2017 Property & Grounds Annual Report:
Presented October, 2017
As of the end of October Property and Ground's expenses should track closely with the annual agreed budget of $30,000. Exact expenses associated with the Fall cleanup projects, which includes the planting of some 90 trees and shrubs and erecting deer protections measures, are still to come, but we should be within budget at year end.
Our activities during the past twelve months, as they have for past years, fallen into two main categories; the general monthly tasks associated with maintaining a 300+ year old facility, and the more significant expenses involving structural repairs and major functional alterations as the needs of the Meeting evolve over the years.
Of the general monthly tasks, not much need be said. The grass gets mowed, and the lawnmower repaired. The carpets are cleaned, the caretaker paid, the basic utilities maintained, road work continues, and doors repaired on the New Meeting house.
Of the more significant undertakings, there are four:
- The Common Room: In this case P&G functioned in an mostly advisory capacity with some horse trading regarding the new hot water heater and some incidental expenses. The project was essentially funded outside of the P&G budget, and is completed.
- New Meeting House Front & North Rear Steps: The trustees have agreed to support a major redesign—in keeping with the existing structure—of the stone steps on the exterior of the front and back doors to make them safer and easier to negotiate, particularly for Friends of a certain age. Some preliminary design work has been done; we are in the process of establishing cost.
- New Meeting House, Fire Escape: What began as a rebuild of the existing wooden exterior stairway at the back of the meeting house has evolved into a major project. After discussions with the State Fire Marshal's office, we determined that replacing/rebuilding the existing wooden stairs was impracticable—if not illegal—and would require a metal structure conforming to existing state and local fire codes. Further, we most likely would need to create a true door out of the existing converted window. Obviously a significant expense, P&G met with the trustees in October, and the trustees have agreed in principle to fund the project with the understanding that they retain final approval over the scope and expense. A major consideration in the trustees involvement was the use of the second floor for the First Day School in its current configuration, or perhaps as an expanded undertaking as proposed by the Clerks of the First Day School.
- Remote Spigot: As a result of the plantings along the east end of the grounds, we need an easily accessible water source proximate to the plantings. This would involve a buried water line and a "year round" hydrant. We have not discussed this with the trustees yet. It is possible that with myself and Bill Lane, playing with a diesel powered trencher, we can lay the pipe and engage the services of a plumber to only do the hook ups at minimal expense.
The Property and Grounds Committee routinely meets monthly the first Fifth day—Thursday—of the month at 4:30, and as needed for special projects. All interested members and attenders are welcome. Additionally, Friends are encouraged to contact us at any time with concerns or suggestions about the good order of the premises and buildings.
Submitted, with thanks to the members of the Committee.