June 19, 2013


Snowmobile North Dakota

Board of Directors Meeting

June 19, 2013

The Snowmobile North Dakota Board of Directors held a meeting via Webinar on June 19, 2013.

Present Board Members:  Laura Forbes – President, Sheri Hoffmann – Vice President, Marty Malachowski – Past President, Dale Deibert, Byron Norsby, Mark Shipley and Tonia Dosch.

Absent: Troy Klevgard & Perry Brintnell – excused and Brad Rodin, Dan Tveito, Kristie Thone & Brian Sauer – unexcused.

Others Present: Matt Gardner & Erik Dietrich – NDPRD, Keri Wanner – Executive Director & Tari Norby – Administrative Specialist – SND.

  1. Call to Order – President Laura Forbes called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.


  1. Approve Agenda
    1. Keri added the President Report under the Reports section and moved section C from New Business to the Budget Committee section and Trail Signing under the Trail Operations Committee.
    2. Tonia made motion to approve the agenda with these changes, Sheri second. Motion approved.


  1. Approve Minutes
    1. March 9th, 2013:  Dale made motion to approve, Byron second. Motion approved.


  1. Financial Reports – April 2013
    1. Laura mentioned that Keri hasn’t had time to finish May’s reports, but Keri will get them out to the Board as soon as they are completed.
    2. Sheri made a motion to file the financial reports, Byron second. Motion approved.


  1. Reports
    1. President Report:
      1. Laura reminded everyone that the contract between NDPRD and SND needs to be completed by June 30th.
      2. Laura will be giving a PowerPoint presentation before the Employee Handbook discussion.
    2. Office Report:
  1. Marketing Statistics:
    • SND Facebook:  Total of 801 likes on 6/17/13, (Reach Over 257,744 in 1 week)
    • Sno-Dak Facebook:  Total of 504 likes as of 6/17/13 (Reach Over 166,626)
    • Issuu:  27,000 impressions
    • Website:  Over 269 visitors and 693 impressions
      1. Most Viewed Pages:
        1. Trail Conditions
        2. Sno-Dak News
        3. Events
  • Constant Contact:  1,126 Contacts
    1. Most Viewed Emails:
      • April 1st Deadline (33%)
      • March Newsletter (27%)
      • 3/28/13 Trail Conditions (24%)


  1. Sno-Dak News: Rebid and awarded to L.B.L. Printing. New features include easier proofing process, comparable rates and assistance in selling advertising for the magazine
    • 4 companies provided bids.
  2. 12-13 Membership Information: Total number of Family/Individual members are currently at 876 and total Associate Business members are at 81. There was one club that hasn’t sent in memberships this season or the previous season.
    • Keri mentioned that the club was not related to a trail system and they were dropped from our listing. They are the Northwest Trailblazers.
  3. June 2013 Budgets:  The final financial reports for the close of June 2013 will be emailed.
  4. Gaming:  No luck finding any locations.  If any of you find a location, please contact the office so we can work on this for the future.
  5. 2012 RTP Land Lease Grant: still working with ND Parks and Recreation on this grant.  To use the grant, federal law requires we inform the landowner the value of their land and a signature from the landowner stating they are willing to accept less than the value for the lease. All of the trail systems I visited with didn’t want to pursue this option based on this.
  6. Board Attendance:  Latest Board Member attendance sheet has been included in DropBox for review.
  7. slednsnap.com:  Flaman Group of Saskatoon, Canada and the 3 Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have approved to allow North Dakota to be a part of slednsnap.com this coming season.  This program is encouraged through social media, assists with gaining contact information and requires snowmobile registration to participate.  We’ll keep you informed as details progress.
  8. DOT:  SND and NDPRD have been working with DOT on including an insert in the August/September renewal registration mailing.  The design of the insert flows with the registration PSA video and includes information on the importance of the registration.  A sample has been placed in DropBox.  A follow-up reminder mailing will be sent on behalf of SND & NDPRD in October/November.  This one will include a bullet on the prize program associated with slednsnap.com.
    • Keri showed the flyer that Chelsey has created that will be sent out to all the registered snowmobilers.
  9. Emergency Trail Change: 3 changes have been received, office needs direction from the Board
    • Missouri Valley Trail: request to eliminate 71.4 miles making the system more manageable for volunteers. In 2 years, may request a change to add roughly 20 miles to the northern portion of the trail to make a loop. Club would like to make this change first but would like approval to hold 20 miles for future changes. Recommendation: hold the miles only 2 years or they are eliminated.
    • North Central Trail: Need approval to reroute 15 miles from Missouri Valley to North Central.
    • Lake Region Trail: still working on final changes from the 2013 temporary emergency trail change – trying to reroute the existing miles to different/safer locations.
    • Keri mentioned how at the May 11th meeting with Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association (SSA), Laura, Sheri and Matt Gardner, it was brought up that we hold and an International Ride with Saskatchewan. Sno-Trails would have to maintain roughly 35 to 40 more miles of trail for the international ride.  The international trail would connect at the Port of Carievale on Hwy 28, north of Sherwood.  SSA is pursuing the same request with its Board of Directors.
    • Sheri made a motion to reallocate Missouri Valley’s miles of trail needed to complete the emergency trail change requests for North Central and Lake Region, and allow a temporary International trail as a part of Sno-Trails system. Dale second. Motion approved.


