A Message From our President October 17, 2014
To all our dedicated volunteers,
It’s another rainy day in Muskoka and I am trying to get my head around snowmobiling again. For those of you that know me, I live sledding year round! So much has been going on over the summer I don’t know where to start. As many are aware, we need a crossing over the CP Rail tracks in Bala on C114 (the infamous Oka Road Trail) to get the trail off Hwy. # 38 and the Hwy. #169 junction. To this end, Mike Webb and myself have been in touch with various engineering firms to get some quotes on put this project together. This portion of the project alone is in excess of $20,000.00. I have applied to the OFSC for funding and have been informed that our application was forwarded on to The National Trails Coalition, which is the federal body in charge of distributing the 10 Million dollars that was announced by the federal government back in the spring. The Province of Ontario was eligible for $ 750,000.00 of the total amount. I just received notice that our final approval should be coming some time near the end of this month. Our portion of the grant is 50% of the total cost. The OfSC has agreed to cover half of our cost and the rest is up to us. The MSR has committed $2,000.00 at this point and we will be responsible for the balance. We will need about $ 3,500.00 which will clean out our bank account. All this just to make a presentation to CP Rail to see if they will us to build the bridge. The estimated cost of the new trail and bridge is about $ 200,000.00. That being said, it is evident that we will need to do some fund raising in the future since we will likely be asked to put funds toward the future bridge.
Fund raising is never a fun thing to do but I have spoken to a few other clubs around us and found that they have had very good luck with year long bottle drives. I am looking into this as well. I am hoping that some of our volunteers would be willing to work with me on this and get it rolling. If we don’t get moving on raising funds there is no reason to continue with the bridge project. That would be a huge loss for everyone.
Another item we are working on is installing a new bridge on C101D (the Bob Kenwright Memorial Trail) at the Southwood Road end. This bridge is over 20 years old, rotted and had a very large beaver dam under it. Last Saturday, Oct 11, ProLine Rentals supplied us with an excavator for this adventure. ProLine provides us with the use of much needed equipment on an as necessary basis. If you need equipment be sure to use them. It is our way of thanking them. Let them know you are a club member. Gary Quaife and I were able to remove the bridge and the beaver dam under it. Gary has been monitoring it all week and looks like the beavers have not yet tried to rebuild the dam. We are planning to rebuild the bridge, including hauling in the lumber on Saturday Oct. 25 at 9:00 am. We sure need help from you since we also have to brush the trail to get the material in. If you can help out please e-mail me and let me know your availability. We have a few other brushing projects to tend to as well and are scheduling one for every Saturday from now till the snow flies. It has been so wet that we have not been able to access many of our trails to this point. I am sure lots of unforeseen situations will arise as we start to access our trail system. I will keep you posted.
The next big item to deal with is the installation of the Port Carling bridges and rope barricades. Bob McTavish is setting this up and we expect it to be December 6th. Gary or I will keep everyone informed. As in the past, with a few good helpers this job has generally gone quite quickly. We will likely install the “T” bar posts and rope barricades before that time. Hopefully before the ground freezes.
Just a final reminder to be sure to purchase your trail permit on line by Nov. 1 to get the discounted price of $ 180.00. The Toronto Snowmobile and ATV Show is coming up next weekend and our club will be manning the MSR booth on Friday evening from 5:00pm till 9:00pm. If you are planning to drop down, stop in and we can gab about sledding in Muskoka.
Bob Hogg has been trying to keep our website current and needs pictures and information to be put into it. Please send him any pictures and comments you may have that would be help with the updates. Thanks for being involved in sending photos and comments on our web page. It is very difficult to keep it current since we have very little going on here in the summer months.
I hope this brings you some what up to date and as time moves on, I will be sending out more information. Watch for our “HELP” requests and please let me know your availability. We always need help. If you are available during the week, we can arrange for a work project for us to get to.
See you on the trails, work season is upon us.