Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, August 10, 2017
4:00 p.m. at Stow Senior Center
Directors Present: Jim Andrews, Linda Barber, Pierre Chagnon, Sally Carlson, Vince Horrigan, Ken Shearer, Dave Spann, and Dave Wesp.
Absent: Dave Shepherd.
Others in Attendance: Erin Brickley – Alliance Executive Director and Randall Perry – Alliance Project Manager. June Diethrick – Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. Norm Czubaj –Hadley Bay resident. Doug Champ – Jamestown Riverfront Council.
Member Representatives in Attendance: Karen Rine – South & Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District, John Jablonski – Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy (CWC), Cassie Brower – Chautauqua County Soil & Water Conservation District, Jim & Debbie Wehrfritz; Jim Cirbus; Jennifer Gibson; Mike & Pam LaTone – Chautauqua Lake Partnership (CLP), Doug Conroe – Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA), Dave McCoy – Chautauqua County & Marla Connelly – NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation – Allegany Region.
Scientific Review & Advisory Committee Members in Attendance: Jane Conroe.
I. Call to Order:
Mr. Chagnon called the meeting of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) to order at 4:00 pm. It was noted for the record that there was a quorum (8 of 9) present.
II. Approval of Minutes:
Mr. Shearer made a motion to accept the minutes of the 7/20/17 Board Meeting, seconded by Ms. Barber. The motion was approved unanimously.
III. Update on Current Alliance/Member Projects:
Mr. Perry gave an update on the status of the nine funded Alliance/Member projects in process:
Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) grants (six in total):
- Implementation status:
- CWC updates at Annual Meeting 8/6
- Dutch Hollow Creek & West Dutch Hollow Creek: Survey, initial field assessments, and preliminary design complete (Bergmann Associates)
- 50% design and preliminary permitting in progress
- Target Construction: Summer/Fall 2018
- Ball Creek & Goose Creek: Final design & bid specs in progress (EcoStrategies)
- Permitting complete (by Soil & Water)
- County-issued construction bid in preparation
- Target Construction: Summer/Fall 2017 or Summer 2018
- Ball Creek site preparation/planting (invasive species mgmt.) coordination with CWC in progress
- Bemus Creek: Soil & Water-issued construction bid review in progress
- Target Construction Completion: Summer/Fall 2017
- Prendergast Creek: inspection and maintenance planned for Summer 2017
- Quarterly reports submitted July 2017
- Modification requests for certain projects in progress with NYSDEC
- Outstanding County subcontracts in progress or awaiting bid results
- Invoice processing and NYS reimbursement requests ongoing
Invasive Species Management Grant (Senator Young $50K local assistance grant via County pass-through):
- Coordination among Alliance and implementing partners in progress
- Final Alliance subcontracts with RTPI (signed) & Audubon (pending)
- Draft Alliance subcontract in progress with CLA
- Equipment purchase pending
Celoron LWRP grants (2013/2016):
- Re-design in progress by project engineer
- Target construction bid ca. September/October 2017
- Village-NYS contract for 2016 LWRP grant in progress
Lakewood/Busti Stormwater Management Engineering Study (DEC/EFC Engineering Planning Grant):
- Final contract in place with engineer
- EFC kickoff call 7/31
- Engineering work underway; Village/Town kick-off meeting 8/17
- EFC grant agreement with Village underway (ca. late August/September 2017)
Mr. Perry highlighted that is has been really interesting and educational to interact with people in our membership for project implementation, including municipal leadership at various levels during various stages of our ongoing projects. Mr. Chagnon asked if there were any particular project concerns and reiterated that the board is always available to assist if needed. Mr. Perry advised that he felt extremely supported already via Ms. Brickley as well as Mr. McCoy and others. He did note that the implementation on the WQIP projects has not proceeded quite as quickly as envisioned but that there are a lot of variables, especially when folding in multiple partner processes, but that it is important to give attention to the details to ensure proper reimbursement by the state when all is said and done.
