FNRT-MC, Draft Minutes of Meeting
January 18, 2017
Danbury Community Center, Danbury
Board Attendees: Alex Bernhard, Steve Darling, Heather Deardorff, George Heaton, Nita Tomaszewski
Guests: Ricker Miller, Dick Mackay and Ken Warren (Grafton County Trail representatives)
Vice-President Alex Bernhard called the meeting to order at ; adjourned .
The January meeting took place after a three-month hiatus. In addition to various business matters, the majority of the meeting was absorbed with presentations of plans and projects for 2017, to be considered further and voted on at the February meeting.
- Chris Norris, Director. Chris Norris was unanimously approved as a new member of the Board of Directors of FNRT-MC. Although Chris has been a stalwart contributor to the Trail for years, it is good to welcome him to this new role.
- Minutes of the October Meeting were unanimously approved without alteration.
- The Treasurer’s Report focused on the presentation of a draft Budget for 2017. Based on discussion at the meeting, Steve Darling will offer a revised budget for Board approval at the February meeting.
- Correspondence received since the last meeting included the appointment of Steve Rayno to the position of “Trailmaster.” As other individuals have expressed interest in such a position as a way of supporting the Trail, the Board will consider this possibility at the February meeting.
Plans and Projects For 2017:
- Upgrade Website to WordPress. With general agreement that the FNRT-MC website would be much improved by changing to WordPress, Steve Darling was authorized to offer Heather Turner -- who has already been working at the project -- $300 to cover expenses and express thanks for completing this effort.
- Trail Signage. Prior to the meeting, Heather Deardorff met with Dick Mackay and Ken Warren, representatives from the Grafton County Trail, to consider upgrading and coordination of signage along the entire Northern Rail Trail, in both Merrimack and Grafton counties.
Various signage issues are being addressed. Ken Warren presented a mock-up of a new logo for the entire Trail. This design will be considered at the February meeting. Heather Deardorff presented a draft of a historic “Northern Rail Trail” sign for use at kiosks and other strategic locations. Milepost markers were also discussed; as well as “URHere” markers with distances, and access via smartphones.
Heather Deardorff, lead Board member for signage projects, was authorized to expend $850 to procure 5 “Historic” signs from the graphic designer currently involved in the project, to be placed along the Trail. Final copy for these signs will be discussed at the February meeting.
- Maintenance Projects. Alex Bernhard presented a list of six possible maintenance projects for 2017. Discussion of these possibilities yielded a general consensus that all 6 of the projects are worthwhile, and should be undertaken. A definitive vote on all proposed maintenance projects will be taken at the February meeting.
One of the projects – vegetation removal in Franklin – has already seen considerable planning, and was already covered in prior budgeting. Nita Tomaszewski agreed to take responsibility for moving this forward now, as timely coordination is necessary with the Trail’s contractor, Prescott Towle, as well as the State.
Another project – repairing the Trail surface in E. Andover – has already gotten underway through the efforts of Ricker Miller. Ricker will move this forward by contacting contractors and/or potential donors of services, and Alex Bernhard will provide advice on any State “alteration of terrain” permits that may be needed.
Lastly, Lindy Heim (not in attendance) subsequently reminded the Board of the need for maintenance and lighting improvements on the Lawrence St. Bridge. This will also be considered in February.
Other Actions and Developments of Note:
- Signage. Jack Shields has procured – with Board approval via email –replacement milepost signs to mark the places of the two original mileposts that are missing from the Trail. In addition, the City of Concord has completed installation of signs with directions to the Trailhead. Lastly, the Board approved a motion for Jack to expend $150 for an information kiosk in Boscawen.
The Board approved a Motion of Appreciation to Jack for his work on these projects.
- PanAm Abandonment of Right-of-Way. Alex Bernhard reported on the recent formal filing to the Surface Transportation Board for an “abandonment of service” by PanAm Railways of 6.1 miles of right-of-way in Concord and Boscawen on the west side of the Merrimack River. This action goes one step farther toward the goal of an extension of the Rail Trail into Concord. Other important steps yet to be taken include the expected approval of the “abandonment,” and a hoped-for purchase of the right-of-way by the State.
- Mascoma River Greenway. The representatives from Grafton Country reported on plans for an extension of the Trail at its northern end, which will include rail and tie removal and surfacing, expected to begin in the summer of 2017.
- Letter re “Missing” Mileposts. Both in discussion and in subsequent email communication, the Board approved the submission of a letter to the NH Trails Bureau requesting assistance in an effort to determine ownership of two “missing” mileposts currently installed at the residence of Roger Sanborn in Boscawen.
- Next Meeting: , Andover Fire House, Andover. NOTE: this is a change from previously published venue in Boscawen.
Respectfully Submitted, George Heaton