Annual Meeting - 2019

THE THORNDIKE POND CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION, INC.

Box 595, Jaffrey, New Hampshire 03452

Minutes of the 2019 Annual Meeting

August 3, 2019 at the Boat House of Camp Wanocksett

The meeting was called to order by President Jim Potter at 9:30 AM after a half hour of social time.  Refreshments were organized by Patty Scholl and included coffee and watermelon provided by Camp Wanocksett and muffins provided by Camp Wa-Klo.

There were 52 members present representing 37 properties on the Pond.  Those in attendance are listed at the end of these minutes.

Under the topic of recognition, Jim Potter reported:

  • Passings: Nancy Cornelius, Janet Magoun, Rob Ayres, and Evie Hammerman.  Jim held a moment of silence in respect for those members.
  • New Owners: Ken and Kelly Smith bought the former property of the Chamberlains. 
  • Properties for sale: The Steinberg property.
  • New houses: MacKenzie at 400 Thorndike Pond Road which Kevin reported was 95% complete and Paul Santos and Anne Stewart at 517 Thorndike Pond Road, which is also nearing completion.

The meeting minutes for last year’s Annual Meeting were approved as submitted.

Jim Banghart gave the Treasurer’s report, a copy of which is included herein.  The Association had an operating income of $15,700 and operating expenses of $2,904.95.  The Association started the fiscal year with bank balances totaling $56,326.40 and finished the year on June 30th with balances of $69,482.97.  It was mentioned that though the balance is high relative to operating expenses, historically the dam has required some major repairs every 10 years (we are in year 6), the last repairs were about $110,000 and historically they have doubled with each repair.

Jim Banghart gave the Water Report, a copy of which is included herein.  The water sampling is done in a cooperative effort with the NH Depart of Environmental Service’s Volunteer Lake Assessment Program.  The water is sampled each year in June, July and August with samples tested at the state limnology lab in Concord.  There has been no change to water quality in the past year.  He reported that the August Sampling is scheduled for August 14th, with the state participating and if any member wants to observe the sampling, they can contact him.

Jim Potter gave the Weedwatcher’s report.  The major topic of discussion was on the presence of Bladderwort, a native species with above average density this summer.  Members are encouraged to rake up the plant and it can be thrown in the woods or used as compost.  Because many members have been doing that the density appears to have decreased in the last month.  Members who have been on the pond for a long time don’t remember having this plant until perhaps the last 10 years.  Rick Bracket said the plant can be transplanted from nearby lakes by boats or waterfowl.  One member asked about removing plants and Jim’s weedwatching predecessor advised members to do that saying the roots should be pulled as well at the visible plants.  A copy of Jim’s report is included herein.

Jim Potter gave the Lake Host report, based on a report he had received from Lake Host coordinator Andrew Krivak.  The primary purpose of the program is to educate boaters on the problem with invasive species and show them how to inspect their own boats and trailers so we can keep invasive species from our pond.  He reported that this is the single most significant program we have.  Bob Melzer suggested that the association consider increasing the number of paid Lake Hosts and also increase their hours to include more than weekends and holidays. Lisa Frantzis suggest full time paid coverage is within our means. Andrew has resigned his position because of personal commitments so the TPCA is looking for some member to take this position.  Recognition was given to Paul Santos who gets us a grant each year and reports results to NH Lakes bi-weekly.  He mentioned that grant money is related to the amount of volunteer hours and the number of visiting boats reported.  Many members commented on how easy and even enjoyable it is to sit under the umbrellas at the ramp and read a book, do a puzzle or watch a movie on a laptop and occasionally talk to a visiting boater.  Members who would like to volunteer can watch a training video online (at nhlakes.org, then clicking on Programs, > Lake Host, > Program Information, > Training Resources, and finally Training Video).  After the training volunteers can find and sign up for a vacant time on the TPCA website.

