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December Meeting Minutes

Mike's Hobby Shop, Porter

Houston Area G Gaugers Meeting Minutes December 9, 2019

Meeting held at Mike’s Hobby Shop in Porter, TX;  20 people in attendance.

Meeting was called to order at 3:00 PM by Craig Pecora.
President’s opening remarks (Craig Pecora). Craig thanked Mike and Amber Eberle for hosting the meeting and preparing a nice spread of wonderful food.

Craig inquired if anyone went to see George HW Bush funeral train this past week. Bill & Barbara Courtright replied that they did and that it was very moving to see the casket go by. Craig & Paulette went to Spring to see it just leaving the station--it was a wonderful experience.

Petroleum Club—set up went pretty well with 8-10 people in attendance on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Approximately 10 members turned out to set it up. The Petroleum Club notified Chuck Blumentritt that the layout was having some issues but then Jose (the Petroleum Club employee who runs the layout) called Chuck and said it was all back to working. The cable car, cogwheel train and trolley were all having some issues which has been the case in prior years as well. Joe Stucca inquired when we would take it down. Chuck replied he is not sure but traditionally it is on January 1 st . Chuck will send an email to let everyone know once he gets with the Petroleum Club and the takedown is set.

Tomball RR Museum layout in November—The Club set up the modular layout under a large tent in front of the Tomball RR Museum on November 10 th for a city event. All went well although it was wet, damp and cold. Over 700 visitors signed in at the museum that day. Everyone was very pleased with our attendance.

In the coming year, there are a number of topics to be addressed including:
 A) Meeting dates—we will consider having meetings on a less frequent basis like every other month or once per quarter                in an attempt to get more people to attend meetings.

       B) The Club has around 100 members and sometimes we only get 15 or fewer people at meetings.

 C) Trailer for the layout—we will form a committee and investigate purchasing a trailer for the modular layout.

 D) Nominating Committee—at least three members are needed to form a nominating committee for the officer                                 elections.

       E) Club wants—we will consider whether we should purchase more green floor tiles to cover all of the interior of the                      layout. Also, we would like to get put together a club tool kit so we have the tools needed to assemble and trouble                      shoot/repair issues on the layout.

        F) Reimbursement for pulling trailer to events—it takes extra gas to pull the rented trailer to events. We will discuss                      coming up with a stipend for whoever pulls the trailer for the club to reimburse them for gasoline cost.

 Vice President’s remarks  (Jim Mitchell). Jim is getting ready to renew the HAGG domain name for approximately $25 for three years. I stated this wrong, it is only for one year, I'm looking for a better price.
Treasurer’s report  (Charlie Caggiano). Charlie reported we have about $4,665 in the club bank account as of the end of November. We have received the first check from the Petroleum Club ($1,250) which was deposited in December and is not included in the November balance. They also pay members $150 to rent trains to run on their layout. So far only Chuck Blumentritt has loaned his trains. We are caught up on expenses except for a recent reimbursement request for lunch during the Petroleum Club set up. Other future expenses are expected for the newsletter. Jim Mitchel is making
mobile deposits for membership renewals in order to get checks deposited timely.

Questions included: Bill Courtright—Does the club still buy insurance? Not liability insurance; only for the storage unit as part of the monthly rent.

Joe Stuca--What are we going to do with green carpet in storage? This will be discussed under new business. When will HAGG become a 501©3 organization so that we can deduct mileage on our taxes for assisting with club activites? Charlie responded we will never become such an organization. We are a social club and further explained we will owe some income tax on funds earned from Petroleum Club at 15% rate after $1000 exemption.

Secretary’s report  (Craig Pecora). Craig reported he had received an email from Lisa Rickert with  her resignation. She indicated with all the things going on with her family and job, she doesn’t have the time to attend all the meetings and be the club secretary. Brenda Cauthen is going to be the new secretary.

Newsletter editor’s report  (Chuck Blumentritt). Chuck reported he will probably be getting out the next edition this week. He has received some articles so probably have enough to put a newsletter together.

Web Site  (Jim Mitchell). Jim reported he will get the club domain name paid for.

Rosenberg Railroad Museum update  (Greg Cauthen). Greg reported Rosenberg Christmas nights was last night and that it went well other than being really cold and damp. The museum had over 1100 visitors come through the museum. While the museum doesn’t make money off the event, it get lots of exposure from people who had never been to the museum. Photos with Santa was moved to the gallery in the museum because of the cold and wet weather. WinterFest is the next fundraising event on January 12 th . The museum mixes artificial snow for the kids to play in. It is generally lots of fun and there has been a good reception of the event. Garden RR Layout—The Thursday volunteer crew keeps it looking really good. It is almost 5 yrs old now and is in need of some track work. We will have a work session to work on it—need to do
leveling and gauge checking--will do that when it warms up some.

New Business (Craig Pecora). We need to clean out storage unit--Carpet—we won’t use it again. Brenda Cauthen suggested the Rosenberg Railroad Museum could use it around the snow areas at WinterFest. Jim Mitchell made a motion that the club donate the carpet to the Rosenberg Railroad Museum. Joe Stuca seconded. The motion passed unanimously. The club stanchions also take up room at the storage unit. Greg agreed RRM could store stanchions since they are used at the three fundraiser festival events.

January & February meeting locations—we need a location for the January and February meetings. Let Craig know if you can host the meeting.

New business (Brenda Cauthen) Brenda mentioned that the Houston Museum of Natural Science has the Trains over Texas exhibit again this holiday season. Several people have been to see it and it is an impressive layout. Monte Pence went on a tour with another group and got to go behind the scenes and it was very interesting. Brenda called to see when the exhibit ends but was told there is not a definitive date. Maybe the club should consider a group tour in January if it works out. Paulette Pecora will investigate.

Craig and Paulette wished everyone a Merry Christmas and happy new year. Craig also pointed out Mike is helping Santa fulfill train wishes with plenty of shopping after we adjourn.

Adjourn meeting  (Craig Pecora) at 3:40 pm.

Minutes submitted by Brenda Cauthen

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