May 17, 2014 Minutes

Snowmobile North Dakota
Board of Directors Meeting
May 17, 2014

The Snowmobile North Dakota Board of Directors held a meeting at the Century Center, in Bismarck on May 17, 2014.

Present Board Members:  Laura Forbes – President, Sheri Hoffmann – Vice President, Dale Deibert, Mark Shipley, Jesse Fritz, Todd Rasmusson, Shawn Cole, Marty Malachowski, Byron Norsby and Victor Evjen.

Absent Board Members: Brian Sauer, Kristie Thone and Perry Brintnell – All Excused.

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

  1. Call to Order – President Laura Forbes called the meeting to order at 10:23 a.m.
  1. Approve Agenda
    1. Marty made motion to approve the agenda as is, Dale second. Motion approved.
  1. Approve Minutes
    1. February 7, 2014:  Byron made motion to approve, Shawn second. Motion approved.
  1. Financial Reports – April 2014
    1. Keri explained the snowmobile program closed the last biennium over-spending by $49,000.  It was also mentioned the 14,000 baseline for the new funding program is a goal achieved during the biennium, not in one fiscal year.
    2. Registration numbers are at a 9% increase from this time in 2012.
    3. Todd made a motion to file the financial reports, Jesse second. Motion approved.
  1. Reports
    1. President Report:  Laura thanked everyone for being a part of SND.  By volunteering your time shows club members in your area that you are passionate about SND.

i.     This year was a busy year for SND staff.  Todd inspected the trails in the State of ND and updated the programs for the website, Polaris RidersX and GIS Hub.  Todd inspected the groomers and drags across the state.  He trained snowmobile members on trail signing and grooming.  He also attended and assisted with SND events.
Chelsey created the new SND logo, the get registered postcard, and worked on the e-magazine.  On the e-magazine she proofread articles, developed backgrounds and linked ads, email address, articles, etc.
Tari managed the new membership module on the website also updated the trail reports on the website weekly.  She assisted Chelsey with the e-magazine and magazine by proofreading, selling ads and updating inserts.  Tari assisted Keri with reimbursement software for the GPS tracking and other projects.  Tari also attended and assisted with the SND events.  Tari collected the information for the scholarships, awards and the Sled’N Snap for the board.
Keri managed the reimbursement software for the GPS tracking and online reporting.  She developed a sponsorship program for SND.  She is an advocate for the recreation trails program.  Keri is working with NDPRD in transferring registration from DOT to NDPRD.  She is working with the regulations committee for the 2015 legislation session.  Keri is working with different companies and agencies to promote snowmobiling for all snowmobiling enthusiasts.  Keri has written many articles.  Keri has a consulting business.  This business is named Driven, LLC.  If you have any questions for her about the business, I ask that the questions be asked after the meeting.
I have been to a few community meetings.  The people are concerned about youth drinking underage and binge drinking.  The state has received a grant to stop underage drinking and binge drinking.  After listening to the people, I feel this legislation would not be a good time to change the law to let children under the age of 21 be in the bars.  I feel we should concentrate on letting children under the age of 12 ride a snowmobile by themselves with a parent or guardian over the age of 18.  We will need the snowmobiling members support, during legislation.  If you know of a representative that would support us, please let us know.  Laura thanked the members that participated in voting on the different subjects that came up.  There were times we didn’t have much participation when SND needed input.  And the staff had to keep reminding the board to participate.  Laura feels SND staff should not have to keep reminding people to participate.  They need to work on promoting snowmobiling so the business keeps running.  So I would like some input on the committees.  She would like to have at least one director from each association be on each committee, this way each association will have input, when items come up.  There is some committees that don’t have a director on it and the reason is that association didn’t want to participate.  Laura asked the Directors if they would prefer to pick the committees they are on and everyone agreed to have the President continue picking who represents the committees.

