Mountain Club Laurentian Chapter
Executive Committee Meeting January 17, 2008
Minutes Developed by John Barron
Executive Committee Members Present: Tom Ortmeyer; Gene Kaczka; Armond Spencer; Betsy Tisdale, Betty Peckham; Geri Ames; John Barron
Others Present: John and Susan Omohundro
Opened meeting at 7:05 PM. The Minutes and Agenda were approved.
- DEC has extended the period for public comment on Adirondack Trail Plan to February 15. An important element of the plan involves the North Country Trail, which now extends from Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota to the (western) New York State line. DEC is considering extending the trail to Crown Point. Preferred routing is the ADK-endorsed central route over 75 miles of existing trails and 25 miles of new trail construction.
- ADK has sent out for review a draft letter to DEC giving the Club’s views on the Belleayre Mountain Resort proposal in the Catskills. Gene is drafting Laurentian Chapter input.
Laurentian Chapter has 523 members total. 286 households. 422 voting members.
Nil - and a request to pray for snow.
Chapter is in good financial shape. Account balances are:
- Checking account $1406; Postage account in Canton $263.25; Money Market account $1164.77; CD $3205.99
- Betsy will inject funds into the postage account.
- The Chapter has received $200 from Wear on Earth as payment for the advertising.
- The cost of using First Presbyterian Church is creeping up – now $75.
- A charge is looming for the use of the Potsdam Community Center for Outdoors/Indoors presentations.
- The Chapter has renewed its membership in Higley Flow State Park at a cost of $100.
John O. gave clarification of the impacts of postal rate increases and streamlining of the North Wind on printing and postage costs. It was used to correct the minutes of the November 8 Executive Committee meeting. For convenience, it is repeated here, as follows:
Format changes have been well received. All events on adjacent pages within the letter instead of as an enclosure worked well. Printing costs have been reduced by making a smaller letter. Postage rates recently increased and may increase again, but the condensed format will minimize the weight of each issue and thus will hold postage costs to a minimum.
Red Sandstone Trail
Trail patches will be produced using the Red Sandstone Trail budget. They will be given out for volunteer work on the trail. They will not be sold.
Blair Madore's Scout Troop is designing and producing a Red Sandstone Trail T-Shirt, and they are taking orders.
Stone Valley Trails (presented by Tom Ortmeyer for Mark Simon)
Mark is considering taking on new trail areas, as Stone Valley does not need very much work now and spare capacity exists. Ideas are being solicited about what to take on.
General Trail Discussion
Ideas for new trail projects are:
- Postwood Park Trails. Gene recommends getting County approval and investigating possible County funding for trail remediation.
- Tom Ortmeyer meets periodically with Dawn Howard of Soil and Conservation, which may lead to some possible suggestions.
- Indian Creek Nature Center may like to receive trail assistance.
- The proposed Red Sandstone Trail extension into Potsdam is a possibility.
- It was pointed out that RRAC funding can be used for any projects within a specific distance of the Raquette, whether or not Brookfield assets were involved; hence RRAC should be considered a potential funding source.
- It was agreed that Mark S, John O, and Tom O should get together and do some long-range trail planning.
Education (Presented by Tom O. for Rose)
- The Chapter had budgeted to sponsor two participants to Camp Colby, and has two applications.
- There was a very good turnout (fifty people) for the first Outdoors/Indoors.
There was a review of the 2007 budget vs actual. It was generally considered unremarkable. Items warranting discussion were:
- Purchases for resale. Mainly books – Fire Tower book and No Place I’d Rather Be. It was observed that the Chapter indeed purchases these for resale. For various reasons, including ease of returning to the Club what can’t be sold, it was recommended (by Gene) that we should investigate the possibility of taking items on consignment instead.
- Local trail maintenance. Question from Gene, how is it decided whether to use RRAC funding or Chapter funding for specific trail work? Answer from John O: in general, RRAC funding is used for identifiable large expenditures having a capital investment nature – like building a bridge; Chapter funding is used for minor, ongoing work of a maintenance nature, like renting a weed whacker for trail clearing.
- An allotment has been made in the 2008 budget for programs – Outdoors/Indoors and potlucks – to cover expenses.
The 2008 budget (attached) was tabled for approval. Moved by Gene, seconded by Armond that it be approved. No further discussion. All were in favor, and so the budget is approved accordingly.
- Massena Rod and Gun Club invited the Chapter to run a table again at this year’s Sportsman Show. It was decided to decline, and participate in the Show every two or three years.
- Nothing is scheduled yet for the spring potluck. Ideas floated include:
- Feedlot Proposal. Tom Ortmeyer will try to tee this up as the preferred option. Alternate possibilities include:
- Glen Johnson talk about spruce grouse and low-level boreal forest.
- Joan Collins about birds.
- The Presbyterian Church in Potsdam has been a very good venue and it is the first choice again. Other possibilities under consideration include the Presbyterian Church in Canton, and others.
Attachment: 2008 Budget
Next Meeting: March 20.