2019 Property & Grounds Annual Report:
Ben Tilghman/Priscilla Morris—Accepted
In fiscal year 2018-2019 Property and Grounds ended the year with a bit of a surplus. As is the case this year, this most often is the result of limited snowfall, no hurricanes, no profound mechanical failures and so on. While it is tempting to take credit for the budget surplus, P&G in a bit more pragmatic. In fiscal year 2019-2020 we have several projects to complete, all fairly major, and funding will be a bit more restrictive.
In 2019 we completed several small tasks, such as trimming the rhododendron (aggressively) away from the Brick Meeting house in the hope that it would help to reduce the moisture problem on the south east wall (it did not), installed an industrial grade outdoor light on the brick meeting house, and, with profound thanks to Clay, assisted with Little Spices and first day school. We spent a fair amount of time discussing the strategic plan, P&G's role in the implementation, and our relationship to the Long Range Planning (LRP) committee. We came to the conclusion that many of the items on the Long Range Plan such as additional parking and so on really fall within the routine duties of P&G. At this point I feel we have a good understanding of the balance between the role of P&G and the LRP, particularly since I seem to be the clerk of both.
For the coming year we have several significant projects underway already. We are in touch with a craftsman who can rebuild the exterior doors to the Brick Meeting House (thanks to John Hawkinson), and a mason who will rebuild the pillar on Washington Street, inserting the old marble sign with an updated time on it (thanks to Bob Day). Joan Wetmore contracted with a certified home inspector to do a detailed assessment of Clay's house, and Bill Lane has arranged with a contractor to begin the work needed to correct the deficiencies noted in the inspection, none of which were deemed major. We have arranged for a tree service to do some general pruning around Clay's house and generally clean up the lane to Washington Street. And, of course, we will continue to address the routine tasks needed to maintain the property and grounds, such as repairing windows in the Old Meeting House.
The native planting of our east border next to the apartments is an on going multi-year project started by Rob Wieland, currently tended by Priscilla Morris. In 2019 thanks are due to Dona Source, Stephanie French, Marie Leonard, Owen Bond and Tenny Sener for help with planting, watering, and deer abatement. With letters of support from the Trustees, the Town of Easton's stream restoration grant succeeded and construction work will occur in 2020, most likely in the summer. The town will be adding native plants in the restored stream area.
P&G would like to make special mention of the Peace Pole project. Through Testimonies and Concerns we were asked to arrange to have a Piece Pole installed in honor and memory of Ralph Young. We have located a highly skilled woodworker (Jennifer Kuhn) at the Maritime Museum who has agreed to make the Pole for us, and will begin work in early November. John Hawkinson and Winslow Womack, both of whom have worked with Jennifer will be assisting with the project. P&G will fund the project, but is happy to accept donations for the construction and installation of the pole if Friends are so moved. We anticipate the cost to be in the vicinity of $1,000.00.
The funding source for some of the above projects, aside of the Peace Pole, has yet to be clarified, hence the uncertainty of the 2019-2020 budget. The Trustees have offered to help with the repairs to Clay's house to the extent that they are determined to be capital investment, but so far most of what we are planning appears to be more like routine upkeep and expense. I do not anticipate that we have a problem, however; P&G's working relationship with the Trustees is very good.
Friends are reminded that fall clean up day is December 7.
P&G routinely meets the first Thursday of the month at 4:30 in the Common Room. All Friends are most welcome to attend.