5 49TH VAST Annual Meeting Minutes Cont. • Snowmobiler of the Year: Larry Dwyer • Dealer of the Year: Champlain Valley Motorsports Special Awards • Horizon Award: Joe and Karen Marini • Founders Award: Dick Bigwood • Trailblazer Awards: Ruth Blake and Mike Westine VERMONT SNOW TRAILS CONSERVANCY (VSTC) • Stan Choiniere – Chairman - We want to be able to make sure we can secure some very high valued trails within the State. This is an opportunity for us to secure a piece of trail, if we were to lose, would break up the continuity of a large trail system. It has taken a couple of years to put this together; there is a lot of legal paperwork, etc. that goes along with this. We have landowners who are very anxious to work with us, but because of the legal component of this, we have had some difficulties. • Out west, large portions of trails are on federal and state land and those trails will be there forever. However, we in Vermont are at the generosity of the landowners and it is key to our entire system. We develop relationships with the landowners and with businesses that are on or near the trails.We are working to find the barriers, develop the easements. If we can secure the easement for the next 20, 30 plus years, it is a lot easier to approve the trails, do bridge projects, etc. This is not a land buying program, it is to secure the land that trails are on. • We won’t know about an issue unless a club lets VAST know about it. We facilitate the process, surveying, mapping, creating the legal documents. • What is the time frame of the easement? • Stan Choiniere - The easements are permanent. It gets registered with the original deed and it does not change if ownership changes. • Cindy Locke - There are a variety of clubs that have easements. If your local club has an easement, it really should go through the VSTC, because there is an agreement between the VSTC and VAST that that easement is covered by all the liability insurances by state statute. • Income tax benefit is a one-time benefit. Property tax relief? • Look at the possibility of doing it like they do land management, like the state does? • Talk to the legislators about this. The state is losing out on this and the revenue they are gaining year to year from the snowmobile industry. • We talked about this with the Governor and the legislature, and he thought it was a great idea and should move forward with it. And then he asked, by the way, how do you make up the loss of the state revenue? • One of the complications through tax abatement or tax reduction, is the question of compensation for the use of your land, and the liability that goes along with that. • The tax revenue is to the town as well, so the town is impacted. • We are also in need of funds, so if anyone has an idea of where to look for funds, grants, federal or private organizations, etc., please let us know. • Jim Hill – We are a non-profit, so that’s where the tax break comes in. Part of the funding was looking at the possibility of maybe at some point, earmarking $1 or $2 of every TMA to be contributed to the VSTC to help offset some of the costs. We’d like some feedback on this idea. ONLINE TMA PRESENTATION • Cindy Locke – reviewed the proposal for the new on line TMA system for this coming season through a Powerpoint presentation. • Information will be available to the clubs in September. • VAST is hoping to do three trade shows this fall to help boost membership. • Question - is VAST going to verify if the snowmobile is DMV registered (on the site)? • Cindy Locke - No, we will not be able to do this. • All club dues will be the same for every club - $30. • What is going to prevent someone from going back onto the site and printing a new one every 10 days? • Volunteer TMAs will be done the same way as last year, through your club, at their discretion. • Also, we just got a 2016 Polaris Indy 800. Anyone that buys an Early Bird, anyone thatVolunteers, or is Military, if we have your TMA in the VAST office by January 15th, you are eligible to win that new sled.