February 15, 2013


Snowmobile North Dakota

Board of Directors Meeting

February 15, 2013


The Snowmobile North Dakota Board of Directors held a meeting in the Ambulance Building in Fordville, ND on February 15, 2013 at 8 p.m.

Present Board Members:  Laura Forbes – President, Sheri Hoffmann – Vice President, Byron Norsby, Dean Forbes, Dale Deibert, Perry Brintnell, Tonia Dosch, Mark Shipley, Brian Sauer, Kristie Thone, Corey Wanner (proxy for Dan Tveito) and Jay Thone (proxy for Troy Klevgard).

Absent:  Marty Malachowski – Past President (excused) and Brad Rodin – unexcused.

Others Present: Erik Dietrich, Arik Spencer, Matt Gardner – NDPRD, Keri Wanner – Executive Director, Tari Norby – Administrative Assistant, Todd Thronson – Trail Inspector – SND.

  1. Call to Order – President Laura Forbes called the meeting to order at 8:10 p.m.


  1. Approve Agenda
    1. Brian requested to add Northeast Groomer Operators under New Business, Letter B, Number 2 with the Sheyenne Valley Groomer Operator discussion.
    2. Dale made motion to approve the agenda with changes, Kristie second. Motion approved.


  1. Approve Minutes
    1. November 30, 2012:  Brian made motion to approve, Sheri second. Motion approved.
    2. January 16, 2013:  Dale made a correction to the January 16, 2013 minutes that he was excused.  Tonia made a motion to approve with the correction, Kristie second. Motion approved.


  1. Financial Reports – December 2012
    1. Keri mentioned the snowmobile registration and revenue report wasn’t included in the initial meeting announcement but has been included in the Board members meeting packets.
    2. Sheri made a motion to file the minutes, Byron second. Motion approved.


