JULY 22, 2006



The Messer Pond Protective Association held its 11th Annual Picnic and Business Meeting in the Lethbridge Lodge on the Colby-Sawyer College campus Saturday, July 22, 2006.  The meeting began at 3:30 pm with a social hour, followed by a business meeting and picnic.  There was a very good turnout with approximately 63 attendees.


President Bob Brown opened the business meeting welcoming the membership, stating that it has been a very busy year and the directors have been working hard on many projects.  A lot has been accomplished but we are most pleased to have our own MPPA

website.  It is a very efficient communication tool and he hopes that we will all take advantage of it.  Bob then thanked everyone for their help working with the board on various projects and encouraged participation in the organization from all members.


A special presentation was made to Fred Kaufman.  After l0 years as Editor of the Messer Ponderings Newsletter, Fred has decided to retire this year.  Bob Brown presented him with a letter from the president of Lake Sunapee Protective Association acknowledging a financial gift in his name from MPPA to LSPA toward the purchase of a new Chlorophyll-a analysis instrument for their Lab at Colby-Sawyer College.  We appreciate the outstanding job Fred has done!  It will take three people to replace him. 


Derek Hunt has decided to step down this year as Treasurer and Bob thanked him for his fine work during the past four years.  Derek was applauded by the membership. 


The Nominating Committee Report was then presented by Committee Chairman Brian Wicenski.  The following slate of officers and directors was submitted to the general membership for their vote:  President- Robert Brown, Vice President- Brian Wicenski, Treasurer- Jean-Pierre Paquette, Secretary- Elizabeth Brown; Directors Robert Crane, Jacalyn Parcells, Nancy Stetson and Barbara Troxell. 


Elected for the ensuing year:


President        Robert Brown

Vice President   Brian Wicenski

Treasurer        Jean-Pierre Paquette

Secretary        Elizabeth Brown

Director         Robert Crane

Director         Jacalyn Parcells

Director         Nancy Stetson

Director         Barbara Troxell


Brief reports were then given by the Treasurer, Secretary and Directors. 


New members Dick Denise, Phil and Elaine Goldberg and Frank and Beverly King were introduced to the membership.  James and Carolyn Byrne who joined last year at our annual meeting were also introduced.  Although not new members, Gordon and Terri Bingham are attending their first annual meeting.  We welcome you all to MPPA!


Bob Crane as Director of Watershed and Land Issues discussed paving roads around Messer Pond.  Prior to the annual meeting, he had sent an email to the membership regarding a meeting held with New London’s Road Agent Richard Lee, President Bob Brown and himself earlier this spring.  He went on to say that Mr. Lee had provided some interesting information about road maintenance, especially in the winter months.  The town now uses the same mix of sand and salt on both paved and gravel roads but the gravel roads require up to four more applications of the mix to melt the same amount of ice.  Mr. Crane said if Forest Acres Road were paved, we would experience a significant reduction in the amount of salt and silt that enters Messer Pond.  He also mentioned that some conservationists suggest that silt is more of a problem than salt in affecting the health of the pond.  Mr. Lee had noted during their meeting that Forest Acres Road loses about one inch of gravel off the road surface yearly.  Most of the gravel goes into the pond.  The lost gravel is continually being replaced by road maintenance.


Mr. Crane said the town would pay for the upgrade to the road if we request it and provide sufficient pressure on the selectmen to have it put on the paving list.  Mr. Lee had suggested it would take the town as many as 3 to 4 years to pave the road after such a project is at the top of the list.  However, it could take another 5 to 6 years to reach the top of the list. 


Some have suggested that paving the road could lead to an increase in traffic as the road would be used as a short cut between Bog and County Roads.  Mr. Crane does not think that would happen.  Tracy Road is paved, straight, less than half the distance of Forest Acres Road and is now used as a short cut.  In his email, he urged people to support the idea to pave the road to maintain the quality of Messer Pond. 


A straw vote of the members in attendance was requested by Bob Crane. 


A motion was made by Barbara Troxell to have our road put on the town’s paving list, but she later rescinded the motion in favor of more information first.


An excellent discussion by the membership followed on the pros and cons of paving with arguments on both sides.  There were questions about the town’s paving list; once on the list, are we sure we can be taken off?  Are there other alternatives to paving? How detrimental is our dirt road to the pond?  Wouldn’t the paving of Forest Acres Road change a way of living for this area?  Whether or not the road would be widened and/or straightened if paved?  What can we do to better infiltrate?  Also mentioned was paving did not solve the problem for LLSPA.  Where do we get the numbers?  How do we come to these conclusions?  We need data. 


Brian Wicenski reminded the membership that keeping the pond healthy is our goal.  Additional information is necessary on whether or not a paved road will protect the pond.  In turn, what surface would protect the pond best?  More research is needed to find out numbers.  Do we agree that we want to find out more information to protect our pond?  There was a show of hands in agreement by a majority of the membership that we need to research this further and find more information.


JP Paquette said more data is needed not only on paving, but how the road itself is affecting the pond.  Is a dirt road more detrimental than a paved road to the pond?  What are the other options?  Which surface would be safer for the winter?  We also need more data on feeder streams.   


Brian Wicenski mentioned the NH Department of Environmental Services would be a good resource.  Carolyn Byrne mentioned a watershed study that had been done by Sunapee.


It was agreed that the Board would obtain more information and then send it out to the membership.


A report was given by Janie Webster on the Weed Watcher Program.  She said, as Brian had mentioned several times today, our major goal is protecting the pond.  There are 12 households involved in our program.  The whole pond is sectioned off.  Most of our weed watcher members were able to attend the training session with Amy Smagula of NH DES.  LSPA also has training sessions.  We will continue the training for all our team members.  We need every household to be aware and very vigilant.  If you see any questionable weed, you should contact Janie Webster.  She welcomes all new members to the team.  They are Dick Denise, Gordon and Terri Bingham and Les Brown.  Remember, it takes all of us to be aware.  We can always use additional members to help in our watch.


Jean Conly requested that we obtain a PA system for use at our annual meetings since it is very difficult to hear speakers.


Bob Brown thanked Barbara Troxell and Jackie Parcells for organizing this year’s picnic as well as Colby-Sawyer for the use of the lodge.  As always, the spread was wonderful!  He advised members our annual meeting next year has been scheduled for July 28, 2007.


James Byrne moved that we adjourn the meeting.


Myke Simon thanked Bob Brown for the fine job he has done as president this year.


Respectfully submitted,


Elizabeth A. Brown, Secretary





Messer Pond Protective Association

P.O. Box 103

New London, NH 03257


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