Hinesburg Trails Committee
September 21, 2011
Present:Stewart Pierson, Michelle Fischer, Greg LeRoy, Jane Sheldon, Cathy Ryan, Jim Goldsmith, Jason Reed, Lenore Budd
Guest: Andy Weis, Trail Director, Fellowship of the Wheel (FOTW)
1. Minutes of the 8/17/11 meeting were previously approved by email and posted on the Town website.
2. Financial status: SCHIP grant - $521 remaining; Town budget - $500 remaining.These funds will be expended on materials for signs.We will receive some additional money for trailhead signs for the Russell Trails and the LHTF from Hinesburg Land Trust.
3. Town Forest Management Plan: Jason reported that a rough Plan, modeled after that for the LHTF (for consistency), has been drafted. Pat Mainer and Brooke Scatchard wrote a very rough draft of the recreation chapter but this was just touched on at the Town Forest Committee’s (TFC) work session on 9/10/11. The TFC is still grappling with the idea of user groups to represent recreation other than mountain bikes (represented by FOTW)– e.g. hikers and equestrians.Lenore suggested that the Trails Committee ‘s mission includes both groups but unless equestrians step forward with assistance and expertise, the Committee only has the capacity to deal with pedestrian trails.
Michelle, in addition to Jason, attended the 9/10/11 work session.She and Stewart will attend the next work session on 9/28/10 at 6:30 PM in the Town offices and encourage other Trails Committee members to attend as well.
Jason shared an email sent to the TFC by Steve Fischer, President of FOTW, regarding the trail work FOTW staff and volunteers have done this season both in the Town Forest and elsewhere in Chittenden County, the educational efforts FOTW has made with its membership re behavior in and near the Town Forest, and their willingness to close some bike trails in the Town Forest.He recommended not closing too many trails as renegade trails, not built to standards, will likely result.
Jason also mentioned that FOTW has established free riding at several other trail networks in an effort to disperse traffic from the Hinesburg Town Forest.
Andy Weis, Trail Director of FOTW, mentioned: the 1,000 trail work hours put in by FOTW volunteers in Chittenden Co. so far this season; new FOTW membership packages that encourage members to ride at a variety of locations; an $18,000 VT Recreation Trails Fund grant for more trail improvements in the Town Forest, which is on hold pending the TFC’s approval of the proposed work, may not be carried forward indefinitely.
4. VT Trails Symposium: Stewart and Lenore will attend on October 15 in Randolph.
5. Trails Committee’s use of chainsaws: Stewart reported that the Town Administrator says we and other volunteers are covered by the Town’s insurance policy when we work on HART trails. Still we need to maximize safety and minimize liability.So we will not solicit volunteer sawyers in our advertised trail workdays. Jim will inquire about chainsaw training opportunities through the fire department as other opportunities are too expensive/inconvenient. The VT League of Cities & Towns’ risk management consultant provided a list of safety gear for sawyers.
6. Updates on various projects:
a. Sidewalk along Mechanicsville Road: bids out this year; work to be done next year.
b. Route 116 sidewalk on Meade property: funding is in place; work planned for next year.
c. NRG path from Short Stop to CVU is awaiting go-ahead from Short Stop.
d. Lenore has requested permission for the LHTF N-S connector from the new landowner, David Meath.
e. Lenore continues to bird-dog the proposed Texas Hill Road-to-Magee Hill Road trail.
f. Signs are still in progress for Russell and LHTF trails.
7. Fall trail walks: Michelle and Cathy will organize and publicize walks for Sunday, October 9 and Saturday, October 22.
8. Committee officers elected: Stewart Pierson, Chair; Cathy Ryan, Vice-Chair; Jane Sheldon, Secretary.
9. Hinesburg Record articles: Jane – October; Stewart – December.
10. Brainstorm of Committee goals for the coming year:
a. More community outreach
i. 4 – 12 trail events per year – including nights and weekdays; include education component; variety of modes
ii. sidewalk celebrations when segments are completed
iii. info sessions at town events (e.g. Town Meeting, 4th of July)
b. Signage – completely sign existing trail network
c. Trail condition monitoring – assign committee members to specific trails to periodically monitor and report conditions.
Next Meeting: Wednesday, October 19
Lenore Budd, Secretary