Our sport, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC), OFSC District One, and BEAST are all under serious financial pressure to maintain trail operations while trying to life cycle the aging provincial groomer fleet. To address these issues, and others, the OFSC has developed More on the Snow (MOTS) – a 5 year strategic initiative.
To summarize, the objectives of the MOTS plan are:
- Increased Participation. By increasing overall participation (through attraction and retention of riders) by 6% to 100,000 permits.
- Improved Organization Effectiveness. By developing a new organizational structure, reducing the number of organizational layers from three (OFSC, District, Club) to two (OFSC and District) with local clubs becoming chapters of the District.
- Developing a groomer fleet asset management program and a groomer fleet operational management program.
- Become Valued Stewards and Partners. By continuing to pursue long term government support programs.
Key points of the plan to highlight:
- The current groomer fleet is too large to financially sustain.
- 70% of the fleet is over 10 years old with more than 5000 hours.
- Groomer Asset Management would allow the OFSC to take a provincial approach to life cycle management (vs the current approach of clubs managing this).
- Grooming Operational Management would be shifted more so to the District to manage (vs the current approach of clubs managing this).
- Reduce # of back-up groomers.
- Remove artificial grooming boundaries between clubs.
- OFSC bought 16 new groomers to kick start the program at a cost of $4M.
- Estimate average cost of a purpose built groomer is now $300K.
- High workload on a small group of volunteers is concerning.
- Impending new not-for-profit legislation is concerning.
- Local and provincial grants and other funding opportunities are not being utilized.
- Reducing in administration costs thru Framework for change was not realized.
- Standardize the size and operations between districts.
- Current organizational structure causes barriers.
- Need to reduce groomer fleet from 360 to 246 by purchasing 101 new groomers and removing 215. Need $4M to $6M annually to achieve plan.
- Hiring of 6 regional positions to support clubs and Districts
- Reduce the number of Districts from 16 to 12. This change will allow all districts to have on average 2700 Km’s of trail with 15+ clubs participating.
- Districts manage all funds. Clubs only coordinate payment of minor expenses.
- New District structure would see District 1 reorganized to Ottawa Region with 17 clubs (including BEAST) with a total of 3062 kms of trails (down from ~4000 kms)
- Standardized District bylaws and operating procedures.
- District 1 is targeted to go from 50 groomers to 29.
Volunteers are getting older and fewer. For years the same volunteers have been doing all the heavy lifting to support their club. MOTS addresses this directly with significant organizational changes to remove the administrative burden away from them.
The details to all of these proposed changes are further explained in documents that can be made available to you. If you wish an expanded explanation of all the changes, please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org and the files will be sent to you. There is quite a bit of reading there so do not leave it to the last minute before our meeting.
At this year’s OFSC AGM in September, our club has 2 votes to say yeah or nay to these changes. Your understanding of these changes is very important to us and at our next BEAST meeting on Thursday, September 1st 2016 we will be discussing how we want our delegates to vote. If you can, please make a special effort to come to our meeting to learn more about MOTS.
The future of our club and snowmobiling is at stake.