FNRT-MC Board  Meeting Minutes, November 20, 2019

By Alex Bernhard

Minutes of the 11/20/19 Meeting of the Board of Directors

Present: Myra Mayman, Alex Bernhard, Yvonne Hobbs (guest), Steve Darling, Chris Norris, Jack Shields, Ricker Miller

The minutes of the meetings held on September 18 and October 16, 2019 were approved.

The Treasurer’s report was accepted. It shows that our cash on hand has been reduced substantially by the payment of bills for the railing work on the bridge over Chance Pond Road in Franklin, and the ditching near Agony Hill Road in Andover, and the ditching just north of Jack Wells road in Wilmot/South Danbury.

Several Board members met earlier in the day with Shawn Violette, New Hampshire Trails Bureau Maintenance Supervisor, at Eagle Pond Culvert, to discuss brushing back growth along the Trail and the replacement of the four-pipe culvert just south of Eagle Pond Road. Due to the lack of capacity, this culvert has caused flooding of the Trail on several occasions, which has resulted in damage to the stone dust layer that makes the Trail usable.

Chris Norris reported that Shawn told him that New Hampshire Trails Bureau would take on the task of brushing back growth from the edges of the Trail, work that had been done in the past by local snowmobile clubs, and that therefore there was no need for FNRT to seek to get this work done by other means.

Jack Shields reported that Shawn agreed with our plan for dealing with the Eagle Pond Culvert (consisting of removing the existing culverts and replacing them with one large precast concrete box culvert with much increased capacity). Jack also reported that he had been told by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services that we will not need a wetlands permit for this work.

It was decided that we would fund this work through an application for a Recreational Trails Program Grant of approximately $30,000, for which we would have to provide $6,000 as a matching contribution. This estimate is based on an assumed culvert cost of $12,200, plus another $18,000 for removing the existing culvert, plus ditching to the next cross culvert south of the site. All amounts are approximations at this stage of the work and are not based on actual bids.

The application for the necessary funds will be due in April of 2020. If approved, the work would not be accomplished until 2021.

It was voted to set aside a reserve $6,000 from non-designated assets for the RTP application. It was also voted to approve the project consisting of removing the existing culverts, and replacing them with a new larger box culvert and to apply for the RTP grant to fund the project.

Jack Shields reported on efforts in Concord to extend the Trail by acquiring the rail line recently abandoned by Pan American Railways. Jack reminded everyone that if this occurred it would raise again the issue of how to deal with the Boscawen piece of the abandoned line.

There was discussion of the amount and location of disclosure of financial information regarding FNRT, and it was agreed to carry that question forward for more discussion at the next regular meeting onJanuary 15.

Ricker reported on the recently held statewide meeting organized by the New Hampshire Rail Trails Coalition.  This all-day meeting was well-attended and showed that there was considerable interest throughout the state in the development and maintenance of rail trails in New Hampshire.

The Andover Historical Society has asked us (and other organizations) to hold activities highlighting the impact of the railroads on New Hampshire. Lindy will put a note on our Facebook page, and e-mail our membership asking for volunteers to create and coordinate this effort.

As usual, it was decided to not hold a meeting in December. The next meeting will therefore be held on January 15. At that time we will determine whether or not there is sufficient business to justify a February or March meeting.

Adjoined at 8:30 PM

Respectfully submitted:

Alexander Bernhard
Secretary pro tempore