THORNDIKE POND CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION
Minutes of Annual Meeting
Meeting Place, Jaffrey Center, N.H.
August 6, 2005
The 46th annual meeting of the Thorndike Pond Conservation Association was called to order by President Rod Mackenzie at 12:48 PM. 53 voting members were present constituting a quorum. Rod introduced the members of the Board and paid tribute to former President Ray Kruse, whose memorial was held at the Thorndike Club this morning, and to Katherine Ayres (Mrs. Charles), mother of TPCA member Robert Ayres, whose Memorial will be held this afternoon.
A motion to accept the minutes of the 2004 Annual Meeting was voted unanimously.
Susy Mansfield introduced the updated Map and Member List as a work-in-progress and requested the help of members in keeping information current and accurate. Those members with e-mail are invited to join a TPCA group list, a new tool for communication on Pond issues and concerns year-round. To join the list, send an e-mail to s.mansfield@,verizon.net.
The Treasurer's Report (attached) shows a combined balance of $17,559.68 on all accounts at the close of the fiscal year ended June 30, 2005. Both income and expenses have been as anticipated, with no unusual events. We will continue to hold reserves in a CD.
Water Quality Report
Bill Jackson reported on tests conducted in June and July with the assistance of Bob Chamberlain. The most important reading, total phosphorus, is 7.3 upper 7.7 lower. Readings of 1-10 are good, 11-20 average, 21-40 high; the state average is 12/13. TP phosphorus levels have been helped by the new Gilson Pond Dam. Chlorophyll readings show a mean of 6.5 over multiple measuring points; the state will give us a 10 year annual trend report. Clarity is based on how far the Secchi disk can be seen. The NH mean is 3.7 and TP is 3.2, slightly better than prior readings. Conductivity (an indication of road salt run-off) is 36.7. Less than 50 is good; the NH mean is 59.4 and readings are generally high due to granite. Photoplankton results are overwhelmingly good.
The NH State limnologist will participate in the August testing. Jo Benedek expressed concern for phosphorus levels at the SW inlet, which will be addressed during the August tests.
Jo Benedek continues to monitor weeds around the Pond with a particular focus on the SW end. The "Plant of the Year" is Watershield, a native aquatic which resembles a small water-lily with oval-shaped leaves and which is coming in densely. Jo recommends hand-picking to pull it out by the roots. Another weed to watch is Coontail, a long bushy submerged native which breaks loose and forms large masses, and which can also be removed by hand.
Rod Mackenzie reported that the TPCA received a grant of $2540. from the NH Lakes Association to continue the Lake Host program in which TPCA has participated for the past three years. The matching grant requires that TPCA provide $1812. in volunteer effort which is presently being given by Lee Bruder, Susy Mansfield and Rod Mackenzie. Two young men hired as Lake Hosts staff the Boat Ramp every Friday, Saturday and Sunday (with the addition of Monday on holiday weekends) and provide courtesy boat inspections and public education on the dangers of exotic invasive species. The NHLA reports 23 "saves" through August 1. Thanks to the vigilance and cooperation of Pond residents, no exotics have been found in Thorndike Pond so far.
Rod spoke of the future of Whittemore Island, presently in the stewardship of The Nature Conservancy which would like to pass oversight responsibility to an appropriate local agency. It seems advisable that TPCA partner with The Monadnock Conservancy on this project and the regulatory obligations are being explored as well as tax implications.
Rod reported next on routine maintenance of the Dam and the 3:1 board drawdown program. According to TPCA custom, strong opinions were offered representing several points of view. The large (3-board) drawdown hurts the appearance of the pond, especially in the shallower south end, during the late Fall, but provides easy access for beach maintenance. The Board will take all opinions under advisement.
Mackenzie then introduced the recent revaluation of property by the Town of Jaffrey which has been the subject of several recent ad hoc meetings of concerned residents, and of investigative work by members of the Board. It is believed that house values are largely on-target. Land values have risen from 100 - 400%; residents have been assured that the unknown valuation formula does not take linear shorefront footage into account. Mountain and lake views appear to factor intangibly into 'fair market value', as does the fact that powerboats are allowed on Thorndike Pond.
Rod outlined the timeline whereby residents will receive final property assessments and tax bills, after which requests for abatement can be filed. VP Jim Banghart presented a comparative analysis of property values between Thorndike Pond and Gilmore Pond. Values have risen an average of 277% on Thorndike Pond properties compared to an average increase of 216% elsewhere in Jaffrey, with TP properties coming in 60% higher than Gilmore Pond properties.
Several strong opinions and possible courses of action were expressed by members. Mackenzie stated that the legal standing of the TPCA - which is not a property owner - is unclear and that the Board is committed to securing information and facilitating communication to and among members on this important subject.
Members are invited to join an ad hoc watchdog committee - contact Rod Mackenzie.
The Fund for Thorndike Pond
Don Strickland reported appreciation on behalf of the Trustees (Strickland and B. Hampsey) for gifts totaling $2250 made to The Fund w. the past year by 16 members, and bringing the balance of The Fund to $4784. An appeal will be made hi December and members are encouraged to include The Fund for Thorndike Pond in their philanthropic giving. Don gave several purchases that might be made by The Fund (safety signs, water testing equipment) and invited members to offer further suggestions. Over time it is expected that The Fund' will be used to maintain and eventually replace the dam.
Election of Officers
Don Austermann presented the slate on behalf of the Nominating Committee, all incumbents. It was duly moved, seconded and unanimously voted to re-elect:
For a term of one year, Officers:
- Rod Mackenzie, President
- Jim Banghart, Vice President
- Susy Mansfield, Secretary/Treasurer
- For terms of two years. Directors:
- Don Austermann
- Barry Steinberg
- They join continuing Directors Evie Hammerman and Paul Starrett whose terms expire 8/06.
Don Strickland moved that the membership ratify the actions of the Board of Directors during the preceding year, which was duly seconded and unanimously voted. Strickland then moved that the Board be directed and empowered to make a donation in memory of Marie Jensen, longtime Director of Camp Wa-Klo and Pond resident, notice of whose recent and untimely death was received with sadness by the TPCA today. And it was so voted.
Bernie Hampsey moved and Lee Bruder seconded a motion that dues be continued at $60 per annum and it was so voted.
Adjourned at 2:10 PM to the Parish House for refreshments.
Respectfully submitted, Susy Mansfield, Secretary/Treasurer