  1. Office Report:

i.     Marketing Statistics:

  • SND Facebook:  Total of 1,124 likes on 5/12/14 (weekly reach 530)
  • Sno-Dak Facebook:  Total of 755 likes as of 5/12/14 (weekly reach 376)
  • Issuu:  Weekly reach 355
  • Website:  Weekly reach 1,249
    1. Most Viewed Pages:

i.     Grooming Forms

ii.     Trails Page

iii.     Sno-Dak News

  • Constant Contact:  1,544 Contacts
    1. Most Viewed Emails:

i.     Trail Closure (31%)

ii.     Emag Magazine (21%)

iii.     ISC Charity Report (19%)

ii.     Sno-Dak News:

  • Total SND Office Sales:  $22,685.72; Total Expenses:  $20,240.59; Revenue:  $1,400.75
  • L.B.L. Printing and MSPN are going to help with sales for the 2014-2015 Season
  • Presold Revenue for 2014-2015:  $4,630.72 (Sold by Keri & Tari)
  • 2014 Convention SND Silent Auction Product:  $2,000

iii.     13-14 Membership Information as of 5/13/14: 

  • 882 Individual/Family Memberships
  • 94 Associate Members

iv.     Safety/Enforcement Program Update:  Scheduling OHV safety classes and simulator appearances

v.     Trail Map Update: Ordered & will be here in May (received a grant to cover $700 of the total cost)

vi.     Get Registered Campaign/Results:  registrations up 9% as of March 2014

vii.     Track, Inc. Request:  Todd completed the track request from Track, Inc. during the equipment inspections

viii.     Board Meeting Attendance:  Updated information included in meeting packets

ix.     Red River North:  The signs between Warsaw and Oakwood have been picked up and the trail association has informed SND that it wasn’t by the individual managing that section of trail.  Please let SND know if you have any idea where these signs might be.

  • It was suggested that we purchase trail cameras and set them up on that trail.

x.     Midcontinent Communications:  Midcontinent Communications donated 49,393 spots valuing $353,367.00 to the Snowmobile PSA’s.  NDPRD is awarding the company a merit award for their dedication to the snowmobile and OHV PSA’s.  Keri asked if SND would like to do something.

  • We will do a half page thank you letter in the Sno-Dak News and give them a special merit award at the annual banquet and  invite 4 of them to attend.  Budgeted funds for the Of the Year awards that were not awarded this season, will be used to offset these costs.

xi.     Marketing Plan:  SND fulfilled the 2013 ISMA grant assisting with funds for the International Ride and Get Registered campaign.  A summary report has been included in the meeting packets for reference.

  • 2014-2015 Marketing Plan:  Continue with the “Get Registered” Campaign and International Ride
    1. Everyone asked to check on a February date outside of SnowFest, State Ride and SnowJam and to also look at March 7th.
    2. Keri asked if there should be any other suggestions for focus and no suggestions were provided.

xii.     2013-2014 Action Plan:  A summary on the 2013-2014 action plan was provided to the Board of Directors.  The action plan update and the 2014-2015 action plan will be voted on next fall

xiii.     Automated Logistic Solutions (ALS):  ALS provides equipment tracking units and software compatible with trail management.  This is the program that was researched last year and asked if they could complete WI’s program before starting ND’s.  ALS is currently working with SND to find solutions for electronic trail reimbursement management.  The staff is reviewing the online reimbursement program and making changes to fit existing forms.  Staff is also pursuing grant opportunities to help cover the costs of the program.  This program will include:

  • Online Reimbursement Program for Groomer Operator Payroll & Trail Expenses
  • Equipment fleet tracking
  • Online Trail Status Reporting

xiv.     Online Training Certifications:  Working on an online program for volunteers to certify for Trail Grubbing and Trail Signing classes.  (Received a grant to cover these costs.)

xv.     Sign Orders:      

  • You Are Here Signs:  Paid for using the 2013RTP grant, project completed, total cost $1,701.30 for 214 signs (80%: $1,361.04; 20%: $340.26).  These signs should be here in May 2014.
  • 2014 Trail Association’s Sign Orders & SNDTP Sign Order:  Signs will be ordered in July 2014
  1. NDPRD:  Matt thanked everyone for attending the meeting. He doesn’t have much for reporting, he will be jumping in on other items on the agenda.

i.     Erik stated enforcement checkpoints were held at  8 snowmobile events this season and handed out 15 citations and a handful of warning permits.

ii.     Victor asked about doing something with a welcome sign that lets people know where they can go and purchase non-resident passes.  NDPRD and SND staff will look into this suggestion.

