Minutes from the AGM
July 12, 2003

The meeting was held at the home of Ned Ames and Jane Sokolow.  The meeting was called to order at 4:15 PM by Patricia Adams, President of the Board.

1. The minutes of the previous meeting were read by Patricia Jones, who also agreed to keep the minutes of this meeting. It was noted that the Board was referred to as a "figurehead," which was inaccurate and misleading. It was suggested that this term be stricken from the minutes. With that suggestion incorporated into the comments, the minutes were approved unanimously.

2. Patricia Adams stated that the Board had met and added two additional members to the current board, which consists of Patricia Adams, Les Mattis and Jane Sokolow. The new members are John Kelly and Debra Lynker. Jane added that if anyone was interested in serving on the Board they should let one of the current board members know. Patricia made clear that no decisions were made by the board without approval of the members. Officers and board members only speak for FOBC when an issue has been discussed in a meeting and there is a consensus. Otherwise, if called upon for an opinion, each member generally spoke as an individual.

3. Patricia then gave the financial report. The Friends have a balance of $1950; of this, $1000 is from dues and $950 from donations for the church. Expenses have included the planting costs for the church memorial garden for George Fielder. Hearty thanks were given to all involved - Mermer Blackeslee and Eric Hamerstrom, Lester Lott, Jim Powell, Hazel Kelly, Ed Hamerstrom, Lisa Lyons, Mitchiko and Stephen Levine, Patricia Adams, Sue Jaeckel and especially Don Jaeckel who organized everyone to make it happen.

4. Stuart Root gave an update on the church. There is $6036 in the fund. This is probably enough to repair the siding, but with none left over. Early on some members had agreed to continue to support the church maintenance, especially since maintenance of the siding which is over 120 years old - is continuous. He also noted that a church choir had been formed which performed every Sunday; everyone was welcome to join.

There was a suggestion that the Friends needed a report on the condition of the siding. It was agreed that Eric Hamerstrom would present a written report with a proposal of future work at the next meeting. Patricia added that the Friends needed a committee to study historic preservation issues in the valley in general and determine what could be done to preserve more of the structures and what help was available for landowners. Hazel Kelly, Barbara Trelstad, and Bill Sharpless volunteered to serve.

 5. Bruce Janklow, Chairman of the Bridge Committee, reported on the two bridges.

Covered Bridge: NY State was doing a cost study on the maintenance costs to determine what would be needed if they took over maintenance of the bridge from the county. Bruce had spoken to John Pick, an engineer at DOT, and reported that the state first needs to be asked by Sullivan County. Once they are asked, they will seriously consider it; at this point they are doing nothing.

John Adams said that he had spoken to the Governor's office. They are on track to get the Covered Bridge, so pressure needs to be put on Sullivan County to request that the State take it over. The Friends may want to have a meeting in Albany. Once the situation is clear everyone will also be encouraged to write as individuals. Copies of the summary study are available for review.

Iron Bridge: The County has hired Sears & Brown, an engineering and design firm, to make recommendations. Their report is due in the next one to one and ½ months; following that there will be public hearings. Any work is expected to be in the FY05 construction budget.

6. Friends of the Beaverkill Book: Patricia noted that this meeting was supposed to be a book party, but the book was still at the binders and would not be ready for another week. The book was printed by the high school printing class in Livingston Manor, under the supervision of Robert Farrell. Mr. Farrell also contracted the binder.

Debra Lynker, the high school Principal, made this possible. Publication costs have run about $3,000 for 200 copies. The books are being sold for $25 each. They will be available on Patricia's back porch, plus a few other possible places such as the Lew Beach store.

Another volume is already in the planning stages, and anyone with suggestions or, especially, with old pictures of the Valley was urged to contact Patricia. She added that she wanted to develop an editorial board to help with production. The people involved with production of the first volume included John Kelly, Patricia Jones, Ross and Mac Francis, Jane Sokolow, Deborah Lynker, Tim Foote, and Colin Foote. The following people volunteered to help with the next volume: Bebe Loizeaux, Jane Sokolow, John Kelly, Tim Foote, Colin Foote, Pat Jones, and Bill Sharpless.

Patricia noted that the Friends also needed an archivist to store the minutes and pictures of meetings and events. Barbara and Robert Trelstad volunteered.

7. Website: Colin Foote has designed the Friends of the Beaverkill website, which has been operational since January 2003. At this time the only article on the site is the Trout Valley Farm, but we hope to have all of the book on by the fall. The address is www.beaverkillfriends.org; it is programmed in Macromedia Flash; if it doesn't load, you need to upgrade your plug-in by going to the Macromedia website and download the upgrade. Colin will send out instructions.

8. Other Business: Lisa Lyons announced that Livingston Manor is making a big effort to develop and clear the part of the Willowemoc Creek and Beaverkill that are in town so that people can easily get down to the rivers. As part of this effort the Renaissance Project is sponsoring free outdoor movies every Saturday night for six weekends, and she urged everyone to attend.

9. Next Meeting: There was a brief discussion about a possible meeting over the Labor Day weekend; everyone agreed that this would not be a good time as many people would not be here. It was agreed to hold the next one sometime in the early fall.

10. There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned.

Treasurer's Report

As of September 13, 2003, we have 41 paid members and dues amounting to $1025. 81 books have been sold for $2025. There was one contribution specifically designated for the Church in the amount of $25.



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