VRA General Membership Meeting – February 16, 2012

Call to order – 7:18 pm – KC SMITH – President

Outgoing Officers’ comments: 

                KC Smith – You all know that there are issues going on, but we’re not going to discuss because it doesn’t matter.  What we have done over the years is what matters.  Truly appreciate every person here and thank you.

                Charles Smith– Went back and ran 5 years of reports for multiple trips.  We have served over 27,000 people on our trains, from 15 different states – gross revenue over $300k. This has gone to the Hawthorne station, the fence around the Boonton restoration yard and funds towards the restoration of the Lackawanna F3’s. Has complete faith in the upcoming board and plans to stick around.

Elections – 2 parts: One board member and 4 officers.  The Director’s position was closer than all the years KC has been involved.   The election had tremendous number of voters as well.  Mike O’Toole got most votes for Director.  The VRA Board decided that due to a Director resignation to award the second highest the remaining two years board position – Kevin Smith won that seat.  Steve Gerritsen, Justin Kerstner, Andrea Rebner and Carolyn Hoffman ran unopposed. 

President’s Report – Steve Gerritsen – wasn’t expecting to give one!  Thank you everyone for the opportunity.  Looking forward to doing a lot of good things this year, Santa & Easter Trains (Easter already started), plus complete a lot of motorcar projects and have fun doing it.

Vice President’s Report – Justin Kerstner – Finish overdue projects, namely the L&NE Railroad 40B motorcar – get that moving on its own power.

Treasurers Report – Andrea Rebner moved money back to the Joseph K. Weber fund – $6,565.36.  Box for the Mother Seton railrodiana show is made; cash box set up for attendees. $2,613.87 Savings, $18,079.68 less outstanding of $7,445.64 for balance of $10,634.04 in checking.

Motion to Accept Treasurer’s Report – Made by KC Smith, Second Charles Smith – Passed unanimously.

Dues – Copy of newsletter and renewals were mailed to all.

Secretary – Matt Phalon – All minutes were sent, amendments were made and resent. 

Motion to Accept Secretary’s Report – Made by Paul Trabert, Second Charles Smith – Passed unanimously.

Toys for Tots Train 2011 – Carolyn Hoffman – Over 11,000 toys collected, more than previous years.  Huge thank you to all VRA volunteers who did an outstanding job and made a giant impact on the project. 

Easter – Matt Phalon & Carolyn Hoffman co-chairing committee.  Glen Rock approved, running to Secaucus 90 minute. Saturday is Wayne trip, hopefully to Dover.  Betsy Newbury will be Crew Caller, Andrea Rebner will handle characters.  Station in-person time will be Saturday 12 – 4, no weeknight this time.  Will be checking voicemail daily.  50 new signs and 2 banners on order.  8 cars, 1 crew car, 2 engines.  Jon Berkemeyer asks if children of volunteers will be allowed on train, KC Smith responds yes.

Hawthorne Station –

                Gables – Frank Ball is looking into how we will finish.  He will be contacting Glen Rock Lumber to see about pricing, will pick out a shingle close to pictures.  We will paint them ourselves. (Have to clean basement) Have contractor selected and ready to go.

                Pavers – Charles Smith – Thank you Andrea, check mailed to Brick Markers already.  Redesigned train logo to front end of NYS&W 3000 engine, also added S-Ball, Erie Diamond and others.  Artwork came out beautifully.  Order should be in sometime in March.  Have prices on blanks.

                Yard Sale – Jon Berkemeyer volunteers to chair.  KC Smith directs him to talk to Carol Smith for guidance.  Will clean out basement and put out what we have.  Talked about spring sale, Town Wide Sale in May, no registration fee that weekend.  Will have to register but not be charged.  KC Smith thinks there may only be two allowed per year; Andrea Rebner disagrees as church does every weekend.  Do we want to do it same time as everyone else (Town Wide Sale) or do another weekend.  Steve Gerritsen suggests doing it twice.  Chris Abbood has some things to donate, would be worth taking.  His sister offered us space to store things, have to pick up Saturday or Sunday. 

                Benches – Contractor selected, have to clean up forms.  Not 100% sure, Steve Gerritsen & Justin Kerstner may handle.

                Landscaping – Kevin Smith – Want to take a new look at the path, not centered and redesign will give us more room.  Looking at too many bricks with current layout.  Should put bricks out as we get them even before they’re ready to be permanently laid.  Will have to get new layout done before delivery.  Matt Phalon suggests creating path to look like railroad tracks.  Matt Posthumus – Look into curb your dog signs, people are walking dogs in the station garden and not cleaning up after them. 

