• by Ed Vermette, Princeton ATV Club

Princeton ATV Club AGM

Princeton ATV Club Executive

President Ed Vermette

Vice President Jim Manion

Secretary/Treasurer Tanis Moss

Directors Larry Materi

Ruth Vermette

Presidents report and discussion:

Membership – Princeton ATV Club currently has over 118 members; many of these members are supporters from other clubs throughout the province who want to ride in our area and more importantly, spend their money here! This is a significant number considering most clubs are only 40 paid members.

Current Situation – As everyone is aware, our petition was ignored and subject to ridicule by the opposing side of this issue. This does not mean it ends here. Everything we are currently working on is to correct this decision. We are receiving strong support from ATVBC and from around the province. There is great interest in what we are trying to accomplish. Our numbers are our strength. We need to continue to build up our club and keep this issue alive to see this decision reversed. As an organized group, we need to be responsible and act with diplomacy.

Designated Alternate Route – The Town of Princeton Select Committee has met a few times to discuss an alternate route bypassing Princeton. I was recently contacted regarding the alternate route which has plans to cross the highway at Rainbow Lake, travel behind the racetrack, cross Merritt highway, run along the airport, drop down and cross China Creek, then turn right up to Snowpatch and over the Connelly Creek area accessing the cross country trails, before dropping down to the Coalmont highway a few miles from the White Sands turn off before Coalmont. I was asked for my input by way of letter and on behalf of the club. I strongly opposed any alternative route and especially oppose the idea of heavy traffic on the established cross country trails. I also explained that we do not advocate the use of these trails. The very idea of combining the two groups is a design by council to set up the alternate route for failure. This alternate route does not reflect the wishes or the economic situation of the community, our club or the businesses. In fact, it sends a clear message to tourists that we do not welcome them and “please drive around us”.

ATV/BC Meeting in Princeton – We are very fortunate to be chosen as the community to host the annual Face to Face meeting. There could be representation from all the clubs in BC attending. Princeton has been chosen because of our current situation regarding the KVR and the attention we have garnered this past year. We should be prepared to welcome them and do whatever we can to make it successful. We are currently coordinating with Similkameen Valley ATV Riders to help with the Friday evening social event and fund raisers. Princeton ATV Club is planning a fundraiser for the event by means of a raffle and 50/50 draw. ATVBC and the Similkameen Valley Riders are offering our club all profits to help our club with our costs to continue our fight for shared trails along the KVR. We have had an overwhelming amount of support from our business community. With their donations, we are considering selling tickets and the buyer can choose which prize they would prefer to win by placing the tickets with that prize much like the hockey tournaments do.

Non-Profit Society – We are currently in the process of registering the club as a non-profit society, so that we can apply for grants and gaming license to raise funds necessary to improve our trails. A motion was made by Jim Manion to apply for Non-Profit status, seconded by Ruth Vermette, all those in attendance were in favor of the motion. Ed Vermette will look into it this week.

Princeton Poker Run – There is a tentative poker run being considered for our area in June. Hillbilly Promotions has requested a permit from Town Hall to travel through Princeton. Details should be released shortly. If this ride is approved, we encourage everyone to participate. Although this is not a Princeton ATV Club initiative, we have been asked for volunteers for the event. Please help if you can and I will keep you informed as the information becomes available.

Princeton Rotary Parade – It has been suggested that Princeton ATV Club participate in the parade this year. This is an opportunity to send a message about “shared trails”. Signs or banners with our slogans could send a positive message and help with our end goal. We can apply for an entry if enough people are interested in participating.

Circle Route via KVR - There has been many discussions regarding a circle route towards Summerland off the KVR. A local rancher in the area has offered property for ATV day use and camping at Trout Creek along the KVR. This is something both clubs could be involved with and there is money available in the way of a grant to complete the project. A trip in the spring is being planned to view the site and discuss the possibilities. If this is something our clubs wish to pursue, we will be discussing the possibilities with the land owner and applying for a grant from ATVBC. These types of ideas will secure our rights along the KVR for future generations.

Advertising and Promotion – We have secured advertising space in the Kettle Valley Magazine to be published in the spring. We have been interviewed by Riders West Magazine and the article sends a strong message of our position. We have purchased rack cards for the insurance companies that explain about our club and membership information. We have built and purchased a web page that we encourage everyone to take part in by supplying the club with any photos you may have or take.

Raffle Tickets – ATV/BC Annual Raffle is an opportunity for our club to earn a few dollars and support our BC cause of shared trails. For every book of tickets we sell, we can earn $10 for our club. The raffle has some really great prizes this year, First prize is a 2017 Can-Am 850 Max XT or $13,000, 2nd prize is a 3000 Watt Honda Generator, third prize is $1750 ATV/BC Gift Certificate, and fourth prize is a $750 gift certificate. It was decided that the club would get a few books to sell.

Princeton ATV Club is now a paid member of the Chamber of Commerce and we are encouraging all clubs to join their local Chamber. There is strength in numbers. The chamber can help our clubs as well as the economic development for the businesses they represent and support our cause. We look forward to working with the Chamber and setting a new direction for our community.

ATV/BC Poker Run – this annual event will be held in Merritt for the second year in a row on June 24th. Our club hopes to hold it in Princeton once we correct the bylaw issue. There are usually some really great prizes to be had and we encourage our members to participate in this event.

TOTA – Thompson Okanagan Tourist Association. After our meeting last October in Princeton, it was brought to our attention that TOTA was interested in making the KVR non-motorized in our area. ATVBC and local clubs including Princeton ATV Club began writing letters expressing our concerns. ATVBC has since met with the president of TOTA, and all local clubs were invited to participate in an online survey. We have just received notification that all stakeholders will be invited to a meeting in Kelowna, sometime in March. This includes Princeton ATV Club, Similkameen Valley Riders ATV Club, Princeton & District Chamber of Commerce, Vermilion Trails Society and the Tulameen Community Club.

Merritt Chamber of Commerce – We have had correspondence with Merritt Chamber of Commerce about a designated route to Merritt via the KVR. This would take in Coalmont, Tulameen, Brookmere and Kingsvale. Merritt Chamber of Commerce realizes the economic benefits of the proposal and would like to discuss this idea further. This idea and the circle route at shinnish creek area are extremely important to our club, our businesses and our community. By creating these routes we are protecting the Right to Ride for future generations.

Closing Comments - Everything we can do to keep this issue alive will help our cause and your participation in any and all events and meetings is detrimental to that end. It is very possible we will have to take the motorized issue on the KVR within town boundaries to the next civic election. Our numbers and participation will be the key to our success at overturning this decision and recognizing our rights and economic benefits.

If you have not yet joined the club, please contact us.

Meeting adjourned.Annual General Meeting

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