Other Legal Notices
Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
With the snow that began to fall Monday afternoon came renewed hope from avid snowmobilers that winter is finally on its way. Last week I sat down with Larry Schneider, president of the Central Lakes Snowmobile Association (CLSA), to find out just what's behind the club and what they've been doing without any snow this winter. Now in its eighth year, the CLSA was first formed in the early fall of 1994. Tiny Landwehr, Louis Kunkel, Danny Flaschenreim and Dean Hendrickson founded the club, bringing thirty members to the first meeting. Leading the agenda for the newly-formed club was building a trail from Watkins to Grand Lake, connecting the Stearns and Meeker county trails. The club began work on the trail that fall and was entirely responsible for maintenance of the 13.5-mile trail for the first three years of its existence. The St. Augusta Blizzard Bus-ters groomed the club's trails for the first three years. In the third year, the CLSA began its next major project - building a 22.5-mile trail stemming off of the original trail, leading eastward to Kimball, south to Kingston and finally west to the Meeker County trail system. The club invested $15,000 in its first (used) trail groomer and drag in 1998. That groomer was replaced just this year with a newer model that cost $75,000. Grant-and-aid trails Both of the CLSA's trails are now grant-and-aid trails, meaning that the club receives some reimbursement for maintenance and grooming of the trails. Equipment and labor used for maintenance is reimbursed at 65 percent, and grooming equipment and labor is reimbursed at 90 percent through grants administered by the DNR. Funding for these grants comes from snowmobile registration and one percent of unrefunded gas tax from gas purchased for non-highway use. Any club costs not reimbursed by grant and aid must be paid for through donations and fund-raisers. Donations and fundraisers The Central Lakes Snowmobile Association is indebted to its donors. The two primary donating groups are the Watkins Lions and the Wat-Kim-Valley V.F.W., who have each given several thousand dollars since the club was formed in 1994. The club is also grateful to the Kimball Lions, Mies Equipment, Polaris, Sno-Barons, J-Craft, Bumper to Bumper and Loch's Oil for all their support. The CLSA also holds fundraisers throughout the year. It sponsors a meat raffle at Shorty and Lia's Laborer's Lounge every six weeks year 'round. It receives proceeds from the yearly Wat-Kim-Valley V.F.W. Breakfast which this year will be held on Sunday, Jan. 19. The club will also hold a snowmobile raffle on Saturday, Feb. 22. Prizes include cash, a snowmobile, a lawnmower and a trailer. Tickets can be purchased from club members. Snowmobile Safety Training The CLSA has sponsored snowmobile safety training since its second year. The classes have been so popular that two sets of classes have been held the past two years, one in Kimball and the other in Watkins. Youth classes meet two nights during the week and one day on the weekend.
Effective October 2002, if your birthday is after Dec. 31, 1976, Minnesota law requires that you have a snowmobile safety certificate. The CLSA already held its jam-packed adult safety training this year. For the most current information on snowmobile safety training classes, call (888) Minn-DNR, visit the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/snowmobile, or the Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association's (MnUSA) Web site at www.mnsnowmobiler.org. Safety training classes are taught by volunteers provided with materials from the DNR. The CLSA thanks Steve and Tim Wills and their spouses for coordinating the safety program. The Central Lakes Snowmobile Association today Current CLSA officials are President Larry Schneider, Vice-President Nick Vossen, and Secretary/Treasurer Louis Kunkel. There are also six board members who are elected for three-year terms. The club meets once a month from October through April. If you're interested in attending, the club usually meets on the second Monday of the month at the Pearl Lake Lodge. Club dues are $30, $10 of which goes to the club with the remaining $20 going to MnUSA to provide funding to the organization. (MnUSA is the state representative of snowmobile groups throughout Minnesota.) The Central Lakes Snowmobile Association has spent a lot of time this year working on maintenance. Trails have been widened, and bridges that were in need of maintenance have been repaired. The club has also been planning a family club ride for January, set to start at the Pearl Lake Lodge. Without enough snow, the ride will be postponed until February. The club sends out a huge thank you to those landowners who allow the club to create trails on portions of their property. Schneider also said that he "appreciates landowners tolerating those snowmobilers who don't always stay right on the trail. Many thanks go out to those landowners because you can't have a trail without their cooperation." The Central Lakes Snowmo-bile Association services the communities of Eden Valley, Watkins, Kimball, Pearl Lake and Kingston. The club is always looking for new members and sponsors. For more information, call CLSA president Larry Schneider at (320) 398-7222.