Report of  FNRT-MC April Board Meeting

Warm-Weather Issues Come Before the Board

By George Heaton

April 17, 2019
Andover Hub, Andover

Warm-Weather Issues Come Before the Board

Board Attendees (in person):  Steve Darling, George Heaton, Lindy Heim, Chris Norris, JackShields, Nita Tomaszewski;  (via media connection): Charles Martin
Loyal Trail Supporters and Welcome Guests:  Elaine Clow, Bruce Crawford, Ricker Miller, Prescott Towle
Much-Appreciated Visitor:  David White, Friends of the Concord-Sunapee Rail Trail

Business Matters:
1. Minutes of February 2019 Board Meeting, accepted unanimously without amendment.

  1. Treasurer’s Report.  The Treasurer’s Report showed a healthy balance in the bank, and good prospects for the coming Annual Appeal.  The use of PayPal and an online appeal both have been successful, putting income from fundraising ahead of this time last year.

    Tax filings are due May 15.  And New Hampshire sign permits for the coming year have already been filed.

    Unanimous approval was given to the report, which shows FNRT-MC in a good position to embark on various projects during the warm-weather period.

    3. Insurance Review.  The issue of liability insurance coverage for FNRT-MC – and in particular, its Directors and Officers – was brought up for discussion, with the welcome input of Prescott Towle, whose firm has been involved in providing such coverage in the past.  The sense of the discussion was that while FNRT-MC general liability coverage was adequate, there may be a need for more coverage for Directors and Officers. Prescott will review this situation with the local insurance agencies we have been dealing with and present a report at the next Board Meeting.

    Trail Projects:

    1. Needs-Inventory:  With the advent of spring, Chris Norris and Ricker Miller are making an inventory of the entire Trail, to systematically determine maintenance needs and priorities – particularly, ditching, culverts and resurfacing — for the rest of the year.   

    2. Bridge Repair.  Chris Norris reported on the status of previously authorized projects to repair four bridges, two each in Franklin and Danbury.  Frequent-contractor to FNRT-MC Rodney Judkins has been committed to do this work.

    Chris reported further on the need for another, unanticipated bridge project (in fact, two bridges in close proximity) at Chance Pond in Franklin.  Preliminary estimates for this work imply a significant cost, beyond what has been budgeted. Accordingly, Jack Shields will approach the NH Trails Bureau about the work needed.  And Lindy Heim will gather information on the possibility of RTP (Recreational Trails Program) grants. Further consideration will be given to this at the next meeting.

    3. Mowing.  Chris Norris reported the commitment of mowing-contractor Jim Shaw to undertake this work.  Mid-July is the envisioned optimal time period.

    4. Bridge Replacement in Danbury.  As reported in prior meetings, the NH DOT has plans to replace the Rte. 4 bridge that crosses the Trail south of Danbury.  In this connection Alex Bernhard has been working with DOT and the Division of Cultural Resources on a Memorandum of Understanding as to the preservation of historic features at the site (e.g., “Telltales”) as well as overall design.  This MOA is an important template for protecting the Trail.

    Special Presentations:
    1. Elaine Clow, Boscawen Historical Society.  Under the MUSE Program (Museums Sharing Experiences), the year 2020 will see a large number of historical exhibits in towns along the Trail, focusing on issues as diverse as major train wrecks, cemeteries, and depots.  Suggestions from the Rail Trail public are solicited!

    2.  David White, Director, Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail.  This newly established Trail is envisioned to proceed over a 35-mile path from Concord to Lake Sunapee.  Now actively in the early stages of realization, it is using a variety of right-of-ways and surfaces, mostly private easements.  The Concord-Sunapee Trail will provide a major new opportunity in our area, to which FNRT-MC gives its whole-hearted support, and urges others to do so as well.

    Adjournment:  8:38 PM

    Upcoming Events:

    Next Meeting:   Wednesday, May 15, 2019;  7 PM; The Hub, Andover. All are invited!

    Annual “Stuffing Party”  — Wednesday, April 24, Highland Lake Inn, E. Andover – to make the mailing for this year’s Annual Appeal.  All “Stuffers” welcome!

    National Trails Day – June 1

    Thursday, June 6:  “Thursday’s Child” dinner at the Coach House Restaurant at the New London Inn.  One half of the net proceeds is donated to FNRT-MC. See you there!

    Concord Market Days – June 20-21-22, at which FNRT-MC and the Friends of the Merrimack River Greenway Trail will jointly staff a booth.  Come!

    Respectfully submitted, George Heaton