Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors – Public Meeting
Thursday, July 11, 2019
4:30 p.m. at Stow Senior Center
Directors Present: Jim Andrews, George Borrello, Pierre Chagnon, Ted McCague, Rob Yates, and Mary Laumer
Absent: Bruce Erickson, Mike LaTone and Dave Shepherd
Others in Attendance: Erin Brickley – Alliance Executive Director, Randall Perry – Alliance Project Manager, Taylor West – Alliance Communications Coordinator, Tory Irgang & Lisa Lynde – Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, Linda Swanson – Sheldon Foundation. Interested citizens: Doug Champ, Vince Horrigan, Mary Hutchings, Anthony Hopfinger, John Ford, Regis Thompson, Sue Weaver, Jane Conroe.
Member Representatives in Attendance: John Jablonski, Becky Nystrom, Judy Maskrey – Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy (CWC); Doug Conroe – Chautauqua Lake Association; Karen Rine – South & Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District; Jim Cirbus, Frank Nicotra & Jim Wehrfritz – Chautauqua Lake Partnership (CLP); Dave McCoy – Chautauqua County; & Cassie Pinkoski – Chautauqua County Soil & Water Conservation District; Steve Hayes – Town of Ellery; Louise Ortman – Town of North Harmony; Marla Connelly – OPRHP-Allegany Region, John Shedd – Chautauqua Institution.
I. Approval of 6/10/19 Board Work Session Minutes
The motion was made to approve the June 2019 work session minutes by T. McCague and was seconded by J. Andrews. The motion was approved unanimously.
II. Introduction of Alliance Communications Coordinator – Taylor West
E. Brickley gave a brief introduction to T. West and the tasks he has been working on in his 3 months working as the new Communications Coordinator for the Alliance. Some of those tasks include the 2019 Aquatic Invasive Species Volunteer Taskforce events, writing summary documents for Alliance partnered projects, and updating the Alliance website with project information and Chautauqua Lake and watershed resources. T. West then gave a brief overview on his background, experience, and hobbies stating he has been a lifelong resident of Lakewood, NY who completed his bachelors of science degree in 2018 in Fisheries and Wildlife science from Paul Smith’s College. T. West has been an avid angler on Chautauqua Lake for most of his life which has allowed him to develop a passion for Chautauqua Lake and its watershed.
III. Update on Current Alliance/Member Projects
Mr. Perry gave an update on the status of the eleven state funded Alliance/Member projects in progress:
2015 County Round 12 Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Grants: Streambank Stabilizations:
- Next NYS DEC quarterly progress reports due at the end of July
- NYSDEC MWBE Quarterly reports submitted in July
- NYS partial reimbursements paid to County by NYSDEC
- Dutch Hollow Creek & West Dutch Hollow Creek:
- Construction complete at Dutch Hollow Creek Main Stem (2018) – now tracking vegetative establishment and project performance.
- Construction substantially complete at West Dutch Hollow Creek (2018) – working with property owner and contractor to retire final punch-list items.
- Time extension request approved by NYSDEC to utilize surplus funding to address erosion issues at additional nearby section of Dutch Hollow Creek; coordination among County/Alliance/Owners in progress.
- Ball Creek: Bank/grade stabilization complete (2017); Site preparation for additional riparian native plant establishment in progress; Native grass/wildflower seeding completed by CWC and SWCD in May 2019; Site preparation and planting work to continue in 2019.
- Goose Creek: No significant change; construction phase complete (2018) by an outside contractor.
- Bemus Creek: No significant change; construction phase complete (2016-2017) by Soil & Water.
- Prendergast Creek: No significant change; construction phase complete (2016) by Soil & Water.
2016 Celoron Breakwall and Boardwalk LWRP Grant
- Final reimbursement and grant close-out underway.
2017 Celoron Park Improvement Phase IV Design & Construction (amenities building) LWRP Grant
- Construction bids received by Village 6/11/19; Alliance assisting Village with MWBE compliance.
