Draft Minutes of FNRT-MC Board Meeting – July 15, 2020

By George Heaton

Condensed from draft minutes
Board Attendees:  Alex Bernhard, Steve Darling, George Heaton, Craig Heim, Lindy Heim, Charles Martin, Myra Mayman, Chris Norris, Jack Shields, Nita Tomaszewski, and Peter Southworth.

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

With robust attendance again via Zoom, the Board focused on summer projects underway and under consideration.

Treasurer’s Report: The Treasurer’s Report showed a significant inflow of donations and grants within the last month – totaling more than $7,000.  The rate of donations in response to our recent Annual Appeal has been steady and robust in comparison to past years, but as usual, we look forward to more donations throughout the remainder of the calendar year to make our budgetary goal – which ensures the Trail’s sustenance.

Trail Restoration: With summer upon us, much work is in progress – ditching, drainage, bridge repairs, surface improvements — to repair and restore the condition of the Trail at various sites. Chris Norris reported on arrangements made with contractors and verified the adequacy of the recently revised budget.  Ricker Miller’s consistent partnership in these efforts goes forward, much appreciated.

Lawrence Street Tunnel, Andover: Positive reports continue to come in after the resurfacing of the Lawrence Street tunnel.  Tom Frantz is now pursuing the lighting element of this project.

Safety Improvements at Chance Pond Slope: In recognition of the potential danger of speed on the Chance Pond Road ramp, it was decided to put up signs urging caution and walking of bikes at this location.  Ricker Miller and Jack Shields will carry this out. 

E-bike signs. With the installation of three signs in Danbury (on the Trail and at the Country Store), Jack Shields has completed the signage for e-bike charging stations along the length of the Trail.

Extension of Trail: A perennial discussion topic for the Board – and a goal for our Trail – is an extension from the current terminus in Boscawen to the Hanna Dustin site and beyond into the center of Concord.  New perspectives on this issue brought food for thought and will prompt continuing discussion.

Of particular note is the report that discussions between the City of Concord and PanAm for purchase of the right-of-way in the City may be close to some fruition. This possibility puts into renewed consideration the remaining .6 mile portion in Boscawen between the current Trail terminus and Hannah Dustin. More discussion of this matter will take place at the next meeting.

Grant Application: Through the Rails to Trail Conservancy, a grant application possibility came to the Board’s attention for funding to underwrite the ever-continuing maintenance efforts that are crucial to Trail condition and enjoyment.  In response, a subgroup of the Board, led by Alex Bernhard, was delegated to put together a narrative of Trail maintenance efforts and a proposal for funding needs.  This will be done immediately, to meet an immediate proposal deadline.

Discouraging Note: Litter on Trail. 

Positive Note:  Response from volunteers.  At several locations on the Trail, a distressing amount of litter has been seen.  The reports come from volunteers who frequently clean it up.  We welcome the latter (and not the former!).

Next Meeting: Wednesday, August 19, at 5 PM via Zoom.