Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, November 10, 2016
4:00 p.m. at Stow Senior Center
Directors Present: Pierre Chagnon, Don Emhardt, David Spann, David Shepherd, David Wesp, and Vince Horrigan.
Absent: Linda Barber, Ken Shearer, and Sally Carlson.
Others in Attendance: Erin Brickley – Alliance Executive Director and Randall Perry – Alliance Project Manager.
Founding Member Representatives in Attendance: Doug Conroe & Paul Stage – Chautauqua Lake Association, John Jablonski & Lyle Hajdu– Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, Tom Ennis – NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation – Allegany Region, Cassie Pinkoski – Chautauqua County Soil & Water Conservation District, and Karen Rine – South & Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District.
Scientific Review & Advisory Committee Members in Attendance: Dave McCoy.
I. Call to Order:
Mr. Emhardt called the meeting of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) to order at 4:06 pm. It was noted for the record that there was a quorum (6 of 9) present.
II. Approval of Minutes:
Mr. Chagnon noted that there was a small correction to Section IV of the draft minutes. Mr. Chagnon made a motion to accept the minutes of the 10/13/16 Board Meeting including the noted correction, seconded by Mr. Spann. The motion was approved unanimously.
III. Update on 2015 WQIP Grant Award Projects:
Mr. Perry gave an update on the status of the six WQIP funded projects.
- Construction of Prendergast Creek WQIP was complete as of 9/21/16:
- Follow-up assessment/adjustment planned for 11/10 after recent heavy rain and high flow event – to be performed within remaining grant budget (no extra costs to be incurred).
- Education & outreach by CWC continues.
- Awaiting receipt and/or payment of remaining invoices.
- Partial reimbursement request (about $42,300) to State is in preparation.
- Prendergast Invoice Payment Status:
|Invoice ID||Description||Amount||Date Received||Date(s) Paid|
|S&W Invoice #1||Equipment; plants; legal notices||$31,705.55||9/27||10/4|
|S&W Invoice #2||Rock||$24,699.82||10/7||10/14 & 10/18|
|S&W Invoice #3||Professional services; hydroseed||$4,650.00||10/26||Pending|
- Construction of Bemus Creek (Upper) WQIP is nearly complete:
- Construction Start: 10/13; Construction Completion (except hydroseed): 11/7.
- Installed ~500 linear feet of stone toe protection (3 sections); ~830 feet of total stream corridor treated.
- Streambanks graded (decreased slope), armored with rock, and planted with willows.
- Hydroseeding will be completed soon.
- Engineered rock riffles (channel grade stabilizers) at top, middle, and bottom of project (3 total).
- Beneficial, on-site reuse of downed trees from bank and channel as “root-wad” bank protection.
- Constructed per work plan and permit and within available budget.
- Education & outreach by CWC continues – e.g., press release(s), social media, other.
- No invoices received/paid yet.
- Reporting milestones:
- State (NYSDEC) Minority- and Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) compliance unit quarterly reports submitted on 10/5 for all 6 WQIPs.
- Quarterly Reports (technical narrative/schedule/budget/etc.) submitted 10/18 for all 6 WQIPs.
- Remaining/Ongoing Tasks:
- Receive, process, and pay remaining invoices for Prendergast & Bemus (Soil & Water, Alliance, CWC).
- Remaining Prendergast & Bemus Creek reimbursement requests to State.
- Execute remaining subcontracts with County for WQIPs (Soil & Water, Alliance, CWC).
- Request for Proposals (RFP) in preparation for design firm selection for Dutch Hollow Main Stem and West Dutch Hollow projects – then final design, permitting, and construction firm selection.
- Continued education & outreach by CWC.
- Plan for 2017 construction season and remaining projects – schedules and logistics.
- Next round of Quarterly Reports (due Jan 2017).
- M/WBE utilization goal compliance waiver (if necessary).
- Anticipated schedule:
- Bemus Creek (Lower), Goose Creek, and Ball Creek: Schedule/order is weather-, contractor-, and quarry supply-dependent).
- Dutch Hollow Main Stem and West Dutch Hollow Creek (contractor selections Fall/Winter/Spring 2016/2017, build Summer/Fall 2017).
- Thank you to the project team – great work so far: Soil & Water, CCPED/Other County staff, and CWC!
