NEA March 2010 Meeting Minutes (1 Viewer)

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NEA March 2010 Meeting Minutes

Liza said:
Northeast Association of 4WD Clubs
Delegates Meeting Minutes
March 6, 2010
Magnolia Library Center, Gloucester, MA


Attendance
Executive Officers
: Jason Ghelli, Tammy Van Gemert, Scott Dollard, Liza Snow

Delegates/Alternates: Josh Schwalb (Baystate Jeepers), Ken West (CCJC), Tim Connors (DWE), Meg Scampoli (FTR), Carlo Michali (GMC), Mike White (JonFund), Warren Reynolds (LIOR), Dave LaMarch (Mass Mudders), Bob Butler (New England Jeepz), Scott Cairns (NE4Wi) Range(NEZR2), Scott Hatch (NEWJO), Jefffery Robinson (NEXterra), Kate West (NEJeep), Marc Pouliot (North Woods Off Road), Rich Banfield (Patriot Jeepers), Bob Sneesby (OSJ), Steve Lucier (Off Camber 4x4), John Price (SSW), Bob Siwiniski (SC), Bill Watkins (UJ), Brian Churchill (VJA), Lyle Smith (WM4x4), Dave Morin (YT)

Guests: Jon Wellington (OSJ), Mike Almeide (Off Camber 4x4), Pat Charron (BSJ), Ryan Frost (DWE), Eric Weybrant (OSJ), Tim Miano (FTR/BSJ), Pat Sheehan (Mass Mudders), Len Costa (USAJeepOwners), Miguel Senra (USAJeepOwners) Jim O?Mara (USAJeepOwners), June Demelo (USAJeepOwners), Rui Demelo (USAJeepOwners), Kyle Baillolgeon (SSW), Steven Brunelle (SSW), Craig Ruy (SSW), Jon Lapoint (NTC), Mike Largesse (NWOR)

Excused Absences: Paul Regish (Treasurer), Berkshire 4Wheelers, Central CT 4 Wheelers, Twin State Jeeps ?N Things



Meeting Called To Order
Quorum was present the Meeting was Called to Order at 10:06 and Introductions were made.

Scott Hatch made a motion to approve the minutes from the previous meetings. Motion was seconded by Josh Schwalb. Motion passes with a unanimous vote.

On-Line Voting Results
No online votes to report at the time of the meeting.

Reports of Officers & Committee Chairs

Treasurer?s Report
Account Balances
- Cash in Checking Account: $13154.18
- Cash in Paypal: $2030.15
- Cash restricted to Trails Fund: $3234.20
- Cash restricted to A4A Vehicle: $891.83`
- Free Cash available: $11058.30
- Note: 12 Clubs have paid their membership dues, but the accompanying deposits have not been made yet. Once those deposits are made, available cash will be higher.

Snow Run
- $2888 gross, $1018.65 profit estimated.
- Scott Hatch asked if insurance had been pulled for the event, and whether the cost for insurance had been figured into that profit number. Jay said it had not, so the actual profit number will be lower. Paul does not have the final figures yet.
For Discussion

MA Land Committee Report (Submitted by Jay Ghelli)
MA Bell - No Change

OFR - No Change

Gremlin Graveyard: Joe O hopes to be working with the land owner(s) of Gremlin Graveyard to expand the trail system. Our relationship has matured to a point where we believe this is possible. There are several areas that could be developed into some pretty tough obstacles. The intent would be to attract a broader range of club use. I'd like to complete an assessment of possible new areas by the end of March/early April (possibly sooner). Given the recent logging activities last Fall, expansion shouldn't be a problem.

Brushy Mountain: As of right now there is no change. We will most likely be losing access to the property soon though. The conservation rights will probably be sold to the state and one of the conditions is no motorized use. Cowls did try to fight for access but the state wouldn't budge and Cowls was forced to make a decision that was best for their business.

Discussion:
Pat Charon asked if the owners of Gremlin Graveyard are pleased with the response to their property and with the extra income they received last year. Jay Ghelli estimated that they probably received $2000 - $2500 in donations but said that they were expecting more return. He explained to them that they would probably see more in 2010, especially if we make an effort to make more difficult trails available there. The owners were happy to see the minimal physical impact we made on the property. Scott Cairns agreed that the property would see increased traffic with increased difficulty. Jay Ghelli responded that it wouldn?t take a whole lot of work to make it harder.

