Marshfield, Vermont


2023 Stranahan Minutes

SFSC Meeting Minutes

October 24, 2023

Time: 5:30-7:00 pm


Location: OSC (history center room in library) and virtual in your browser or download Jitsi Meet app 

Ground rules for Committee meetings:

Assume positive intent

Be solutions-focused

Engage with curiosity instead of critique

Treat everyone with respect

Allow all voices to be heard

Don’t take things personally


Present:Doug, Nancy, Brett, Jenny, Patrick, Michael

CC Rep:


Public Comment:

Agenda adjustment(s):

Approve August meeting minutes: Doug motion to approve, Brett second, all approve.

Agenda topics:

Debrief 10/21 work day:

Workday was postponed due to rain, but a few folks still met up anyway.  Doug and Ed chose to meet at the parking lot to inform anyone who arrived and hadn’t seen cancel notice.  Jason Kyle from Plainfield showed up and was still happy to get out, so Doug, Ed, and Jason still went for a walk and did some trail brushing and log corduroy on green trail.

Schedule committee-member workday for late november to clear trails with chainsaw and brush cutter before winter.

Trail updates:
New tree down on lower sugar woods trail.
Doug cleaned out the beaver culvert again.  Some discussion about adding beaver baffles or grates to both ends of culvert to prevent it from filling in so frequently.
RIPM group has been doing some maintenance and trail repairs on bike network. They held a volunteer day earlier in october.
RIPM helped committee identify a new social trail from Molassas down to the brook, which is a scenic spot but is receiving too much hiker traffic to be a sustainable trail.  Need to assess the site and decide how we want to manage it, either adopt into our system and formalize as a trail with some work to improve and make it sustainable, or decide to close and manage for restricted access.  

Thompson Road next steps:

Nancy and Patrick met on Monday 10/24 with Justin from Selectboard and Scott road foreman to review proposed repairs to Thompson road and start estimating cost for equipment time, materials, and trucking.
Upcoming grant opportunities that could help bring funding to support repairs.
Northern Forest Center, due November 17, $25K cap.

VOREC, due December 15, no cap, minimums of $20K-50K depending on track (implementation, flood recovery, project development, etc).

Based on funding caps, likely would need to split the project into multiple stages. Whole project is a combination of ditching and adding material (crushed stone) in 7 or 8 different segments.  Stages could either be ditching along the whole route first then hauling stone later, or could pick certain segments to prioritize and work from one end towards the other.

Options to haul out ditch debris vs leave on site is also a budget factor.
Discussion around scale and scope of repairs and how wide it actually needs to be.

Notes from Jenny about previous thompson road project, the year after it became town forest (2007?) some improvements were done with a $20,000 grant which did ditching and adding gravel on the first steep hill from Hollister Hill side along with parking lot improvements.  Ditch debris was left on site in order to avoid heavy loaded trucks causing further damage while driving out.  

Reaching out to contact at Northern Forest Center to learn whether this project would be eligible under current classification as class 4 road.

Then, if eligibility makes sense, plan is to write a proposal for stage 1 focused on ditching, allowing next phase to decide what scale of gravel hauling we want to plan for.

Jake Martin parking lot:

Long-term, possible plan to modify parking lot entrance so town trucks can plow.  No time to do that before winter, so this season just do some minimal improvements to entrance to prevent vehicle damage by filling in ruts with crushed stone, then a 1-winter plan for plowing contract.  Selectboard approved Stranahan committee to seek contractors for both materials hauling (1-time) and plowing (recurring throughout winter).

Postponed for future discussion:

Contract for brush-hogging open areas

RIPM discussion and next steps

Noted that all public comment letters related to bike proposal are now saved in a folder and a link on the town website so can be accessed by public for anyone interested in reading these.  

Other business:

November Agenda Topics: