The meeting was called to order at 7:05 PM on August 4, 2014 by President Dan Durachko. In attendance were members Tom Canich, Dirk Grupe, Johnathan White, Dave Felice, Cody Martin, Lon Beck, Ed Johnston, Melvin Shuey, Dan Durachko, Ed Voigt, and Andy Richards.
Review of Minutes
July meeting minutes were not available for review. Secretary Stout is ill and does not wish to continue in the office. The office will be filled at the September meeting.
Treasurer Richards reports a closing balance of $37,942.04. Transactions are detailed in the attached report. Still outstanding are expenses of about $3,000 to the JRA for repairs to the station siding and several hundred dollars for printing of Fall Foliage tickets.
Webmaster Grupe is moving out of the area and presented his final web report. We had about 900 hits this month. There was no increase in activity since ticket sales began on August 1.
Tom Canich reported that PennDOT has delayed their notice to proceed for our project. Originally anticipated to be July 15 we are now expecting August 15. Once received a pre-construction conference will be held between PennDOT, BHRS, and the contractor. We can expect to have the car back by February if notice is received August 15.
Tom received an offer to help with operating or rulebook writing from Jim Decker, an engineer on the New Hope & Ivyland railroad.
Andy Richards reported that NBER will be moving the RDCs over one track in the yard in order to remove vegetation.
Andy Richards reported that NRHS is writing an article for their bulletin about our caboose. Gary Hoover and Andy will provide them with material.
Dirk Grupe stated that he will no longer be able to organize maintenance of way in Lemont. No members volunteered to take this duty. No members have been to the Lemont track since June.
Fall Foliage Excursion
Dan Durachko reported that sales began August 1. Andy Richards shared that Gary Hoover offered to continue station sales. Dan will deliver tickets to Gary and Dan and Andy will work out record keeping and logistics. A small number of tickets were sold at the station and via other non-online methods.
Dirk provided Dan with marketing information from 2013. Dirk reported that our trips are publicized the TRAINS magazine online calendar.
Tom discussed using Google's AdWords program to advertise on the Internet and proposed a $150, 15-day campaign as a trial. Dirk Grupe moved this proposal and Lon Beck seconded. The motion carried with no objection noted.
Dan will contact Rail Pace August 5 to post a notice in their next issue.
Tom will update the website to provide a notice that tickets are now available.
Santa Express Excursion
Ticket sales for the Santa Express excursions won't begin until Fall Foliage excursions have ended.
There are still three towers to remove at Vail, Beech, and Wingate. There is a second tower at Beech but it isn't clear who owns it. Andy Richards will check with NBER about priority for removal. The benefits of salvaging the towers versus quickly demolishing them for scrap was discussed.
Dan Durachko reported that he will be meeting representatives from the Bellefonte Borough Thursday, August 7 at 9 AM. The meeting at the Train Station will be to plan for extending the brick platform about 30 feet along the tracks towards the bridge. Also to be discussed are drainage improvements for the station spouting. Dan reported that we will be liable for concrete for the extension curb and possibly some of the cost of screenings to bed the brick. Installation is tentatively scheduled for September 12, 13, and 14 at a time to be determined. We will also repair brick paving where the spouting work is to be completed.
Tom moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Lon. The motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:15 PM.
Respectfully submitted by Tom Canich