MESSER POND PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

SEPTEMBER 5, 2008

(Reviewed and Pre-approved by BOD for 11/6/08 Meeting)

 

The first meeting of the new MPPA Board of Directors took place on September 5, 2008, at the Lake Sunapee Savings Bank Community Room.  Present were President Nancy Stetson, Vice President Terri Bingham, Secretary Betty Brown and Directors Dick Denise and Debbie Hunt.  Absent were Treasurer Jean-Pierre Paquette and Directors Bob Brown, Scott Brown and John Harris. 

With a quorum present, the president opened the meeting at 7:00 PM, welcoming all members, with a special welcome to our new board members. 

Betty Brown reported that she will email draft minutes to the board within six days after each meeting takes place.  The board members will then get back to her with any corrections or comments within three to seven days.  The minutes will be posted at the end of the seven day period.  The annual meeting minutes will be distributed also. 

There were 57 attendees at the July 26th Annual Meeting and the guest speaker was Master Gardener Kiki Schneider, whose presentation was enjoyed by all.  She gave a very informative talk and slide presentation on “Landscaping at the Water’s Edge” with information we can all use. The sound system was not used at the annual meeting although we had it set up. This will be corrected in the future. Nancy did mention that the New London Historical Society had told us that a microphone wouldn’t be necessary because of the good acoustics in the building.  However, our own microphone system will be used at our future gatherings.  The New London Historical Society location worked very well for this year’s meeting and everyone’s help was much appreciated in making it a success.  We had some very creative display ideas on (1) recycling and (2) actual plant specimens (taken from the pond that day) for members to view. As always, the picnic was wonderful with yummy food prepared by all.  Barbara and her helpers did a fabulous job on the decorations and organizing the picnic.  

Nancy stated that she has sent Kiki Schneider a MPPA Tee-shirt with a thank you note.

Betty will confirm with JP Paquette that he has reserved the New London Historical Society for the 2009 Annual Meeting (7/25/09).  

Membership report:  The secretary handed out a report to directors.  As of September 5, we have 110 members representing 51 families. Betty has attempted to contact each member not having renewed thus far this year, letting them know they are missed and encouraging them to rejoin. Four members have indicated they will renew.    She  plans  to  keep  in  touch  with  the  others.   Nancy has contacted two families on the north side of the pond.  We will also continue to work with new residents hoping to have them join our organization, and certainly including them in our upcoming activities. Once again, our goal is to have 100% membership participation.  It is still early in the year and we hope to reach this goal. 

Newsletter-Fall/Winter:  The last two issues of Messer Ponderings were published in December, 2007 and June, 2008.  In order to miss the busy winter holiday mailing season, the December issue was mailed the beginning of January.  In discussion, it was agreed by all present that we should continue publishing our newsletter in June and December (Dec. issue for distribution in January).  Therefore Betty will need all articles for the Fall/Winter issue by mid-November.   Hopefully each director will write an article on his/her area of responsibility.  Articles by MPPA members are certainly welcome and appreciated.  

Since the treasurer was absent, there was no financial report available.  However, Betty did give a short report on dues and picnic fees received at the annual meeting.  Between July 26 and September 5, $711.00 has been deposited in our checking account covering dues, contributions, picnic fees, sale of note cards and tee-shirts.  

We have received a letter from NH Lakes confirming receipt of our $300 contribution applied to the membership period of May 1, 2008 through April 30, 2009.   

Water Sampling/Testing:  John Harris took water samples on July 29th and sent them in to be analyzed by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. Since John was absent at this meeting, a copy of the results were briefly discussed.  Samples taken at Brown Brook showed total phosphorous was high which is consistent with prior years’ test results.  The NHDES 2006 Report on our water quality data discusses the elevated levels of both total phosphorous and turbidity at Brown Brook.  When both of these values are high, NHDES states that this usually indicates erosion is taking place upstream.  Brown Brook is a good candidate for bracketed tributary sampling.  John is going out on the pond to do the final water testing for the season this weekend with the aide of Bruce Stetson, using his aluminum boat.  Nancy and John will discuss the additional tributary testing. 

