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11-November

The meeting was called to order at 7 PM by President Durachko.  Present were members Tom Milton, Cody Martin, Johnathan White, Susan N. Hochreiter, Melvin Shuey, Dan Durachko, Steve Dillon, Andy Cobaugh, Tracey Besemer, Andy Richards, and Tom Canich.

Secretary Canich presented draft October meeting minutes for approval.  Cody Martin moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Tom Milton; the motion carried.

Treasurer Richards reported an opening balance of $51,903.88.  This included $1,405 in station ticket sales, a $50 donation from Sugar Tours, and $60 in membership fees.  We paid $650 to Bellefonte Victorian Christmas for Fall Foliage advertising expenses, $125 for station decorations related to the Santa Express and $167.60 for station decorations related to Fall Foliage.  There are some receipts not yet submitted which will appear on the December report.  We refunded $40 to Lee Bishop of Bellefonte in compensation for the canceled 2016 Fall Foliage excursions -- to date we have tried multiple times to reach all patrons of the 2016 Fall Foliage excursions and have had no response from a very small number.  We also paid standard bills and rents.  We received $35,288.49 from EventBrite for Fall Foliage online ticket sales.  Our closing balance is $87,654.67.  Andy Cobaugh moved to accept the report, seconded by Dan Durachko; the motion carried.

Webmaster Cobaugh reported 6,851 sessions in November.  He has added to the website links to photo albums.

Interim Membership chair Durachko reports the need for a permanent membership chair.  We may have some additional members joining in the near future.

Santa Express ticket sales are underway.  We are currently sold out except for one ticket on a Saturday ride.  We have 10 reserve tickets for most rides.

Sue Hochereiter received on our behalf an award from the Centre County Historical Society, and provided a brief speech and answered questions about the BHRS.  Questions revolved around Lemont, speeder rides, and future plans.  The award was for our work in preserving railroad artifacts and information.

DSLE Dillon is looking into official name tags for train crew members.

RDC #9167 has the new compressor installed and is to be plumbed and leak tested in November.

George Baney recommends we tour the Conklin residence.  This historic building was the first contstructed in the Nittany Valley by iron master William Thomas.  Dan will coordinate a group tour.

Bellefonte Borough is planning an extension of the platform and installation of a fence to control pedestrian traffic across the railroad tracks.  They will work with us on final fence placement.  This work is part of a larger project to improve safety near the railroad and includes installation of guide rails along the road, creation of a dedicated pedestrian crossing area, fencing along the platform, extension of the platform, and a possible pedestrian bridge along the existing railroad bridge.

The Tyrone pedestrian bridge has been condemned by the State.  The County owns the bridge and is seeking to demolish it.  Tyrone Borough wishes to purchase the bridge and repair it at an expected cost below the demolition cost.  Andy Richards moves to send a letter of support to Tyrone Borough, seconded by Tom Milton; the motion carried.

We discussed the Fall Foliage trips and some possible areas for improvement.  These ideas revolved around consistent customer experience, especially with regard to customer relations and on-board passenger movement policy.  Dan will discuss some of our ideas with Jeff Pontius.

Andy Cobaugh moved to adjourn, seconded by Steve Dillon; the motion carried.  Meeting adjourned 8 PM.
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