                Hawthorne Tree Lighting & Santa – KC Smith – Went very nicely, town made up a banner on trolley saying they were going to the station.  Turnout was good.

                Displays – Steve Gerritsen – Changed one display, cabinet now has KC Smith’s grandfather’s collectibles.  Looking for more pictures of winter scenes, any railroad.  Looking for upcoming seasons as well.  Charles Smith – AYA Enterprises does mirrored boxes with railroad logo, have done custom mirrored glass S-Ball in maroon for us. 

                Curtains – Carolyn Hoffman – Have researched lots of curtains.  Can be anywhere from several hundred to several thousand.  She will get estimates.  Most agree on hunter green.  Look into curtain for ticket booth under window.  See if any friends or family would be willing to help out.  Will get several estimates and report back to board.

                Motorcar Trips – We need a chairman.  Steve Gerritsen will chair, but would like help, Frank Ball offered to co-chair.  As of right now we’re not sure what we’re doing.  Have opportunity to run trips on NYS&W and M&NJ as well as others.  Have to work out some details with NARCOA.  Jon Berkemeyer asks if there is a chance we won’t have any trips.  Steve Gerritsen responds there is that possibility; may not be a bad idea to take a year off.  Plenty of projects to do with motorcars without running NARCOA excursions.  Morristown & Erie Railroad has asked us to cut their Staten Island Branch for them.  This is ex B&O Railroad (Cranford Junction – Arthur Kill Bridge?) We have to get our new motorcars from Middletown & New Jersey Railroad to evaluate.  Discussion over whether the Staten Island Branch cutting will run into or up to the Bayway Refinery.  Charles Smith has a friend who may give a tour (Howland Hook).  When KC Smith said we’d cut he told them we would want something in return: i.e. a motorcar run.  Cape May Seashore Line may need things cut this year, we will be in touch with Tony. 

                Newsletter  – Matt Phalon – Newsletter was emailed to Andrea Rebner, she mailed with renewals.  Mike Goralski was unable to post so Matt Phalon posted today. 

                JKW Fund – KC Smith – Mother Seton Sunday March 4th.  Steve Gerritsen, Justin Kerstner, Carolyn Hoffman, & Matt Posthumus to attend.  2 tables paid for. 

                JKW Library – Paul Trabert – No change. 

                URHS Report – Joe Mele – URHS Shop building is under construction should be done by spring.  Waiting on one container to finish.  Still discussing NYC Diner swap with SC collector.  KC feels it’s not going to happen.  Want to run a trip on CMSL in spring.  Have to talk to Tony about a date, will be photo opps along the way.  Frank has some pictures available to email.

                MotorcarsWoodings: KC Smith has the replacement rear-end, Dave Czerwinski has the motor car. Have to figure out when to put the car’s rear-end in. Car needs brakes; ones sent last year were not the correct ones.  These new brakes already need replacing after being in use only a year and a half.  40B: all parts are now in Boonton, Dave (Shop Foreman) has offered to help with body work and paint.  We will wait for the shop building to be up. We have to repaint some things as paint is wrong color. Have to have it color matched again to match body.  MT19: At KC Smith’s house. Needs TLC, door curtain starting to wear. Also we have to realign the alternator & belt.  A-5:  Need to mount the ‘between-the-rails’ mower deck (car in Boonton container).  Need new ramps built for the container as this mower will be permanently attached.  The new fuel tank has been installed.  M&NJ  cars – We have to get to the cars there and start going over them to assess their condition.  Need to check the operation of the hydraulics on the Brush car.  KC Smith – The M&NJ Brush car is too wide for containers.  He saw a carport for $400 with metal roof and no walls.  Further discussion needed on sheltering M&NJ Brush Car.  Northern Railroad of NJ motorcar – this car belongs to URHS, is presently stored in our container now. 

Old Business – The ‘Member of the Year’ plaque – Carolyn Hoffman will contact Hero’s Salute for perpetual plaque.

New Business – New ticketing system:  The board had a phone conference and presentation for WhistleTix to replace Ticket Turtle.  Overall opinion is it seems to fit much better.  KC Smith contacted Dynamic Ticket Solutions, price per ticket is less but they have a set up fee.  Will set up web presentation as well.  They said they can refund credit card fees which WhistleTix said they could not. 

KC Smith – Signage – Who’s putting out Easter Bunny signs?  Charles Smith to let Justin Kerstner know where they traditionally put them.  Signs to be put out this weekend.

Motion to Adjourn:  Made by Jon Berkemeyer, Seconded by KC Smith. Adjourned 8:30 pm

General Membership Meeting Minutes 16-Feb-2012