Annual Meeting - 2008

THORNDIKE POND CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION
Minutes of Annual Meeting
Meeting Place, Jaffrey Center, N.H.
August 2, 2008
The 49th Annual Meeting of the TPCA was called to order by President Jim Banghart at 10 AM. 47 members representing 32 families were present constituting a voting quorum. President Banghart introduced Andrea LaMoreaux, Director of Education for the NH Lakes Association, who gave us an interesting talk on “The Value of NH Lakes”. A pamphlet “What’s Our Water Worth?” is enclosed for those who were not at the meeting.
 
TPCA business then commenced with a vote to accept the minutes of the 2007 Annual Meeting. Secretary/Treasurer Susy Mansfield introduced the list of Shoreline Property Owners which now includes Jaffrey and Dublin phone numbers. She as always requested updates from those present; an even-more-up-to-date List and Map will be mailed to members with these minutes. The Map will also be posted at our website,
 
Jim Banghart then asked for a moment of silence in memory of former TPCA members Walter Foster, Ted Magoun, and Clara Stetson Grant. Clara was a charter member of the TPCA.
 
Jim next expressed thanks to Ginger Maurer, Director of Camp Wa-Klo, for hosting our Dam Day last September. Responding to the recommendation that the Dam be kept clear of undergrowth, a stalwart group of TPCA members made short work of the vegetation around the Dam and were then treated to a grill luncheon courtesy of Ginger. Photos taken by Tony Scholl will be posted on the website.
 
Kudos were given to the successful Speed Limit Committee - Emily Carr, Janet Grant and Paul Starrett - whose advocacy efforts with the Jaffrey Police has resulted in a permanently-lowered speed limit of 25 MPH on both Gilson and Thorndike Pond Roads.
 
2007 was the third year in our three-year Pond Drawdown schedule, which was concluded without incident. Members should expect that the 2008 drawdown will be one board, to be removed by Columbus Day.
Jim then introduced our newly-launched website and Webmaster, Sandi Best, who will manage it. Contact her at sandrabest@mac.com .
 
Properties for sale presently include Bruder, W. Foster, Schroeder, and Wheeler. It is a long-held and much-appreciated TPCA courtesy custom to give notice to members when a property is to go onto the market. Contact any member of the Board to post a note about property on the Pond.
 
The Financial Report, presented by Susy Mansfield, showed increases for Dam Registration and NH Lakes Association dues, as well as the initial cost for our website set-up. Other expenses were as expected. With the interest from our Certificates of Deposit, as well as membership dues, our revenue nearly matched the increase in expenses. The report was received pending audit.
 
Don Strickland, as Trustee for The Fund for Thorndike Pond, gave an overview of The Fund, with a balance now approaching $9000, and reminded all members that no donation is too small (or large) to contribute. A low key solicitation will be sent in November to encourage year-end philanthropy.
 
It is anticipated that we will eventually need major work on the Dam, for which The Fund will be used.
Jo Benedek gave her annual Weed Watcher’s Report, reminding us to be diligent in uprooting watershield and pickerel weed (purple flowers, arrow-shaped leaves) which are coming in thick especially in the southwest part of the Pond. Considerable discussion about beavers ensued; members have taken action in the northwest area, removing old beaver dams and watching for new activity. “Beavers and their Control” can be downloaded at the NH Fish and Game website www.wildlife.state.nh.us.
 
The Volunteer Lake Assessment Program (VLAP) Water Report was given by Jim Banghart in the absence of Bill Jackson, who is abed with tendon trouble. Bill has been honored by the NH Department of Environmental Services for his long tenure of service in the VLAP program and, we might add, on behalf of Thorndike Pond. Warm congratulations and thanks were expressed.
 
Bill with Jim have continued monthly sampling in various parts of the Pond with excellent results, and no change since the 2007 readings. New equipment has been purchased this year, thanks to The Fund, including a Kemmerer bottle, used to take samples at different depths, and a view scope which gives us the ability to take clarity readings with greater accuracy.. The full Water Report will be posted on the website.
 
Once again we have a successful Lake Host program in place, with volunteers coordinated by Evie Hammerman and a paid Host supervised by Susy Mansfield. As our grant from the NH Lakes Association was less than in previous years, we are depending on (and getting!) increased ramp coverage by TPCA volunteers.
 
Of special note is the participation as volunteer Lake Hosts of both Camp Wa-Klo and Camp Wanocksett campers - the first camps in the state of NH to join in this important effort! An article on this innovation will be published by the NH Lakes Association’s newsletter Lakeside which is available on line.
 
On a matter of concern to many TPCA members, some relief has been obtained from Property Taxes assessed by the Town of Jaffrey. Details were reported by Richard Mansfield who has coordinated the legal activities of several Pond residents as a private matter. The initial land assessments were based primarily on (a) whether the property had a buildable waterfront lot (if so, land was assessed at about $400,000) or a sliver,(if so, land was assessed at about $120,00), with very small adjustments for more or less acreage.
 
The NH Board of Land and Tax Appeals directed Vision Appraisals to meet with the lawyer (Mark Fernald) representing the property owners who filed for tax abatements. For owners with buildable lots, some adjustment was provided for owners with less than 4 acres, depending on acreage, with the most abatement going to owners with the smallest properties. View was not considered for this group. For the sliver owners adjustments were made, based on a combination of factors
 
The status of the new campground at Gilson Pond State Park was reported by Tom Mansfield, architect for the NH Division of Parks and Recreation, as “not ready to open yet” with plans to open in time for the 2009 season. 35 drive-in campsites and 5 remote campsites have been constructed. The campground will be served by a drilled well and a new septic system which are already in place.
 
Jim Banghart spoke next of plans for celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the TPCA in 2009. Nancy Belletete will coordinate social festivities for the Anniversary Season. Don Strickland, with Don Austermann, heads up a project to write a History of Thorndike Pond and the TPCA to be published in honor of the occasion; Don S. distributed a sign-up sheet; copies are enclosed for those who were unable to attend the meeting. Please contact Nancy and Don and join in planning the fun!
 
With appreciation expressed for out-going Board members Evie Hammerman and Liz Smith, nominations were presented for the coming year:
  • President - Jim Banghart
  • VP - Sam Hackler
  • Secretary/Treasurer - Susy Mansfield and Patty Scholl
  • Richard Webb and Ginger Maurer - terms ending 2010
Bernie Hampsey moved that nominations be closed, that the slate be elected by acclaim, and that actions taken by the Board since August 2007 be ratified, and it was seconded and so voted.
 
Adjourned at 12:20 to the Inn at Jaffrey Center for luncheon.
 
Respectfully submitted, Susy Mansfield, Secretary