FNRT-MC Draft Minutes of the August 21 Board Meeting

By George Heaton, Secretary

Board Attendees:  Alex Bernhard, Steve Darling, Tom Frantz, George Heaton, Lindy Heim, Charles Martin, Myra Mayman, Chris Norris, Jack Shields.

Loyal Trail Supporters:  Patrice Rasche, Steve Rasche

Much-Appreciated Guests:  Brad Bates (Michigan and Andover), Brendan Morrison (Sanbornton), Bob Spiegelman (Concord), Kiera Tuttle (Danbury), Steve Walsh (Webster Lake)

Routine Business Matters:

1. Minutes of July 2019 Board Meeting, accepted unanimously without amendment.

2. Treasurer’s Report.  In the words of FNRT-MC Treasurer Steve Darling, his report “contained no surprises.”  Smilingly, the Board unanimously accepted it.

A few details deserve particular note.  First, the current account is in healthy shape, with sufficient funds to cover currently projected projects and to reserve enough for future contingencies.  Second, the expenditures on current projects track almost exactly what the year’s budget had projected.

Two insurance policies are now in force for the coming year, covering the association for general liability, as well as a separate policy for officers and directors.

Lastly, Steve presented a report on the nature and number of donations.  This shows that the vast majority of donations – about 80% of the total number  — are under $100. This wide appreciation of the Trail by so many people is gratefully acknowledged.

Current Trail Projects:

1. Mowing.  Contractor Jim Shaw recently finished the mowing.  This year’s result looks better than ever, and is much appreciated by Trail users.

2. Culverts, Ditches, Bridges, Railings and Surfaces.  Chris Norris reported good prospects from contractor Rodney Judkins on bridge repairs.  We expect this work to be completed “before the snow flies.” Similarly, contractor Jon Champagne is working on ditching and culverts.

George Heaton reported that the railings on two bridges in Danbury will soon be replaced.

3. Lawrence Street Tunnel Lighting.  Tom Frantz will pursue the possibility of lighting this tunnel in Andover, with FNRT-MC’s offer to cover cost and installation.  He will send cost estimates to the Board.

4. Culvert Redesign. Jack Shields, Ricker Miller, Chris Norris and Alex Bernhard will meet with an official from the NH Department of Transportation to consider the reconstruction of the Eagle Pond culverts, long subject to washout.

5. Extension of the Trail into Concord.  Jack Shields and Patrice Rasche continue to represent FNRT-MC in the nascent plans for an extension of the Trail into Concord, which we fully support.

6. “Brushing Back” of Overhang.  Jack Shields will approach various local snowmobile clubs about the need to cut back branches overhanging the Trail, which the clubs have typically undertaken in the past.

Guest Kiera Tuttle offered to identify the point person in the club that uses the Trail from Danbury into Grafton County, and send the information to Jack.

Guest Input:

While all FNRT-MC Board Meetings are open, and guests are always welcome, the August meeting saw an unusual number of guests, who shared valuable perspectives and questions.  Some of these appear below.

1. How to Report a Problem?  As Nature can unpredictably block the Trail, the question arose of who to contact to report a problem.  The answer is to send an email to info@nullFNRT.org. We will get someone to work on the problem. (Note: volunteers are gratefully accepted.)

2. The Trail’s “Awesome” History and Beauty.  Grandparents in the room remarked on the pleasure of introducing young people to history and Nature, through experiences on the Trail.  Artifacts and signs along the way, as well as the rail bed itself and its cuts through granite testify to the effort that built our region.  And the quiet greenery never fails to delight.

3. E-Bike Recharging.  As reported in July’s Minutes, the State of New Hampshire has joined others in enacting a uniform law on E-bikes, which are welcome on the Trail if they comply with the power-levels in the law.  We are investigating whether the Highland Lake Inn, in East Andover, a Trail welcome station, can be our first re-charging station.

4. The East Coast Greenway.  Bob Spiegelman offered a brief overview of progress on the East Coast Greenway, an “Urban Appalachian Trail” of bike/recreational pathways that is planned to extend from Maine to Key West.  Of particular note for New Hampshire is the recent acquisition of a 9.6-mile portion of unused rail corridor on the Seacoast. See more at: greenway.org.

Adjournment:  8:33 PM

Upcoming Events:

Next Meeting:   Wednesday, September 18, 2019;  7 PM; The Hub, Andover. All are invited!

September 21, 2019, 11 AM, meet at Jamie Welch Field, Depot Street. Boscawen (see website for more details)  –


Annual Meeting and PotLuck Supper:  October 16, 2019, Highland Lake Inn, East Andover

New Hampshire Rail Trails Coalition Conference:  October 26, 2019. Concord

Peter Crowell Ride:  An October date, TBD.