Lyle Smith wondered if we have found a replacement OFR Project Manager, Jay Ghelli answered that we are still looking to fill that position.

NH Land Committee Report (Submitted by Scott Hatch)
At this time all access to parcels of land that the NEA has access to in NH is closed until after Mud Season on or about May 22 unless otherwise posted.

Moose Mtn: On 11/20 Jay and Bob have fully mapped out the trails on the property using a GPS. I need to follow up with

Swanzey: No changes currently. I did speak with TJ about him doing maintenance on the interior roads of the property as well as improving/developing/creating a parking area. TJ can do this if we cover his fuel expenses. I would also like to give TJ something extra from us as appreciation for his time.

Gretchen?s: Gretchen has been away the past month, within this next period I will be assessing the trails for maintenance. I will post a date but this should be before April.

Carnage: No changes. Sometime in April I will walk the property and assess the trails for maintenance.

State happenings:
- I attended the NH Statewide Trails Advisory Committee (STAC) on 01/12/10 on behalf of the NEA. Meeting minutes here: Redirect The next Statewide Trails Advisory Committee meeting is still on for 7:00 PM, April 13, 2010 at DRED, 172 Pembroke Road, Concord.
- SB 366: The last committee meeting on 01/28/10 was postponed. The next meeting is scheduled for 03/11/10 at 8:30, our bill is still in the same committee. NH Trails Bureau has proposed to eliminate the state wide size change for the side by sides but is still pushing to keep our proposal. Also the definition of a 4x4 is contained in this bill

MapSix: I am still compiling a team of people interested in this program. I am making headway with exploring, documenting, and most important creating maps. If interested, please email me at shatch@nea4wd.org Please forward this to any interested members.

Lupis Mountain: I have contacted Dancing Brook Lodge (a wolf sanctuary) and spoken with Joy Grant (sec) and Bill Russell (President). I have presented them with the prospect for 4x4 access on their property in return for volunteer labor as well as a per user donation to go to the organization. I will be attending there next Board of Directors Meeting on 03/13/10. The owners of the property are concerned about any noise we may make startling or causing undue stress on the wolves.

2010 NH Land Use Goals
1. Strengthen NH Land Use Team
- a. Conduct Land Use Courses
--- i. Delegates
--- ii. Land Managers
--- iii. NEA Officers
--- iv. NEA Members
- b. Assess Current Land Managers
--- i. Develop Assistant Land Managers
--- ii. Assign Assistant Land Manager
- c. Direct more people towards the NEA Forum
- d. Turn trail work days into educational experiences

2. Trail Maintenance
- a. Gretchen?s
--- i. Assess impact and determine course of action for maintenance 04/17 or 04/18.
--- ii. Perform Maintenance 05/02
--- iii. Assess midyear impact ? date depends on weather (dry or wet summer)
- b. Carnage Hill
--- i. Assess impact and determine course of action for maintenance 04/24 or 04/25
--- ii. Perform Maintenance 05/09
--- iii. Assess midyear impact ? date depends on weather (dry or wet summer)
- c. Swanzey
--- i. Assess impact and determine course of action for maintenance05/ 15 & 05/16
--- ii. Perform Maintenance 05/22 & 05/23
--- iii. Assess midyear impact ? date depends on weather (dry or wet summer)
- d. Moose Mtn
--- i. Assess impact and determine course of action for maintenance 06/05 or 06/07
--- ii. Perform Maintenance 06/13 or 06/14
--- iii. Assess midyear impact ? date depends on weather (dry or wet summer)
3. Trail Development
- a. Gretchen?s
--- i. Complete ?Easy? Trail
--- ii. Scout and Mark New Trails
----- 1). Complete development on left side of property
----- 2). Set date for trail cut
--- iii. Update map for existing trails
- b. Swanzey
--- i. Update map for existing trails
--- ii. Scout and Mark New Trails
--- iii. Set date for trail cut
--- iv. Update map for existing trails
- c. Moose Mtn
--- i. Update map for existing trails
--- ii. Scout and Mark New Trails
--- iii. Set date for trail cut
--- iv. Update map for existing trails

