Draft Minutes of FNRT-MC Board Meeting – August 19, 2020

By George Heaton

Draft Minutes of FNRT-MC Board Meeting
(held via Zoom)
August 19, 2020

Board Attendees:  Alex Bernhard, Steve Darling, George Heaton, Craig Heim, Lindy Heim, Charles Martin, Myra Mayman, Ricker Miller, Chris Norris, Steve Rasche, Jack Shields, Peter Southworth.

Guests and Loyal Trail Supporters:  Barbara Couturier, Patrice Rasche

New Board Members;  Renewed Commitment

Preamble:  Welcome to Two New Board Members.  In a preamble to its formal business, the Board warmly welcomed two new members, elected remotely during the last month:  Ricker Miller, and Steve Rasche.  Both Ricker and Steve are well-known, long-term loyal supporters of the Trail, and have been generous in all dimensions.  While their many contributions will be constant, the Board is gratified to have them in this new role.

Business Matters:

1. July Minutes.  The Draft Minutes of the July 2020 were unanimously approved, without amendment.

2. Treasurer’s Report.  The Treasurer’s Report came at the end of a month of low expenditure activity, but with a continued inflow from donations.  The Annual Appeal appears to be running somewhat ahead of its normal trajectory, which is particularly gratifying in this year of the Coronavirus and attendant economic distress.  I.e., people appreciate being on the Trail

With budget projections and projects underway in good alignment, we are poised to complete our maintenance and improvement commitments to the Trail in good order before the end of the year.  As to the future, a Reserve Fund for Rail Trail Extension has been established as a means of contributing to the hoped-for Trail extension in Boscawen.  (See discussion below.)

The Report was unanimously approved.

Reports on Ongoing Projects: 

1. Bridge, Ditch and Mowing Update.  As summer winds down, work commitments on the Trail – ditching, drainage, bridge repairs, surface improvements — continue.  Chris Norris reported on contractors’ efforts, with special attention to mowing.  It was agreed that an earlier mowing schedule next year would be beneficial in terms of vegetation control, and Chris was able to ascertain that our contractor would agree to this.

2. Lawrence Street Tunnel, Andover.  This project will proceed toward completion, with surfacing begun and lighting yet to be done.

3. Facebook Sponsor Page.  Technology Coordinator Cathe Lisk has posted new business sponsors of the Trail on Facebook.  More, better!

Matters of Interest and Concern: 

1. Extension of Trail in Boscawen-Concord. A subgroup of the Board, spearheaded by Jack Shields, has continued to monitor and be involved in the discussions of an extension of the Trail from its current terminus in Boscawen to the Hannah Duston site in Boscawen;  and beyond, into the center of Concord.  Jack’s report highlighted the complexity of this process and the many stakeholders, public and private that are potentially involved.  FNRT-MC is very supportive of seeing this Trail Extension become a reality.

2. Reports from the Trail:  Trees, Bridge, Bumps, and Sand.  While Board members and friends continue to monitor conditions on the Trail, we are particularly grateful for new members of the community who come forward with useful reports and offers of help.  This month, three particular contributions should be noted.

Barbara Couturier, from Andover, attended the meeting and informed the Board of a sand hazard at Carr Street, near Chance Pond. 

Don Moyer, from Hill, has been working on downed trees and bridge repairs with George Heaton and Chris Norris.

Boyd Smith has been monitoring the Franklin/Boscawen section for downed trees and culvert issues.

We welcome Barbara, Don, Boyd and other members of the community to future meetings.

Ricker Miller and Chris Norris agreed to further investigate and take appropriate action on the various tree, bump, bridge, and sand issues that had been reported.

3. New Connection to New Hampshire Rail Trails Coalition.  Charles Martin reported on a new aspect of the New Hampshire Rail Trails Coalition website:  a “Highlights” page, which features interesting aspects of various trails.  Charles has uploaded highlights of the Northern Rail Trail in both Merrimack and Grafton counties – for which we are very grateful.  (See NHRTC.org and Northern Rail Trail).

Next Meeting:

Regular Monthly Meeting — Wednesday, September 16, 5 PM.  Via Zoom.