IV. Science Committee Update:
Mr. Chagnon advised the group that the Science Committee had sent a written letter that was disseminated to the Board via email prior to July’s meeting along with a summary document highlighting their recommendations for prioritizing short and long term project types. The letter suggested that the board should meet with the science committee in the near future. Mr. Chagnon advised that this meeting with board and science committee members is scheduled for tomorrow morning, 8/11/17.
V. Approve RFP for Consultant: 5 Year Implementation Strategy:
Ms. Brickley advised that the final draft of the Alliance Request for Proposal (RFP) had been sent to the full board via email earlier this week for review and comment. Ms. Brickley wanted to give recognition to Mr. Perry who has done a really great job with his work on the Alliance RFP and requested he give a summary to those in attendance. Mr. Perry noted that in order to ensure a fair and open competition for all interested proposers, to please use discretion if discussing the RFP prior to its planned release date of 8/16/17. Summary highlights from RFP provided as follows:
- Qualified environmental (or related) consultant with demonstrated capabilities in both lake and watershed-related matters to develop an objective, science-based “Five-Year Implementation Strategy for the Management of Chautauqua Lake and its Watershed”
- Proven track record of success and applied experience with a variety of in-lake and watershed-based management actions including an up-to-date understanding of lake and watershed science and both traditional and emerging techniques that may benefit Chautauqua Lake and its Watershed
- Integrate existing Guidance Documents (Watershed Management Plan, Total Maximum Daily Load for Phosphorus, and Macrophyte Management Strategy) into a cohesive and useable Strategy that allows evaluation, prioritization, and proportional allocations among both in-lake management techniques and watershed-based management categories
- We seek proposals that demonstrate a strong capability and detailed plan to efficiently and effectively gather pertinent details from a diverse group of lake and watershed-related organizations (hereafter, Stakeholders), objectively evaluate and compile the information, and create a clear, user-friendly Strategy.
Evaluation Criteria: Proposals will be evaluated based on both their technical merits and cost.
Anticipated Distribution Plan:
- Direct vendor contact(s) – i.e., phone/email/mail (please feel free to share recommended contacts)
- Newspaper(s) – The Post Journal; The Buffalo News
- Alliance website
- Word-of-mouth (anyone who contacts me can receive a link to RFP (or PDF of RFP))
- Please remember that increased interest by qualified firms leads to increased competition and typically better value and quality for the Alliance.
|RFP Distributed: Wed August 16, 2017
|Deadline for Questions: Wed Sep 20, 2017 at 3:30 PM ET (5 business days prior to Due Date)
|RFP Submittals Due: Wed September 27, 2017 at 3:30 PM ET
|Project award on or around: Thu October 19, 2017
|Notice to Proceed: ca. Wed November 1, 2017
|Draft Strategy Due: Fri March 30, 2018
|Final Strategy Due: Mon April 30, 2018
Mr. Chagnon noted that this draft of the Alliance RFP had been worked on and reviewed by Mr. Perry, Ms. Brickley and himself and that he felt very good about the final draft. Ms. Barber asked some questions clarifying the scope of work. Mr. Horrigan commented that the overall intent is to create a neutral way to bring everyone together, gather all relevant stakeholder perspectives, in order to document a strategic way to implement current guidance documents. This is not meant to rehash the efforts already expended on the creation of existing guidance documents but rather a balanced approach for implementation and prioritization of recommendations in those documents with a clearly identified timeline sequence for such implementations. Mr. Jablonski asked if the Science Committee and Alliance Members would get to have input on the RFP. Mr. Chagnon commented that it is difficult to have a fair procurement process with multiple inputs during the RFP effort itself. Rather, inputs from all stakeholders, including the Science Committee and Alliance Members, would be heavily solicited and considered critical during the development of the 5 Year Implementation Strategy itself, after a qualified consulting firm was procured. Dr. Cirbus asked whether the focus would be on firms that were certified lake managers. Mr. Chagnon noted that the concept was to cast a wide net as we have to keep both in-lake as well as long term approaches in the watershed in mind. Mr. Wehrfritz commented that he understood not being able to share a draft RFP too extensively prior to official release but requested that general scope of work be shared and also wanted to know if the Alliance was accepting names of possible firms to ensure they would know of the RFP. Mr. Perry advised that we are happy to take all suggestions on who to reach out to once the RFP gets published as it would lead to increase quantity / quality of proposals. Mr. Horrigan requested that Ms. Brickley get a summary of scope of work out to those requesting it. Mr. Wehrfritz and Mr. Perry also discussed the concept of a pre-qualification and non-responsive proposal versus a non-responsible proposer. Mr. Chagnon advised that the evaluation process and template is almost finalized which will define our action once the proposal deadline passes. He asked that the Alliance staff and board be prepared to be flexible regarding evaluations, depending on how many proposals are received.
