The new Hay River Snowmobile Club is in business.
The organization held its first annual general meeting on Dec. 17 with the creation of an executive as the top priority.
The first president is Junior Barnes.
Other members of the executive are vice-president David Scheller, treasurer Tyler Townend, secretary Alex Parkes and directors Darryl Buhler, Derek Mundy and Dylan Carter.
Barnes said they were very pleased with the meeting, which attracted about 18 people.
“Right from the first bit of a whisper on the streets of us starting this and the excitement, it’s definitely carried through to the meeting and it’s carried past the meeting,” he said. “I think it is genuinely an exciting thing for a lot of people.”
Barnes noted that everybody who attended the meeting signed up as club members and there have been a few others since.
That is definitely a good start for the new club, he added.
The club was registered as a non-profit society even before the first meeting.
One of the main goals of the organization is to upgrade and maintain the snowmobile trails in the Hay River area.
“We’re looking at the prospects for getting the trails completely done,” said Barnes, noting some club members have already done brushing.
The club president said some of the trails are in really bad shape, while others are just rough.
Signage also needs improvements to let snowmobilers know where they are while travelling on the trails.
“We want to get markers up and signs, so anybody can at any time look at a sign and say exactly where they are,” said Barnes.
Aside from Old Town and the lagoon loop, he noted there are about 76 km of trails in the area, not including highway passages.
If the highway passages are included, there are up to 140 km of drivable snowmobile trails in the Hay River to Enterprise area.
“I want these trails to be wide open and cleared so anybody can use them,” said Barnes, noting they could help boost tourism in Hay River.
Aside from clearing trails, Barnes said the Hay River Snowmobile Club will look at possibly holding a fun event, perhaps two, this winter.
That will depend on getting trails opened up, he said. “They’re not going to be perfect this year, but we definitely are excited to try to get something organized.”