4. MapSix
- a. Build Team
--- i. Direct interested people to the NEA Forum
----- 1). Grant Access to MapSix Area
--- ii. Informational Meeting for team
----- 1). Basic Education on Class VI Roads and laws about them
----- 2). Map Location
----- 3). Data Collection
----- 4). Location for reports
----- 5). Question, Answer, & new Ideas
- b. Set goals/time line for specific areas in NH

5. Legislative Initiatives
- a. SB 366
--- i. Work with and stay in touch with legislators, NH Fish and Game, and NH Fish & Game to push this through.
- b. Lay ground work for Amendment to RSA 215A:23 to submit for the 2011 Legislative Session for 4x4 sticker program
--- i. Meet with NH Trails Bureau
----- 1). Discuss and approve Language for Amendment
--- ii. Meet with NH Fish and Game
----- 1). Discuss and approve Language for Amendment
--- iii. Submit to Robert Theberge for 2011 Legislative Session

***The dates posted above are not definite and WILL change!!!

Vermont Land Committee Report (Submitted by Brian Churchill)
With the last few storms that came through the Green Mountains, we saw lots of residential tree damage, deep snow, and an increase of snowpack at higher elevations. All these things point to a spring filled with tree work and runoff issues on our class 4 roads. Private land owners have already asked us for help to clear trails we ride. We had one lightly attended meeting in February where plans were made to spend much of April and May on foot, working on trails on private land. We will likely be on old class 4 roads in May and these seem to get cleared early by anxious enthusiasts who ride before the snow is fully out of the woods. Opportunities for remediation will be everywhere. Updates will be posted on Vermont Jeep Association .

The Agency of Natural Resources and VASA (Vermont All-Terrain Vehicle Sportman's Association Inc VASA - Vermont All Terrain Vehicle Sportsman's Association ) have proposed a rule to allow connection of established trails on a section of trail on state land previously not accessible to ATVs. Opposition from various groups and citizens to this change in land use has led to a very public venting of land use in all of Vermont. This small test of how ATV's will be able to get to use land supported by our taxes will foreshadow the debate for all motorized recreation. Please go to their site, and see if you can offer help through petitions and notes to our legislators. While it is a Vermont issue, everyone's help is needed.

VORA, the Vermont Off-Highway Recreation Association ( Vermont Off-Highway Recreation Association (VORA) ) has a new and very energetic group of officers that are ramping up efforts on ancient roads. No town has money in their budget to effectively work the legislative mandate that was proposed and made into law several years ago. As results, or more accurately, lack of results were becoming apparent, these mandates have been postponed and VORA's results of an earlier survey for towns needing help will likely form a frame work of town by town success's in helping this very delicate opportunity for the community to show what it can do. April 1 is the meeting date. Next report will have information on results from that meeting.

Rhode Island Land Committee Report (Submitted by Bob Butler)
They are working on an issue involving an allegedly unauthorized road blockage in Glocester, RI. There is some confusion between the town and the State DEP as to whether the rocks placed in the road are supposed to be there. A work day has been scheduled to try to move these rocks off the road.

Connecticut Land Committee Report
No report submitted

Maine Land Committee Report
No report submitted. Land Use Representative needed.

New York Land Committee Report
No report submitted. Land Use Representative needed.

Additional Land Use Activity ? Massachusetts
Steve Brunelle presented a project that his club, South Shore Wheelers, has undertaken in Taunton, MA. A parcel of primarily town owned (but ungated) land has been overwhelmed with household tires and trash. There are an estimated 600 to 1000 tires on the property. The Town of Taunton DPW is interested in getting involved in cleaning up the property, but can?t afford to dispose of the tires.

Town Fair Tire has offered to donate a tractor trailer, with a 1000 tire capacity, to remove the tires from the property. They, in exchange, would like a banner touting their donation to be displayed at all NEA events this year. However, Town Fair Tire estimated an additional $10,000 cost to dispose of the tires after they are removed.

Several people had suggestions for other businesses to solicit for disposal.

