MESSER POND PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

NOVEMBER 6, 2008

(Reviewed and Pre-approved by BOD for 2/19/09 Meeting) 

The Board of Directors met at the Lake Sunapee Savings Bank Community Room on Thursday, November 6, 2008, at 7:00 p.m.  Present were President Nancy Stetson, Vice President Terri Bingham, Treasurer Jean-Pierre Paquette, Directors Bob Brown, John Harris and Secretary Betty Brown.  Absent were Directors Scott Brown, Dick Denise and Debbie Hunt. 

With a quorum present, the president opened the meeting welcoming all in attendance. 

Membership Report was given by the secretary.  As of this meeting, we have 111 MPPA members, representing 52 families. 

The schedule for Messer Ponderings was discussed and board members were asked to  send the secretary their article(s) by mid-November.  The newsletter would then be distributed to the membership in January. 

Financial Report:  The treasurer handed out printed financials to the Board, saying that we are back to where we were financially before paying for our Watershed Study.  We are currently in a pretty good position, and as he mentioned to the Association members, rather than increasing membership dues this year, we think it’s best to continue to give above and beyond member dues to the Capital Reserve Fund, Lake Hosting or Tributary Water Quality Testing programs.  People have been very generous and we hope that this will continue.  We will wait to see if there is a need to revisit increasing membership dues next year. 

We will pay out a $300 membership fee to New Hampshire Lakes Association, a Lake Sunapee Protective Association (LSPA) contribution of $l00, and a membership contribution of $l00 to the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust. 

The last bill received for water testing from LSPA’s lab was $124.00.   JP is going to review the fees for monitoring/testing back to 1996.  He will then develop a flow and budget for Messer Pond Water Testing.  The Profit and Loss printouts distributed to the Board were also discussed. 

Tax Status: JP reported he has been poking and prodding the tax status issue. If we do this, we will need to do more due diligence.  Our bylaws will have to be rewritten as we proceed down the path. We will have to file with the federal government. He also   discussed the fact that since the tax status change was brought up at last year’s annual meeting, outside of this Board, JP is not hearing any interest from others in this change.  On a low key basis, he has been asking questions of his CPA’s firm.  In addition, he has talked with the folks at New Hampshire Non-Profit and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation regarding changing from 50l(c)(4) to 501(c)(3) status.  As discussed previously, the difference in the two is that 50l(c)(4) is considered a social organization (like a club) and it is fee-based, but with the 501(c)(3), the focus needs to be educational or scientific.  Perhaps Water Testing, Weed Watching and our Watershed Evaluation would be considered scientific.  The only advantage in changing to a 501(c)(3) is that people can take a tax deduction for contributions made to the Association.   JP will continue to investigate this change in tax status.  Bob Brown also mentioned here that he would be happy to help with this.

Nancy discussed  the gift to MPPA (in Bob Brown’s name) changed from a handheld GPS Unit to a Kemmerer Bottle and/or Secchi Disc for an approximate price of $550.00.  A motion was made by Treasurer JP Paquette that we now do what we need to, making the purchase.  Terri Bingham seconded the motion, and all members were in favor.  This type of purchase for MPPA would also show that we are a scientific organization. 

Directors and Officers Insurance:  We now have D&O Liability coverage in force as of 9/26/08, through McCrillis & Eldredge Insurance, Inc.  Thanks to all who looked into the options available with several other insurance companies. 

Water Quality:  John Harris reported that he has gone out on the pond testing the water quality three times this year; once alone, once with Bruce Stetson, and once with the State.  For an aging pond, we are in pretty good shape.  The chlorophyll-a concentration increased slightly from July to August, and then decreased sharply from August to September.  The median chlorophyll-a concentration is about 4.58 mg/m3 for ponds of our type.  Our pond has been as high as 9 in August of 2007.  The good news is that on September 4th, it was 4.78.    John explained that 0 to 5 is good. Anything over 15 is considered poor.  The level at the deep spot was 6.8; the Brown inlet was 6.8. 

Acid Neutralizing Capacity:  Our pond is moderately vulnerable to acid rain.

Total Epilemnetic Phosphorus:  11-20 ug/L is considered average.

Our pond:  Phosphorus levels in September (2008) at the following locations:

Bog Road – 8 (good), Nutter Brook – 39, Brown Inlet – 38, County Road Inlet – 17.

The levels taken earlier in August (2008) at the following locations were: Brown Inlet - 112, Bog Road - 10.  The lake level was high.  Phosphorus is caused by nutrient loading “stuff” decomposing on the bottom of the pond.  John Harris suggested that for a future educational program, we could talk with all our neighbors about the watershed sources of phosphorus and how excessive phosphorus loading can negatively impact the ecological value of lakes and ponds. 

Tributary Testing:  We need to do one testing before winter; Bracketed sampling on Brown Brook.  We may need 2 bottles for this.  Also a Chloride sampling was not done in 2008.  John could do a Chloride test in 2009.  Terri Bingham offered to contact Bonnie Lewis at the Colby-Sawyer LSPA Lab during the week and would go and pick up bottles for the testing/sampling mentioned by John. 

