Hiking: good conditions, fall colors are increasing daily. During wet weather, avoid two areas - 1)trails near the warming house that have been bulldozed to prepare for logging; 2)the West Side trails between intersections A-B-C-D-E (last fall those trails were bulldozed and used to haul logs from a timber sale - grass seed was recently spread there).
Grasses: mowed trails have short grasses. Elsewhere the grasses are knee high, waist high, and chest high. Be sure to look at the map in the mowing report (below).
Biking: most trails are firm - although the East Side trails are always damp and soft if you venture to the Far East. When biking this summer, please tread gently on the south half of the West Side of the trail system - grass seed was spread in July on the many bare trails involved in last summer's logging operation.
Insects: not very bothersome.
Loggers are currently working on the East Side in the vicinity of the Otter Slide and Far East trails. The 'Red Pine' timber sale (north of the warming house) will be logged later this fall.
Look at the 'Mowing Report' and the map of mowed trails to find the trails the loggers will be using.
April 25: wet flurries
We started mowing the East Side trails in late June. West Side trails haven't been mowed yet - the Forestry Department usually mows the West Side but probably won't have an available mower this year. If time allows, our organization will mow the West Side later this fall.
Meeting called to order
by Jerry Wilkes, president, at 7:05 p.m. at Blue Hills Inn, Weyerhaeuser
Officers: Jerry Wilkes, Tom Paulsen, Dick Pebler
Members: Mark Bittner, Jan Paulsen, Jonathan Stanley
Motion by Mark Bittner, second by Dick Pebler, to dispense with reading of the prior minutes and to accept the April 2007 minutes. Unanimously carried.
The fiscal year runs September 1 to August 31 inclusive. An interim budget report was presented by Tom Paulsen. Expenses exceeded revenue by $8255.01. We incurred more expenses this fiscal year than at any time in the past (big items included purchase of another new snowmobile, construction of the storage shed at the trailhead, bridge repair at #25, mowing, grooming, race expenses, and rising fuel costs - propane to heat the warming house, and gas to fuel the mower and snowmobiles). Fortunately, donations also were generous. Our bottom line shows a positive balance at this time (available cash) of $3251.44. We have enough cash on hand to cover the costs of anticipated summer mowing and trail projects. Discussion was held. Motion by Mark Bittner to approve the Treasurer's report as presented, seconded by Dick Pebler. Unanimously carried.
Election of Officers
Jan Paulsen nominated Jerry Wilkes for president, seconded by Jonathan Stanley, and with no other nominations for president, Jerry Wilkes was elected unanimously. Jan Paulsen nominated Dick Pebler for vice president, seconded by Jonathan Stanley, and with no other nominations for vice president, Dick Pebler was elected unanimously. Jan Paulsen nominated Tom Paulsen for secretary/treasurer, seconded by Jonathan Stanley, and with no other nominations for secretary/treasurer, Tom Paulsen was elected unanimously.
Bank signatures: With Jerry Wilkes as our new president in 2007, Tom Paulsen contacted Dairyland State Bank (Bruce), and Ladysmith Federal Savings and Loan with instructions to replace signing privileges for Howard Chatterton with signing privileges for Jerry Wilkes. Howard and Jerry need to stop at the banks to complete the necessary documents.
Fall banquet: Tom & Jan Paulsen reported that the event was marginally financially successful (most of the income is from the pre-banquet sale of raffle tickets), attendance was reduced compared with past years, the method used for prize distribution worked well, but again the fundraising team perhaps went overboard on the number of prizes available.
Blue Hills Ascent: the race was held during very good snow conditions. Attendance was disappointing, possibly related to plenty of snow for competing race venues. Revenue and expense details were reviewed. Overall, we lost about $400.
Website: those in attendance agreed the website remains very functional. We continue to receive annual financial backing in the form of paid links from Spring Street Sports (Chippewa Falls) and AmericInn Lodge and Suites (Ladysmith).
