2012 Property & Grounds Annual Report:
Committee members: Laurence "Larny" Claggett, Jr., clerk; Posey Boicourt, assistant clerk; Lorraine T. Claggett, Ed Danser, Bob Kemp, Butch Kemp, Priscilla Morris, Anna Osler, Clay Owens, Nancy Robbins, Sally Vermilye, Meredith Watters, Joyce Zeigler.
This was the first full year under our new caretaker, Clay Owens. A subcommittee met with Clay in the spring. A summary of their report was that "we are fortunate" to have Clay as the caretaker. A more formal meeting with Clay was held 10th month 2012. Clay reported that he averages about 20 to 25 hours per week on caretaking duties. Clay says he gets much satisfaction from meeting and greeting visitors. It is agreed by all on the committee that the property and grounds continue to be maintained in fine condition. Indeed, we have had periodic visits from the Maryland Historical Trust and they have complimented Third Haven on the care and maintenance given to the buildings and grounds. —Please note this is not strictly a caretaker function, indeed many of us contribute in many ways to make this happen. A final note, we are still blessed with the Webster's, even though all their stuffed stored in the common room attic, the carriage shed, Annie's house, and even the Betty Webster have been moved. They have been a big help in Clay's transition, and continue to help Clay with our mower maintenance and other Third Haven peculiarities. A major development in the caretaker position was the implementation of health insurance for Clay. With the addition of the health insurance, the monetary compensation the caretaker is receiving (directly as salary and indirectly by funding the insurance) is $1,450. This compares to $1,554 per month in 2010/2011.
Care and maintenance of the grounds has continued basically as it has been. This year more attention has been focused on our old trees. A dead pine along the lane was felled with wood sawn into boards. The Trustees paid for the felling and the monthly meeting paid for the sawing. The net result was an additional $100 was spent and we now have a stack of wide pine boards. The committee recommended to the meeting that the two unhealthy maple trees near our buildings should be taken down. This was brought to the general meeting. It is expected those trees will be removed in the near future after full consideration by the meeting. This spring the Trustees had approved paying for the tree removals. During a late summer storm a hollow tree fell over the brick wall into the graveyard, spilling honey bees everywhere. Clay, Winslow and possibly others dealt with the bees and disposed of the fallen limbs. The remaining trunk will be professionally removed. We are slowing trying to upgrade the grounds keeping equipment. Our old mowers require much maintenance. This year we fixed two riding mowers at an expense of about $650, and bought a new string trimmer and push mower. A request of members and attenders for a donation an unneeded mower was made, and would still be appreciated. In any event, we will continue to upgrade our fleet. Thanks go to Nancy Robbins for her small riding mower and to Molly Burgoyne for the use of her pick-up truck.
Structural repairs and insulation of the caretaker's cottage were completed at the very end of last year, and Clay was finally able to move in. Repairs to the siding and painting of the gable ends of the old meetinghouse were made by Harry Heinsohn and Sons. Both projects were paid for by the Trustees. A dehumidifier was installed in the brick meetinghouse for use during the humid summer. Feedback on the interior environment of the brick meetinghouse would be appreciated. The committee has begun planning work on a truly handicapped accessible entry into the old meetinghouse. The meeting approved a ramp entry into the back in 1995. But the overall concept is being revisited and a more integrated, comprehensive access solution is being considered. This is a major undertaking, and like many changes, here, will not happen easily or quickly. Any thought or ideas from the meeting would be appreciated.