Mr. Horrigan made a motion to proceed with the RFP process and draft, seconded by Mrs. Carlson. The motion passed unanimously.
VI. Approval for Staff to Attend 2017 NALMS Conference:
Ms. Brickley advised that the annual North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) annual conference registration is now open and requests approval for both Alliance staff members to attend in November. Ms. Brickley advised of her attendance at the NALMS conference in 2015 and found it to be extremely educational as most topics are presented on by PhD’s and/or graduate students, with the focus on watershed and water quality science. The theme of this year’s conference is “Finding Balance” as it is a key component in successfully managing our lakes and watersheds. Ms. Barber commented that she believes in the value of ongoing education but that we should be sure to come back and present on our experiences and make available the ancillary conference materials that are provided to all directors and interested members. Mr. Spann commented on some more local continuing education opportunities through state Soil & Water and others.
Mr. Horrigan made a motion to approve sending both staff members to the 2017 NALMS conference, seconded by Ms. Barber. The motion passed unanimously.
VII. County Resolution 195-17: Commitment of 2% Occupancy funds via Alliance:
Ms. Brickley advised that the County Legislature has approved Resolution 195-17 that allocates up to $100,000 from the 2% Occupancy/Bed Tax Reserve Fund to the Alliance for 2017 Alliance Member needs based on this year’s lake conditions. Lake conditions are ever-variable and these funds are intended to be used to on actions that address this year’s conditions. It was felt that the Alliance was best positioned to prioritize this funding due to its status as a member organization, whose focus is on a science based adaptive approach to management, and who could quickly mobilize to decision time sensitive project funding requests through Alliance Board review and approval. A number of caveats were added as amendments including: that this be on a reimbursable basis and any funds not utilized in 2017 would return to the Reserve Fund, expenditures had to occur in 2017, expenditures had to be for operating costs (not equipment), and these funds are not to be used for herbicide related costs.
Ms. Brickley also advised that a Member Access SOP & Request Form had been created and will circulate to the full Alliance Membership. Dr. Cirbus asked of there was any deadline for member submissions and was advised that there was not. Ms. Barber mentioned Lakewood and the algal bloom issues this year and suggested it might be good to reach out to members with known problematic conditions currently. Mr. Wesp asked about when the next member funding request is submitted, do they have to wait until the next regularly scheduled meeting for a decision. Mr. Chagnon advised due to the tight timing component of many of these probable requests, it will be important for the board to remain flexible. Mrs. Brower asked if it was appropriate for the Science Committee to have time to review and comment on these member projects and Mr. Spann, chair of the committee, said that only if the project scope of work warranted scientific review, as timing is key.
Funding Request from Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA):
Mr. Chagnon advised that a request had been completed by the CLA and circulated to the board for review prior to today’s meeting. Mr. Conroe gave a brief over view for those in attendance. The project is titled “Floating Vegetation Removal Service Expansion” and the amount requested is $21,600. The CLA budget for this year calls for near-shore services to terminate mid-August but this year’s conditions call for extending those services if possible. The requested amount would cover two full work crews for an additional two weeks leading up to Labor Day weekend, a need based on conditions and because there is still high lake use and recreating up through this time. Mr. Conroe noted that the CLA had already budgeted for mechanical harvesting to occur up through Labor Day and was separate from this activity.