Tammy stated that Town Fair Tire had been great to work with during the DWE Truck Show and suggested that the NEA offer them a free business membership in addition to the banner they requested.
Various issues were discussed: Trail Patrols in the area, who is actually dumping that many tires, suggestions that SSW get a commitment from the town to keep the area clean and do not gate it off after it is clean, and newspaper/media promotion.

Dave Morin noted the PR opportunity in this situation, but noted that this is a double edged sword, as this area is used for motorized recreation but is not all legal. He also suggested that Town Fair Tire be added to the graphics on our new Education Trailer.

SSW is looking for a commitment from the NEA for 1) A banner to be displayed at all the NEA events in 2010 and for 2) man power to help with the actual clean up.

Steve stated that after SSW finds a disposal solution and receives a commitment from the NEA and NEA member clubs, they still have to make a sales pitch to Town Fair Tire. After that he would like to see a meeting with the Town of Taunton, the NEA, SSW and Town Fair Tire to discuss and plan the project.

Scott Hatch suggested that there may be grant money available for this sort of project.

Josh Shwalb offered to put a Town Fair Tire banner on Baystate Jeepers? website. Dave Morin offered to create a standardized web art to make available to Member Clubs if they wanted. Tammy thinks she has the Town Fair Tire graphics/art work.

The date of the clean up was discussed. Earth Day was suggested. Mike White suggested April 25. That was the day that the road block work in RI was to take place, but he thinks that this is a good project to focus on at this time.


Old Business
Access-4-All Vehicle (Jay Ghelli)
Scott Dollard ran the vehicle at the recent Snow Run.

The winch had some repairs by Superwinch. The winch cable needs to be shortened.
There were WARN parts donated by various businesses and individuals that are now not needed. Dr. Wheels asked that the parts that they donated be sold and any proceeds be donated to the A4A Fund.

The schedule for the vehicle was discussed. It will be displayed at Vermonster on May 1 and at Go Topless Day on May 8.

The insurance has been paid and is up to date.

Jay gave a brief history of the A4A Vehicle for those people present that were not aware of the project.

Bob Siwinski asked if anything had been done with adding Hand Controls to the vehicle. Jay answered that nothing had been done as of yet. Ride Away had planned to donate hand controls, but that avenue was not pursued because Jay got a report that those controls require too many vehicle modifications for installation. Bob offered to install hand controls if they end up getting donated down the line.

There was some discussion about whether disabled people were able to operate the vehicle anyway due to insurance restrictions. Tammy explained that we do not need anybody to be specifically named on the insurance in order to operate the vehicle. As of right now, only the Executive Officers are named on the policy, but we are not limited to those people. The insurance policy is currently a personal policy in Tammy?s name, at some point she would like to separate them. After some discussion Tammy also pointed out that the vehicle is in fact covered while off road, and is covered by roadside assistance.

PR Report (Dave Morin)
Printed materials including newly designed brochures will be presented online. In lieu of a formal presentation, Dave just mentioned a few things he is working on and working toward:
- Reaching out to clubs for events outside the wheeling community at which to display the A4A vehicle, and putting together a schedule for the vehicle.
- Making coordinated PR efforts with the NEA Members Clubs.
- Updating the website
- Corporate Sponsorship has an excellent potential for income generation outside our community.
- Business Memberships and selling ad space.

There is an open thread in the PR section of the forum. Dave invited anybody who wishes to feel free to add any ideas.


Bylaws (Jay Ghelli)
Jay Ghelli announced that Paul Maxwell is stepping down as the head of the Bylaws Committee and asked if anybody else would be willing to oversee the bylaws.

Liza Snow offered to take over.

Lyle Smith asked if there were any specific goals regarding the bylaws. Jay answered that there was nothing specific needed at this time and no major changes planned, but that we just needed one person to maintain the current bylaws.

Snow Run Report (Jay Ghelli)
The 2010 Snow Run was based out of Wayne?s World in Antrim, NH. By all accounts the event was a success despite several small issues regarding ill-equipped vehicles and trail leaders. While it is hard to predict the trail difficulty because of snowfall, plans are to continue the event into the future as long as we still have access to Wayne?s World. Plans are to try secure the Hall in Hilsboro next year.