  1. Committee Reports
    1. Equipment Committee: 

i.     Working on 2014 purchases (Groomer and Signs) that will use the 2013 funding.

  • Send out sign bids in June and order in July

ii.     We have applied for 2014 & 2015 funds.  The ND RTP committee approved both grants.  Waiting for final approval from Federal Highways.

iii.     Todd completed the equipment inspections

  • 4 areas need plastic replaced – 3 systems will have it done within a few weeks
  • Sheri is hauling plastic to Devils Lake and a track to Fordville so its closed to Langdon. Keri asked if a few Board of Directors could help loading up the track and plastic in Sheri’s track after the meetings.
    1. Budget Committee:

i.     Todd and Tari have not had a raise in 2 years

  • Keri found the money in the budgets to give Tari a raise to $11/hour and dental insurance.  Todd will get a raise to $17/hour and increase trail inspections from $75 to $80.
  • Keri didn’t ask for a raise this year, but since her medical insurance went up, that it be covered.
  • Chelsey will not be coming back next season.
    1. Denise with L.B.L. Printing with be creating templates for the emagazine, so Tari will be able to insert all the information into the templates such as officer articles, club news and regional director updates.

ii.     Proposed SND Budget:

  • Sno-Dak News line was decreased by $2,500 since we didn’t sell as many ads last season due to the loss in manufacturer ads.
  • Decreased the Sponsorship line by $250
    1. We now can add banner ads to our website, hoping that brings more sponsors
  • The payroll expenses line item was increased to assist with the benefit and wage increase for Tari and the benefit increase for Keri.

iii.     Proposed SNDTP Budget:

  • Printed trail maps this year, so we will print trail guide books next season
  • Increased the administrative budget by 3% ($2,400) which was budgeted for last year to help offset the employee raises and benefits.
  • Eliminated the Conference Call line and increased the professional services line for the network backup program
  • Increase meetings line item for trail meetings

iv.     Byron made a motion to approve budgets, Sheri second. Approved.

    1. Regulations Committee: 2015 Legislative Recommendations

i.     Work with NDPRD to transition the snowmobile registration process from DOT to NDPRD and increase registration by $10/year.

ii.     Dealers mandate the snowmobile registrations

iii.     Increase non-registered snowmobile fine to $100

iv.     Change youth riding age to 10 years old with safety certificate and accompanied by adult

v.     Byron approved all suggestions, Victor second. Approved.

    1. Awards & Nominations Committee:

i.     Scholarship: Jakayla Smith –Oakes, ND

  • It was voted by the committee to give out 1 scholarship for $1,100

ii.     Groomer Operator: Dale Deibert – Surrey, ND

iii.     Family of the Year: Randy and Deb Knain – Rugby, ND

iv.     Snowmobiler of the Year: Allen Hoesel – Mandan, ND

v.     Associate of the Year: Harper Oil – Rugby, ND

  • The owner wishes the award would go to someone else
  • No other nominations
  • Tari sent an email to the committee and asked what they wanted to do and only 1 person replied and they said to drop the nomination.

vi.     No Nominations Received:  Young Snowmobiler of the Year, Dealer of the Year

vii.     SND Hall of Fame: No nominations

  • Laura will do research to find the family for the very first SND president

viii.     Sled’N Snap Winners:

  • Use of Enclosed Snowmobile Trailer – Saskatchewan Winner (Jason Holt)
  • Overall Winner – 2 Place Aluma Snowmobile Trailer – Dustin Gorder (Red River North Groomer Operator)
  • Trail/Scenery/Wildlife – Cooke City, MT Vacation Package – Jenn Korgel
  • Action – $100 Gas Card – Susan Scott
  • Shelters/Trailers – FXR Gift – Dustin Gorder (Red River North Groomer Operator)
  • Youth/Family – Scorpion Helmet – John Ries (East Central Valley Groomer Operator)
  • Club Rides/Events – Scorpion Helmet – Deb Ness (Northern Lights Trail Blazers)
  • Buried – 3C Guide Trip – Laura Forbes  (Magic City Driftbusters)
  • Vintage – Scorpion Helmet – Blaine Kotasek (Magic City Driftbusters)

ix.     Project Ride:

