Draft Minutes FNRT-MC Board Meeting – May 20, 2020

By George Heaton

Board Attendees:  Alex Bernhard, Tom Frantz, George Heaton, Craig Heim, Lindy Heim, Charles Martin, Myra Mayman, Jack Shields, Nita Tomaszewski

Loyal Trail Supporters:  Ricker Miller, Patrice Rasche, Steve Rasche

If snow on the Trail is normal for May, the times still are not.  The constraints of Coronavirus coping continue to dominate daily life.  And for the FNRT-MC Board, this meant that the monthly meeting would take place for a second time via Zoom.  Happily, the Trail remains oblivious,  and its Spring users appear as happy and more numerous than ever – albeit through the lens of masks and distancing.  For the Board and friends, Trail projects and prospects abound.

Treasurer’s Report:  The Treasurer’s Report was submitted in absentia by Steve Darling, and showed little change from last month, when various donations had been received, and little expended.  Given this situation FNRT-MC is in good shape to begin the typical spate of summer maintenance and improvement projects.

2020 Budget:  Alex Bernhard led the discussion of a proposed 2020 budget, submitted by Treasurer Steve Darling.  While discussion showed the certainty of a nicely balanced budget for the year, a number of items in the draft proposal need to be modified due to changed circumstances.

It was agreed that Lindy Heim would communicate with Steve Darling about modifications, and a new version of the 2020 budget would be presented for approval at the June meeting.

Bridges and Ditches:  Ricker Miller reported that we are on the cusp of beginning the summer’s usual work on bridges and ditches.  Funds have been reserved for this purpose, and Chris Norris is in discussion with contractors about details and schedule.

RTP Grant Application (Eagle Pond Culvert):  Jack Shields reported on the status of the application to the New Hampshire Recreational Trails Program (RTP) for the Eagle Pond culvert project.  Since last month, the original culvert design has been modified to one of significantly lower cost.  The various permits, supporting documents, contractor bids, and expressions of community support should have the application ready to go by the June 19 deadline.

Lawrence Street Tunnel:  Tom Frantz has been moving forward in discussion with the Town of Andover and various contractors (for the Trail bed and lighting) to begin work on the grading, resurfacing, and lighting of the Lawrence St. tunnel.  This work will be funded by a grant from the Granite State Wheelers.

Signage:  In Franklin, signs are being put up to indicate the connection between the Northern Rail Trail and the Winnipesaukee River Trail.  In Danbury, plans are underway for signs to indicate the e-bike charging station at the Danbury Country Store.

Valley Road Culvert, Andover:  After recent hard rains, the Valley Road culvert has again become clogged, drawing the attention of the Select Board of the Town of Andover.  Ed Hiller has been in discussion about the matter with the Town.

There is also evidence of ATV traffic on the Trail in this vicinity.  Anyone observing such unauthorized travel should report it to New Hampshire Fish and Game at 271-3361.

New Hampshire Rail Trails Coalition Website:  Charles Martin is engaged in an effort to post information on all trails in the state on the New Hampshire Rail Trails Coalition website.  With photos, maps, and other information, this site would provide a new statewide recreational resource.

MUSE and Railroad History Project:  Lindy Heim reported on the ongoing effort involving museums, historical societies, towns, and others to highlight the history of the railroad from which the Northern Rail Trail grew.  Some of the fascinating topics involve the impact of the railroad on native peoples and the situation of railroad workers.  The FNRT-MC praises this effort to bring more context to the Trail and urges all to watch for future dates.

Trail Clean-Up in Boscawen:  The community of the Homestead Inn/Sober House in Boscawen is undertaking a day-long clean-up of the Trail, proceeding north from Jamie Welch Field.  They will focus on the debris left from the New Hampshire Trails Bureau work in brushing back the Trail over the last year.  Contact Jack Shields at Jack.Shields@nullcomcast.net if interested in participating.

National Trails Day, June 6:  Recreational trails are celebrated nation-wide on the first Saturday in June.  Although there will be no official activities this year, FNRT-MC urges all who can to get on the Trail  and to bring a bag for clean-up efforts as needed!

FNRT-MC Annual Appeal:  Although our usual Annual Appeal “stuffing party” did not take place this year in its usual time frame, it might do so before long.  And there will certainly be an appeal mailing in the near future. Watch for a letter in your mailbox!

Cancelation of Thursday’s Child, New London Inn:  We regret this cancelation of a fun dinner to benefit the Trail.  The Inn has canceled all Thursday’s Child dinners for the season, but hope to continue this wonderful program in 2020-21.

Cancelation of Town of Andover Fourth of July Celebration:  And, sadly, no traditional FNRT-MC booth to welcome Trail enthusiasts.

Next Meeting: Wednesday, June 17, 5 PM, via Zoom.