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Minutes: April 11, 2020

WTA Meeting
April 11, 2020
Teleconference due to COVID-19 Pandemic

The 04/11/20 teleconference Board of Director’s meeting of the Wisconsin Trapshooting Association was called to order at 9:05 am by Fritz Thistle, President.  Directors present were N/E Don Chrapla and YZ Weisensel, N/W Keith Lehmann and Rich Johnson, S/W LaVerne Lehmann, ATA Delegate Kevin Doerring, 1st Alt. Delegate Dwight Paulin, 2nd Alt. Delegate Fritz Thistle, Treasurer Taylor Katzenberg, Executive Assistant/Shoot Coordinator Amy Jenkins.  Absent is S/E Bob Ebbers and S/E Ron Rousseau.

Also present at the meeting:

Chops, John Coniff, Jeff Recob, Tate Barwald

Meeting started at 9:05 am.

Wifi/TV/Responder – TV Antennae:  Kevin got a hold of Tom.  He gave him Chops’ number and they were supposed to talk.  Chops did speak to Tom.  All we can do right now is put in the two base sections in including the concrete.  Will need at least 2.5 yards of concrete, 2x4s and we will need to buy the two base sections (4 sections to start out with).  Chops will need to know where we want them.  If we put one section in by the shower house we will need to be very careful when digging as he doesn’t know where any of the utilities are buried.  Digger’s Hotline will not mark our lines as we are private property.  Amy will check with Ron on the amount to make sure he is still willing to donate this.  YZ is willing to help if needed.

EVR water/electric:
$8000 quote was for the pedestals and does include the pump house changes.  Amy asked if we should be holding off on this project not knowing the future of our summer business.  Taylor suggested waiting until the end of the April to see if the Safer at Home is lifted.  Rich agreed to not spend any money at this time.  This will be tabled until the next meeting to see how the pandemic is going.

Don made a motion to table the EVR project until the next meeting. Rhino seconded it.  So carried.

Fritz has had numerous communications with the league.  There will be no state shoots held in 2020 and the national shoot has been postponed at this point.  Jeff Recob spoke with John (marketing) at HSCTL and the fall league interest is up 738% from last year as the youth want to shoot.  A lot will have to do with whether or not the schools will be able to open back up if they can complete the spring league for this year.

They have not yet made a decision on holding their state shoot.  They would like to have their state shoot even if it is only 300 athletes rather than 1800 plus.

Kettle Moraine:
Gary DeSmitt said they may be interested in moving their state shoot from mid-May to June.  He would like to offer his high school senior shooters the ability to finish their season.

Strategic Plan:
Teleconference was held with the DNR on 04/01/20.  There are two grants available.  The first is a Stewardship grant from campgrounds.  There are many requirements, most of which require local government involvement and initiative.  The plan would be to develop a nature based recreational facility on leased property:  requires a lease for a minimum of 25 years so local government can receive money to develop a campground (WTA East campground).  Fritz does not recommend signing off property rights to the Town of Rome to expand camping.  The second grant is a grant to improve the shooting range.  These grants are for matching funds that can be applied for every other year in even numbered years.  With the uncertainty of future income we will not pursue a grant at this time.  We would have to pay the full amount for any projects up front and the DNR would reimburse for half after the project is completed.  Don suggested waiting because we have income from lead shot reclamation in the future that could be used for the matching funds.

Don made a motion to table the discussion about the 25 year lease with the town of Rome as we are not in favor of this. YZ seconded.  So carried.

Noise Ordinance:
Fritz referenced Wisconsin State Statute 895.527 Sporting Range Activities.  This statute details immunity from civil liability and/or local noise related ordinance. Therefore, no variance would be needed from the Town of Rome for any noise ordinance.


Secretary’s Report:
Amy did not have much to report.  She has been canceling camping reservations for HSCTL.  Some have canceled for SCTP because they are unsure what is going to happen and they said with no practice time they are not planning to attend the SCTP state shoot.  Many registered shoots have been canceled in April and May.  Amy was contacted by the ATA yesterday asking if we were planning to advertise in the May edition of the Trap and Field for our state shoot.  The price is $400 for a full page ad.

