Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March 18 Meeting Minutes Friends of the Northern Rail Trail in Merrimack County

FNRT-MC logo
Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Andover Town Offices building, basement meeting room

7:00 p.m.

Minutes of the Meeting

FNRT Board Members Present: Tom Frantz, Ellsworth Morton, Joyce Morton, Steve Rayno, Peter Southworth, and Bob Ward.

Discussion of maintenance with Special Guests Chris Gamache, Chief of NH Bureau of Trails and District 3 Supervisor Shawn Violette; Leon Nelson, Mike Henderson, Greg Miller - Andover Snowmobile Club, Jack Shields (Penacook Village Assoc.), Boyd Smith (Newfound Lake Region Assoc.), Steve Robinson (Danbury FNRT Trail Master), Ricker Miller (Andover FNRT Trail Master), Prescott Towle (ASC insurance), Steve Proulx & Ken Lind - Lakes Region Snowmobile Club.

  1. All business was carried to begin the discussion on maintenance issues.
    1. Maintenance Discussion. Bob began with the overview that with 35 miles of rail trail now complete, the FNRT shifts into clarifying maintenance agreements with the state and begins planning for annual budgeting. Chris noted there are three year cooperative agreements (just like with snowmobile clubs) that depend on volunteer groups. He highlighted the limitations of money & staff and the reality that Bureau of Trails (BoT) can help with major trail crises (blow downs & wash outs, etc. due to wind and rain) but not much else. He asserted the state’s dependence and appreciation for the volunteer groups such as FNRT and snowmobile clubs.
    2. Chris noted the changing demographics of trail users and the shift away from interest in financial or volunteer support. Mike H. inquired about the Adopt-a-Trail model for trail management and this was discussed. Ricker Miller and Steve Robinson had questions about when to notify BoT for projects and shared some specifics of Danbury work.
    3. In regard to the issue of RR bridges and safety (bridges lacking guard rails), Chris stated this is a cooperative issue that volunteer clubs and the BoT should communicate on. There are many bridges that don’t have guard rails and the BoT does not consider this a safety problem. The ASC had plans to rebuild the wooden guard rails on some Andover RR bridges but Chris noted that all the bridges should be consistent with no guard rails. The wooden guard rails are a liability concern (someone could be injured while climbing on the rails).
    4. The ASC and FNRT agreed that we are going to focus on the quality and safety of trail and bridge surfaces (other issues such as pruning the sides of the trail, etc. will happen as possible). The ASC asked about putting up year round stop signs and Chris had no objection. In regard to placement of benches, signs, kiosks, etc. on the trail, Chris identified that the distance from the center line is 10 feet. We need to check with BoT for placement of bench and sign areas. From the center of the trail, most right of way is 33’, but this varies. In regard to the washout between Dyer’s Crossing and Sam Hill Road, Ricker Miller has not received an estimate from Edmunds to present or show BoT. When the details of the project are complete, the FNRT must notify BoT who will come out & look at the job scope and plans (also to make sure the contractor has $2 million of insurance).

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM.
Respectfully Submitted,
Peter Southworth, Recording Secretary