MESSER POND PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

OCTOBER 28, 2005

 

The MPPA Board of Directors met on October 28, 2005 at 7:30 p.m. at the home of President Bob Brown.  Members in attendance at this meeting were Bob Brown, Bob Crane, Derek Hunt, Fred Kaufman, Jane Landenberger, Barbara Troxell, Brian Wicenski and Betty Brown.  Harrison Roberts was absent.  Also in attendance were visitors Dick Cavallaro, Nancy Stetson, Bruce Stetson, Emma Crane, Sandy Brown and Scott Brown.

President Brown opened the meeting welcoming Director Bob Crane to his first MPPA Board meeting and gave a warm welcome to all visitors.  Going around the table, introductions were made by all present.  

Dick Cavallaro and his group were called upon by Bob Brown to discuss a proposal to establish an MPPA website.  Dick thanked Bob for inviting them tonight and began the presentation by giving some background on previous attempts made to establish a website. The subject has come up three times over the years.  Among  various reasons given for not having a website in the past were concerns relative to publicizing Messer Pond, the costs involved, the amount or availability of volunteer effort required to establish and maintain such a site, lack of membership interest and assuring privacy of potentially sensitive matters.  An ad hoc group, consisting of Nancy and Bruce Stetson, Les Brown and Dick Cavallaro, has gotten together and researched the proposed website.  They have held four meetings, working independently as well and have crystallized their thoughts in a manner which they hope will be persuasive. 

The Stetson’s have had the experience of creating a website for their own business.  Les Brown, who couldn’t be with us tonight, has put great effort into setting up the initial proposed MPPA website.  Through the use of Bob Brown’s wireless, Les’ website was available for viewing at this meeting.  His first efforts at an MPPA site consisted of MPPA newsletter, photos, interesting data and the expenses encountered establishing a beta site, etc. 

Nancy and Bruce Stetson discussed the benefits of a website and why MPPA should consider the proposal at this time.  It would be an efficient way for the Board to communicate with members, using the least number of hours.  Association members without computers would of course still receive communication by mail.  With a little work, sensitive information can be buried.  MPPA would be very careful about putting e-mail addresses on its site.  There could be a password required in order to secure certain information.  We would have the ability to make available to members minutes, newsletters, events, chat rooms, interesting photos, education - weed identification, pertinent regulations relating to boating, zoning, burning, et cetera.  The costs involved for a site were discussed.  There is an annual recurring registration fee of $3.00.  There is a set up and domain registration (one time) charge.  There would be a monthly charge for the site to be hosted.  The rate would depend on the amount of information being stored.  One host checked out would be $20.50 monthly for maintenance (Adelphia - basic package).  This package would probably be satisfactory for starting out.                                                                                              

The Stetson’s talked about their experience creating a business website.  The Board had an opportunity to view several typical pond websites such as LIPA for good milfoil pictures, aerials and topos, Lovewell Pond for privacy issues and Washington Lakes Association for weed identification with links to NHDES Volunteer Weed Watch Programs, aquatic photos and plant identification guide.    

Director Bob Crane’s comments and experience with both the New London Conservation Commission website as well as the Lovewell Pond Association website were very helpful.  He is responsible for creating the NLCC website, using software provided by the Town of New London.

Scott Brown, visitor at this meeting, also had some very good suggestions and information regarding websites.  Scott is knowledgeable in this area and experienced in information technology systems.   

When Bob Brown asked what the maximum cash layout would be, Nancy Stetson said the maximum amount would be $500/year, with no more than a total of five pages.  However, we could do it ourselves with volunteer availability for less and we could have more pages and flexibility with volunteers maintaining it.  Bob also asked how easy would it be to move from volunteer maintenance to hired pay.  Nancy said it would be quite easy.  We would control the costs.  Again, it was suggested that we start out simple at first. 

Bob thanked Dick Cavallaro, Nancy and Bruce Stetson for coming and expressed the Board’s appreciation for the great effort and time put into this project by all involved and was sorry that Les Brown couldn’t be at the meeting.  It was an impressive presentation.

Based on the information presented by this ad hoc group, Bob Brown then asked the Board for a verbal vote to go forward with the group’s proposal.   The Board voted unanimously to move forward on this. 

The issue of who would be making decisions as to what goes on the website was brought up.  How we want to approach this, the resources involved, etc., will be discussed at our next meeting.  Bob Brown then asked that Director Bob Crane be put on the Web Site Team, attending their meetings to come up with the next step, reporting back to the Board.  This will be phase one of the plan.  If we need to meet earlier than February, a meeting can always be called.  Bob Brown will contact Dick Cavallaro regarding tonight’s vote.  Brian Wicenski and Bob will follow up on this.

President Brown called for discussion of the minutes of September l, 2005.  He asked if there were any comments.  Hearing none, he then asked the secretary if she wanted to bring up his question of whether Sandy Brown should have been included as an attendee at the 9/l/05 meeting.  Betty did so and it was decided by the members that since our meetings will be open to all, we will include anyone present on the attendance list. Betty then pointed out that Jane Landenberger was listed in the minutes as a non-voting member.  This is an error.  She definitely has a vote and the correction will be made.  At this point,  Jane Landenberger said that when she contacted John Harris sometime ago regarding a board position, he said he was unavailable to be on the board.  Minutes will be amended to reflect this.  With these amendments noted, motion was made to accept the minutes as modified.  The motion was  seconded, with all in favor.  The amended minutes will be e-mailed to the membership and of course mailed through the postal service to those members who do not have e-mail. 