Lake Hosting:  Terri Bingham had a handout on Lake Hosting Results for directors.  She did mention that NH Lakes this year is looking at boats being inspected as they go in and out of the lakes.  As of September 5, there were 7l boats hosted on Messer Pond, with 101 inspections. We had 51 boats listed on the volunteer sign up sheet when the launch wasn’t manned. There doesn’t seem to be any boating pattern. Volunteers provided 115.5 ramp hours and a total of l65.30 overall volunteer hours (the additional 50 hours was mostly administrative time and training).  At the end of the last pay  period,  we  will  have  used  both the  NH Lakes  grant ($l,000) and  the majority of the Town of New London ($2,000) grant as proposed for Lake Host salaries. We have fully met our match requirements for both NH Lakes and the Town.    The heaviest boat days were on the weekends. Fridays also were busy once we began the weekday paid Lake Host schedule, depending upon the weather.  Labor Day, Monday, September 1, was our biggest day ever with 8 boats and l6 inspections. 

Terri will do her report to NH Lakes and will write up a report on how the funds were used for the Town of New London.  The plan  for  next year will be to  man the launch Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  We will check the Council on Aging calendar to find out when the COA kayakers schedule their day on Messer Pond so that we can host these boaters in and out.  In the past couple of years, this group has put as many as 23 or more kayaks on the pond in one day.  It should be mentioned here that the Lake Sunapee Point Person Geoff Lizotte has been very helpful to us this year in allowing us to share two of his lake hosts when we needed them.  He has also talked with the LSPA Executive Director June Fichter about cooperative sharing of lake hosts for next year.  A third lake host was borrowed from Kezar Lake. 

Terri has spent many, many hours on lake host training, scheduling and administrative time this year.  Dick Denise suggested that a special commendation be mentioned in the minutes in honor of Terri’s fine work on the Lake Host Program this year.  All board members echoed this suggestion. 

Weed Watching:  Terri reports that we have three new volunteer WW families this year- the Weavers, Doyles and Kings. She mentioned we need only a few more people on Forest Acres Road and we will have the entire pond covered.  The weed watching takes place during July, August and September and we have a form available which is filled out each time we go out, making it very easy to cover what we have seen.  She mentioned that Bur-reed has been seen in the pond this year for the first time. This plant can be easily identified by its spiky burr-like white fruit found on a stalk between its long leaves. Actually weed watching is a fun and interesting activity, and very important to the health of the pond. 

Terri has decided to table applying for a grant from Northeast Utilities System in October. She has been talking with LSPA’s president, Deb Benjamin, about the use of environmentally safe (phosphate-free) products and discussing ways to educate all lake and pond residents.  There is interest on the part of LSPA, MPPA and perhaps PLPA in working together on this kind of project. Perhaps we could have a magnet or a cheat sheet made up on the environmentally safe products for use by residents living on ponds and lakes. They talked about buying phosphate-free products on line as a group, and getting our message out to residents by posting information on environmentally safe products on the web site, with a specific web page.   Education is one of the objectives we need to work on.   

Recently a large number of floating dead insects in the pond was  noticed  by a resident who contacted Terri. Some of these insects were collected and given to her.  Terri spoke to Amy Smagula, Limnologist with the NH Department of Environmental Services. Amy advised that there was no problem; this was natural; and that it was not necessary to send in the collected dead bugs.  Thank you to the observant resident and Terri for following through on this.   

It was reported that Marie Rossachacj has noticed a very large hornet’s nest over the mailbox at 171 Forest Acres Road.  We should follow up with the family living at that address in case they are not aware.  

Watershed Issues:  Dick Denise has prepared a 4-page Summary of the Messer Pond Watershed Study making it more convenient for people to review, while at the same time advising we strongly recommend the entire Study be read when possible as there is much more detailed information to be found there.   In the summary, under Concerns and Recommendations, Dick has also noted some of the actions taken so far.  We certainly appreciate the great job he has done on this summary.    

