Friends of the Northern Rail Trail, February 20, 2013

By Peter Southworth, Recording Secretary

February 20

Condensed from draft minutes

Present: Alex Bernhard, Steve Darling, Tom Frantz, Myra Mayman, Joyce Morton, Ellsworth Morton, Steve Rayno, Peter Southworth, Nita Tomaszewski, Bob Ward, and guests Hal Posselt, David Murray, Diane Littlefield, Bernard Davis, Jr., Elaine Clow, Norman LaPierre, Lyman Cousens, Craig Saltmarsh, Michael Wright, Nicole Hoyt, and Bruce Crawford

The February 20 meeting of the Friends of the Northern Rail Trail in Merrimack County (FNRT-MC) took place on the fourth floor of the Boscawen Town Offices. It provided the Board the opportunity to meet with the Boscawen Select Board and citizens to review plans to extend the Northern Rail Trail beyond Gerrish Depot, through Boscawen, to the end of the state-owned rail bed.

Bob Ward reported that he has submitted a letter of intent to the Parks and Recreation department of DRED, along with a support letter from the Boscawen Select Board, for funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. He is now proposing that the Town of Boscawen strengthen the full application, due May 31, by being FNRT-MC’s partner.

Michael Wright, Town Administrator, responded that the town is in favor of this proposal. The arrangement sounds workable, and it requires no financial outlay from the town. This public meeting is an opportunity for people to air any questions or objections. None were heard, and Mr. Wright concluded that the proposal is a “win-win.”

Treasurer’s Report. Today we received our reimbursement of $20,000 from the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) for our 2012 work.

Old Business

RTP 2013. Nita has submitted the RTP 2013 application for $30,000. Expect to hear late spring. Brainstorm what individuals and companies in Boscawen could be approached for contributions; who in Boscawen could work with Craig Heim. Myra and Nita noted we’re looking for a $30,000 match from the RTP and asked for local names, foundations, and businesses who might support the trail building.

Maintenance: The first step to a maintenance plan is identifying how many years our trail remains in satisfactory condition before it needs repair. Comments noted that the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture could help.

Strategic Action Plan: Alex moved that we schedule the annual meeting on Wednesday, May 15 to re-elect the board. The motion carried.

New Business

Upcoming Meetings and Events. April 25: Thursday’s Child Dinner

Danbury General Store rising anew. Myra reported that the General Store will open a cafe. Myra will talk with Audrey Pellegrino about designating the store a rail trail welcome center.

Connecting to Penacook: Alex has written to the mayor and talked with Friends of the Merrimack River Greenway in hopes of building support for the trail.