- Mr. Wesp inquired about why these streambank stabilization projects were being implemented using prevailing wage rate (PWR). He advised that a recent project in his township ended up being double the anticipated costs based on this. Ms. Brickley advised that the language in the state assistance contract between the County and NYS DEC calls for PWR and Mr. Perry advised, especially when the project is to benefit the public. Mr. Perry advised he did extensive research when this topic was first highlighted by Mr. McCoy and that he could provide any or all of what he discovered during his research. Mr. Horrigan noted that PWR is the standard when utilizing state level funding and to ensure full reimbursement of the approximate $1.1 million from NYS to Chautauqua County. Mr. Spann noted that in speaking to the Department of Labor on past occasions this seems to be a gray area and that given the multiple levels of implementing partners with these Round 11 WQIP awards, erring on the side of caution was appropriate. He also noted that the budgets for these projects, specifically the hourly rate for construction efforts was such that paying PWR hasn’t diminished our ability to install these as designed and still complete them within budget. Mr. Emhardt commented that if you are using private funding on private property, PWR is not needed but once you involve state and federal funding sources, it generally applies.
- Mr. Wesp requested clarification of funding to various implementing organizations. Ms. Brickley advised that the Alliance was budgeted to receive personnel costs coverage for grant administration, Soil & Water reimbursement for their design, permit and construction management costs (4 of 6 projects), and CWC for education and outreach efforts on all six WQIP awards.
- Mr. Spann inquired on the two Dutch Hollow projects and the pending Request for Proposals (RFPs) that the Alliance is drafting on behalf of the County. Mr. Perry advised the RFPs will be published specific to design/permit needs and that the previous erosion mitigation study from Barton & Loguidice would help direct the consultants’ efforts but they will not be steadfastly held to the initial design work provided for in the 2012-2014 study. Timeline for the RFPs is still TBD.
IV. Update on Match Fund Proposals (Foundations & County):
Ms. Brickley updated the group on the efforts related to the Alliance proposal for a grants match fund supported by area foundations as well as the County. The idea is for the county and the local foundations to work together to expand match fund opportunities which leverages local fiscal assets in order to magnify the amount of outside state and federal grant funding that can be secured for the Chautauqua Lake watershed. Area foundations have been extremely supportive and awarded a total of $160k via three grants this summer. Mr. Horrigan noted that there was a need to delay the resolution to assure the 2% reserve balance was represented accurately. Ms. Brickley informed the group that the County resolution was pulled for edits but will be resubmitted for an early 2017 legislative session.
V. Update on Alliance drafted Lake Activity Summary for Sheldon Foundation:
Ms. Brickley advised that based on discussions with Sheldon, CLA and CWC over the course of the summer and fall, a combined grant application was envisioned for Sheldon’s November 1st deadline. This was to include operational assistance request via grant for the CLA and CWC, but no request would be made for 2017 funding to the Alliance. The goal was to provide a cohesive picture of all lake organizations upcoming needs to better assist the foundation with their award determinations. This was to provide information above and beyond the letter of support provided by the Alliance to Sheldon in past years. After further communication and various groups’ preferences, it was determined that CLA and CWC would still submit separate applications through the Chautauqua grants gateway for the November 1st deadline. The Alliance would submit both a letter of support signed by the Board chair for each organization but also attempt to draft a document that highlights all activities occurring in the community as it relates to the Chautauqua Lake and watershed at Sheldon’s request. Ms. Brickley advised that she would be working with Linda Swanson to determine the best template and the extent of content needed which will be submitted prior to the 12/20 Sheldon Board meeting. Mr. Horrigan noted that both the CLA and the CWC are members of the Alliance so drafting a letter highlighting how each organizations’ work is in line with the Chautauqua Lake Watershed Management Plan could be easily accommodated.
VI. Reminder of 2017 Goal Setting:
Ms. Brickley advised that the Alliance has published its 2015 and 2016 Goals on the Alliance website at www.chautauquaalliance.org and reviewed the format and topics associated with the 2016 goals with the group. Given that we are headed to the end of the year, Ms. Brickley advised all those in attendance that input and feedback for setting 2017 goals are more than welcome and feedback would be extremely valuable. This topic was brought forth again as a reminder and to allow for time to consider suggested additions.
VII. Review of Planned Focus of Staff Time for Winter 2016-2017:
Ms. Brickley advised the group that after a staff meeting to discuss, an outline for staff focus during the winter months was drafted. The following was presented to the group:
Anticipated Executive Director Tasks (Nov 2016 – Mar 2017):
- End of year reporting: 2016 Goals Executive Summary report, draft 2017 Goals, draft projected 2017 Operating Budget.
