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The Annual Meeting was opened by President Dente at 10:02 a.m. with a warm welcome to the large number of members present. He immediately addressed the issue of the Rail Trail, saying the Board had met as promised and had decided they would make no recommendation until there is more information. He said the Board might have enough information to present their recommendation at the fall meeting.
Don Sherwood gave a short memorial for those members and friends who had passed away during the year.
Secretary and Treasurer's reports were read and accepted without change.
Richard Gagne reported "the geese are gone," and explained the Wildlife Services had come early in the morning on Thursday, July 3rd and rounded up adult and juvenile geese. Richard said the roundup went well, and he was told we should be free from goose problems for "a few years". Tom thanked the Goose Committee - Richard Gagne, Jack LaGue and Jane Brown - for a job well done, and said working with government agencies meant there was extensive permitting and lots of paper work the committee had to deal with to make this happen. Members gave the committee a round of applause.
Pam Hebert reported that although there are no invasive plants in our pond, we do have Japanese knotweed, also sometimes called bamboo, which is a very invasive land weed. She displayed some branches of the plant and said it is aggressive, very difficult to control. Merely cutting it only stimulates growth and even small pieces will take root and spread the plant. It may take five years of vigorously digging up the roots and applying weed killer to new shoots before it is eradicated.
Tom took a moment to say that sometimes we take for granted things that benefit us around the pond such as buoys and markers. He pointed out that Jamie Dimick is responsible for getting the markers out early, leaving them into September for people who stay at the pond late or year around, and keeps them all looking good, so he deserves our thanks. Members applauded in agreement.
Ted Chase said as of three or four weeks ago, Danville had done in-service work on the rail-trail by replacing culverts as needed where the trail crossed roads such as Channel Drive and asked that a letter of thanks be sent from JPA. He said clearing and chipping will start this Monday and then next week the path will be excavated. Some of the stakes marking the right-of-way have been removed, which he said should not have happened and asked that if anyone sees someone tampering with the stakes they should notify him at 684-3883. After clearing bushes and weeds, a grader will windrow the surface and then it will be rolled and staymat applied. He said the finished surface will be "bike-able." The area Summer Guide recently published has more detailed information. He said donations are slow but even small amounts are appreciated. Donations should be sent to VAST. The target amount is $285,000 to be raised over the next two years. He will have specifics by fall meeting on capital raised. Asked about ATV's seen on the trail, he responded that only workers are or should be on the trail and they can be recognized by hard hats, vests, etc.
Tom reminded everyone that fireworks would be tonight and complimented Don Sherwood on making a "good call" on Thursday.
Karen Keene reported having a good turnout for Zumba class this morning and reminded people the class will be held at 9:30 on Fridays from now on. She said men and women are welcome, and no experience is necessary.
Larry Rossi reported members last year voted $1,500 to $2,000 for a roof over the outdoor cooking area, but said that would not cover the cost. He said his plan is to build a small structure with a roof and that would cost about $2,500. A motion was made to spend $2,500 for the project; it was seconded; there was no discussion and it passed unanimously. Larry said the BBQ cookers will be okay for this year; next year he will purchase a new oil tank and cut it in half to replace the present BBQs.
Tom opened the meeting for members' comments.
Henretta Splain reminded people of the Spirits of Vermont wine tasting event on Sunday.
Tom reminded members to purchase luminaries to display on their waterfronts during fireworks; he reminded people to pick up their new directories and Ice-Out Contest tickets.
New members Mark and Karen Conley introduced themselves.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:40 a.m.
Jane Brown, Secretary
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