FNRT-MC, Draft Minutes of Meeting
April 19, 2017
At “Take Root,” 359 Central St., Franklin

After a two-month hiatus, the Board greeted Spring, at a well-attended April meeting, by plunging in to projects to improve the Trail!

Board Attendees: Steve Darling, Heather Deardorff, Tom Frantz, George Heaton, Craig Heim, Lindy Heim, Jack Shields, Peter Southworth, Nita Tomaszewski

Guests: Stephen and Patrice Rasche, from Canterbury

Hosts: Oscar Gala and Todd Workman from Franklin

Co-President Lindy Heim called the meeting to order at 7:11 PM; adjourned 8:41.

The meeting took place in the home of “Take Root,”a co-working community space occupying the entire second floor of a renovated building on Central Street, Franklin. Prior to the meeting, Oscar Gala and Tod Workman welcomed the Board with a brief presentation about the history of the space and its current use: a community economic, social and cultural center. The beautifully renovated open area has various facilities for businesses-people as well as an exhibition by a local artist. Plans for restaurants and other facilities link “Take Root” to the revitalization of the Franklin downtown.

Business Matters:

The Minutes of the January and February meetings were approved without amendment.

The Treasurer’s Report was accepted unanimously.

The report this month comes in the midst of the annual Membership appeal, and on the heels of various governmental filings. While it is too early to know if Membership funds this year will surpass those of last year, income is coming in at a good rate, both from memberships and grants. A number of local employers make matching grants, and we hope that this funding source can grow.

The annual report, certificate and fee required of New Hampshire non-profits have all recently been filed with the State. The required Federal tax filing (Form 990) has been submitted to the IRS. These filings complete such requirements until next year.

At the moment, there are neither payables nor receivables to report, although this should change as maintenance projects go forward.

Tech Report. Heather Turner reports significant progress in converting the FNRT-MC website to Word Press. In addition, a new web host has been found, which will provide the service at less cost. This will be accepted.

NOTE:

Volunteer Tech Opportunity: The Board would greatly appreciate a volunteer from the community to take charge of the website “Sponsor Page.” This involves upkeep of the ability of FNRT-MC business sponsors to list themselves and their contact points on our website.

If anyone is interested, please contact Lindy Heim at lindycraig@heimfamily.org

Projects:

Trail Signage. The “signage committee” has coalesced its decision-making around design, placement, material and content for a series of signs along the Trail. In addition, it has continued contact with the Grafton County Board, to promote consistency in signage across the entire Trail. All of these initiatives were fully approved by the Board.

Although issues remain to be finalized, there is consensus about the following: 1) retain the current FNRT-MC logo; 2) have signs that are large enough to contain the material and be easily read (approximately 30×30); 3) place consistent “maps” (with “You Are Here”) as the principal signage item at each kiosk; 4) other signs, including history, are also possible; 5) make the signs of good material (e.g. high-quality “license-plate”) for durability.

It is hoped that mock-ups of signs can be presented for discussion at the next meeting. Work on implementation of the signage plan will resume in August, after Jack Shields is back from a trip to the West.

Maintenance Projects. Several of the previously planned Trail maintenance projects are moving forward, and will continue to do so throughout the summer.

It should be noted that the physical start of these projects is dependent on a Maintenance Agreement being concluded between FNRT-MC and the NH Bureau of Trails. In February, Alex Bernhard submitted the details of proposed projects to the Bureau, and received advice that the agreement would come before the end of April. Schedules for the projects will depend on conclusion of the Agreement.

The projects include:
Brown Foundation funding of bridge railings and other related improvements.

Lawrence Street/Blackwater Bridge. Our contractor should be ready to embark on this project soon. Tom Frantz is keeping abreast.

Vegetation Control. Nita Tomaszewski and Prescott Towle have had discussion with State officials and have submitted our permit request. They will follow up in hopes of having this underway soon.

Other Current and Future Initiatives:

Grant Applications. The application for new funding from the Brown Foundation was mailed by Craig Heim on April 19. All past funds have been expended on maintenance and improvement projects, and we look forward to continued support from this much-valued source.

One of our Trail members, an employee of 3M in Boscawen, has made us aware of a 3M community grant program for initiatives such as the Northern Rail Trail. He has submitted an application, for which we are most grateful.

We have learned that Belletetes is a continuing supporter of community projects, offering volunteers and materials in assistance. Lindy Heim will approach Belletetes with a proposal for painting the Lawrence St/Blackwater tunnel.

Rack Cards for distribution on the Trail. In response to the need to order more “rack cards” for distribution along the Trail, the design of the current cards was reviewed and a number of changes were agreed upon. Lindy and Craig Heim will make these changes and order a new supply of cards, with authority to do so of $200.

National Trails Day. June 3 is National Trails Day. FNRT-MC will publicize this on its website, urging people to use the Trail on that day, and bring along a bag so as to help with any needed spring clean-up.

Andover July 4 Celebration, and FNRT-MC Raffle. Myra Mayman has applied for a booth at the Andover 4th of July celebration. Peter Southworth will organize the activity and schedule volunteers’ staffing.

Wilmot Fundraiser. On July 22, the FNRT-MC will undertake a fundraising effort at the Wilmot Music on the Bandstand event. Lindy Heim will organize Wilmot FNRT-MC members to run the food concession.

Next Meeting: May 17, 2017, 7 PM; Boscawen, Merrimack County Nursing Home, 325 Daniel Webster Highway.

Respectfully Submitted, George Heaton