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ACBC Board Meeting: September 2022 Meeting Minutes

September 20, 2022, 7 p.m.

Frog Hollow Bikes, Middlebury

Board Members:

George Lawrence- PresidentAshar Nelson, Moosalamoo
Andrew Hirsch, Middlebury Trail ManagerAlan Hebert
Carl Robinson, TreasurerSeth Beck, Bristol 
Scott Hardy, VergennesMerideth McFarland
Eric BergSue Hoxie, Administrator

Bold indicated people in attendance

Others in Attendance:  Alex Takoudes (Midd College student), Jon Bowdish. Via Zoom: Ben Hatch, Ben Cook, and Robert Wheland

A quorum was not met. 

REGULAR BUSINESS

President’s Report

  1. VMBA membership posters – Have posters been put out in Middlebury? 
  2. Battell Trust: George and Carl met with Caleb Kenna – good meeting, a first step to working together.  Caleb wasn’t aware of any work on Middlebury’s Town Forest plan. We will invite Caleb to future monthly meetings. 
  3. Restaurant gift certificates for have been delivered in lieu of a comped membership for 2022 to landowners..
  4. Bridge to access Battell Woods from Buttolph Acres still needs to be replaced. George and Andrew will find an agreeable time this fall. with a wider one. 
  5. Sue brought a sample tee from Mitchell’s. Liked the shirt’s quality (Gildan Performance). Hopefully Seth will have a design(s) to present at October’s meeting. 
  6. VMBA tool order: We’ve tried again and they may be out of stock again. 
  7. George met with the Middlebury College Bike Club. Reviewed trail networks and pitched VMBA membership. Alex Takoudes (‘24.5) took over the club last year. MTB races in the fall;  road biking in the spring, plus club group rides. The college club rides Middlebury’s trails a lot–there’s potential help in building trails. 200 members in a group chat and 40 members in the club’s first meeting. The club hosted a road race in the spring–a money losing proposition with all the required support services such as traffic control. 
  8. The board discussed making Alex a full-fledged board member. A board vote via email will follow to make it official. Alex will be added to the board email list.  
  9. George met with Jeremy Parker to see if we can get a landowner agreement in place. Jeremy is reviewing the agreement. 
  10. Discussion regarding the Brewster River bridge lawsuit: The club is being sued by a neighbor – not contiguous. A bridge was rebuilt and permit is in question. The neighbor takes issue with having riders in the road. Brewster River Club (Underhill, Cambridge) has allocated $5K for the suit and it won’t be enough. Should ACBC be more careful about replacing bridges? George suggested that VMBA create a fund to fight lawsuits. 
  11. Landowner agreements: It’d be good for ACBC to get formal agreements with land owners. Make it a priority for the winter–protect our resources. Marc Lupin, at college, has sent us an agreement. Ashar to review and sign. 
  12. VMBA Add-on-athon: Add a chapter–money goes right to the chapter. October promotion. Add-ons down this year for the club. ACBC’s memberships on par with 2021, but still has five months to go in the membership year. 
  13. George discussed that ACBC should host an in-person VMBA meeting. No additional action requested.

Treasurer’s Report

August bank statement:

Balance = Peoples Bank $11,960.92

    National Bank of Middlebury – $2000.00

Expenses = $108.00  to Maple Run Marketing

Account has been set up at the National Bank of Middlebury.  Carl, George, and Ashar are signers.  An initial check for $2000 was written to the account. Checks were ordered and delivered. Carl will transfer the rest of the $ from Peoples Bank to NBM. I will also work on getting the new banking info to VMBA for deposits.

Sue’s note: If ACBC has a PayPal account, the recipient bank account needs to be updated to NBMVT. 

Membership Report (Activity from 7/24/22 to 9/5/22)

  • New memberships
    • (1) Individual 
    • (1) U25
    • (0) Family of 2
    • (0) Family of 3
    • (1) Family of 4
  • Returning memberships
    • (4) Individual
    • (0) U25
    • (0) Family of 2
    • (1) Family of 3
    • (0) Family of 4
    • (0) Family of 5
2022 (as of 9/10/22)2021
Primary Memberships/Individuals89 / 17380 / 161
Add-on Memberships/Individuals15 / 2021 / 31

Social Media Report – Alan Hebert

Have been intermittently posting on FB. Numbers are OK, not great. Better than previous but we have a long way to go on the engagement index. Alex T recommended we use Instagram more than Facebook. 

