August 24, 2007

 (Pre-approved at 11/2/07 BOD)


The Board of Directors met at the home of President Bob Brown on Friday, August 24, 2007 at approximately 7:20 PM. The meeting was late getting started as many of the directors had spent several hours touring the pond and in discussion with Charlie Hirshberg from CLD Consulting Engineers. 

Present: Terri Bingham, Nancy Stetson, JP Paquette, Scott Brown, Bruce Stetson, Bob Brown, Barbara Troxell. Also attending was association member Sandy Brown. 

President Bob Brown welcomed new directors and officers. Minutes from the early July meeting and annual meeting were not received or reviewed, as Secretary Betty Brown was ill. Bob Brown did note that the request to fund the watershed study would have passed even without the proxy votes but that he was glad the board had proceeded with a proxy option for members. 

Action Items:

  1. Association member Gerry Rogoff’s request needs to be responded to. Gerry does not think members of the same family should serve on the board simultaneously. He would need to send a written request to the secretary at any time during the year up to June 1, requesting that the Articles of Agreement be amended at that year’s annual meeting.  Not less than 15 days prior to the annual meeting, the secretary shall forward a copy of all proposed amendments to every member.  The written proposed amendment requires a paper ballot at the annual meeting. Gerry will be contacted in writing to ask if he wishes to go forward with this for the next annual meeting. For definitional standards, the amendment needs to address same family or same household. The board does not feel that this amendment is in the interest of MPPA as it is very difficult to find people willing to serve and would decrease the number of people we could draw from for officers and directors.
  2. At the annual meeting, association member Fred Kaufman asked us to review MPPA’s tax-exempt status. Barbara asked what the benefits might be.  Bob wondered if the benefits were outweighed by the work involved to obtain this status. MPPA is now a 501 C4 and the change would be to a 501 C3. Terri suggested that we talk to some members who are lawyers.  JP read from the definition of C3 and C4 and the real difference is how you receive monies. We do now receive some public funding for the lake host program and are more involved with educational and scientific activities. Terri suggested checking with LSPA to see how and why they transitioned to a 501 C3. Bob suggested that we talk to a CPA.  JP, Bruce and Nancy will check with the accountants they use for their businesses.
  1. Association member Myke Simon had a question about hauling out the old logs from Messer Pond to improve pond conditions. Barbara noted that according to Sarah Smith from UNH in her educational program to our membership last August, you could only remove floaters due to disturbances to the bottom of the water body. Bob wondered if other ponds have had the logs removed. Jackie Colburn is our contact at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services for the watershed study and this question will be posed to her. Tim Flurry may be another person to get information from on this question. Scott Brown will also call Peter Crowell to ask about log removal.
  2. A letter will be written to Dale and Jeanne Conly thanking them for the public address system that they purchased for the association. It really was helpful at the annual meeting.
  3. We have not received the bill yet, but owe an additional payment to CSC ($100) for the annual meeting lodge rental. JP will send the check and a note, thanking Colby-Sawyer College for the use of the lodge.

Membership - JP reported that there are 126 members from 54 different families. Betty Brown is doing a wonderful job recruiting new members. 

Social Educational - Terri thanked Barbara for setting up an excellent program on wells and well water on August 22nd.  Over 45 people were in attendance. Nancy will send links to information received at the program to Myke and Rose Simon, as they were unable to attend.  Information will also be posted on the website.  Bob received much positive feedback on Amy Smagula’s presentation at the annual meeting. We should try to keep Laura Alexander at CSC abreast of MPPA’s ongoing programs, such as our watershed investigations.  MPPA may be of interest for a possible CSC student project.  The Regatta plans are moving along thanks to the work of the Greenawalt Families. The Websters and Hunts are once again permitting the after-Regatta party to be held on the lot they own between their houses. Barbara is also working on the ladies fall luncheon plans. She will need a few people to take reservations and money once arrangements have been made with a local restaurant. A Friday in mid-October will probably be the time of this event.  Rody and Dick Denise have volunteered their home for the annual holiday wine and cheese event in December. The Winter Carnival will only happen if volunteers come forward to coordinate. That needs to happen soon if MPPA wants to enlist efforts of the New London Historical Society to reintroduce this event in the community.  It was suggested that a decision about Winter Carnival be made at the Regatta party based on volunteers who sign on at that time. 

Association member Myke Simon contacted Bob Brown, as Myke would like to research seedlings along the shoreline for erosion protection purposes. Terri suggested that we get information from Charlie Hirshberg and Laura Alexander based on study results.  Scott Brown mentioned that information is also on the MPPA website under Reading Room: then, NH Division of Forest and Lands.