  • Arctic Cat Gear Bag – Nekoma Trailblazers
  • Polaris Gear Bag – Jim River Driftskippers
  • Ski-Doo Gear Bag – Williston Trailriders
  • Yamaha Gear Bag – Northern Lights Trail Blazers
    1. Trail Operations Committee:

i.     Sign Manual is finally completed and will be voted on at the International Snowmobile Congress (ISC) in June.  Keri will communicate with the committee after regarding final ND changes.

ii.     It was decided that the new snowpoles purchased from McCarthy Signs are stronger and better for using for snowmobile trails, so will be ordered in the future.

  1. Old Business
    1. Cattail Trail Update: 

i.     Cattail club members have been communicating with the office.

ii.     Called the office even when they didn’t go out and groom.

  1. SND 40th Anniversary Logo:

i.     Keri asked if the board wanted to purchase any items with the new logo:

  • Long sleeve t-shirts
  • pins
  1. 2015 Convention – No Bids

i.     Board members need to go to the club members.

  1. International Ride:  Potential Dates

i.     February or March 7

  1. Raffle Ticket Winners & Payouts

i.     Carissa Iverson – $1,575

ii.     Jim Potvin – $630

iii.     Shawn Mollet – $315

iv.     M. Holm – $1,260

v.     Jared Peterson – $630

vi.     Ronald Wass – $315

vii.     Scott Brink – $630

viii.     Haley Baasch – $472.50

ix.     John Carpenter – $315

x.     Les Puppe – $157.50

xi.     $630 to the SND Club that submitted a grant to ISMA: Ridge Runners

xii.     $325 donated to Scholarship Fund & Grant & Aid Fund

xiii.     Raffle ticket changes for 2014-2015:

  • Club that sells the most tickets get $1,000
  • 1,000 tickets
  • $20/ticket
  • 5 cash prizes
  • Add to ticket that the money also goes to Scholarship and Grant& Aid
  1. New Business
    1. SNDTP 2nd & 3rd Benchmark Payments:  Keri talked about how each association received points their points. Everyone will get full reimbursed for all eligible expenses. Motion was made by Byron to pay all reimbursements, Sheri second. Approved.

i.     Trial Reimbursement Qualifications

  • Eligible vs. Ineligible Expenses
    1. Eligible Expenses:

                                                                                                                i.     Fuel

                                                                                                               ii.     Parts for Grooming Equipment

                                                                                                              iii.     Fluids for Grooming Equipment

                                                                                                             iv.     Summer Storage for State Grooming Equipment (Max. $300/machine)

                                                                                                               v.     Groomer Operator Payroll Expenses ($9/hour Max.) – State Equipment

                                                                                                             vi.     Sign materials

                                                                                                            vii.     Contract Grooming ($10/mile Max.)

  1. Ineligible Expenses

i.     Unleaded fuel for signing & errands – Equipment Committee will discuss

ii.     Office Supplies

iii.     Food/Beverages

iv.     Equipment accessories: winch, backup cameras, tow ropes

v.     Trail Coordinator Fees

vi.     Additional Groomer Operator Payroll

vii.     Trail Grubbing Tools & Accessories

  1. Mark brought up a concern on why unleaded fuel isn’t reimbursed.  This guideline was set several years ago because of the numerous expenses to transport equipment operators to and from grooming locations.  There wasn’t an easy way to manage this task so all unleaded fuel expenses were denied.  Lake Region’s Trail Coordinator had to run several errands to repair the 2014 Tucker in Webster this season due to a warranty issue.  The unleaded fuel receipt was for $54.58.  After discussion Keri asked to see if Track, Inc. would possibly reimburse this receipt.  If they don’t than this item will be transferred to the Equipment Committee for discussion.
  • Benchmark Funding Penalties
    1. Change Section Title to:  6.2 Funding Penalties
      The penalty schedule is as follows:

                                                                                                                i.     If it is determined that the First Benchmark has not been satisfactorily completed by the Trail Association, the Trail Association may be assessed a penalty and not receive its first benchmark payment.  If the first benchmark payment has already been distributed, the penalty will be assessed on the first benchmark payment the following year.