Nancy thanked John for a very good report. 

Lake Host Program:  Terri Bingham reported that we matched at 546% on the Lake Host Program. The two folks borrowed from Lake Sunapee were very reliable.  The LSPA Lake Host Point Person, Goeff Lizotte, is interested in doing a work program with us for this coming year.  As a result of better coverage last summer, we were able to get a much better picture of when most boats come to Messer Pond.  The busiest days were Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  We are aware that we’ll never qualify for more than a $l000 grant from NH LAKES.  However, we need to be pro-active and apply for the grant early.  This summer we did get some “on the spot” donations from fishermen, and people seemed very pleased that Messer Pond has a Lake Host program.   

Weed Watchers:  We are pretty much done for the year.  Terri said she had sent a group of samples in with a good outcome.  She is still waiting for a few WW report sheets to be filled out. 

Terri will be doing grant writing again this winter.  She will also be sending out a Weed Watcher reminder that we still need people to help out with this program.  She is very willing to train new people who are interested, and splitting up some of the areas being covered now – the more volunteers we have, the better off we are. 

Watershed Study – Follow up:  As part of the Fall Cleanup, we will do a survey of culverts, catch basins’ storm water with Richard Lee.  He has a desire to help us.  We have questions on a few items, for example, the culverts at the end of driveways, most are within the Town Right of Way.  Is the cost obligation that of the homeowner?  Who is supposed to take care of it?  For the Fall Cleanup, when we pick up, where can we dump the leaves?  How big a cleanup should we do?  Perhaps we should scale back, picking a couple of sites for this fall and do a more expansive one in the spring.  The weekend of November 22 and 23 (the 23rd being the rain date) has been chosen.  Most culverts are pretty clear.  We need 4 or 5 people to work with us.  All those interested should meet in front of the Stetsons’ house Saturday, 11/22 at 9:00 a.m.  People should come with shovels and rakes.  JP offered to use his truck trailer for a job such as this. 

Lake Sunapee Watershed Plan:  We have begun attending the monthly meetings of the Sunapee Area Watershed Coalition. They are working on an Advisory Warrant Article. We are now on the SAWC newsletter distribution. Terri attended the September meeting, and Dick and Nancy attended in October.   The next meeting has been moved to Thursday, November 20th.

Water Safety, Fish & Wildlife:  The logs taken out of the pond by Dick Cavallaro and Derek Hunt this summer have been removed from the side of Bog Road by the Town Highway Department.  Bob Brown said one duck box has been placed on the east end of the pond and two were placed on the west end in the marsh.  Three new site posts have been put in, then the rest of the boxes will be put up when the weather allows.  February is the month of the year when duck boxes are cleaned and maintained. 

The dying tree on Blueberry Island needs to be removed. Removal of the tree requires Planning Board approval.  Dale Conly will be contacted regarding this request.  Blueberry Island is the property of the Town of New London. 

Fall Luncheon:  The Fall Luncheon, held at Traditions at the LSCC this year, was a big success.   At Debbie Hunt’s request, this luncheon was open to men as well.  It went very smoothly with a good size group. The square seating arrangement will be changed  next year, making it easier for people to converse. Debbie did a very nice job arranging this luncheon. 

The Wine & Cheese Gathering scheduled for Saturday, December l3th, will take place again this year at the home of Dick and Rody Denise from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.  The board is reminded that we are responsible for appetizers for this gathering.  The Board is very appreciative of Rody and Dick’s offer to host this event again. 

A winter event perhaps during February is being looked into by Derek Hunt.  More details will be forthcoming soon.  Debbie is away but she is working on ideas for the next educational event. 

Website:  Nancy has brought the website up to date, and has restructured it, to look more professional with information on all our programs, scientific as well as educational.   The most recent newsletter has also been added to the website. 

Town Report:  We have been invited by the Town Administrator to write a report to be included in the New London Town Report for 2008.  Our report must be submitted by early January. 

We already have 62 pre-orders for our 2009 MPPA Calendar.  75 calendars were ordered and we expect to sell out once again.  Nancy has just received the calendars and has brought them to this meeting for members to see.  Once again they are lovely and people will have an opportunity to purchase what we have left at the Winter Gathering. 

Upcoming Events:  Four MPPA members will be attending the Watershed Conference on November l5th.  The 2009 New Hampshire Lakes Congress will be held this year in New London at Colby-Sawyer College on Saturday, June 26th.   It would be wonderful to have a nice representation of the MPPA membership.  This conference is a great way to make contact with other lake associations, hearing all the latest news from the State, and sharing ideas on watershed management plans.  It is always very educational. 

Schedule for board meetings will be available via email and printouts will also be available. 

The next meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, February 5, 2009. 

Nancy asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Motion was made by JP Paquette, and seconded by Terri Bingham, with all in favor.  The meeting was adjourned. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Elizabeth A. Brown

MPPA Secretary 

Post meeting note:  Due to a conflict in the meeting location schedule, our February 5th BOD Meeting has been rescheduled to February l9th at the LSSB Community Room.

 

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Messer Pond Protective Association

P.O. Box 103

New London, NH 03257

 

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