Estimated profit is $750 - $1000.

Jay thanked the volunteers that helped the NEA put on the event including TJ Hooker for plowing the field for parking and leading a trail, John Barnes and Scott Hatch for trail leading, Scott Dollard for driving the A4A vehicle, and Roy VanGemert, Josh Shwalb, Pat Charron, and Liza Snow for preparing dinner.

Bob Siwinski asked about profit and whether it was what we expected it to be. Jay responded that yes, profits were right in line this year and that this event is not traditionally a huge money maker.

Tammy stressed what a big job that TJ does for this event in plowing the field for parking. She asked that we push his business on the NEA website to help him advertise.

Scott Hatch had a conversation with the Wayne?s World landowner regarding insurance and what happens if something happened. Scott discussed NH Duty of Care Laws with the landowner.

Bob Butler reminded the group of the Snow Run Rich Banfield held in RI/CT earlier in the month. 21 vehicles attended with a donation of $10 each. Superwinch also provided a tour of their plant and donated some items. Rich also mentioned that he is having a Military Vehicle Run and suggested he work on another Poker Run.

RTP Grant Request (Tammy VanGemert/Scott Hatch)
Tammy discussed the Grant Request itself, that we have applied for a grant to fund a Safety/Education Trailer to travel through New England to educate the public about Off Highway Vehicle use. Tammy presented a copy of the grant to pass around the room.

Scott Hatch said that the grant was submitted to NH DRED ? Trails Bureau. There are both motorized and non-motorized submissions. Scott said that we are now waiting for word of any approval. The selection process takes place in March/early April. April 13th is the final date for the decisions. Funds are distributed as follows: 30% to motorized use, 30% to non-motorized use, and 40% for a combination.

Scott has submitted his name to be on the section committee.

Because of budget issues, and depending on how our application scores, the NEA may not receive the entire amount it applied for. Also, we may have to put any equipment we purchase out for bids.

New Business

Clubs seeking Full Member Status
Green Mountain Crawlers: Brian Churchill went on a trail run with GMC, his trail report was submitted to Jay.

Matt Gregg, GMC President, presented his club as about one year old, incorporated, semi-exclusive and looking for active members to be involved. The club has not specific vehicle requirements. Jay asked if the club would have any problem attending meetings and Matt assured him that would not be a problem.

Brian Churchill assessment was a positive one. He indicated that he witnessed good safety protocols including winching and chainsaw activities, as well as good general trail protocols, such as communications, etc. He also mentioned that he was personally wary about GMC stemming from some bad interactions with VJA but those fears have been put aside. He feels that the new leadership is open, the club has a good attitude, and they would be a good fit for the NEA. He would recommend them.

Bob Butler made a motion to accept Green Mountain Crawlers as Full Members of the NEA. Pat Charron seconded the motion. No discussion. Motion Passes with a unanimous vote.

Great American Jeep Rally Drawing for Sponsor Club
Josh Shwalb on behalf of the GAJR held a drawing to choose the club that will be sponsoring the 2010 GAJR. Having an NEA Member Club sponsor the event is mostly a formality so that the GAJR will have access to the NEA event insurance. Five clubs have volunteered to sponsor the event: Green Mountain Crawlers, New England Jeepz, Freedom TrailRiders, JonFund, and Baystate Jeepers.

JonFund?s name is pulled and will be the 2010 GAJR Sponsor Club.

The event will be held Sunday October 3, 2010

Spring Poker Run
Will most likely be held in June at Deering Fish and Game, the same location as last year. Plans are to use the same area for the course itself also. There were some complaints last year that the course was too long, but the consensus is that the 4-5 hours it took was a good length. There is camping available at the F&G. Mike White mentioned that the FTR Powder Puff run is scheduled for June 12.

Rich Banfield asked about having a Poker Run in RI also. Jay responded that the NEA is open to having an additional run in Southern New England.

Fall Crawl
Fall Crawl will be held September 11-12 this year at Gretchen?s. Although we have enjoyed the labor provided by the Fat Bastard Caf? for free the last two years, we should probably expect to incur some sort of cost for the same service moving forward.