Membership:  The secretary reported as of this date with the renewal of George and Margaret Martens’ 2005 membership, we now have a total of 109 members.  Betty also mentioned that the Martens expressed interest in working with MPPA when they can on any of the following areas: Water Safety, Water Quality, Social & Education Activities and Land Issues. 

Bob Brown will go to the Lake Sunapee and Mascoma Banks where we have MPPA accounts to obtain new signature cards.  He will take copies of our annual report with the necessary information on our 2005/2006 Directors and Officers. 

December 10th Wine & Cheese Gathering:  In addition to the write-up in the newsletter, an invitation will be mailed out to the membership two weeks prior to the winter gathering.  Barbara Troxell reminded all that each board member is responsible for bringing either a cheese dish or an appetizer to the Conly’s for this event. 

At this point in the meeting, an off-the-record board discussion took place. 

Bob Brown discussed concerns regarding high water levels and the tremendous amount of road damage caused by recent heavy rains.  Some of the riprap installed by the Town has been washed out of the road ditches.  He is planning to walk along Forest Acres Road with another member or two to assess the damage, making notes in order to raise our concerns with the Town.  If anyone is interested in doing this, let him know.  We need to get on a list of New London roads that have a lesser amount of salt spread after winter storms.  We would have to talk with Road Agent Richard Lee about this.  In addition, we could have a meeting with the Town Administrator Jessie Levine.  Certainly an invitation could be extended to the road agent and Jessie to attend our meetings.  We need to figure out how to catch the runoff from going into the pond and find out how successful the Town’s attempts have been at this. 

DES Plant Survey Report:  We have received the full report, dated l0/24/05, of the DES plant survey conducted on Messer Pond on August l0, 2005, along with a map and key of the findings by Amy Smagula, Exotic Species Program Coordinator.  Amy has determined that there is a healthy mix of aquatic plant growth in Messer Pond at this time.  She said the plants that are found in the pond are very common in New Hampshire.

The most prevalent plant species was pickerelweed.  No aquatic exotic plants were found anywhere in the pond during the survey, but she did advise that we continue to monitor once a month from May through September for these plants as a single boat could result in the introduction of an exotic plant that could pose problems for the pond.  Amy went on to say that at this point she does not perceive there to be a problem with aquatic plants in Messer Pond.  She would advise residents to practice good watershed management activities to minimize nutrient loading to the pond, which will thereby slow both plant and algae growth.   Overall, things are relatively in good shape.  Bob Brown will send the full DES Plant Survey Summary Report out to the MPPA membership. 

Colby-Sawyer College Field Trip:  David Webster helped a Colby-Sawyer College Environmental Studies class this fall to view Messer Pond for ecological impact, viewing all outlets, inlets, brooks and construction (road and residential) impacting the Pond. They have promised to share the results of the study with us when completed.   A major study on Pleasant Lake, looking at their entire watershed, is being done by a group of students in the CSC Community and Environmental Studies Program.  

Bob Brown discussed  a letter from Town Administrator Jessie Levine of 9/9/05 regarding the Town of New London 2005 Milfoil Fund Grant Application.  Although MPPA had requested $2,000 for invasive milfoil prevention programs on 6/24/05, the application information required by the Town had not been completed.  In 2004, MPPA was awarded $l,000 of the $2,000 Milfoil Grant funds requested.  With these funds came a requirement that expenditures be reported to the Town.  To date this has not been done.  We know that $405.8l of the $l,000 granted has been spent.  Discussion ensued regarding these expenditures and the amount of MPPA volunteer hours, goods, material or labor spent on Milfoil Prevention Programs.  Bob will research these areas and then submit a narrative to the Town for 2004/2005 grant fund activity.

We need to file the 2005 Annual Non Profit Report with the Secretary of State along with a check in the amount of $25.00 for the filing fee. This report is due by December 31, 2005.  Betty will submit the report to the Secretary of State. 

Our list of meeting dates for 2005/2006 has been agreed upon by all board members and other than tonight’s meeting, the time of our Friday board meetings will be 7 p.m.

Fred Kaufman advised members that the proposed development at Pleasant Lake has been withdrawn.  Pleasant Lake Protective Association is now trying to see if they can purchase the property from the Grangers.

Zoning Board:  The Voellmann’s request for their walkway has been approved. 

Open Director’s Slot:  We are still working on filling the open position on the board.  Fred mentioned it would be nice if it could be filled by a person from the other side of the pond.  Bob is talking with people about the position.  Fred said he hoped the Board as a whole would be able to agree on the person selected.     

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.                                                                                 

 

 

Respectfully submitted, 

Elizabeth A. Brown

Secretary


 

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Messer Pond Protective Association

P.O. Box 103

New London, NH 03257

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