- Target construction start ca. Summer 2019
2017 Mayville / Chautauqua Stormwater Management Study (EPG)
- Engineering Report to NYS EFC/DEC for review 5/31/19
2018 Invasive Species Early Detection – Volunteer Task Force
- 2019 program is underway – continued partnership among Alliance, RTPI, and Evergreen Outfitters
- RTPI-led FREE field and classroom events throughout the summer – for full schedule of FREE events please visit: https://rtpi.org/what-are-these-weeds/
- Remaining Field Events (RSVP Required): 7/12 (Mayville) & 8/10 (McCrea Point)
- Remaining Evening Seminar Events at RTPI (no RSVP required): 8/6 & 9/17
- NYS-grant funded equipment and training materials in use for 2019 program.
2018 Lakewood Chautauqua Avenue Green Street Retrofit (GIGP)
- Project Team efforts underway
- Village completed EFC Project Checklist Section 1 prior to deadline.
- Next step is execution of Grant Agreement between the Village and EFC (anticipated ca. July/August).
- Request for Proposals to select project engineer anticipated for Summer 2019.
2018 Busti Precision Swales (WQIP)
- NYS-Town contract setup is underway
- Project Team efforts underway
- Request for Proposals to select project engineer anticipated for Summer 2019
2018 Skimming Capital Equipment x2 (WQIP)
- NYS-County contract setup is underway
- County Invitation for Bids is complete and waiting for State Contract establishment to release.
List of Alliance-partnered NYS grants that have been closed out
- 2015 NYS Invasive Species Management Grant (C. Young Senate Initiative), closed ca. April 2019.
- 2016 Lakewood-Busti Stormwater Management Engineering Study (DEC/EFC EPG), closed ca. January 2019.
- 2013 Celoron Breakwall & Boardwalk LWRP Phase 1 Grant, closed ca. September 2018
IV. Approve Pass-Through Funding of $30,000 from County of Chautauqua & $52,700 from The Lenna Foundation Toward 2019 Herbicide Treatments
Motion was made by G. Borello and was seconded by T. McCague. Motion was unanimously approved.
V. Update on Status of Alliance Municipal Grants for 2019 Herbicide Treatments
E. Brickley stated she needed budget summaries showing expenditures and all sources of revenues (completed at the group meeting 6/27 and last questions resolved just this Monday) as well as official acceptance of the additional pass-through funding (as of today, see IV) before she could process funding to the municipal members. Now that these steps have been completed, a simple grant agreement will go out shortly and once signed and returned, funding disbursement (will include $ from all sources, lump sum) will be completed. It was noted, Ellery already has their agreement in hand as their grant only involved the original $10k from the Alliance, other members to receive lump sum from a mix of funding sources.
VI. Update on Alliance led 3rd Party Monitoring of 2019 Herbicide Treatment in Partnership with County
E. Brickley advised now that pre-, during and post-treatment monitoring has been completed by Princeton Hydro/Alliance, we want to be transparent and share the Sampling & Observation Plan that was completed just ahead of May treatments (was not previously shared to maintain integrity of sampling locations).
R. Perry gave an overview of the 3rd party monitoring efforts that took place for the spring 2019 herbicide treatments in Chautauqua Lake. The Alliance contracted Princeton Hydro to perform independent 3rd party monitoring of the 2019 herbicide treatments. Some of the key tenants of the 2019 3rd party monitoring included the following:
- Observational in nature
- Objective and independent
- Observe and not direct treatment (no interference with NYS DEC or SOLitude)
- Record macrophyte response (Rake Toss)
- In-situ water quality parameters (temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and conductivity)
- Targeted chemical analysis
- Balance of spatial and temporal coverage
R. Perry stated there were 12 monitoring transects which were classified as either control, treatment, or drift. While there were some minor field adjustments made based on the actual work performed by SOLitude and conditions encountered in the field, no changes were made to the locations of the 12 monitoring areas after May 14th once the pre-treatment (baseline) sampling commenced. Modifications to the original Sampling & Observation Plan will be incorporated into the Final Report. Along these points, rake tosses and water quality metrics were taken both before and after the treatment. Water samples were collected pre, during treatment, about 24 hours post treatment, and about 1 week post treatment at discrete in-lake locations as well as from 2 local drinking water treatment plants for 2,4-D and Endothall. For the local drinking water treatment plant samples, one set of samples will be analyzed by the lab of SOLitude’s choice while the other will be analyzed by Integrated Analytical Laboratory (IAL), under contract with Princeton Hydro, as a 3rd party check (providing a direct, 1:1, comparison).