- 2nd focused effort 12-2016 to 1-2017 Member meetings (non-membership drive months): Schedule and coordinate small group and member meetings as a way to develop relations with members and foster project ideas and concepts. This will be the second effort this year after this summer’s membership drive as was the unaccomplished goal in 2015.
- Research, source and implement some type of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to help track interactions with members as well as track hours and work linked to specific projects or grants. Currently using spreadsheets and CRM would likely be more efficient.
- Scientific Review & Advisory Committee: Work closely with the committee chair to schedule meetings, create agendas, attend and take minutes and follow up on actionable items. Work with chair to create a regimented approach for a progress review of the 2010 Chautauqua Lake Watershed Management Plan and facilitate that approach as the first major task of this committee.
- Continue to review grant opportunities.
- Continue to develop projects currently on the list identified by members.
- Work on identifying new projects, especially in concert with Science committee progress review of Watershed Management Plan. Identify and develop project partnerships to mature project ideas to a place where they are ready to attempt grant funding submissions. Focus will be on projects that match the annual CFA grant opportunities.
- Facilitate work with the Alliance bookkeeping service provider for fiscal year end reporting.
- Facilitate work with the Alliance audit and tax service provider for fiscal year end reporting.
- Determine the most appropriate mix of ways to enhance effective communications with members as well as the public (newsletter, detailed annual report, press releases, online (website & Social media), participation in area events, guest speaker presentations, etc.). Already planned actions below:
- Expand and add to current information available on the Alliance website.
- Monthly emails to members of examples of successful water quality projects, initially focused on green infrastructure.
- Oversee PM efforts.
Anticipated Project Manager Tasks (Nov 2016 – Mar 2017):
- Coordinate Request for Proposal (RFP) preparation and release, review submissions, and select design/permitting consultant for Dutch Hollow Creek and West Dutch Hollow Creek WQIPs (Nov 2016 – Jan 2017)
- Coordinate subcontractors for 2017 implementation of other remaining WQIPs (Nov 2016 – Mar 2017)
- Draft and coordinate execution of remaining subcontracts
- Utilize lessons learned from Fall 2016 projects to improve efficiency and/or fine-tune budgets/work plans for remaining WQIPs
- Administer outstanding items from WQIPs on behalf of County (Nov 2016 – Mar 2017)
- Receive, review, and coordinate payment of outstanding invoices
- Coordinate work plan and/or budget modifications with State if necessary
- Prepare and submit reimbursement requests (County reimbursement from State)
- Prepare and submit Quarterly Reports (due 1/31/17)
- Prepare and submit M/WBE Quarterly Reports (due 1/10/17)
- Secure M/WBE compliance waiver for completed WQIPs if necessary
- Coordinate ongoing education & outreach (CWC)
- Invasive species management program (Senator Young $50K grant award)
- Finalize schedule, scope, and budget (Nov – Dec 2016)
- Continued coordination of team members – CLA, RTPI, Audubon Community Nature Center, and Alliance (Dec 2016 – Mar 2017)
- Finalize subcontract with County (Nov – Dec 2016)
- Secure extension of State Assistance Contract (Dec 2016 – Mar 2017)
- Coordinate implementation of work plan (Jan – Mar 2017)
- Member outreach – attend selected Member meetings (Dec 2016 – Jan 2017)
- Assist with identifying potential non-local grant opportunities for Members (Nov 2016 – Mar 2017)
- Continued use of pertinent guidance documents (e.g., Chautauqua Lake Watershed Management Plan, LWRP, MMS, local Comprehensive Plans, etc.) to help identify potential Member projects (Nov 2016 – Mar 2017)
- Identify and attend applicable training and/or grant-related opportunities (Nov 2016 – Mar 2017)
- Continue to build network of contacts among Members, other local groups, technical/regulatory bodies (e.g., NYSDEC, WNYPRISM), and potential funding sources (Nov 2016 – Mar 2017)
- Assist with Alliance website (Nov 2016 – Mar 2017)
- Commence work on administering newly funded CFA/other grants (if applicable) (Nov 2016 – Mar 2017)
- Perform education & outreach (public and/or Members) on watershed and lake related matters and Alliance activities (technical and/or general) (Nov 2016 – Mar 2017)
- Liaison with SUNY Fredonia and/or others regarding ongoing or upcoming lake and watershed-related research (e.g., monitoring buoy, microplastics, etc.) to help maintain awareness by Members and public (Nov 2016 – Mar 2017)
VIII. Open Floor / Member Updates:
Mr. Emhardt opened the floor to any Member updates or upcoming events and/or comments from the general public in attendance:
- Mr. Shepherd advised the group that Twan Leenders from Roger Tory Peterson Institute, a member of the Jamestown Riverfront Council, had recently reached out to local foundations in regards to improvement efforts focused on the outlet and Riverfront area prior to Warner Dam in the city of Jamestown. He noted there was already some local 2% grant funding that would be applied to mitigation of stream bank erosion but that recently, the Gebbie Foundation planned a stakeholder meeting to discuss and eventually establish a master plan for the Riverfront. Mr. Shepherd facilitated communication between Gebbie and the Alliance so that the Alliance could attend the stakeholder meeting in order to stay up to date on these Riverfront efforts. Ms. Brickley advised that Jamestown BPU is a member of the Alliance and much of the planned improvements currently are located near their site. One future partner project that was discussed with JPBU at the time of Alliance membership was research and funding for some type of floatable litter catchment system.
