Friends of Southern Nevada Railway, Inc.
7 April, 2011
According to Article V, Section 1, of the By-Laws a quorum was present to conduct FNSR business.
Motion to approve the minutes of the February meeting was made by Jack Corrick and seconded by Bonnie Himka; unanimously approved.
Bob Freedman announced that our bank balance as of 1 March was $16,612.62 plus a CD account from the dissolution of So. NV chapter of NRHS. March income was $3557.07 and expenses were $776.85 for a net income for the month of $2780.22. Ending bank balance was $19,392.84 plus $11,679.36 in the CD account.
Standing Committee reports
Training – Tony Bond announced that not many volunteers have called to request individual weekday Brakeman field training sessions as offered by Rusty Elliot and Bob Freedman.
Tony also mentioned that the new Rulebook is in final review and should be ready for release soon. The first part of the video taken during the January training session is also being reviewed and should be ready for release in May.
Restoration – No report.
Membership – Roger Himka announced we have 198 public memberships for a total of 373 people and 35 individual volunteer members and 10 family volunteer members. This is a significant increase over February membership levels.
Roger West announced that sales of the 2011 calendar on the train and in the gift shop have been going well at the current price of $3.00. We are currently in the black by over $800, so all future sales contribute directly to profit for the project.
New photos for the 2012 calendar have been selected and assigned to the various months, subject to review by the rest of the calendar committee. The April photo page has been reserved for submission of photos of the April 16th Great Train Robbery. Anyone having photos to be considered for the April page should submit them to Roger or Chuck Brandt in Roger’s absence during the last two weeks of April.
Day Out With Thomas
The Board approved a motion to begin final planning, commit to HIT Entertainment and request a date for the event in late April or early May, and allow the initial expenditures from the Friends’ accounts as necessary without further Board interaction.
Greg Corbin and Chuck Brandt have been in meetings with the Executive Director of the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce and that numbers of volunteers who staff other city events could be counted on to help the Friends run the event. The Director also will help with parking and other city issues, providing guidance and support for using parking areas nearby the museum.
The event would run over two weekends in either late April or early May for best weather. There would be 12 runs each day of 25 minutes each per Thomas organization requirements. Several ancillary attractions would be operating on site to keep people entertained while the trains are out on the runs. All these attractions would need to be staffed for the duration of each day’s event.
Chuck Brandt will serve as liaison for the event with Peter Barton in Carson City, coordinating State approval and contractual requirements for staging the event. The Friends organization would essentially lease the museum facility and train from the State for the duration of the event for a fee representing the average fare receipts expected by the State for two normal run weekends. Liability insurance and event cancellation insurance requirements will need to be worked out.
The Board decided to establish a standing committee to facilitate the planning and preparations for the event. Volunteers for the committee were solicited from amongst the general membership and a consensus vote taken during the 10:00 AM General Membership meeting resulted in a large majority in favor of staging the event as discussed.
JD Locomotive Live Steam Project
Jesse Banning of JD Locomotive presented a project, now underway, to set up a Live Steam 7˝-inch gauge rail layout in the lower museum open area. Jesse introduced the initial members of their group, Everett Bartlett, and Bill and Todd Dukes, who have been working hard the last few weeks to prepare the site for a roadbed and track laying. There is currently no other Live Steam facility in NV and JD Locomotive, which builds and repairs locomotives for other Live Steam aficionados, has to travel to AZ or CA to test their products. Their goal is to gradually build a layout of 2000 feet of track to start, with additional work to expand throughout the lower area in the years to come. They hope to have the first 500 feet of track laid within the next month or so.
Since most of the group have jobs and may not be available to run trains each weekend, they would like to train Friends volunteers in the operation and maintenance of their Live Steam locomotives so as to allow scheduled weekend running along with our regular train schedules.
Issues such as financial arrangements for handling donations and reimbursing expenses for work on the project are being worked out with the Friends. The JD Locomotive people have joined the Friends and will work as a standing committee reporting to the Board. This will allow them to utilize our 501(c)3 tax exempt status and maintain accountability under the Friends accounting procedures.
Donations of materials to begin constructing a roadbed have been received from Home Depot. The group is exploring other possibilities for donations of material to keep costs down on the project.
The consensus of the Board is that this will be a good addition to the railroading experience for visitors to the museum.
Greg Corbin Comments
Not much news has been forthcoming from Carson City regarding changes to the museum structure in response to State budget cuts. Peter Barton has been preoccupied with legislative issues. The planned changeover of the museums from the Cultural Affairs Dept. to the Dept. of Tourism is expected to take place between July and October 1st of this year. There will be layoffs and reassignment of some employees as Cultural Affairs is dissolved.
The Valpak coupon campaign has been a resounding success with higher ridership in March than ever before. Although the coupon’s effect is gradually diminishing, April ridership is still expected to be higher than last year. The $7000 cost of the campaign has been more than fully recovered and the public recognition of the museum has increased significantly with all runs made up of many first-time riders who never knew about the NSRM in Boulder City before. The next Valpak coupon may come out in the September timeframe.
Roger Himka announced that the Nevada Southern website received over 7000 visits in March, which resulted in over 18,000 pages opened and viewed, more than any other month except during November and December 2010. He suggested that the Live Steam project should submit material for inclusion on the website when they are ready to go public.
Eric Minton suggested that the addition of the Live Steam layout will help introduce children to railroading.
Everett Bartlett mentioned that the Live Steam group has been working the site during the week, doing grading and preparing the roadbed in order to minimize the dust impact to our weekend schedule. The Friends appreciate that consideration.
There being no further discussions, the meeting was adjourned at 10:52 AM.
The next meeting will be May 5, 2011 at 10:00 AM.