Hiking: despite three big downpours (July 24th, 27th, & 28th), the trails are mostly dry, hiking conditions are good. We started summer trail mowing in late June, and most of the trails were mowed at least once by July 25th. Grasses are short where mowed, often waist high (or higher) if not mowed.
Biking: the West Side trails offer the best biking, that area tends to be the driest. The East Side trails are surprisingly dry this summer, and more 'bike-able' than usual. On the East Side, after rainy weather avoid the trails far to the east, they usually are damp and soft.
Bugs: insect activity is lower than normal.
April 24, 2021: snow showers
Summertime mowing began in late June on the East Side trails. East Side mowing was completed on July 25th. Most of the West Side was mowed in the last half of July. Click here for a map showing East Side mowing details.
Meeting called to order
by Jerry Wilkes, president, at 4:25 p.m. at the warming house at the Blue Hills Trail
Officers: Jerry Wilkes, Tom Paulsen, Dick Pebler
Members: Dan Bale, Mark Bittner, Tony Monpas, Jan Paulsen, Jonathan Stanley
Non-members: Dan Bartels, Charlotte Bartels
Motion by Dan Bale, second by Mark Bittner, to dispense with reading of the prior minutes and to accept the April 2008 minutes. Unanimously carried.
The fiscal year runs September 1 to August 31 inclusive. An interim budget report was presented by Tom Paulsen. Revenue exceeded expenses by $5000.30. We again incurred some unexpected significant expenses this fiscal year (big items included purchase of a small G2 Tidd Tech grooming implement and tracksetter, two pairs of flexi skis for the snowmobiles, a solar panel for battery charging at the storage shed, a gas caddy, and various equipment repairs). Fortunately, fundraising again produced generous donations, and we were able to sell two used grooming implements (old Tidd Tech and old Ginzugroomer) at good prices. Our bottom line shows a positive balance at this time (available cash) of $8251.74. Discussion was held. Motion was made to approve the Treasurer's report as presented, and seconded. Unanimously carried.
Election of Officers
Mark Bittner nominated the current officers for another one year term (Jerry Wilkes for president, Dick Pebler for vice president, Tom Paulsen for secretary/treasurer). This was seconded by Jonathan Stanley, and with no other nominations for officers, these individuals were elected unanimously.
New bank account at Ascencia (online): BHTA received an $800 donation to honor Jean Replinger. This donation will be held in a CD at Ascencia until needed for bridge replacement at #31 (Jean Replinger directed the donation to be used for this purpose).
Fall banquet: Tom & Jan Paulsen reported that attendance was reduced compared with past years, but by minimizing costs and holding the event as a pot luck, the banquet was more financially successful (profits increased by $800). The method used for prize distribution worked well (primarily silent auctions), and nice weather made for an enjoyable evening at the warming house.
Blue Hills Ascent: the race was organized by Frank Lowry, and held during very good snow conditions. The unofficial nature of the race drew only 37 participants (6 HS men, 8 HS women, 16 adult men, 7 adult women). Unofficial timing was available and worked well. Overall, we generated about $180 through trail head donations. There were no costs incurred. Despite the small turnout, it was a successful race, and a fun time was had by all.
Website: those in attendance agreed the website remains very functional. It was renamed www.bluehillstrail.com this past year. We continue to provide links to a few of our major business supporters.
Fundraising: overall good results despite the major economic recession. Business donations dropped by $750, individual donations dropped by $300, and memberships decreased by 11.
Equipment: we recovered a fair amount of money when we sold three items - our old Tidd Tech implement; our old manual tracksetter; and our old Ginzugroomer. We purchased several major items - a new Tidd Tech implement (small G2) including tracksetter (total of $4500); flexi skis for each of our two snowmobiles (total of $1000); and a solar panel for battery charging at the storage shed ($200). Equipment repairs were a moderate expense. Fortunately, Dan Bartels was able to handle a significant portion of the equipment repair work.
Grooming and trail maintenance:
Snowshoe trail: no action on this the past year.
Signage: Rusk County printed and laminated the necessary replacement maps. Dick Pebler replaced the WestSide maps/signage, Tom Paulsen and Jonathan Stanley replaced the EastSide maps/signage.
Warming house: to save money, caulking was deferred this past year. In November 2007, Kevin Westlund placed fiberglass insulation in the interior to seal visible gaps.
Those in attendance agreed the membership fees ($35 for individuals, $55 for families) and trail head fees ($5 daily donation) should remain unchanged. Hopefully this will allow many diverse individuals to access the trail system despite the current economic recession. It's our hope that individuals doing well financially will continue to provide generous donations.
Fall Banquet: the approach for the 2009 fall fundraiser was discussed. We again will focus on a limited number of major prizes and silent auction items, and one major raffle. The banquet committee (see names below) will select a site from this list: Christie Mountain, Burdy's in Weyerhaeuser, Lehman's in Rice Lake, the Blue Hills Inn, or the Tee Away in Ladysmith. Perhaps attendees could simply order off the menu.
Blue Hills Ascent: Frank Lowry has volunteered to be race chair again for 2010. Frank has arranged for timing (free), he is considering offering two distances (8k and 16k), charging $10 and $15 for those distances, providing lots of prizes (donated), and purchasing race insurance. Those in attendance discussed the following points - the race should not lose money; perhaps it should remain a free race to help avoid the cost of insurance; and perhaps a different date should be selected.
Website: Tom Paulsen's goal is to keep it functional, simple, and to update frequently during ski season.
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.
Grooming team: Dan Bartels will continue as head groomer. Assistant groomers remaining under contract include Steve Brockman, Frank Lowry, Tom Paulsen, Stuart Preston, and Jonathan Stanley. Our goal remains quality grooming of the entire trail system with major emphasis on the core loop.
Warming house: exterior caulking needs to be accomplished some time in the next few years. Officers will work out the details by speaking with Kevin Westlund and Bjorn Hanson (with Bjorn discussing purchase versus donation of materials and labor). Since the building is officially the property of Rusk County, we will check with Paul Teska (County forester) to see if the County would perform the caulking.
Work Day: to be selected this fall.
Ski Clinic: not discussed
Signage: three individuals (Dan Bale, Jonathan Stanley, and Jerry Wilkes) volunteered to handle the fall replacement of maps and trail signs.
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. We will check with Gwen Westlund to determine her degree of interest in spearheading work on this project - perhaps as part of the fall work day.
Warming house propane heat: Tom Paulsen will compare prices between Ferrellgas (the current supplier) and Sheldon Coop. He also will make sure we are part of a program that guarantees the lowest propane price.
Website: Tom Paulsen reported that no significant changes are anticipated.
To be carried over with additions as highlighted in bold
Motion to adjourn by Dick Pebler, second by Mark Bittner. Adjourned at 6:25 p.m.
Taken by Tom Paulsen, Secretary
A Listing of Active Committees