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20 Snowmobile VERMONT mortgage payments on the income received from your employer. Simply put this is the only way that clubs and contractors can afford the equipment that keeps the trails in tip top shape during a good snow season. So what does this all mean It means that VAST is not sitting here on a large mountain of money we collected from the membership just waiting to do it all again next season. Instead we will be paying out 1100000 in grooming subsidies to the 113 clubs and contractors we have contracted with to groom this winter. In addition to the groomer payments clubs also have to perform pre- season maintenance on the grooming equipment purchase fuel insurance and other necessities to prepare the equipment for when the snow comes. All of these expenses happen no matter what we have for snow. For clubs who own their equipment this subsidy payment allows them to put aside funding to purchase a newer groomer down the road. Grooming is not the only expense that is paid out during a snowless or low snow winter. The 128 VAST clubs across the state have gone out and gotten the trails ready for the season and VAST has laid out the funding through various Grant-In-Aid programs in order to help the clubs complete this task. The 4700 mile trail system does not simply appear out of thin air each December. There are significant costs associated with it despite what Mother Nature has in mind. Even though there was very little riding this winter VAST and the 128 snowmobile clubs will do it all again for the 2017 snowmobile season. Clubs will again be busy working with landowners relocating trails replacing bridges that are in need of repair improving drainage and other trail tread issues at the request of landowners or simply because they are in need of repair. This is costly and is necessary to provide a sustainable trail system of such high quality each and every year. Thanks to all of you who supported VAST this winter and purchased your TMA. The money you spent will help to ensure that there is funding to construct and maintain trails next season and will also enable clubs to make their groomer payments and therefore have grooming equipment in which to groom trails next season. For those who are still a bit upset about paying for a TMA and not being able to use it here is how you can get that FREE TMA next season. Ive to all of the volunteers who put in hundreds of hours to ready the trails and yet never got the chance to ride by the 400 signs they installed or ride over the bridge they broke their thumb on while decking in late October. All of the snowmobile dealers local stores inns and mom and pop businesses who rely on revenue generated by snowmobiles to carry them through the long Vermont winters are suffering. The impact is widespread from the high school kid who shovels roofs during his winter break to make a few extra bucks to the state house in Montpelier where tough budgetary decisions are having to be made as a result of lower than expected revenue. It is disappointing for the entire northeast but there is not much we can do about it except look forward be positive and keep our fingers crossed for a better snowmobile season in 2017. The fiscal committee has been on top of the issue since the beginning of the winter and we are optimistic. We have had winters like this before I am told. I have heard that we had a few snowless but very cold winters in the early 80s. We are looking at ways to scale expenses back for next season and are hopeful that we do not have to take any drastic measures. There are a number of options that need exploring and we are not ruling anything out at this point. All we can do is scale back where we can run a little lean and hope that next years winter is better. I hope that those of you who are upset about buying the TMA and having very little snow to ride on have taken the time to read this and understand that thanks to you this winter recreation will continue. Trails Report The Royalton Ridge Climbers took their signs down in March without ever riding past one on their sleds this year. Signs go up and come down bridges are repaired groomer loan payments are made and many more tasks are completed by clubs even when there is no snow. Tim Parker photo been meaning to get to this all along but I first wanted you to have a basic understanding of how things work. VAST provides each club with eight volunteer TMAs plus one additional TMA for every 10 miles of corridor trail that they maintain. Each club has a policy on how the volunteer TMAs are distributed. If you reach out to your local club and volunteer some of your valuable time you may be able to obtain one of these volunteer TMAs The lack of snow is disappointing to all the members who paid for their TMA. It is even more disappointing