The meeting was called to order by President Chet Blake at approximately 6:30pm with 18 members in attendance and one guest. Club Officers were introduced by the club President, Chet Blake:

  • President – Chet Blake
  • Vice President – Jim Reynolds
  • Secretary – Rick Hanners
  • Treasurer – Ron Swift
  • Safety Officer – Vince Bell
  • Field Manager – Jay Bell
  • Webmaster – Ron Rueter
  • Newsletter Editor – Ron Swift

Field manager Jay Bell and Webmaster Ron Rueter were not in attendance.  Chet called for additions or corrections to the minutes as published on the web/newsletter.  No one provided any corrections and a motion was made to accept the minutes.  The minutes were approved.


VP – April 19th has been scheduled as our Good Bye Fern Bluff Potluck Party.  Jim asked that as this is a potluck affair, everyone bring something to share with other people.  The grill will be available for cooking and there will be open flying.  April 26th is scheduled as our moving day, rain or shine.  April 27th is reserved as another work party day to move anything we were not able to move on the 26th.  Both events will start at 10am although people can show up earlier.  The Builders Contest is scheduled for the June meeting and will be in one of the buildings at the Boy Scout camp, more information about the exact location as we get closer to that date.  There is still time to enter and the newsletter has information about the contest.

The Arlington Eagles have generously given our club permission to use their field to fly at while we develop the new site.  The field is located at the intersection of 249th St NE and Highway 530, about a mile out of Arlington.  If anyone needs directions you should contact Jim Reynolds.  They do have a lock on the gate when people aren’t there.  If planning to go to the Arlington field, contact Jim Reynolds and he can provide the gate combo.  One thing to be aware of is NOT to fly behind their flight line as they have some issues with a neighbor.  In addition, there is a sign in sheet in the shed and a frequency board that their club would like us to use.

Secretary - The membership level at the present time is 28 paid members.  The AMA charter renewal has been received.  The AMA originally sent the renewal charter for a club in Minnesota but then did send out the correct renewal charter about a day later.  The current landlady has been sent an insurance certificate that will cover us for the month of April.  Lois Mock at the AMA was contacted in regards to switching over the insurance to the new site.  This will all be done at the end of April.  Chet asked if the landlady would be notified about canceling the current insurance at the Fern Bluff site but the AMA will need to be contacted to find the answer.  Moving the insurance from the old to new location should not cost us extra money.

Treasurer – The club treasury stands at a healthy level.  We still have the money earmarked for our donation to the Monroe Food Bank.  Chet and Ron were going to get together to finally turn over the donation to the food bank.  No new membership dues were received since the last meeting.

Safety Officer - No safety issues have been reported.  

Newsletter Editor - Printed copies of the newsletter are available for anyone who wishes a hard copy.  Ron asks that if people take pictures at the Potluck Party, to please send copies to him and Ron Rueter, for possible newsletter/website usage.


Builders Contest

The Builders contest has been moved to June.  Brian Reightly found that the meeting hall or possible other areas at Camp Brinkley should be available on Tuesday nights for our use when we have the Builders Contest but he still needs to verify that.

Current Field

Ron Swift and Jay Bell were able to move the old wood shed material to the storage area at the new field site using Ron’s new 20 foot trailer.  Jay has moved other items from the field, such as the lawn mower.  He is going to try and move other items when he can just to cut down on what finally needs to be moved on April 26th.  Jim Reynolds brought up the fact that we need the Porta-Potti’s cleaned before we leave and Jay was going to be contacted about that.  

Meeting Location

As we won’t really have a good place to meet next month, it was decided to schedule the May meeting at Alfy’s again.  Chet was going to get that scheduled with the Alfy’s management.


Current Field

Nothing new regarding the cabins out at the field.  There are just piles of wood from when the cabins were taken apart at their old location.  From talks with the volunteers it appears that they are going to put together as many cabins as possible from the materials available but most likely the total number won’t be 10.  There was even talk that some sort of meeting hall might be erected.  All of this to be done after we have left.

Camp Brinkley Development

Brian Reightly introduced Rob Sarsten, who he has been working with since August on his current project at Camp Brinkley.  He is basically the “dirt guy” who has the equipment and man power available to develop the field.  A number of points got brought up in the discussion of field development:

•   We can’t just scrap off the top layer of grass and vegetation as the ground is to swampy underneath.  The runway and anything else would need to be built up on top of the current ground once the ground has dried up sufficiently.

•   The ground usually dries up enough by the June/July time of the year but this is very variable depending on the amount of rain in April and May.  The water table though out the whole area is very high and has been for longer than most of us have been alive.

•   Sometime after the 13th of this month, Rob can do a partial start by removing the blackberry bushes on the slope near the corral which we envision as part of our parking lot area.  Once what is under there is known, it can be decided how to proceed to improve it for parking.

•   Even though the ground is soft where the runway will eventually be built up, Rob was pretty sure that with a thick compacted layer, there should be minimal to no ground subsidence once in place.  The runway and other dirt will have to be put down in layers and he expects that an 18” deep layer of fill should be sufficient but if not, more layers can be added.

•   Someone asked if the area could be drained at all, the answer is no as the whole area is one high water table/swamp type of area.

•   The size of the gate and area to get equipment in was brought up.  Rob will have to investigate if there is sufficient clearance for his equipment as things exist now.

•   Rob is going to donate the fuel for the machinery.  He estimates approximately 30 man hours of work @ $25 an hour per man.  

•   The large tree at the end of what would be our parking area can be removed if we absolutely need to do so but the scouts would prefer it not be removed if at all possible.

•   Rob said that if we wished to, there are any number of Christmas tree size evergreens that can be transplanted as to build a visual buffer along the road if necessary.

•   Topsoil might be had from another location on the property we are going to be occupying but that would have to be finalized as the work nears completion.

•   The possibility of hydro-seeding was brought up, with an estimate of $1000 to $1500 if we wanted to go that route.

•   At some point, at least a year after the runway is in, if we wanted to “improve” the field surface, it is possible to use asphalt grindings to make a hard surface.  This is currently being done with the roads built on the Camp Brinkley site.  Something to think about for the future.

A motion was made and passed to adjourn the meeting.  Meeting adjourned at 7:50pm

    Rick Hanners, Club Secretary