6 | Snowmobile VERMONT VAST News A message from VAST Vice President Jeff Fay Well, here we are. The second half of 2017 is underway, the so-called “off-season.” However, it’s hardly the off-season for most clubs as they start trail maintenance, bridge projects, groomer service, sign repair and landowner permission renewals. Some may think that our great trail system all comes together in the fall over a few short weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s not really that easy. Clubs have been busy since April planning what needs to be done to get trails ready for December. VAST staff, directors and officers have been working on a budget for the upcoming season with a close eye on keeping the sport affordable and still being able to provide a trail system second to none. Working through the budget process offers the chance to run some “what if” scenarios. What if we increase $5 across the board? What if we increase just ___? What if we leave stuff alone for a season? We look at a bunch of different options and try to make an educated guess as to the end result. Membership currently is about 22,000. Ideally, an increase to 25,000 or 26,000 would be a great shot in the wallet. The Early Bird program gives the member the best pricing and the option to TMA additional sleds under the Family plan. The fact that a ticket for an unTMA’d sled is several hundred dollars, it is by far cheaper to spend the $100/$130 upfront. Or you can wait and see what the winter may be like and buy a Regular Season TMA at $135/$175. Some related expenditures for 2016/17 season: Grooming: $1,197,913.61 that covered approximately 97,300 miles of trail for the season Trail Construction: $46,904.43 spent through the end of June (total budgeted $145,000) Trail Maintenance: $161,712.58 spent through the end of June (total budgeted $190,000) Trail Debrushing: $15,933 spent through the end of June (total budgeted $25,000) The VAST trail system consists of about 4,700 miles of corridor trail. Using the numbers above, that works out to approximately $302.65 per mile. So with the season never really ending, reach out to your local club to see what they are up to and if possible, spend a little time helping out. You may find it surprising what your favorite trail looks like in green! We are all in this together! Respect, Reach Out, Enjoy! –Jeff Fay, VAST Vice President LVRT UPDATE By Shane Prisby, LVRT Project Manager The Bridge 68 replacement is in full swing. The 250-foot rail bridge over the Lamoille River in Cambridge Jct., has been completely removed, leaving only the lone center pier and the two abutments. Bridge contractor Blow & Cote of Morristown was low bidder on the project and received their notice of award in March. With the spans and wooden piers removed, the crew has been taking a rowboat out to the center pier and using scaffolding to repair the structure and ready it for the new bridge spans. The project has moved forward steadily, despite the continued rain across the state. From June 29to June 30, so much rain fell that the Lamoille River rose in excess of four feet, flooding its banks. Work continued on the abutments while the crew waited for the river to recede so they could get back to work on the center pier, which collected some debris, but held steady. The bridge spans will be arriving at the end of August. Starting with the Route 15 side of the river, the spans will be installed and the crew will work their way out, repairing the trail. The LVRT and Cambridge Greenway will be sharing about 500 feet of corridor and parting ways at a new triangular intersection leading up to the bridge. When the second span is ready, it will be installed on the Route 109 side of the river and the project will be wrapped up, all in time for the 2017/18 snowmobile season. Approximately 72 cents of every TMA dollar goes back into trails to cover grooming, construction and maintenance. A breakdown of where your money goes looks like this based on 2016/17 prices. PLEASE SUPPORT THE LVRT AT WWW.LVRT.ORG/DONATE