Trail Grooming Costs Not Covered by Public Funding

To all members of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee,

Hello, As President of the Jo Mary Riders Snowmobile Club and as Chairman of the Snowmobile Trail Fund Advisory Council for the State of Maine I thought that you might find it interesting to see a statement of Income & Expense for our club for the 2102/2013 season. Obviously some expenses are incurred throughout the year, not just during the winter.

The Jo Mary Riders is a club located in unorganized territory 6 miles west of Millinocket. We are responsible for grooming 66 miles of “Municipal” trails and 44 miles of “Club” trails (although we only get paid for 30 of those miles by rule) in both Penobscot and Piscataquis counties. We do not have a clubhouse or hold any events during the course of the year. This past season we had 134 members in our club. Of these 134 members only about 5 can be counted as “worker bees”, the others just provide limited financial support. We have three large Bombardier groomers (two 2001’s and one 2006) and one single bay garage where we perform maintenance on the machines. The garage is actually a donated facility that we don’t own but is covered under our insurance policy.

INCOME

$39,508.00 Municipal Grant
$ 3,750.00 Club Grant
$ 3,332.00 Club membership fees
$ 4,630.00 Donations
$51,220.00 Total Income

EXPENSES

$17,014.98 Fuel for Groomers
$12,018.42 Trail Maintenance Costs (materials only)
$10,079.09 Maintenance and Repair costs for the three groomers and drags
$ 7,520.00 Labor costs for groomer operators
$ 3,430.00 Insurance costs for the groomers and garage
$ 750.00 Cost of plowing the public parking lot
$ 714.65 Electricity at the groomer garage
$ 441.45 Administrative Costs
$51,968.59 Total Operating Expense (note that this does NOT include any labor costs for pre-season trail maintenance)

$10,608.41 mortgage payment due in July on one of our 2001 groomers
$15,919.79 mortgage payment due in July on our 2006 groomer

$78,496.79 Is the Total Expense including Mortgage Payments for 2013

-$27,276.79 is the situation that we have found ourselves in this year.

Once we receive all of our grant money from the State and pay all of our outstanding debts we will have a balance of $12,752.50 with which to make $26,528.20 in mortgage payments. And, we will have nothing in our bank account at the beginning of next season (we had around $13,000 in October of 2012).

As a result of our financial situation we have decided to try and sell our newest Groomer as we simply can no longer afford it. In the event that it does not sell before the mortgage due date we will have to ask the lending institution to either refinance the machine or give us a one year grace period and add the interest on to the note.

I have provided this information to you simply as an example of what clubs all across Maine are facing as operating costs and potential incomes. Fuel costs are hurting all of us….at $4.26 for a gallon of off-road diesel (including $.25/gallon sales tax) it is almost impossible to provide quality riding at the current rate of reimbursement.

And remember this, the way the program is currently set up, for every dollar that we actually spend, we only get $.70 reimbursed. Where are we supposed to come up with the other 30% ?? Especially if a club does not have a club house or fundraisers to help offset expenses.

It is my hope that you will consider these things when you decide the fate of LD’s 268 and 1263.

Respectfully submitted,

Richard LeVasseur
President, Jo Mary Riders Snowmobile Club
Chairman, Maine Snowmobile Trail Fund Advisory Council

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