Mr. Horrigan commented that last year during the drought we had unacceptable conditions build-up near-shore and it is critical that these funds be used to prevent that from occurring again. Mr. Chagnon concurred and advised the legislators understood this to be a priority use of this funding.
Ms. Barber made a motion to approve CLA’s request as defined in their written and reviewed funding request form, seconded by Mr. Horrigan. Mr. Shearer abstained based on also being on the CLA Board of Directors and with seven votes for approval, the motion passed.
Additional CLA Request Received Electronically 8/29/17 (post this meeting described herein for 8/10/17):
CLA submitted an additional request on August 29th which indicated that they had staff that was able to stay on past Labor Day (which is unusual) and that lake conditions called for additional near-shore work for another two weeks up through mid-September. This electronic request was for an additional $21,600 for two full crews for an additional two weeks focused on near-shore clean-up. Probable locations to be focused on during September: Long Point Operation – Midway State Park, Wahmeda, Sea Lion Drive and Sandalwood Lane; Lakewood Operation – Burtis Bay; additional likely areas in need include along the outlet by the marinas, Vukote and Sherman’s Bay.
The CLA indicated a need for quick turn around on this second request in order to advise staff if they were to stay on for another two weeks. Section 2.12 of the Alliance By-Laws allows for board action via electronic communications. Via this method, seven directors voted in favor of approving this second request by CLA on 8/30/17 and the action passed unanimously. CLA was advised of the approval on 8/30/17 both via phone and e-mail by Ms. Brickley.
VIII. Open Floor / Member Updates:
Mr. Chagnon opened the floor to any Member updates or upcoming events and/or comments from the general public in attendance:
- Mr. Czubaj advised that he was a resident of Hadley Bay and he had a prepared statement to share. In summarizing, it was Mr. Czubaj’s opinion that Bemus Bay was beautiful and the same could not be said for Hadley Bay where he owns property. He feels that looking for consensus on in-lake methods may be holding us back from action.
- Mr. Champ commented that he has raised the idea of a Lake Summit for some time now whereby we bring in experts in different fields and have break-out sessions for community member education and outreach. Mr. Horrigan that we do need to come together to get stuff done and hoped the Alliance effort to cement a 5 year implementation strategy in the near future would assist. Perhaps when the final strategy is presented on in early 2018 would be a good time to consider such a suggestion for a summit as Mr. Champ notes.
- John Jablonski advised that the CWC and CLA were teaming up for educational cruise on the Chautauqua Belle on August 22nd at 6pm. The event will highlight lake properties who have invested in water quality focused shoreline improvements including removal of vertical seawalls, installation of graded slope rock rip-rack and addition of native plantings.
- Mr. Conroe advised that currently algal blooms were a big concern, especially in the south basin. He stated that reduction in nutrient inputs is key to algal blooms. CLA monitors Harmful Algal Blooms through its CSLAP sampling program but also if they get a call about a certain area, they will go out and sample at the advised location as well. Mr. Conroe commented on the role of the Chautauqua County Health Department and sampling of open water in the south basin resulting in confirmed toxins from two consecutive bi-weekly samples. He would like to see the Health Department be more active in warning residents and visitors with more specific details, rather than just focusing on swim beaches. He also noted that we are not alone and that there are 48 waterbodies listed on the DEC Harmful Algal Bloom warning website page. Dr. Cirbus concurred that there needs to be better ways for warning and impact related data collection including bulletins to regional physicians. Mr. Chagnon agreed to get in contact with the Chautauqua County Health Department and report back on their responses.
Mr. Wesp motioned to adjourn at 5:40 p.m., seconded by Ms. Barber. The motion was approved unanimously.