In July, several board members met with Town Administrator Jessie Levine and Public Works Director Richard Lee to discuss sand removal, culverts, catch basins and other watershed issues raised in this study.  Although Jessie advised she had not yet read the Watershed Study, we did have a good meeting and found them willing to help us where they can. Our discussion with them included some collaborative projects Messer Pond residents and the Town could work on to address some of the concerns and recommendations.   A copy of the 4-page summary was also made available to Jessie for her convenience at that meeting. 

In discussion at tonight’s meeting, it was decided that Nancy would contact Richard Lee to follow up on several things discussed at the Town Office meeting, such as a Messer Pond Fall Cleanup Day, sand removal and transport, and seed for vegetation.  She will ask that someone from his department have an on-site meeting with us in September to guide us in our efforts to clean out culverts and catch basins on roads around the pond that the Town of New London will not get to this fall.  We are proposing a Fall Cleanup Day in October.   

Debbie Hunt mentioned a specific catch basin on Forest Acres that is no longer working properly.  She will point it out to us when we meet with a representative from Public Works. 

Dick Denise and Debbie Hunt plan to attend the next meeting of the Sunapee Area Watershed Coalition on September 11, 6:00-7:30 PM, at the Ivey Center Room 201, Colby-Sawyer College.

June Fichter, LSPA Executive Director, will give a Sunapee Area Watershed Coalition presentation of the Lake Sunapee Watershed Plan at the New London Planning Board on September 23 at 7:00 PM.  Any board or association member who can attend should plan to do so.  Terri Bingham attended an earlier presentation by June Fichter at a Board of Selectmen meeting this summer. 

Dick Denise requested the name of the gentleman who made a presentation on suction harvesting at the 2008 Lakes Congress this summer.  Nancy will look up this fellow’s name and give it to Dick with any other information she may have on the slideshow presentation given at that event. 

Water Safety, Fish & Wildlife:  Although Scott Brown was unable to attend this meeting, he did advise Nancy that there have been no further Canada geese issues.  Nancy mentioned that six logs have been removed from the pond because they had become a water safety issue.  Debbie Hunt told the group that Derek Hunt and Dick Cavallaro had worked together removing these logs from the pond with Derek’s boat, hauling them out of the boat launch with Dick’s vehicle.  Dick then emailed Richard Lee and contacted his office as well about removing these logs from the roadside on Bog Road.  To complete the reporting cycle, he also notified the police department.  Our thanks go to Dick and Derek on the side of water safety. 

Social/Education:  The Regatta was once again a successful and fun event and Debbie did a great job.  Nancy thanked her for taking the reigns for the Greenawalts who sadly couldn’t be here.    

Regatta:  Debbie reported that the Greenawalts had sent her the awards and all other information she needed and she had lots of help from volunteers.  She had counted 42 participants this year between the regatta and post-regatta party.  We did not use entry numbers since people usually wait until the line up at the Judges’ Raft anyway, and they simply had to come within close distance of the raft to register their entry. Terri Bingham mentioned that sometimes it was difficult for the judges to identify the participants since it was so windy and hard to hear people.  The Judges’ list of awards and names of participants will be given to Nancy so that she can put them on the web.  Several people have already emailed their photos to her, but if there are more out there, she would appreciate receiving them soon.   Debbie thought that since the Greenawalt children had planned to enter the regatta this year but could not, perhaps next year it could be an open theme and they could use this year’s entry.  This event was a nice ending to the summer activities.  All receipts for purchases made for the regatta should be given to our treasurer. 

Fall Luncheon:  Debbie stated that she will contact the Colonial Farm Inn where we had our luncheon last year or Traditions at the Lake Sunapee Country Club to schedule a luncheon for Friday, October 24th.   Those present thought a Friday seemed to be the more convenient day for people and certainly easier for out-of-state residents to be included.  Debbie will advise the board when she has the date and location confirmed so that Betty can send out an email to all and Nancy can post it on the web.   

Winter Gathering:  Rody and Dick Denise have offered their lovely home again this year for our Winter Wine & Cheese Gathering on December l3th.  The board was very appreciative of their most gracious offer and Dick was asked to thank Rody.   

