Manitoba Club News: How your dollars get spent

by Yvonne Rideout

The Dauphin & District Snowmobile Club prepares for a club ride.
The Dauphin & District Snowmobile Club prepares for a club ride.

Getting extensive trail systems ready each fall and keeping them in shape throughout the winter are huge and expensive undertakings, and operations are funded largely by the sale of Snopasses.

Snoman receives $132.86 of each Snopass sold with the remainder of the $150 fee consisting of $10 going to Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) and $7.14 for GST. In accordance with the agreement between Snoman and the Manitoba government, when you buy your Snopass each year the money received by Snoman Inc. is deposited into an account called the SnoFund Trust.

As a dedicated fund, this means 100 per cent of the SnoFund goes back into snowmobiling by helping to cover costs related to such things as maintaining existing trails, developing new trails, purchasing and maintaining trail equipment, purchasing and installing trail signs, producing trail maps of the designated trail system as well as the administrative and insurance costs of the SnoFund program. In accordance with the agreement, the Snoman board annually allocates funds from the SnoFund Trust to the following areas:

1. Insurance Fund (allocates dollars for liability coverage for the trails, volunteers and Snoman);
2. Administrative Fund (covers costs such as risk management, trail audits, marketing, maintaining staff and the Winnipeg office, as well as board and committee meetings);
3. Provincial Trail Improvement Fund (consists of $100,000 which is set aside annually for the purpose of trail safety and standardization, focusing on signing and widening of trails). This fund is paid to the regions annually based on kilometres of trail and it is up to the region to allocate the funds to its clubs within their region; and
4. Operational Fund (provides money to the clubs for the purpose of operating and maintaining the trail system including but not limited to grooming, upgrading, equipment, trail signs, club maps, etc.). Snoman pays the clubs each year an amount per kilometre for trail maintenance as well as a per kilometre amount for kilometres clubs groom. The amount of the payout varies annually depending on the amount of funds collected through Snopass sales and is determined by the Snoman board of directors.

The largest portion of income ends up in the Operational Fund. Both the Provincial Trail Improvement Fund and the Operational Fund supply dollars directly to clubs.

Snopass sales are collected by agents of Manitoba Public Insurance, and the funds acquired from the sale of Snopasses are remitted to Snoman on a monthly basis. After the snowmobile season is over for the year, grooming data from each groomer Solara tracking system is collected and clubs are paid based on kilometres groomed. Clubs are also paid a per kilometre rate for trail maintenance, which is based on the club’s trail length.

Eighty-five per cent of Snopass dollars received by Snoman goes directly to the clubs. Clubs’ dedicated volunteers work countless hours to provide safe and quality trails for riders across the province, with resources made possible by the purchase of your Snopass.

In accordance with the agreement with the Manitoba government, an operational stabilization fund was established to supplement operational fund payout in high-use years when operational payouts fall below $12 per kilometre. The operational stabilization fund is capped at $400,000 and is held in trust until used and can only be used to supplement operational funding.

This winter, enjoy the trails and really appreciate the clubs and volunteers for all of their efforts in making snowmobiling enjoyable for all of us.

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