Board Attendees: Steve Darling, Tom Frantz, George Heaton, Lindy Heim, Craig Heim, Nita Tomaszewski Guests: Janice Boudreau, Linda Howes, Ralph Jesseman, and Prescott Towle
Co-President Lindy Heim called meeting to order at 7:03 PM; adjourned at 8:26 PM. The meeting’s discussion had two major foci: 1) various business matters and reports; 2) discussion of ongoing action items, to be addressed and/or undertaken in the immediate future and/or at the next meeting. Business Matters and Reports:
The minutes of the March 16, 2016 meeting were approved without alteration.
The Treasurer’s report shows a current balance of $38,416.44 in unrestricted funds, to be used for the benefit of the Trail. Recent sources of income include $1336 in donations since the last meeting, as well as funds anticipated from the successful Thursday’s Child benefit dinner on April 14 at the New London Inn. Since last meeting, a Federal tax report has been filed (4/8/16), as well as the Annual Report to the State of New Hampshire, and the certification fee for charitable organizations. (3/29/16).
The Recreational Trails Program Grant Application has recently been officially published by the State of New Hampshire. Applications are due June 3, with the anticipation of award decisions by late August. An orientation meeting for prospective applicants is being held in Concord during the week of April 25. Nita Tomaszewski will attend, and has been in contact with Alexis Rudko of the Trails Bureau, coordinator for the application process.
Community events will occur in Andover and Franklin on May 14: a bike tune-up/swap in Andover; and Franklin Community Day. Prescott Towle will staff a FNRT-MC tent at the Andover event. Although no one is available for the Franklin event, it was noted for possible participation next year.
Ongoing Action Agenda
Vegetation Control. The issue of vegetation control on the Trail, with particular focus on areas in Franklin, has been the subject of considerable discussion in prior meetings. At this meeting, Prescott Towle was again present to answer questions about the possibility of spraying. And it was noted that the Trails Bureau would need to approve any action in this regard. After a wide airing of views, it was decided to postpone further consideration of vegetation control until the next meeting, when more information will be available. At that point, a report will be available from the meeting with the New Hampshire Invasive Species Coordinator, Douglas Cygan, who will assess the Trail and give recommendations. [N.B.: A meeting of Doug Cygan with Jack Shields, FNRT-MC Director, had actually taken place before the meeting. However, Jack was unable to report to the Board due to unforeseen circumstances.]
Bench Project. Ralph Jesseman and Janice Boudreau attended the meeting to report on progress to date on the installation of benches along the trail, and what will be the next steps. Two Andover sites have been selected as appropriate for benches, and their GPS coordinates forwarded to Alex Bernhard for further action and contact with the Trails Bureau: 1) about 300’ from Valley Road Bridge; 2) about 220’ past the Continental Machine facility. Ralph Jesseman will pay for and install these two benches. It is hoped that the documentation of 501(c)(3) status of the FNRT-MC will result in materials discounts at suppliers such as Lowe’s.
Safety Repair of Depot Street Bridge, Franklin Having been alerted to the deterioration of railings on the Depot St. Bridge in Franklin, various Board members inspected the site. Their assessment, coupled with a proposal by Chris Norris and Steve Rayno for repair, led the Board to conclude that action should be taken as soon as possible. A motion was then made and unanimously approved to authorize the expenditure of up to $300 by Chris Norris to implement repairs. The authorization of this expenditure prompted discussion about the need for a process by which small expenditures could be made expeditiously without full Board discussion and approval, and their consequent delay. Such a process will be considered at the next meeting. It is understood that the repairs now to be made will not meet Federal design standards or be permanent, but that future maintenance grants, if awarded, should be used to upgrade this site.
Spring Clean-Up of Trail Given that snow-cover has left the Trail, the moment to clean debris is at hand, before spring vegetation obscures it. Various Board members volunteered to undertake Trail cleanup, and enlist any others who would like to help. Responsibilities are as follows. Anyone should feel free to contact any of those listed: Steve Darling – Andover, from Wilmot line to Lawrence St. tunnel – email@example.com Tom Frantz – Andover, from Plains Road to Blackwater Park – firstname.lastname@example.org George Heaton – Danbury – GRHeaton@aol.com Lindy and Craig Heim – Wilmot – email@example.com Chris and Tim Norris – Chance Pond Rd to E. Andover Steve Rayno – Franklin
Note next meeting: May 18, Wilmot, 1st Congregational Church, 19 N. Wilmot Rd. in Wilmot Center Respectfully submitted by George Heaton