  1. Reports
    1. President:  Laura reviewed the goals she has for the snowmobile program.  They included involving family and focusing on bringing more youth to events, fundraising programs such as the raffle tickets, club members becoming more a part of SND, seeing new places in ND, getting members more educated on SND and the staff/board, providing youth under the age of 12 riding opportunities, more educational opportunities for youth over the age of 12, and working on what the Board feels are the most important objectives in the strategic plan based on Fox Red’s presentation and publish this information in the magazine.  She also encouraged communication and is willing to help with any questions and/or concerns.
    2. Executive Director:
      1. Marketing Statistics:
        1. SND Facebook:  Total of 741 likes on 2/12/13, (Reach Over 237,000 in 1 week)
        2. Sno-Dak Facebook:  Total of 322 likes as of 2/12/13 (Reach Over 109,000)
        3. Issuu:  Over 20,000 impressions
        4. Website:  Over 4,700 visitors and 28,400 impressions
          1. Most Viewed Pages:
            1. Trail Conditions
            2. Northeast Trail
            3. Peace Garden Trail
      2. Space Aliens Fundraisers:  Held January 21st, 2013 and raised $150 for the Pink Ribbon Riders ND Snow Run.
      3. Pink Ribbon Riders:  80 participants (10 canceled due to weather), Raised $40,000, next year is the 5th anniversary.
      4. Sno-Dak News:
        1. Sold $25,808.51 as of 2/12/13, Reached 79% of Goal ($32,500)
        2. Product Donation in Trade of Ads totals $5,500, Including this Reached 97% of Goal
        3. Chelsey has reported she has had a tough time handling ad sales with her new full time job.  She still is interested in designing the e-magazine which has helped gain more followers (circulation).  She averages 15 hours/issue of design time, a total of 90 hours a season.  Currently she is budgeted for 500 and has used 300 for the season.  Keri requested approval to keep her as an employee of SND to design the e-magazine (estimating 100 hours for the season at $10/hour).  The SND marketing budget would incur her expenses.  The Board members agreed with this plan.
        4. Tari and Keri have chatted and have agreed to renew insertion orders with the previous advertisers. They have tried helping Chelsey these past couple of months but have struggled getting this accomplished due to the work load of the other projects.  Due to this, they requested approval to create a new advertising position that is strictly paid on commission.  The Board members liked the suggestions and agreed with this plan.
        5. U.S.P.S.:  Keri has been monitoring the mailing. January was terrible & averaged 14 days to get to the member. February was drop shipped to Bismarck by UPS for an additional $70 and mailed from the Bismarck Bulk Mail Center; Averaged 7 days to get to the members.  This process will be tried with the March issue as well so it can be tracked for planning next seasons Sno-Dak News mailing process.
      5. Monthly Task Report: 38% of the recipients opened the January 2013 report.  Of this, only 29% are Board of Directors.  Keri asked if the Board members still wanted this report.  It was mentioned the Constant Contact report requires extra clicks.   Due to the extra clicks, it’s not opened.  Byron made a motion to eliminate the monthly task report.  Perry seconded the motion.  Motion carried.
      6. Chillin:  TownSquare Media (previously known as Cumulus) offered the same feature as last season in Winter’s Fury (old name); 3 pages of coverage for $500.  NDPRD & SND split the $500 fee.  One full page was over $500.  A copy of Chillin’ was placed in the Board packets.
      7. 2012 Land Lease Grant from RTP:  Keri met with the Peace Garden trail and the Red River South trail to discuss how to complete this grant.  Both trail systems were very nervous about increasing the land lease amounts because of the effects across the state.  They asked Keri to research if the funds could be used to grub the trail on the landowner’s property in an effort to show appreciation for the lease and encouragement to keep the lease.  Keri worked with NDPRD regarding this question and found the grant cannot be utilized to pay for trail grubbing landowner’s property.
      8. Legislation:  HB1368 increases per diem to the GSA (General Services Administration) rate.  Arik mentioned the bill has been amended to pay 80% of the GSA meal rate and 90% of the GSA hotel rate.  This bill will continue to be tracked for budgeting purposes. HB1414 ties minimum wage to a survey produced by UND (University of North Dakota).  The survey would determine the average minimum wage for North Dakota.  Arik reported the bill was defeated.
      9. ND Snowmobile Trail Applications:  The Board reviews ND Snowmobile Trail Applications every odd year for equipment requests and trail changes.  Tari has applications with if any of the Board members needed one for the local trail.   These will be mailed to the trail associations next week.
    3. Trail Inspector:
      1. Trail inspections have been going good.
      2. Helped out with the Pink Ribbon Riders ND Snow Run and the snowmobile PSA shoot.
      3. Attended all three levels of Procurement training.
      4. Working on completing the 2012-2013 employee goals and focusing on new goals for next season.
      5. Working with Track, Inc. and trail associations that received the new Tuckers.  All three associations are experiencing air cleaner issues.
