5 April 2012
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 John Orth and seconded by Bonnie Himka; unanimously approved.
Bob Freedman announced that our March income was $32,218.11 and expenses were $44,611.30 for a net income (loss) for the month of ($12,385.41). Ending bank balance was $20,062.19.
The majority of income and expenses are for the DOWT event.
Standing Committee reports
Training – no report
Restoration – Jack Corrick discussed work ongoing to get equipment ready for the DOWT event. Frank Lea continued his work on the interior of the 3505 caboose.
Membership – Roger Himka announced that we have 159 family memberships for a total of 292 members. There are 13 family volunteer memberships and 62 individual volunteer memberships including 27 active, 13 live steamers, and 8 TTOS members at this time.
Calendar Project – Roger West announced that sales of the 2012 calendar for March were still good with $389 in sales on the train for a total net income of $2,544.00. This compares favorably to net income of about $1600 for the 2011 calendar. Roger asked for new volunteers to step forward to produce the 2013 calendar.
FNSR Steamers Project – Everett Bartlett reported that the bridge structure is nearly complete and that the west end retaining wall has added height for the safety of the riders. There will be signs pointing Thomas visitors to the Live Steam area and 2 trains carrying passengers each day are planned for the two weekends of Thomas.
Approximately 100 riders enjoyed the live steam trains on Saturday during the train Robbery. Donations totaled $154 for the day.
Day Out with Thomas Event – Tony Bond reminded us again that “Thomas is coming!” Facilities preparation is going well with a number of volunteers and workers from Manpower getting necessary tasks completed. Tents and trailers are in place, vinyl flooring material has been laid in several tents and along the exit walkway to the gift tent. Carpeting for other tents has been acquired and will be in place soon.
Merchandise for the gift tent will arrive Friday and a number of volunteers are needed to help set up the gift tent. By Wednesday of next week, everything should be completed. Overnight security personnel are on duty and lighting is in place in all tents for added security.
Entertainers have been selected, a nurse has been hired, and a person to play Sir Topham Hatt has been identified.
The Thomas locomotive will arrive on site the morning of April 9th. Test runs with the train configured as it will be for the event will commence on Thursday April 12th.
In order to get Thomas on the train each day before the public arrives, early crew calls will be necessary, as early as 6:00-6:30 AM for train operational crews.
We still need more volunteers during the event weekends. Approximately 37 have been signed up so far, not all being available for each day both weekends. In order to entice more volunteers, the Board approved a suggestion to offer free 1-year Friends family memberships. A minimal level of service of 16 hours was established to qualify for the membership offer.
Ticket pre-sales have not met expectations and the budget is very tight due to the lower than expected income at this time. Tony Bond and Chuck Brandt are using their personal credit cards to meet some expenses to keep the accounts available for larger ticket items.
Greg Corbin asked what the state could be doing to help with promoting the event. Chuck Brandt and Tony Bond discussed the current marketing strategy and the HIT Entertainment NY P.R. firm’s expected participation. HIT is expected to send press releases to local media outlets immediately before the event. Radio promotions with complimentary ticket packages have just begun.
Chuck discussed the $21,500 spent
by the Friends so far for local print media from
Old Business – There was no Old Business.
New Business – There was no New Business.
Greg Corbin Comments
Greg offered his thanks to all who have volunteered in getting ready for the DOWT event, including, but not limited to: Tony Bond for all the hours spent in organizing the entire event, John Orth for all the woodworking projects making various platforms and game boards for DOWT, Saphya Lotery for her efforts in signing up event volunteers, Carl Friedrichs for supervising the boy and girl scouts planting the new trees near the restrooms, and painting the new recycle containers, and the Manpower crew getting the facilities ready for DOWT.
Also thanks to Jack Corrick and Jim Potvin for their work in getting various deficiencies corrected on certain cars noted in the recent surprise FRA inspection.
And thanks to the Live Steamers and TTOS for their participation in making the recent Train Robbery event a success.
Ridership has been good so far for Fiscal 2012 and is expected to surpass FY2011 with the increases from DOWT and other events coming up.
Gerald Lewis discussed the need for better procedures and training in the operation and staffing of the handicapped lift. On a recent weekend, confusion and conflicting orders from various volunteers during the loading of riders on and off the lift caused safety concerns. Tony Bond responded that better training with new written instructions and procedures for staffing and operating the lift will be prepared in the near future.
There being no further discussions, the meeting was adjourned at 12:00 noon.
The next meeting will be May 3, 2012 at 11:00 AM.