Equipment: The second (and last) of our older Skandic snowmobiles was sold in April 2007. To allow tandem grooming, we purchased a used (like new) Yellowstone roller from Steve Brockman summer 2007 for the price of $1000. Carolyn Chatterton repaired the cracks in the valleys of our older Yellowstone roller. We took delivery on our new Skandic snowmobile in late November and it worked well. An accidental puncture of the 'radiators' of one snowmobile necessitated a repair bill of approximately $500.
Grooming and trail maintenance:
Snowshoe trail: no action on this the past year.
Warming house: caulking was not accomplished last year (miscommunication between Tom Paulsen and Bjorn Hanson). In November 2007, Kevin Westlund placed fiberglass insulation in the interior to seal visible gaps.
Wax clinic: Dick Pebler set up a waxing clinic in Rice Lake (Gary Johnson's home) in early December 2007 that was well attended.
Ski clinic: Steve and Jyneen Thatcher (members from the Twin Cities) provided ski lessons on a Saturday in December 2007 that raised about $150 for our organization. Cindy Swift (Riverbrook) provided ski lessons on the Sunday following our race (January 2008) that raised $80 for our organization.
Fall Banquet: A simplified approach for the 2008 fall fundraiser was discussed. We decided to focus on a limited number of major prizes and silent auction items, and two major raffles. It was agreed that this fall's banquet should probably be hosted in Ladysmith (Tee Away or Club 8), and prizes should be scaled back. Jerry Wilkes agreed to work on an ad hoc committee to consider redesign of the banquet event.
Blue Hills Ascent: Bjorn Hanson has volunteered to be race chair again for 2009. To avoid losing money, we discussed dropping the race in the future since it involves a lot of volunteer time, and no guarantee of profit. For now, we decided to try hosting the race again but to minimize costs by:
Website: Tom Paulsen's goal is to keep it functional, simple, and to update frequently during ski season. Bjorn Hanson discovered a Rice Lake business willing to provide free web hosting services. This same business has reserved our domain name as www.bluehillstrail.com. Later this year, Tom will shift the website to the new server, and start using our new and hopefully permanent website address.
Fundraising: Tom and Jan Paulsen will again spearhead the fall fundraising with help from Dick Pebler representing the Rice Lake area. As in the past, their appeals will focus on supportive individuals and businesses, and BHTA members. Tom will investigate the possibility of resubmitting the DNR grant.
Grooming team: Dan Bartels provided good grooming during his first season, and his contract will continue. A new contract will be offered to Steve Brockman who has groomed our trails in the past, and is eager to join our grooming team this coming winter. Frank Lowry has expressed interest in serving as an alternate (third) groomer - details to be finalized.
Warming house: exterior caulking needs to be accomplished this year. Officers will work out the details with Bjorn Hanson (discussing purchase versus donation of materials and labor).
Work Day: to be selected this fall.
Membership Dues: current fees are $25 (individual) and $45 (family), with a $5 daily donation recommended for non-members. Due to rising costs, we need to increase the membership fees in each category by $10. This will only cover the cost of gas price increases, and propane price increases. The new fees will go into effect October 1st - $35 (individual) and $55 (family). The recommended $5 daily donation for non-members will not change. Ideally, we'd like to see the membership fees cover almost all the annual costs. This would require an individual fee of $100, and a family fee of $200. For now, we will continue to rely on the generosity of individual and business donors, and encourage our members to donate monies to more honestly reflect their usage of the trail system.
Ski Clinic: Mark Bittner offered to again coordinate a one-day ski clinic to incorporate lessons from Riverbrook Bike and Ski, probably choosing a weekend day to coincide with our annual Blue Hills Ascent race. If Steve and Jyneen Thatcher would again be interested in hosting a ski clinic on the trail system at their convenience, that would certainly be welcome.
Snowshoe trail: signs have already been prepared, we just need to find a group of individuals willing to actually sign and clear a trail. No major interest expressed by those in attendance.
Benefactors: earlier today, the website received an email expressing interest in donating monies toward an item for the trails that BHTA would find useful. Tom Paulsen has begun discussion with the involved parties.
To be carried over with additions as highlighted in bold
Motion to adjourn by Dick Pebler, second by Mark Bittner. Adjourned at 9:05 p.m.
Taken by Tom Paulsen, Secretary
A Listing of Active Committees