Anne Banghart gave the Canada Geese report. This year we were successful in finding the nest, which resulted in a family of 14 goslings.  She had approval from the state to grease the eggs to prevent hatching, but they said she needed approval of the property’s owner, in this case the Monadnock Conservancy.  Rick Brackett, who works for the Conservancy, but is our contact and advocate to them, took this issue as far as the Board of Directors.  After consulting outside agencies told us they would not allow it.  A straw vote taken at the meeting showed 50 members favored greasing the eggs to reduce the geese population on the pond, one member favored protecting the eggs and one member abstained.  A number of members talked about the problems they faced with Geese’s droppings on their property.  Rick said the Conservancy is willing to fence likely nesting sites on Whittemore Island and would do that in the fall.  He reported that the nesting season did not overlap with that of Loons so the fences could be removed in time to support Loon nesting.  Amy McGregor-Radin said she has used three products with some success: Avian Migrate, Liquid Fence Goose Repellent, Messina Wildlife GS-C-032-HS Goose Stopper.  John Rawlings told the assembly that the geese hunting seasons starts on September 1st, (with a license) and that is a way to lessen the problem they create.

In the discussion of Geese, members asked about Loons.  The Loon situation is monitored by the Loon Preservation Committee with a representative covering the Monadnock region.  This year Loons nested on Whittemore Island, not far from the little island used by the Geese.  They had 2-chicks which were still surviving at the time of the meeting.  The committee visited the nest to sample shells for lead.  Jim Potter described how loons, who have no teeth, pick up and swallow small rocks from the lake bottom which they used to break up the fish they eat.  In so doing they are vulnerable to lead poisoning from lead sinkers, now banned in the state.  It was suggested that Lake Hosts could ask visiting boaters on their use of lead sinkers.  John Rowlands mentioned that the problem is described when getting a fishing license.

Jim Potter reported on this year’s Lake Congress which he attended.  He encouraged members to attend this annual event sponsored by NH Lakes and to join the NH Lakes organization, or at least visit their website at nhlakes.org.  They have a new program this year called Lake Smart.  Members can use this program to assess what they can do better to protect the pond or to start a committee to help a broader group of participants, which could include getting someone to come and help with assessments.

Eddie Ginsberg next offered the following nominations, representing the Nominating Committee.  The following positions were approved unanimously without opposition:

  • Jim Potter, President
  • Steve Magoun, Vice President
  • Jim Banghart, Secretary/Treasurer
  • 2-year at large member: Roy Baldwin, Hari Kirin Khalsa

Lisa Frantzis and John Brouder. will serve the second year of their two-year terms.

Under the agenda for other business, members raised the following topics:

  • Emily Carr stated that while the speed limit around most of the pond is 25 mph, she advocates the slogan, “Twenty is plenty”.
  • Robin Cassel mentioned the Facebook application created to allow more general on-line interchange between members.  This is a private Facebook page for pond residents that is restricted and not available to the general public.  She explained that to take advantage of the site, search Facebook for Thorndike Pond Shoreline Neighbors, then click on join and you will be admitted after approval.  Though not discussed at the meeting, another approach discussed at last year’s meeting is to include email addresses in our membership directory.  If you want to have your email address available to pond members, and your email address did not appear in the member list, notify Jim Banghart and your email will be added to the member directory.
  • The issue of development at 481Thorndike Pond Road was questioned.  Jim Potter, as an abutter, was aware of the situation and described what happened.  The new owner, in trying to make some improvements, hired a contractor that was not aware of regulations.  He started work without required permits and did some work that was not allowed by town or state ordinances.  The town issued a cease and desist order on the work until appropriate permits and approvals were obtained.  The owner hired a new contractor who was sensitive to the issues and in some cases got approval for the work being performed, in some cases eliminating planned work, and in some cases restoring modifications that had been done.
  • Because of the noise during the meeting from boy scout troops finishing their week at camp it was suggested that we either change the time or place of the meeting.

With no further topics, the meeting adjourned at 11:07.

Respectfully submitted,

Jim Banghart, TPCA Secretary/Treasurer