Kevin made a motion to place the ad in Trap and Field.  Rhino seconded.  So carried. 

Update:  Trap and Field had a deadline of 4/14 for the May issue; due to not being able to get a new ad created before the deadline, we will not advertise for the state shoot this year.  Trap and Field said a lot of states are not advertising this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Treasurer’s Report:
Taylor sent the report and budget via email this week.  Right now we have $90,000 in River Cities, $32,000 in the Homegrounds account; there is $7800 and $5600 in savings.  Jeff asked if we have looked in to applying for a disaster reduction loan.  Taylor has started looking in to this.  Jeff said that they are giving grants for businesses losing money because of the pandemic.  Taylor talked to the accountant and they filed an extension on completing our taxes.  We will now be filing taxes in November.  We will not be incurring any late penalties.

Rhino made a motion to approve the Treasurer’s report.  Don seconded it.  So carried.

They are willing to suspend our payments if necessary.  We owe under $700,000 at this time (after our April payment). If we were to suspend payments, the interest continues to grow.  Dwight suggested that this be a last resort to suspend.  Jeff Recob agreed this would be a last resort.

Delegate’s Report:
Kevin stated they had a teleconference on 3/26.  Kevin read the minutes to the board.  Target year will end as normal at the end of August; however, if a state shoot was not able to be held prior to the Grand, they would allow the state to hold the shoot until the end of the calendar year.  There will not be a champion of champion at this grand, but likely two next year.  Some states are combining state shoots with zone shoots.  Georgia just rescheduled to July 11; they had been canceled originally.  Pennsylvania said they will be holding all of their shoots.  The Executive Committee will have another meeting on the 26th.  Kevin summarized the information that was sent out by the ATA President in a letter on April 2nd.  The letter stated the possible cancellation of the Grand American will be announced by June 15.

Homegrounds Hosts / Opening Campground:
Fritz has had a lot of phone calls with WACO and DATCP regarding opening the campground.  Campgrounds are considered essential.  We have the ability to close the shower house and impose other restrictions as needed.  La Crosse and Jackson Counties have closed their campgrounds.  Tate asked if we have talked to the Town of Rome about this because they have suspended all camping permits.

One host moved in to the grounds about two weeks ago.  He has been working around the facility since he arrived.  Fritz and Don moved the campers out of the hoop building and put them on sites on vendor row.  Bill and Helen are supposed to be arriving the end of April.  They are considered to be snowbirders so will need to be quarantined upon arrival or stay six feet apart.  Fritz will likely put Bill and Helen on the line for now.

Five Stand:
We have a quote for 5 stand for $18,000 from MEC.  Jeff talked to Shawn at MEC and we don’t have to decide on the purchase at this time.  Jeff suggested that we may want to apply for this through the DNR; our half would be $9000.  John said that we have the money to pay for it. There is over $35,000 in the Friends account right now.  It would leave us $17,000.  It is possible if we have no income this year, we will need to use the Friends money to get through the year.  Jeff thinks this would bring us money in the winter time if we could figure out a way to get a trailer set up.  Fritz is not a fan of starting winter shooting at the Homegrounds due to plowing, staffing, etc.  The DNR is looking at if we are successful in our business as they want to provide money to businesses that are successful. Rich stated that Eau Claire has about 700 shooters and they took out their 5-stand due to lack of use.  They put it in at Osceola and Rich suggested they not do it and now it never gets used.  Tate asked what about the agreement with the Heart of Wisconsin.  He said it is like someone that can’t make money selling cars; so then you sell boats; can’t make any money selling boats, so go to fixing cars.  At what point do we stop?  He said we are not the Wisconsin Sporting Association.  John said we are reducing our risk to remain successful.  He said it is in our best interest to increase revenue when we can.  Tate said he was on the Board for 3 or 4 years; he knows how difficult it is to get volunteers.  What happens when we have some shooters and now we have to hire someone to manage the 5-stand?  Will there be enough income from 5 stand to do this?   Or will we be at a break even again and never make enough to pay for the equipment?  Tate said there are two near us within a 15 mile radius that both have their own clientele and they are ONLY busy in the winter because you can’t shoot sporting clays and the 5 stand is heated.  Tate said this is the absolute worst time to think about spending $18,000.  Don said if we can hold the state shoot he thought we should go ahead with the purchase.  Fritz said we already lost the HSCTL, unknown about KM and likely a small SCTP shoot…..already out a lot of income for this year.  Taylor stated that we might not even be able to use it this year based on the pandemic restrictions.  Taylor said this decision needs to be postponed for now.  Jeff agreed that if we hold it for few months, MEC will be fine with it.  If we don’t make our decision until next year Jeff thinks that we probably would lose out on the deal.