The timeframe for the treatment and monitoring was relatively short which encompassed about 4 months from start to finish. Herbicide treatments were performed from May 15th to May 17th. Post treatment monitoring started on May 21st and concluded June 12th. The final report is anticipated to be completed near the end of August and presented publicly by Princeton Hydro’s Dr. Fred Lubnow at the September Alliance public meeting. The written report will also be publicly available.
B. Nystrom expressed her concerns about the locations of the drift zones and the methodologies that went into choosing those zones. R. Perry stated the Alliance and Princeton Hydro worked together to determine the proper placement for the drift monitoring sites. Mr. Perry also stated this is an adaptive process which will be evaluated and improved upon as necessary in future years.
J. Wehrfritz stated these herbicides are applied below the water’s surface in order to minimize drift. He also expressed his concerns with the tight timeframe for post treatment monitoring and asked that Alliance staff refer to the 2017 Bemus Bay Data Collection project for post treatment monitoring timeframes.
C. Pinkoski asked if there was going to be information in the final report related to site selection criteria and consideration. E. Brickley stated there would be good information to capture.
J. Cirbus asked if the monitoring efforts were going to last more than 1 year. It was stated the monitoring efforts were for this year’s treatment. P. Chagnon stated it would be determined at a later date if monitoring efforts will continue in future years.
J. Conroe asked if Princeton Hydro would be using Dr. John Dilly’s drift prediction calculations for Chautauqua Lake. E. Brickley asked if J. Conroe could send the calculations to her but that they were not in the scope of work for this year’s monitoring. J. Conroe stated she could send these to the Alliance.
R. Thompson asked how many NYS DEC employees were on site for the treatment. C. Pinkoski responded stating R. Freese and J. Brewer were present.
J. Ford wondered what questions this report will answer. J. Wehrfritz asked if the scope of work and/or statement of objectives would be included in the report. E. Brickley stated that would be part of the report.
S. Weaver asked if the Alliance will take anecdotal reports from those living around the lake. E. Brickley stated anecdotal reports should be submitted to the NYS DEC as they have a system of recording them.
J. Cirbus asked if there will ever be monitoring of harvesting and streambank stabilization efforts. C. Pinkoski stated the CWC is starting a small program this year to monitor the impacts if these stream stabilization efforts. P. Chagnon stated this year, only herbicides were monitored due to the short timeframe between the MOA and their application. P. Chagnon also stated it would be more difficult to monitor the harvesting efforts as it is a summer long operation versus the herbicide application which took place over a much shorter period of time but it is being discussed. It was noted the CLA publishes an annual report which contains the total quantity of macrophytes harvested during a given season.
VII. Approval of Alliance Executive Director to Attend and Present at the North American Lake Management Society Conference
E. Brickley stated she was asked to give a presentation on the Multi Criteria Analysis Tool at the NALMS conference in Burlington Vermont in partnership with EcoLogic / Anchor QEA. Attendance at this conference by an Alliance staff member was already incorporated into this year’s budget.
A motion was made by T. McCague and was seconded by M. Laumer to send E. Brickley to the 2019 NALMS conference. The motion was approved unanimously.
VIII. Update on 2019-2020 Comprehensive Foundation Partnership for Alliance Member Request for Applications (RFA) Local Funding Assistance Process
E. Brickley stated T. West sent out an email to all of the Alliance membership soliciting feedback on last year’s Comprehensive Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Grant Application for Local Funding Consideration. Only 2 individuals took the opportunity to give feedback regarding last year’s application. E. Brickley stated one individual expressed a need for a funding threshold cutoff while another individual expressed unhappiness about 2 Alliance projects that were submitted through this process. That individual felt these two submissions competed with Alliance membership for funding. E. Brickley stated the timeline for this process is changing this year which will allow for a 60 day window for application which is an extension of 30 days from last year. The RFA will go out by 07/19/19 with a due date of 09/19/19. For the first 6 weeks Alliance staff will be available for 1 on 1 assistance with member project proposal submissions. E. Brickley stated only one member utilized this service last year and hopes more will utilize it this year.