- Mr. Shepherd asked for an update on previous discussion raised by Mr. McMahon from the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Board of Realtors as far as one central online location for lake and watershed related news. In previous discussions, Mr. McMahon and others advised of the desire for one central location to send prospective clients who are considering investing in property around the lake (or any interested community members) and that the Alliance seemed like the most appropriate group given how many different member organizations participate. Ms. Brickley advised that she had a meeting scheduled with Mr. McMahon next week and will update the group on this topic at next month’s meeting.
- Mr. Jablonski was asked to give an update on Goose Creek which had been a site that received federal funds under an USDA EQIP grant for channelization of a stream segment prone to erosion due to grazing cattle, for which CWC led the effort to find needed local match funding to cement. Due to various reasons, the EQIP contract between NRCS/USDA and the homeowner has been voided as of June which also negates the federal grant dollars. The local match funding totaling ~$140k was sourced from three separate groups including the County 2% Reserve, Sheldon Foundation and CWC themselves. After discussion at a June meeting at NRCS, CWC committed to try to reconnect with the homeowner and see if an alternative approach could be found that could still make use of the local funding. Since then, a conservationist at CWC worked to reconnect with the homeowner and most recently was successful in contacting him. The conservationist and Soil & Water, along with DEC, walked the site to see what could be done. During this discussion at the Alliance meeting, it became clear that not everyone was on the same page for future efforts. Soil & Water assessed the site with the understanding that there was still access to the full local funding of $140k. However, the local match commitments were linked to the concept of leverage to bring in federal dollars. Now that the project design and funding as originally envisioned are no longer, the local sources such as County funding would need to be secured anew. Since there is no longer a leverage factor and a federal grant attached, a new resolution would need submitted and approved by the legislature to re-secure the County funding. Mr. Jablonski has taken the role of updating Sheldon Foundation. Mr. Jablonski thought maybe a new state grant could be applied for and thereby still leverages the local commitments. The conservationist and Soil & Water were under the impression that the renewed effort was just to use the local funding only in order to take what actions they could to minimize erosion.
- Mr. Conroe advised the group about upcoming budget challenges. He advised that CLA has been running reduced services since 2009 (two dry docked harvesters) but that luckily the lake conditions have cooperated and the reduced services have been sufficient. The CLA follows a policy of operating within budget so if they do not raise needed total in a year, services are further reduced. Mr. Horrigan asked about possible in-kind services and partnerships with the various municipalities. Mr. Conroe advised that they do that when applicable. Mr. Chagnon advised that Mr. Conroe had just recently presented to the legislative Planning & Economic Development subcommittee and one of the future budgetary concerns noted that stood out was the impact of the increase in minimum wage in NYS which will be phased in over a number of years. Mr. Conroe advised the group that they estimate the minimum wage to have an approximate $10k/year impact annually on the CLA budget needs. Mr. Horrigan asked about whether there were any operating efficiencies that haven’t been considered. Mr. Emhardt advised that he is currently experimenting with modifying one of their barges for better near shore and shoreline clean-up efforts.
Mr. Wesp made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:20pm, seconded by Mr. Chagnon. The motion passed unanimously.