April 8, 2022
Dear fellow members,
I am pleased to report on several decisions our Club’s Board of Directors reached at our April 7 meeting. Here is a brief synopsis of notable actions.
- Opened the Clubhouse to normal use by all members and their guests (as previously announced)
- Approved the purchase of a walk-behind mower/brush hog (@$4300). The walk-behind mower will allow us to reach places that are ‘too tight’ for the tractor and too rocky or uneven for the zero-turn. The benefit is more efficient and more extensive trail and edge management of the release areas and fishing sections and more efficient and hygienic maintenance of the pheasant pen.
- Reviewed and affirmed completion of invasive plant control contracts and measures that will enable completion of the ‘Rabbitat’ project via two annual treatments, the first in late spring or early summer this year, the second in 2023. Our aim is to break-even between NRCS reimbursement and payment to our vegetation management contractor All-Habitat Services. NRCS has promised to reimburse $23,000 +/-. Negotiations with All-Habitat are ongoing so we are not yet able to project the net cost.
- White Buffalo Inc. through its founder and CEO Tony DeNicola has offered to provide the Club with a trainee who will help the Club manager with work on the Club property until early July as well as help our Chef Joel Kuczynski with meal prep and serving at Club meals during the current fishing season. With arrangements subject to a written agreement between the Club and White Buffalo, the trainee will be paid and directed by White Buffalo and will occupy temporary quarters in the storage room adjacent to the club manager’s office. In case you are wondering, this room was a bedroom in the old Clubhouse apartment. Supplies and materials presently stored there will be moved to temporary quarters of their own.
- Approved allocation of $15,000 for repairs and improvements to the Clubhouse and to the Clubhouse property’s electrical infrastructure. $8,000 is allotted to rebuild the ‘freezer closet’ behind the kitchen and $7,000 for installing new electrical panels in the Clubhouse and the Workshop and for numerous other repairs to potentially hazardous or outdated wiring, sockets, and other fixtures. These repairs will benefit Clubhouse safety and habitability.
- Heard my report on the continuing deterioration of the Peck’s Meadow Pond dam and directed your president (me) to immediately begin the process of securing engineering services and cost estimates required to bring the matter of dam repair to the Board for action. For reference, the Post Pond Dam repairs completed last year cost just under $30,000. Peck’s Meadow Dam is bigger and the required work is more extensive. A very preliminary estimate from June 2021 places the job somewhere north of $50,000. With high hope for the future, no prediction is made. Molly and I will be meeting the engineer on Monday.
I trust that these actions meet with your approval. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
The Club’s financial position remains strong as we enter the second half of the fiscal year. Expenses are up in line with the increased activity and member engagement but revenues are too, thanks to full membership. Operating income and net income are both running ahead of budget by $6,000 and $33,000 respectively. The cash position is good.
While you’re fishing you might notice favorable developments in the Club’s woods and streams. Thanks to the tremendous work and generosity of members Gibson, DeNicola, and Stone we’ve made considerable progress in fixing up the Club’s internal roads. The most recent improvements have resulted in better road access to the Wall Street Range and fishing sections 1, 2, & 3. Molly and our new hire Tim McKinney have made great progress in clearing trails and overhanging vegetation along the stream, most recently in Section 7. And finally, an increased trapping effort has yielded positive results (for us, not the beavers) in 1000 Acre Pond, Martin Pond, and Section 6. Connecticut is in the middle of a beaver population boom, so rodent removal will be with us for a while.
Make time this spring to enjoy the fishing and Clubhouse camaraderie. We had our second stocking on Thursday and better that you get them than the herons and otters. And, save the date, May 22, for the Shad Bake. Family and friends are welcome.