January 22, 2014

SWMMBA Meeting Minutes 1/22/14

Meeting was called to order at 6:08 PM at KRESA in Portage, MI. In attendance: Travis Bell, Amy Simmons, Charlene Orwat, Rick McIntosh, Andrew Gray, Mike Needham, Brad Zaplowski, Rollie Johnson And Tony Trojanowski.

Absent board members include Pat Bagi and Gordie Allen.

After sign in was complete the December minutes were reviewed and found to contain an error to be corrected (ACTION ITEM).


Membership is down slightly to 129.

Treasurer’s report included recognition of a $100 donation made to PayPal account on 12/31/13.



  • DNR report was submitted by Tony Trojanowski & Rollie Johnson.
  • The draft for the trail change request form has been finalized and awaits final approval from state level. A copy of draft was available at meeting for review.
  • Trail signage: exception to 3 bid rule not granted. Therefore additional bids will be solicited via Buy4Michigan by the end of January. The goal is to have signs ready by spring.
  • Storage shed has been granted certificate of occupancy.
  • Brush pile burning will take place January, February and perhaps March in the Marsh and Peninsula units
  • MUSH races will take place February 14-16. Be advised that trail grooming with snowmobile will be done prior to race. When asked if SWMMBA could do similar mechanized winter trail grooming, the DNR responded that we could indeed add that to our user permit
  • Park users have noticed large posts that have been erected at Whitford Lake and asked what they are. DNR explained they are hitching posts erected for the equestrians to accommodate their camping events. MTB 101 report was submitted by Charlene Orwat.
  • Previous discussions from last meeting were recapped. After discussion with DNR it was determined that we will be allowed to proceed without a permit until such time as a permit may become necessary. We will be allowed to advertise rides at concession stand and campground office. Additionally, DNR would need the state of MI added to whatever waiver we intend to use. Adopt-A-Trail update was presented by Andy Gray.
  • Discussion included volunteer training, responsibilities & limitations: Volunteers will be given information re: their section, contact numbers for trail boss and appropriate training. Volunteers will be required to notify the DNR when they are doing trail maintenance, will not be allowed to use chain saw but may be permitted to use own power trimmer. Stampede update was presented by Amy Simmons.
  • Volunteers are needed to serve on the stampede committee; anyone interested should contact Cathy or Amy. Subaru and Eaton are committed sponsors. Local bike shops, etc. are being contacted to provide additional support.

Sign update was addressed previously. See DNR update


Approval is moving forward. Budget should be approved in February, with MOU by mid-March. Design and budget development include changing station, bathrooms, water at trail head parking lot and employment trail designer Alex Stewart of Spectrum Trail Design. Kalamazoo Parks depart has applied for grant fund money. SWMMBA will also pursue money through fundraising efforts. Among suggestions were sale of “MG” stickers and establishment of a new trail fund for contributors.



The election of a new treasurer and Advocacy representative has been tabled until more board members are available to discuss.

INSURANCE: Our current policy had been extended through March. A new insurer should be in place at that time. The suggestion to add an equipment coverage rider to policy was again addressed, with the need for an equipment inventory to be completed.


EXPO: Travis will attend expo on Sunday in Lansing to represent SWMMBA advocacy.

DNR LAW ENFORCEMENT SURVEY: After discussion with Rollie of DNR it was determined that SWMMBA would not have significant amount of useful input as we do not have interaction with firearm law enforcement.

COMMUNICATIONS: Considering that social media plays a key role in communication, it was determined that SWMMBA website may need some updating. Additionally, it was discussed that perhaps bikefortcuster.com should be a link on SWMMBA’s webpage rather than a separate site. A communications committee will be established to address this issue.

VISION/MISSION: Travis discussed the importance of an organizational vision & mission statement. He also is very interested in member feedback as well as value. Therefore, he proposes a survey to gauge what members deem important and suggested using survey monkey to help formulate questions. Furthermore, a vision/communication committee may be established to address these concerns, perhaps with the help of a communications coach.

COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: Team Active in Battle Creek is having an “end of winter” party on Friday Feb 28th. A SWMMBA presence and membership drive was proposed. Suggestions included raffling off a stampede race entry and raffle for new member sign ups. A table banner would be useful for these types of events. Amy has agreed to look into the details of getting one made (ACTION ITEM).

Meeting was adjourned at 7:52 PM. Next meeting scheduled for Feb 19th at KRESA.