Brian Churchill asked if we should rethink a run to Moose Mountain again, as that trail is a little far to travel, especially with a large group. It was suggested that we make a post on the forum to see if there is any interest.

Jay announced that we still need a volunteer to run the Fall Crawl Raffle. This task consists of two responsibilities. This first is contacting vendors to solicit for prizes. To facilitate this, Heidi Blank has made available the contact list and forms letters she has used in the past. Second is setting up the raffle at the Fall Crawl itself which included selling raffle tickets, setting up prize tables, etc. Scott Cairnes has coordinated raffles in the past for his Sportsman Club and will consider taking on the job.

It was suggested that the raffle solicitation should be coordinated with our PR efforts to ensure that donators are seeing positive outcome from donations. Also, an improved website will give donators a bigger pay off.

Bob Siwinski asked about the NEA?s presence at SEMA. The group had some discussion about the merits of attending the SEMA event.

A discussion was had about the merits vs. the costs of adding Sponsor logos to the Fall Crawl T-Shirts in order to generate sponsor interest. Jay questioned the cost effectiveness and the esthetics of adding 30 logos to the t-shirts. Bob suggested that the extra cost could be passed onto the attendees. Scott Cairnes asked who currently prints our shirts. Jay answered that Advanced Print Technologies does the work for us through All Things Jeep. He is open to getting prices from other vendors, but the current vendor does have our screens.

Scott Hatch volunteered to coordinate the trail runs at the Fall Crawl.

Sign-Ups will be open after the May meeting.

Volunteer Raffle
Jay Ghelli explained that every time a member volunteers at an NEA event his or her name is entered into a drawing for a raffle prize. Jeff Mazzarole?s name was drawn at the Snow Run as the winner of the 2009 Volunteer Raffle.

Jay asked for a someone to coordinate this year?s raffle. Tim Miano volunteered.

Announcement
Tammy VanGemert announced that she will not be seeing re-election for an Executive Officer position at the end of her term in January 2011. She is planning to devote her time to her family and her new business.

Clubs applying for Provisional Membership
USAJeepOwners is applying for Provisional Membership. They are a Jeep only club with a minimum tire size requirement of 31?. They currently have 19 members and are based out of New Bedford, MA. Meeting attendance will not be a problem.

Bob Butler made a motion to accept USAJeepOwners as Provisional Members. Motion was seconded by John Price. Motion Passes with a unanimous vote.

Open Discussion

Mike White made a motion to give TF Contracting (TJ Hooker?s business) a one year Business Membership at the Gold Level in appreciation for the work he had done for the NEA. Motion was seconded by Dave Morin. No Discussion. Motion Passes with a unanimous vote.

Scott Hatch brought up the following up for consideration: He would like to create a financial structure to keep the delegates more informed. He suggested that the delegates have the responsibility to set the budget for the Executive Officers to execute.

Scott Hatch also suggested that any excess funds from 2009 be allocated to various projects such as the A4A Vehicle, Trails Funds, etc.

Ryan Frost reminded everybody that the DWE Truck show will be held on July 25th at Gunstock Mountain. There are 300 camping sites available on site. Scott Hatch will be announcing again.

Rich Banfield asked about the status of Patriot Jeeps. It was explained that Patriots Jeeps NEA privileges were suspended for one year as of January. This includes board access and all Association events.

Dave Morin suggested that, in the off months between meetings, email updates be sent out to the delegates to keep them up to date on what?s going on. Jay responded that he has been doing that, but hadn?t kept up with it lately.

John Wellington mentioned an upcoming clean up in the Big River Management Area in East Greenwich, RI. The event is happening on April 10.

Bob Butler asked about work being done at Gretchen?s this year. He wondered if any work was going to be done on the entrance road, as it is a little treacherous for trucks and trailers and gets washed out. Scott Hatch explained that Gretchen does not want to get involved in having to get approvals to do any work in the wetlands.

Scott Hatch announced that he is going to start working with somebody who has a mapping program to help move the Map6 program forward.

Brian Churchill made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Motion was seconded by Scott Hatch. Motion passes with an unanimous vote.





Respectfully submitted
Liza Snow
 

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