  1. ND Snowmobile Trail Applications:
    • 2 applications received (East Central Valley and Sno-Trails
    • Both applications have been reviewed and approved by the office as they were reroutes due to trail closures
    • Information in DropBox for your review
  2. Meeting with Sask. Snow: May 11, 2013
    • Learned about the trail grant funding program titled the Matrix (will be reviewed during Budget Committee Presentation)
    • Are willing to develop a trail to the Port of Carievale (north of Sherwood) to connect to ND’s snowmobile trails.  ND would need to add roughly 40 miles to the Sno-Trails system to make the connection from Carpio or 35 miles from Lansford where the trail reroute has been moved too.  Could qualify for a $5,000 event grant from Tourism
  3. ISC Update:
    • Received direction on the RTP program from the national level, ND is subject to opt-out of the program.  SND did a CC newsletter on 6/18/13 urging members to contact the Governor to opt-in.  There is a meeting w/the Governor on July 9th which Keri will be attending.
    • Updated on International Sign and U.S.F.S. Sign guidelines: presented later
    • Attended training on GPS tracking units for grooming, requesting additional info
    • More detailed reports will be provided later in DropBox.
  4. Anniversary Celebration:  Please contact SND staff with your ideas or let us know what you like best below so we have direction on which items to work on for 2014.
    • Create a partner logo for SND and NDPRD
    • SND/NDPRD VIP Ride at State Ride (ask legislators, Governor and our partners to attend) The Partners should include members of the RTP Committee and Land Managers so they can see the hard work put into the state snowmobile trail system.
    • Possibly use the NDPRD presentation or parts of it at the 2014 convention
    • Create promotional products:
      1. Jersey
      2. Sled Wrap for State Sleds
      3. Jacket
      4. Helmet Accessories (Wrap, Goggle Straps, etc.)
      5. Pin
  5. NDPRD:
    1. 2013-2015 Contract:
      1. Matt Gardner went through the changes in the 2013-2015 contract.  All changes are highlighted in yellow. The contract can be found in DropBox.
      2. Marty made a motion to accept the contract with the updates. Byron second, motion approved.
    2. Trail Crew: Matt talked about how NDPRD received $65,400 for the upcoming biennium for trail work. They would help SND volunteers with assistance with trail clearing such as brush cutting and tree trimming but not mowing. Details are still being figured out at this point.
      1. Hire 2 or 3 people to work 4 days a week.
      2. First year would be based out of the Bismarck area.
      3. Club member would go with them the first time to show how it’s done.
      4. Start thinking of places to have the crew work.
  6. Committee Reports
    1. Equipment Committee:
      1. 2012 RTP Grant: Met with Track, Inc. on May 3rd. Figured out different options and decided to move forward with the purchase of a new groomer. Waiting on information from Track, Inc. regarding the final purchase before it can be made.
      2. 2013 RTP Grant Received for $150,000: Will be able to update 1 groomer.
        1. A letter was sent out via Constant Contact, to have people contact the governor and make sure ND opts into RTP.
      3. Camoplast Track Warranty: The office is monitoring another track warranty issue with Track, Inc. and Tucker.  The warranty is on the tracks used to replace the Tereyuk tracks on the 2008 Tuckers located in Devils Lake (2 tracks) and Linton (4 tracks).  The 2011 Tucker in Fairdale also has the same tracks.  Will keep the Board updated as more develops.
      4. Equipment Inspections/Repairs: Todd went out and did all the equipment inspections at the end of the season. All the reports were reviewed at the May 3rd Equipment meeting. All repairs that were needed were addressed.
        1. Keri is waiting for information on the 2006 Tucker located in Grafton.  The exhaust manifold needs to be repaired but the trail system is struggling to find someone to work on the repair at this time.
    2. Budget Committee:
      1. “Associations are Really a Business” PowerPoint (PPT): Laura reviewed a PPT that describes non-profits as a business and the roles of the board of directors and employees positions.
      2. Employee Handbook: This was tabled from the March 9 meeting so everyone had time to review it. Dale made a motion to approve the handbook. Byron second, motion approved.
      3. SND Budget: Keri talked about the new Sponsorship line item and the changes made to the raffle ticket program. The budget is in DropBox for your review.  Laura also mentioned the committee made a decision to allow the office to sell memberships, such as the renewals that are not completed in a year’s timeframe.
        1. Byron made a motion to approve the SND budget with these suggestions. Dale Second, motion approved.