                                                                                                               ii.     If the Trail Program Guideline requirements are not met the association can be placed on probation.  Possible probation one snowmobile season pending board decision.

                                                                                                              iii.     Marty made a motion to approve changes, Shawn second. Approved.

  • Sign Standards
    1. If SND has sign posts in stock then clubs can’t be reimbursed for sign posts.
    2. Mandatory posts: discuss at sign class at annual convention.
    3. Keri and Matt will look into a hardware allowance in the first benchmark at so much per mile.
  1. 13-14 Trail Association Recommendations: 

i.     East Central Valley (Rural Cass): 1st Benchmark:  not eligible to receive a 1st benchmark payment for not meeting December 15th signing requirements. Casselton’s sign order expenses will be adjusted in the 2014-2015 trail operations budget.

ii.     Red River South (Grand Forks): 1st Benchmark:  not eligible to receive a 1st benchmark payment for not meeting December 15th signing requirements.  Grand Forks will qualify for 2nd benchmark minus their sign order expenses.

iii.     Sargent County:  not eligible to receive a 2nd or 3rd benchmark for not requesting to open the trail system and report grooming activity.

iv.     Shawn made a motion to approve all recommendations, Byron second. Approved.

v.     It was suggested that East Central Valley – Rural Cass and Red River South – Grand Forks be put on 2 year probation. Sargent County be put on 3 year probation. Motion by Shawn, second by Todd. Approved.

  1. Peace Garden Trail

i.     Sky Dancer Tourism:  The casino located near the Peace Garden Trail wants to reinstate their private snowmobile trail system and connect to the state snowmobile trail.  They are not asking for funding, equipment or other trail expenses but would like assistance with promoting the private trail system on our website, maps, etc.  They are also asking if we can conduct a groomer operation and trail signing class for the local snowmobile club at the casino.  After discussion it was agreed that anyone interested in the class would have to attend the snowmobile convention. These classes would only provide recommendations to the volunteers for trail management and would not provide access or use of state equipment. As more develops on this matter, the board will be informed.

ii.     Operations:  In March 2014 the members of the Seldom Seen Snowmobile Club in Rolla provided complaints on lack of grooming and trail guidance to the office.  There were also calls on trail management and state guidelines for the trail systems.  Throughout all of this, a meeting was held between the Roaring 20’s club in Bottineau and the Seldom Seen Club.  Some issues were addressed and the state equipment became a bargaining chip between the two clubs.  Due to this, Dave Vad was asked if he could store the equipment based in Rolla for the summer.  Dave had room and agreed to transport the equipment as well.  No fees were submitted for this and Dave’s company is legal to transport the equipment.  Keri spoke with the Seldom Seen Snowmobile Club about participating in the annual convention and certifying club members to groom and sign next fall.  If all requirements are met, the equipment will be transported back to Rolla for trail maintenance during 2014-2015 season.  The board will be kept informed on how the club meets requirements.  Also, the Roaring 20’s club is concerned about future trail management.  The club members average the age of 60 and longevity is a concern.  A meeting is being scheduled with the Bottineau Economic Development Center in the next month and Matt and Keri have been asked to attend.  The intension is to provide general snowmobiling statistics on what the industry brings to local communities and how they can provide potential support.  It is the hope an assistance program can be developed in this area as a trial and hopefully mirrored elsewhere around the state. More information provided on this as it develops as well. 

  1. Adjournment: Motion made by Shawn to adjourn, second by Jesse. Approved.

Respectfully Submitted by:
Tari Norby & Keri Wanner

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