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Dear Club Members,
Twelve years ago, our club reached a point where our expenses were exceeding
our income and we had to raise the club dues for an individual to the
current $ 35 per year. Over the years, the Board of Directors have worked
diligently to keep the Club’s operating cost as low as possible and still
provide the services and communication capability to the club members.
We have now reached the point where outside cost such as
mailing, printing, insurance, and other BTO required expenses have risen to
the point where, when putting together the 2017 budget, we were no longer
“breaking even” given our income. Please bear in mind that though we offer
many opportunities over the year to purchase rolling stock, tee shirts, etc.
that highlight our conventions and items for our upcoming 40th anniversary,
we do not make a significant profit on these items. It is a service to our
members to add unique items to their collections. The majority of our income
to maintain the Club and its services comes from our dues.
After much discussion in the first quarter Board of
Directors meeting, it was determined that we must raise our dues from the
current $35 to $50 for domestic membership, and $60 for our international
members. We believe that this is below the dues level for many other Clubs
that support our hobby and we believe that we are providing more services
than many of them do. It is also the goal of the Board to raise the dues
sufficiently that we can maintain this level for another 10 to 12 years.
The change in dues will be effective with all new members
and all renewals on July 1st of this year. We appreciate your trust in us
when you elected us to our various offices. We hope that you understand the
need for this increase and will continue your membership in our Club.
President, Big Train Operator Club