      6. Attended Parks Day at the Capital.  Worked with the local trail association to get the groomer to Bismarck for the event.  Gave rides to anyone interested.
      7. Recertified clubs for the signing class and recertified a couple groomer operators.
    4. Administrative Assistant:
      1. Tari reminded the Board members to complete the mileage reimbursement forms.
      2. Updated contact lists for the Board, Clubs and Trail Associations are in the packets.
      3. Placing a deadline on the Club Officer form helped with updates.  Roughly 15 forms have been submitted in the past and this year 30 was provided to SND.
      4. There are seven clubs with no members.  Tari will send them a letter reminding them to pay their memberships next week.
      5. 21 posters have been mailed to SND for the Poster Contest.  Another reminder has been sent to the schools.
      6. Three clubs submitted new members for Project Ride.
      7. Currently there are 733 individual/family members and 72 associates.
      8. Roughly 1,000 trail maps and 1,200 trail guides are left after this time.
      9. Roughly 50% of the Constant Contact recipients are opening the Trail Conditions and Sno-Dak News emails.
    5. NDPRD:
      1. Arik Spencer reviewed SB 2043 which changes the snowmobile definition to the definition selected by the SND Board in 2009.  This bill has been approved by the Senate and is on hold till the crossover date at the beginning of March.  The potential snowmobile registration bill that was mentioned at the November 30th, 2012 Board meeting was dropped.  More information will be researched on this bill for proposal in 2015.
      2. Arik thanked SND for being a part of Parks Day at the capital and PSA shoot.  These were great events and help show the partnership between NDPRD and SND.
      3. Erik Dietrich-Enforcement was held at all events.  Over 215 sleds have been checked.  A total of 75 non-resident permits have been sold this season.
      4. Matt Gardner appreciated all of the help from SND for the PSA shoot.  The completed videos were previewed.  A soft release of the videos will be done at Snow Sneak Peek in April and the official launch will take place next season.  A total of 3-4 videos are left to complete.  The OHV videos will be launched soon.  SND will redesign its website homepage too feature the registration video with a link where to register.  The videos displayed on SND’s and NDPRD’s websites will be displayed similar to show consistency between the pages.
  2. Committee Reports
    1. Equipment Committee:
      1. Todd stated the Equipment Committee will be meeting after the board meeting.
      2. 2011 RTP Grant is completed with the purchase of the three groomers (Cavalier, Fargo and Rugby).
      3. 2012 RTP Grant, can’t do anything until July, 1st, 2013. Until we can match funds.
      4. 2013 RTP Grant application deadline is March 1st, 2013.
    2. Budget:
      1. No Report
    3. Legislation, Bylaws, Enforcement, & Safety:
      1. No Report
    4. Promotion, Membership, Convention, Awards & Nominations:
      1. Membership Rewards Program
        1. Drew the winner at the meeting, Rough Riders Snowmobile Association.
      2. SND Raffle Tickets
        1. Missing nine books of tickets, short $900. Instead of prorating the awarded prizes, the board decided to pull $900 from the convention line, since the Board is hosting the 2013 SND Convention.  Dale made a motion, Sheri second. Motion approved.
        2. Ridge Runners sold the most books of tickets – 56. They will receive a check for $1000.
      3. Keri reminded the Board of the April 1st deadline and what is all due that day including:
        1. Of the Year Awards
        2. SND Hall of Fame
        3. Scholarship
        4. Project Ride
        5. ISC Charity Report
        6. KNDC Kids poster Contest
    5. Employee Review Committee:
      1. No Report
    6. Accident Safety Review Committee:
      1. No Report
  3. Old Business
    1. Strategic Planning Session with Fox Red – March 9th:
      1. Tom with Fox Red will come in and explain the Strategic Plan.
      2. Board of Directors meeting will be held after the meeting with Fox Red in Bismarck.
    2. Foremost Insurance:
      1. Contract has been signed between SND and Foremost Insurance.
      2. Information about Foremost has been sent out to SND members.
      3. Keri will work on getting Foremost insurance information up on the website.
  4. New Business
    1. 2013 Committees:
      1. Laura changed the committee representation so there was someone from each region. There are some committees that don’t have a representative from each region because of interest/education on the committee.
      2. Laura changed the Legislation, Bylaws, Enforcement & Safety Committee to the Regulations Committee and the Promotion, Membership, Convention, Awards & Nominations Committee to the Awards & Nominations Committee.
    2. Trail Association Report:
      1. Cattail: 1st Benchmark
        1. Keri talked about:
          1. How they were late on their first benchmark, sent in on 1/3/13 and how several attempts were made to contact the association between Dec. 17th and Dec. 31st.
          2. On 12/27/12, Todd reported roughly 50% of the system had been signed. On 1/2/13, Todd reported the signing met the 80% requirement with the section of trail to Finley not signed.  On 2/8/13, the trail signing had not changed.