      4. Trail Program Budget: Matt discussed the 10 Year History document that was handed out at the March 9 meeting; it shows how the income has decreased by 19%. Keri and Matt have come up with new funding program that sets a baseline of 14,000 snowmobile registrations and the income it generates for the snowmobile trail program. The intention of the new program is to keep three benchmarks but distribute the funds differently.  The first benchmark will provide a budget to assist with volunteers setting up the trail and the first grooming and for trail signage.  The second benchmark will utilize the remaining funds generated from the baseline of 14,000 registrations.  The third benchmark is a bonus and will be distributed if registrations surpass the 14,000 mark.  The matrix program mentioned in the office report will be applied to both the second and third benchmarks to more accurately distribute the snowmobile trail program funds to on the ground trail maintenance.  Matt and Keri discussed the new program and there were no questions.
        1. Byron made a motion to approve the SNDTP budget. Sheri second, motion approved.
      5. Meeting Expenses: Budget Committee recommended to pay $50 from the SND budget to each board member to attend meetings, on top of the $25 that will be coming from the SNDTP budget.
      6. State Snowmobile Trail Grant Funding Program:  The new matrix program will rate how each trail system will be funded.  Trail associations will earn points for meeting the requirements.  The more points earned; the more potential of funding.  A trail cannot earn more than they expend in a season.  A maximum of 16 points can be earned.  The following items will be rated:  trail signing for a maximum of 4 points, grooming length (number of weeks open) for a maximum of 4 points for trails using state equipment and 5 points for trails using contract equipment; meeting participation for a maximum of 3 points, trail expenses for a maximum of 4 points and equipment repairs for trails with state equipment for a maximum of 1 point.
    3. Regulations Committee:
      1. No Report
    4. Awards & Nominations Committee:
      1. Of the Year Award Recipients:
        1. Groomer Operator: Larry Spidahl – Lake Region
        2. Associate: Outback Autobody – Dakota Trailblazers & Gasmann Coulee Cruisers
        3. Snowmobiler: Rick Bruggeman – Northern Lights Trailblazers
        4. Family: Cory & Gail Heilman – Northern Lights Trailblazers
        5. Did not receive any nominations for Dealer or Young Snowmobiler
      2. Scholarship Recipients: Awards Committee decided to split the money to $450 per recipient. Winners are Andrew Ternquist from Michigan, ND and David McAtee from Rugby, ND.
      3. Hall of Fame Recipient: Dennis Graveseth from Bottineau, ND. This is will be a surprise and he will find out at the 2013 convention in Grand Forks.
      4. Poster Contest: 1st place: Sidney Mann, 2nd place: Alex McCone, 3rd place: Katie Bahr – all from Bismarck. Posters are in DropBox for your review.
    5. Trail Operations Committee:
      1. Trail Signing: IASA will have draft of the International Signing Guidelines by the end of the month and will have the final draft in September. USFS will try to meet the same deadline as IASA.
        1. Keri brought up the sign order form and discussed how it is reduced down to one page.
        2. Keri discussed the 2014 proposed trail sign orders that the Trails Committee discussed the previous week.
          1. Committee recommends to operate on the current sign guidelines for the 2013-2014 season and the new signing guidelines will take effect in the 2014-2015 season. This season we will start training people on the new guidelines.
        3. Keri went over the SNDTP Sign Guidelines changes for the 2013-2014 season.
        4. Byron made a motion to place a minimum of 2 blazers on a corridor and if the club thinks it needs more then they can add more at their and Todd Thronson’s discretion. Dale seconded, motion passed. Trail associations will be asked to monitor this closely as they will be rated on this for the funding program taking affect in the 2013-2014 season.
  7. Old Business
    1. GPS for Groomers:  It was announced this will not be a part of the 2013-2015 contract with NDPRD.  More information was presented at ISC with great benefits such as trail expense reporting and trail status (when the trail was last groomed) reporting.  Keri will continue to research this information and provide the Board of Directors with updates.
    2. 2014 Convention: will be hosted by the Gasmann Coulee Cruisers at the Grand International of Minot in Minot, ND. From October 31 to November 2.
  8. New Business
    1. Cattail Trail: Trails committee recommended the Cattail trail be placed on probation for a period of two years. During that time, if the trail system misses one deadline/requirement, the trail system will be closed.
      1. It was stated that the Board of Directors have had to discuss this matter for long enough with Cattail. Marty made a motion to close the trail and have Keri send them a letter outlining the requirements that have not been met in the past. Byron seconded, approved with one nay made by Mark. Keri mentioned she will visit with NDPRD on this matter to determine if the miles of trail can be held throughout the upcoming season to plan a reroute or if the miles of trail should be eliminated.  Keri will report to the Board of Directors on this matter after meeting with NDPRD.
    2. 2013 Action Plan (2013-2017 Strategic Plan): Keri went over the document that is in DropBox and will place some of the tasks in the employees annual work plans and the rest will be split between the committees.
  9. Adjournment: Motion made by Tonia to adjourn, second by Mark, approved.

Respectfully Submitted by:
Tari Norby & Keri Wanner

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