Rhino made a motion to table this discussion on 5 stand.  Rich seconded.  So carried.

Shoot Schedule
WTA:  May 2 and 3 shoot is canceled at this time.  We will determine at a later date if it will be rescheduled.

YZ made a motion to cancel the May shoot.  Rich seconded.  So carried.

State Shoot:

  • Shoot Program – Amy sent out the program to the Directors for review. Carol Keeley will be sending some information to Deana to fill some of the blank pages.  Also looking to use a bunch of pictures from the new building to fill the pages.  Amy and Taylor proposed to NOT publish/print the program this year due to the unknown of being able to hold the state shoot and/or the possibility of postponing it.  Amy stated that any business that advertised this year would automatically have their ad placed next year at no cost.  As an advertiser Jeff agreed that this is a really good idea and as a shooter he agreed that they would be fine with everything being posted online.   Tate said MN moved their pre-squad date.  Taylor suggested we move ours. Kevin stated that maybe we should leave it as is.  However, Amy said that if we leave it and the shoot does get rescheduled, everyone will be out that pre-squad money and shooters will need to pre-squad again and pay again.  Kevin agreed with that.  Taylor suggested moving pre-squad to open on May 30th hoping that we will have a better idea by then if the shoot will be held as scheduled or postponed to a future date.

                 Rhino made a motion to not publish the program.  YZ seconded.  So carried.

                Kevin made a motion to move pre-squad opening to May 30 at noon.  Rhino seconded.  So carried.

Event Shirts (Fine Design, Marty) – John worked out an agreement to have Jim Poublon use our logo and anyone could buy a shirt with our logo on it. Chops will sell sweatshirts, hoodies and hats.  All the profits will go to the Friends and goes right back in to the organization; he does not have a problem with others selling shirts at the state shoot as long as it doesn’t interfere with his products.  John suggested that if they all want to come have at it.  Amy will discuss with Fine Design and Marty to see what they say.

Round Table:

Fritz: We will need hand sanitizer and wipes for the buildings and bathrooms.  He has been looking for flag poles and Dan Gallagher found some and they have been delivered to the grounds.  They will be installed in front of the building.  He said that if we did want to expand the east end campground that we would not have to put in a shower house right away. We could put some porta potties and that would satisfy the regulations of DATCP.

John discussed the status of the Kolar raffle.  If we postpone the raffle, it has to be done within 60 days of the original raffle date.  If we cancel, we have to send all the money back and provide proof that we did that.  If we do postpone, there are a few other requirements that we have to do.  If we have the state shoot within the 60 day window, it is possible to have the raffle.  Do we have enough time to sell the tickets?  We should be able to sell enough tickets to break even.  Amy and Paul have sold close to 100 tickets at this time.  John will talk to Jeff Mainland to see what he wants to do.  He will report back by Monday with Jeff’s wishes on the raffle.

John has the stands ready for the computer and will have them done by the end of May.

Typically around this time we determine who gets the youth grants.  He can give us a report on who applied and we will need to determine who receives them.  He will send something via email so that a decision can be made on who will receive the youth grants this year.

Deanna will get the program changes made with the printer on Monday.  She will update the pre-squad time to May 30th at noon and fix the cover page.

Don Chrapla:
We will need to wait until this order is lifted before we can determine a work day to open the campground.

He may have a possible food vendor; he will contact Glenn Hammerly with information.

He said that the Cassville shoot on May 2 has been canceled.  All of their shoots for the season did not appear in the Trap and Field magazine.  Amy will contact ATA to see what the status is.

Next meeting is May 9th at 9am at Homegrounds.

Kevin made a motion to adjourn.  Don seconded.  So carried.

Meeting adjourned at 11:30 am.