Website - Terri has some ideas to revamp the Lake Host and Water Quality Pages. Nancy and Terri will work on this. Nancy stated that as Watershed Study information grows, it will be added to the website. Bob stated that he has had lots of great comments from members about the website. 

Fish and Wildlife - Scott has connected with Heidi Murphy who is the Conservation Officer for our district.  In a few weeks, he will have more time and plans to put up some additional duck boxes. Also, the existing duck boxes need cleaning. 

Lake Host/Weed Management - Terri reported that the Lake Host Program will end this week.  She noted that in an effort to capture more of the boats using the pond, the hours for paid lake hosting were revised to include additional hours on the weekend days, with volunteer hosts covering as many of the remaining hours as possible.  Terri also reported that we used 144 of the 150 hours that we had contracted for with the paid lake hosts and advised JP that the final bill from New Hampshire Lakes Association (NHLA) would be sent to the Board in September.  A final report will also be due to NHLA and Terri agreed to send the draft final report to all board members before it is submitted to NHLA.  The report will include hours and dollars used as well as a tracking sheet for out of pocket expenses.  The Board agreed that there was no basis to seek any additional funds for lake hosting from the Town of New London for this year, but that requests for next year were certainly possible and that the final lake host report to NHLA as well as the volunteer hours from weed watchers could be used for any final report to the Town with respect to MPPA’s use of the 2005 Town grant of $l,000 for milfoil protection.  Concern was expressed that most volunteer lake hosts are board members and that there was little participation by other residents of the pond.  An effort will be made to recruit both paid and volunteer hosts earlier for 2008.  As 2007 was our first year with the program, some of the difficulties could be linked to our later start applying and participating in the program.  However, it was also noted that many other water bodies have experienced similar problems recruiting volunteers and that it may be necessary to staff the launch with more paid hosts to ensure proper coverage with a larger financial cash, rather than volunteer, match.  JP stated that the Board should be upfront with the membership about the needs of the program.  The Board agreed that the lake host program was a valuable asset and that if volunteers cannot be recruited for lake hosting, it may be necessary to ask the membership to approve an increase in the dues, which have not been increased for a number of years, to help fund the program.  Association member Myke Simon would like to see some sort of cabana at the launch site for the protection and comfort of the lake hosts.  In 2007, the paid lake hosts brought an umbrella with them during the warmer days.  The Board agreed that an umbrella and chair are easier to move and store.  Terri wrote thank you notes to the two paid lake hosts and all board members present signed them.  Terri included a $25 I-Tunes gift card for each and will be reimbursed from the Treasury for this.  Terri also reported that replacements are needed for weed watchers that have moved or can no longer conduct the duties.  She will solicit additional weed watch volunteers in the next newsletter.  

Treasurer’s Report- JP stated that $500 was added to the Capital Reserve Fund from donations sent with membership dues. We have just under $8,000 in assets.

Watershed Meeting with Charlie Hirshberg- Data that had been collected was given to him and a boat tour of Messer Pond was taken. Pictures of the culverts were also given to him. The directors and officers present (Bob, Terri, Nancy, Bruce, Scott) found the experience eye opening. Charlie asked Scott to make comparisons to what the pond used to be like when he would swim, fish or boat, growing up. The dense vegetation in areas where it had previously been open water amazed Scott. The weeds are heavy adjacent to stream entries and there is bladderwort over much of the bottom. Additional species are growing in sediment deposits. The State will assist in the study and we have had an intern from DES assigned to the Messer Pond project. Bruce felt that working with DES would definitely help. Charlie knows Jody Connor who is the DES Limnology Director. Charlie will review all the information given to him and he will hook up with DES. The CLD Consulting Engineers agreement was presented and Charlie will be given one-third payment up front. A survey will be sent to all Association members, as we want all members to have the opportunity to participate in the study of our watershed.  

Bob is meeting with Alan Hanscom from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation next week.  He plans to discuss the interstate/road impact study and the highway maintenance plan respective to sand and salt during the winter months with Alan.  Bob has also advised the New London Town Offices and Town Administrator concerning our Watershed Study.   It would be nice if the town contributed to the cost.  

Barbara suggested that board members copy all membership survey inclusions to the whole board. To facilitate this, we will copy to Betty who will then pass on to the rest of the board. 

Barbara stated that association member Dick Cavallaro had requested a copy of the proposal for the watershed study received from the consultant in Bedford.  Bob will check with Betty to have this sent to Dick.


Meeting was adjourned at 9:20 PM


Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Troxell






Messer Pond Protective Association

P.O. Box 103

New London, NH 03257


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