for the groomer this season but is expecting that we will be granted the same as last year, 650 hours which translates to $28,411 - of which we were able to use only 52% of last year due to the poor conditions.)

· Report on the problems with the Town of Orange, the end result is that we are in the clear with that since the town of Orange does not have a problem with the Hardy Country Snowmobile Club.

· The land with the Jewell Hill Trail to the Province Road has been sold but Alan is working with the new owner, a management company in Vermont, about getting a license to use the trail each year.

· Over on Rte. 118 where the trail crosses to go towards Lyme, the trail there has a new owner. Alan called the other clubs that use that trail and Alan was designated as contact person. When he called the landowners, the couple approved the use but asked that Hardy Country now be in charge of grooming that section, which is agreeable to us, so they will be added to our landowners’ list and we will send them supper tickets as they will be glad to come over.

· Frank Benton has been unable to walk the trail on his land up by the powerlines with Alan but agreed to receiving photographs of the trailwork and a copy of our insurance certificate to receive approval.

· Bill Batchelor who owns the land near the Bryant Pond parking had one request: that we widen the trail. As that benefited both the landowner and the club, we were more than happy to do that for him.

· Unfortunately, we have lost the Tannery Brook Bridge by the Public Safety Building in Hebron due to the ice flooding last year. The Hebron Selectmen were not keen on our alternate route on Groton Road, although the DOT was amenable to that. We are waiting for the Police Chief Bill White to consult with DOT representative Dennis Ford and get back with us about traveling 425 feet on that road. If that doesn’t come back favorably, all the traffic through Hebron will have to go by the Hebron Village Store trail and up over the steep hill. Ideally, the hill needs to be lowered and a few trees taken out to make that trail safer. Alan will look into seeing if that can be done.

· Corridor 5, part of the Canaan club trails linking to ours, has been closed by the town of Orange; they received permission for an alternate route but the land was sold and now it is questionable whether there is going to be any riding in the Lyme and Canaan area there.

· The state is in the process of cataloging all highway crossings, cataloging and computerizing them.

· As a future project, Mike and Dawn LeMieux, who own the Sculptured Rocks Bed and Breakfast, would like to have a trail come across the back of their place to Hunter’s Rest with a trail to their place.

· Alan reported that Cook’s Equipment, from whom we bought the Tucker, has been sold; no other news is available at this town.

· Finally, another alternative to the Tannery Brook Trail for next year to go through another piece of property to go over the Cockermouth River. We would also try to get the 70-foot metal bridge from the town which they previously offered to us.

· Greg Mercier inquired about a section of the trail near the powerlines to which Alan reported that the trail, which had been very narrow, had been substantially widened and smoothed.

· Alan passed out a prototype of a new map and was wondering about club approval to advance money to have some printed up. He will look into prices and vendors. We will also have it on our website but people are still likely to purchase the larger and more durable trail maps. It would be printed in limited editions as the trails and the advertisements would change yearly.

President – Tim French

· In going through the bin of information that Sharon passed along, Tim found a Volunteer Immunity Form, which was promoted by the NHSA in 2005. This is something that we haven’t stressed in awhile but Tim made it available for club volunteers to sign as it prevents individuals from being sued personally while performing their duties as volunteers. In this age of frivolous lawsuits, Tim feels that all officers and volunteers should sign one to protect themselves as it has the backing of the NHSA should there be a liability issue.

· As always, membership participation needs a jolt. Tim would like feedback from the membership about activities that might encourage members to attend. In the past, we have organized club rides, publicized them on our website, but have found a decided lack of interest. We need to find things that will excite the membership to participate more fully. Tim would like to put out a questionnaire to collect suggestions.

· Alan pointed out that the Bridgewater club now offers credit card payments for memberships through their website and that it might be something we could look into.

· The Trail Masters’ meeting will be on November 20th at Attitash. The members that volunteered to attend were Alan, Miles, Frank and Tim. The club voted for $120 to pay for their attendance. Tim will see to getting the paperwork in to the NHSA for that.

· Tim presented the renewal for the Chamber of Commerce. Alan made the motion to renew our $40 membership which was seconded and passed.

· The NHSA has asked the clubs to involve local businesses in their advertising. For a contribution, the business receives a package from the NHSA and their business is advertised to snowmobilers.

· Tim also presented offers from NY for room rates in western New York if anyone is interested.

· Skidoo is still doing the coupon deal for the clubs; Tim printed off a number of them to take and return as a fund raiser for the club. Some of the clubs earned the maximum $1500 from Skidoo last year.

· Since last month, Tim and Tom have been pursuing resolution to the IRS issue. Tim received several different answers to the same question and was finally transferred to the collections division where he was successful in getting our 2008 return removed from collections (to where it was mistakenly sent by the IRS after we were advised not to send in the check pending further investigation) until December 10th. From there, Tim gave the floor to Tom.

· Tom called the IRS on the 12th and was told that the information Tim had sent in had finally been entered into the IRS computer. He spent an hour and a half on the phone while the IRS reviewed all the information at a hearing and at last determined that we shouldn’t be assessed the $6000+ penalty fees. Tom was also able to ascertain that the root of the problem was that the category listed on the first page of the return required the inclusion of a Schedule B form that we were not aware of. We should receive a notice in 10 days verifying that it is closed. Now that Tom and Tim have resolved this and are more aware of the requirements, we hope not to have further problems.

· Tim and Tom were given enthusiastic congratulations by everyone for having resolved the IRS issue successfully in short order.

· Tim announced that the next supper will be pork roast on December 11th and will be our annual Yankee Swap where each member brings a wrapped gift to exchange, and hopes to ‘trade up” or keep their original gift!

· For the supper report, we took in $843.00 and expensed $471.70 for supplies as it was the initial supper of the season and replenishment was needed for staples as well as supplies for the supper, making the supper profit $371.30. We took in $32 for the 50/50 raffle (which was won by Pat French) and $28 in donations. We also sold $59 worth of shirts and took in 13 memberships, some with donations, for an overall profit of $935.30 including the large number of donations received.

· Appreciation was given to Miles and Bill by Alan, and wholeheartedly echoed by the club, for all the hard work that they have been doing on the trails. They have been doing a superhuman job.

· Thanks were extended to Walt and Sue Waring for the new supper sign that has been placed on Route 3A in Bristol at the foot of Newfound Lake. Walt built the sign and Sue did the lettering. It is “gigundous”.

· Tim asked for the club members’ opinion of the map prototype presented by Alan; it was universally approved. He asked for a motion to advance Alan Barnard up to $400 towards getting our new trail maps printed. It was made by Brian Deal and the club approved the expenditure. There have been reports of a county map coming out as well as the state 911 map but the individual clubs are still responsible for their own maps. Alan also noted that we need to designate two helicopter pads on our trails for emergency 911use.

· A final item was our intended revision of our by-laws as time and tasks have evolved away from the stipulations stated therein. Tim asked if anyone else would like to be on the committee to review them but the duty was passively conceded to the club officers. Tom asked if the NHSA had any guidelines for them and we can check into that.

· Note: The Newfound Grocery in Bridgewater has also asked to carry our applications, which has been done. We now have 3 locations: Outdoor Performance, Newfound Sales and Trading Post and the Newfound Grocery.

· Tim asked the members to remember to sign the Volunteer Immunity Form and the Skidoo coupons after the meeting.

· A motion to adjourn was received and approved and Tim adjourned the meeting at 9:10 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan M. Waring, Secretary,

Hardy Country Snowmobile Club