          3. As of 2/12/13, the clubs signing certification is expired and membership has not been provided.
          4. Associations History: As of 1/30/09, the club was placed on probation for no land leases, not meeting the 1st Benchmark & lack of membership.  As of 5/21/10, the association was removed from probation for meeting all of the trail requirements (land leases, benchmark deadlines & membership.)  On 3/30/11, the association submitted a ND Snowmobile Trail Application requesting a state grooming equipment.  A trail meeting was held with the association on 3/1/12 requesting information on the local contract grooming program.  On 3/30/12, the Equipment Committee reviewed the 3/1/12 trail meeting notes for discussion on the grooming application. It was reported the club did not hold membership with SND on 3/30/12.  Due to this, the committee denied the application.  The committee presented this information to the Board on 5/5/12, for final approval on denying the association state grooming equipment.  A letter was sent to the association/club on 5/29/12, regarding the denial of the trail application and why.
        2. It was brought up that Cattail should be penalized 40% of their benchmark, which is their first benchmark. Byron made motion to penalize Cattail 40%, Corey second. Motion approved.
        3.  This is the second time they have been on probation in five years.
          1. Keri was asked to revisit the penalties section of the SND Trail Program Guidelines and bring it back to the Board at the next meeting.
      2. Sheyenne Valley – Groomer Operator
        1. Sheyenne Valley Trail Association requested that a groomer operator that has been on probation can groom again.
        2. The operator’s driving and criminal records were pulled and were not good.
        3. It was decided that he will not be allowed to run state equipment. The organization wants professional representation of our employees.
        4. Keri will work with Laura, Sheri and NDPRD to address the groomer operators in the Employee Manual and bring back to the Board at the next meeting.
      3. Northeast – Groomer Operator – Brian Sauer added this to the agenda
        1. Brian said a representative of the Northeast Trail system was at a local bar when a groomer operator, that was operating a groomer at the time, stopped in the bar and had a couple drinks. The operator headed back to the groomer with the intention to operate.  The Northeast representative contacted Trail Coordinator Wayne Aune with this information.  Wayne contacted the groomer operator and stopped him from operating the equipment and then made other arrangements for someone to finish grooming the trail.
        2. The Board seceded to have the Accident Safety & Review Committee deal with the matter.
        3. Brian will get Laura more information on what happed at a later date.
      4. Reminders:
        1. Replace downed signs
          1. With the snow melting in between snowfalls, signs have been coming out of the ground and not being picked up and placed back in the snow.
        2. Provide maps to local business
          1. People have been looking for snowmobile trail maps in their local shops.
        3. 1st grooming needs office approval
          1. Two associations started grooming this season and not letting the SND office know ahead of time.
          2. Trail Coordinators need to call the SND office every Wednesday to give their latest trail conditions report.
    3. Trail Signing Policy:
      1.  Corridor Method:  It was brought to Perry’s attention that using three blazers for the corridor method to sign approaches with culverts was confusing to riders at night.  It was asked of the Board to discuss this issue as the U.S.F.S (Forest Service) and IASA (International Association of Snowmobile Administrators) update sign manuals this summer.  Keri reminded everyone that the SND Sign Guidelines require four blazers to make a corridor over an approach with a culvert.  Three corridors have been allowed in some instances depending on the placement of the sign.  However, the SND Sign Guidelines doesn’t reflect this exception and should.  Keri also reminded everyone that the corridor method was meant to be away from the culvert.  Associations started to place the blazers on top of the culverts making them a part of the corridor.  This has been allowed but is not part of the Sign Guidelines.  An exception should be created for this as well.  It was asked if SND was required to follow the U.S.F.S. and IASA guidelines.  Snowmobile trails in ND are not located on U.S.F.S. property, so the program doesn’t need to follow these requirements.  However, the U.S.F.S. requirements do dictate what is in the IASA sign manual which is an international standard that has been supported by the Federal court system.  Due to this, these manuals dictate signing consistency for North Dakota.  This information will be reviewed after ISC when the new proposed documents are finalized.
    4. GPS’s for Groomers:
      1. Laura attended an ACSA webinar where they talked about GPS’s for groomers.
        1. An association uses gpstrackit.com where its $360 for three months and that includes the hardware.
      2. This would help with weekly trail reports in the office.
      3. Todd will do some more research on the GPS’s.
  5. Adjournment
    1. Tonia made motion to adjourn, Brian second.  Motion carried.

Respectfully Submitted by:
Keri Wanner & Tari Norby



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