Derek Hunt has an idea for a winter event which is usually held in February.  It might be a Cross Country Ski Race, or something similar to that.  Debbie will discuss it when she has more information.  This also brought to mind the condition of the pond during the winter for such events.  It was mentioned that maybe someone with a snowmobile could help us clear the area needed for activities.  The Morono family does have a wooden snow scoop that Stan uses to clean off the hockey skating area.  Some of the directors mentioned that they have seen a snowmobile parked in a driveway on Forest Acres Road.  This will be checked out.  If we could recruit a volunteer with a snowmobile, it would be most helpful grooming an area for the activity.  Everything depends on the weather as always.  Dick Denise suggested that we make it a fun type of race, as in a 3-legged ski race or backward race, etc.   

Debbie also mentioned having a spring refresher event on our Watershed Study Report to help educate Messer Ponders on the findings stated in the report (a practical application).  We might be able to collaborate with LSPA on this.   

Debbie asked if Kiki Schneider’s slide presentation was available for use.  Nancy and Betty had inquired about this last summer, but we never received a definitive answer.  As a Master Gardener with the UNH Cooperative Extension, Kiki has to receive the approval of that organization to release the slide presentation.  This will be checked into again. Nancy advised that she has purchased the books mentioned by Kiki in her presentation, and these books are also available locally at Spring Ledge Farm and Morgan Hill Bookstore. 

Website:  Nancy will be updating the website with photos of the Regatta taken by several members as soon as she receives all the photos along with the Judges’ list of entries and awards information.  She will also need this information for the newsletter.

Fundraising:  All photographs for the MPPA Calendar should be emailed to Nancy Stetson during the month of September.  The committee will meet in early October to select the photographs for the 2009 Calendar.  By mid-October, calendar photos will be sent to the printer so that we will have the finished product ready for sale in November.  We are hoping to have 100 calendars printed this year since the 2008 calendar sold out. A reminder will go out to our members to order the MPPA calendars in October for holiday gifts.   

Upcoming Events:  The 2008 New Hampshire Watershed Conference will be held on Saturday, November 15, at the Grappone Center in Concord, 7:00AM-3:30PM.  Several board members attended  this  conference  last  year and  found it to be very worthwhile.  The fee is again $20 per person and includes lunch.  Laura Alexander of Colby-Sawyer will be one of the speakers this year.

The Lakes Congress 2009 is scheduled for June 26 and it will be held in New London at Colby-Sawyer College.  Mark your calendars and attend this 2009 session of the Lakes Congress if at all possible.         

Directors and officers insurance: We have applied for D&O liability insurance with The Hartford Insurance Company and have been advised we should be receiving information on this shortly.   

Water Monitoring Equipment:   As announced at the Annual Meeting, we had planned to purchase a hand held GPS Unit for water monitoring  in Bob Brown’s name to thank him for his fine work as our past president.  Recently at Sunapee’s Love Your Lakes Day, Nancy had an opportunity to talk with Bonnie Lewis, LSPA Water Quality Lab Manager.  Bonnie suggested that we purchase instead a Secchi Disk with View Scope or a Kemmerer Bottle with chain for our water monitoring purposes. Hopefully after a few years, we could have our own equipment.  In discussion, the board thought we should follow Bonnie’s recommendation.  

A motion was then made by Nancy Stetson that we change our gift of the hand held GPS Unit, in honor of Bob Brown, to a Secchi Disk with View Scope  or  a Kemmerer Bottle.   This motion was seconded by Dick Denise and agreed to by all directors. 

The board meeting schedule was then discussed.  A member of the new board asked if it was possible to change the day of the meeting. Going around the table, the two days of the week which seemed to work best for people would be Wednesday or Thursday.  Betty will email all members absent tonight, requesting that each person let her know which day works best for all.  The meetings will still be held at 7:00 PM regardless of the day we meet.   

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 10:20 PM. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Elizabeth A. Brown

MPPA Secretary

 

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Messer Pond Protective Association

P.O. Box 103

New London, NH 03257

 

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