Trails Report Middlebury – Andrew Hirsch 

The trails are riding well in town. There are a few blowdowns on the trails which he’ll remove as he has  time.  Andrew noticed two new trail spurs on Megawatt.  Per others at the meeting: The landowner has built them, so no cause for concern. 

Trails Report Moosalamoo – Ashar Nelson 

  • No blow downs
  • Moosalamoo Connector – Sent agreement to the landowner. Sticking point is the length of the agreement (10 years). Ashar is waiting for them to schedule a meeting and expects we can meet somewhere in between. VAST will need to work out their own agreement. 

Trails Report BristolSeth Beck

  • The rain storms this week have wreaked havoc on our trails, especially the new lower section. He spent 7 hours working on rebuilding berms and putting in drainage. 
  • As part of the work, Seth expanded the last righthand berm in the gully to be about 2 feet wider on the entry, this makes it a much smoother berm overall
  • The 5 Town Riders held a scrimmage on Sept. 7th at New Leaf with 29 kids participating in three divisions. The winners received a quart of tomatoes and all had a blast. Photos have been uploaded to the ACBC folder.
  • No progress on the signage, but it’ll be a priority for the next few weeks. Seth’s goal is to have that completed by our next meeting.
  • More walking and laying out has occurred for the new trail in the northeast corner. Once the rebuild/rework is completed on the existing trails, we will start to cut the new trail, likely late October with a goal to open early next year.

Trails Report Vergennes – Scott Hardy

  • John and other Vergennes residents have done some work on the trails. Challenge with DRB re: parking lot. it’s been a year-long process and Scott hasn’t had the energy or time for parking lot effort. Should those trails be considered part of the network? 
  • Ben Hatch spoke on behalf of the Vergennes Parks & Recreation committee. Wires strung on green metal posts to deter parking were to be removed, but City Manager Redmond has changed its mind to keep posts and wiring. A sign for “enter here” will be added for pedestrians and bicyclists. Ben doesn’t know when the city will put up the sign. P&R committee is interested and concerned about parking. Wants to boost trail system in Vergennes. Not sure how to move forward. Scott expressed interest in handing over responsibilities, but there haven’t been any takers. Ben would like ACBC to continue to consider Vergennes trails as part of its system. 
  • George rode w/ John Stroup. The interior set of trails is challenging. John would like to build some stunts, etc. Rec committee would be happy to support ACBC in the development and expansion of trails. $$ was granted ($4K left) during COVID for improvements. Have to go in front of DRB with the intention of getting a parking area located nearby. There are more opponents than supporters. the most likely place is at McIntosh Park but neighbors are expressing concerns about that location. 
  • Discussion re: pump track: City wanted extensive engineering plans for parking lot–would have eaten up funds. The rec committee could get excited about a pump track instead. 

Events 

  • Concept for a vintage MTB has been put off until Summer 2023. 
  • Fat Bike Roundup at Rikert: January 28 is the tentative date as of now. Sue to submit calendar listings. George to identify an alternate date.  

NEW/OTHER BUSINESS

  • VMBA Cabot Cheese naming grant – Midd bike park. Grant requirement is how to get Cabot employees involved. Pictures and article for their company newsletter. Deadline 10/1. George to submit applications.
  • VMBA Press Forward naming grant – Snow Dog? The primary goal is exposure. We submit a proposal. Any chapter can apply. Competitive grant. Alex to ask Andrew Johnson about fat biking on the golf course. Deadline 10/1. George to submit applications. 
  • VMBA Q3 Advisory Council meeting Monday 9/19
    • Updates:
      • Chapter Survey Summary
      • VMBA Strategic plan
      • Naming grants
      • Quickies: Trail Counters, Group Rides Guidance, Reward Volunteers
    • For Discussion
      • STP Trail Grant Extension request
      • October Add-on-a-thon
      • Trail Grant Program: Fall Timeline & Committee, Switch to rolling applications for 2023

NEXT MEETING

October 18, 2022, 7 pm  

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