The meeting was called to order at 7 PM on November 3, 2014 by President Dan Durachko. In attendance were members Andy Cobaugh, Andy Richards, Ken Dishman, Lon Beck, Jeff Stout, Dave Felice, Johnathan White, Steve Dillon, Matt Fultz, Cody Martin, Tom Milton, Dan Durachko, Melvin Shuey, and Tom Canich.
Review of Minutes
October meeting minutes were reviewed. A correction was made to the recorded closing balance. Ken Dishman moved to accept the minutes as corrected, seconded by Dave Felice. The motion carried.
There was no change to the caboose/snow plow fund. Our opening general balance was $44,135.66. There were many Fall Foliage transactions, including advertising, as detailed in the report.
Gross revenue from Fall Foliage was $31,050 which will be sent to the JRA. We expect the JRA to return 40%, $12,420. Our total advertising expenditures for Fall Foliage were approximately $1,845.
Our ending balance is $32,345.41, total $36,722.38 including the caboose/snow plow fund. This does not include what the JRA owes us for Fall Foliage nor our outstanding obligation to the JRA for siding repairs near the Bellefonte station.
Advertising for Fall Foliage was discussed. There isn't enough data to draw conclusions. This year showed later sales and advertising compared to previous years. Andy Richards suggests we need to organize our advertisements to place them earlier and coordinate them better in future years. HBI may be able to provide better rates via group buys versus our negotiating these directly.
Tom Canich moved to accept the report, seconded by Andy Cobaugh. The motion carried.
Through November 2 we saw approximately 19,000 page views. Most views are from the State College area with about 5% outside of PA. The ticket window page saw approximately 4,600 unique visits, with about 2,000 page views the day sales for Santa Express tickets started.
We now have a FAQ page answering common questions about ticket sales and rides.
The event list on the front page has been replaced with a Google calendar widget which allows old events to "fall off" the display, rather than having to be removed manually.
Dan will provide a map showing geographical distribution of ticket sales.
We discussed some aspects of improving our excursions. Car hosts need to be better trained regarding their duties and provided with information about historical facts and points of interest along our traveled route. Johnathan White volunteered to compile information for distribution to car hosts. Others interested in doing this work should contact Johnathan. Music volume is again a concern -- too loud in some cars, not loud enough in others. Jeff Pontius will allow us to supply music if we want to do so.
The cars continue to deteriorate. The tarp on the caboose is now a year old and needs to be replaced. The lower plow tarp also need to be replaced. The upper part of the plow is unprotected. A volunteer is needed to lead stabilization efforts on this equipment. Cody Martin shared a draft article to appear in the NRHS bulletin about the caboose.
Andys Cobaugh and Richards replaced 4 windows on #9167. There are about 10 windows left to be replaced, 6 fogged and 3 or 4 with incorrect glazing.
The car is to be shipped soon but we are waiting for a firm date from the contractor RMS. They will move the car to Titan Energy park near Axemann for partial disassembly of undercarriage equipment. The car will then be moved to Blazer Enterprises between Unionville and Wingate to be lifted onto a truck for the move to Columbia, PA. The car is expected to leave Bellefonte mid-November.
We discussed the return of the car to Bellefonte following renovations. The event is a good opportunity for press but the remaining windows and bathroom need to be addressed. Andy Richards will approach RMS about limited glazing work, reducing the scope of the original work item to not include trim. The pre-inspection work item will turn up any other defects which we may need to address. We also discussed other last minute work, cleaning out the car, possibly working at RMS to replace glazing, and a so-called soft return to complete work before an official return to service event.
Bon Ton Community days
Jeff Stout brought Bon Ton coupon books for November 14 and 15. Lon Beck volunteered to staff a table on the 14th and Tom Canich on the 15th.
Excursion Loading changes
We discussed placing steps near the caboose for loading those in need of assistance or extra time in order to reduce their time in line and help keep the main doors loading quickly. Dan will discuss this with Jeff.
2015 Excursion Schedule
We discussed the effectiveness of the Halloween themed excursions and if they should be repeated in the future. We agreed to keep them for next year. Scheduling for next year's trips was discussed and we decided to request: the same trips for Santa Express; Fall Foliage - Halloween Express on Friday, Pleasant Gap and Tyrone on Saturday, Lemont and Sayer's Dam or Beech Creek on Sunday. We discussed future opportunities with the RDC.
Tom Canich moved to adjourn, seconded by Ken Dishman. The motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 PM.