J. Cirbus asked if this was for funding assistance for 2019 or for 2020 projects. E. Brickley stated this would be for 2020 projects.
IX. Update on Ad-Hoc Committee Recommendations
P. Chagnon gave an update on the Ad-Hoc Committee recommendations for additional board members. The committee came to the conclusion that no additional board members will be added at this time. P. Chagnon stated the Committee recommended the formation of 3 new committees which include an In-Lake Committee, Watershed Committee, and Data Analysis Committee. The co-chairs of the In-Lake Committee have been populated and consist of B. Erickson and M. Latone. P. Chagnon stated they will talk about populating this first committee at the next meeting.
B. Nystrom inquired about the future of the science committee since these new committees are being formed. E. Brickley stated this first committee for in-lake is just getting underway and the current Science committee is still active and anticipates requesting the group to participate in scoring local member funding request submissions again this year.
X. Open Floor: Member Representatives and Community Members in Attendance
D. Champ suggested we rotate this public meeting location so other people in the community can attend our meetings. He suggested the Alliance rotate the location every month during the summer which would help showcase lake and watershed related projects the Alliance has been involved in. He also suggested the Alliance seek other funding sources besides the NYCFA and the local foundations. He suggested instead of funding a number of smaller projects, the Alliance should look towards funding one large project for the whole that encompasses all its needs and that has broad impacts. Mr. Champ stated the CFA’s are small quantities of money compared to the yearly needs of the lake and watershed. He also stated the Alliance should be more creative in where it looks for funding. E. Brickley suggested now is the time to be thinking of these projects since there is approximately a year before the next round of CFA’s. C. Pinkoski gave an example of the Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District’s non-ag non-point source grants that they apply for through the CFA process and how they work.
Dr. Cirbus gave an update from the CLP stating they have hired a grant writer for in-lake management activities and asked if anyone has applied to the Ralph Wilson Foundation for money and why the focus is on state grants.
A member of the public asked a question about the new proposed lake district for sustained annual funding for lake needs. P. Chagnon gave the following update: The Chautauqua Lake Protection and Rehabilitation Agency has been holding monthly meetings since February to research the potential for a Chautauqua Lake taxing district. Once the Agency comes to a conclusion, it will make its recommendation to the Chautauqua County Legislature. If the legislature agrees there is a need for a lake district, then there would be a series of public meetings to solicit input on the potential proposed district. It was also stated that M. Tarbrake is the representative of the property owners of Chautauqua Lake for the CLPRA board and any property owners should bring their comments and concerns to him. A member of the public inquired about the timeline for the agency to bring this report to the legislature. P. Chagnon stated the hope is the report be in by the end of the calendar year. J. Conroe asked who is eligible to sign a petition for a referendum. P. Chagnon responded by stating a property owner who is a registered voter who lives in the district. D. Conroe asked where the boundaries of the district are. P. Chagnon stated that is still to be decided. B. Nystrom asked how the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy will fit into the district since they own approximately 1 mile of shoreline on Chautauqua Lake. P. Chagnon stated they are considering various lakefront properties differently. C. Pinkoski asked if the potential lake district will take into account the recommendations in the 5-Year Implementation Strategy for Chautauqua Lake and its Watershed. P. Chagnon stated County Planning Department Employees are still gathering more information and this will be determined at a later date. J. Wehrfritz stated a central lake authority should be a central weed management authority. J. Maskrey hopes the CLPRA thinks about the causes of impairment and not just the symptoms of the impairment. P. Chagnon stated a majority of Alliance sourced grant funding has gone towards the watershed. E. Brickley stated that NYS grants focus on the causes for the most part but there are very limited state funds available for annual in-lake maintenance.
R. Perry made the audience aware of the Harmful Algal Bloom Symposium on Wednesday July 31st at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY which starts at 10:00 AM.
R. Perry stated SUNY Fredonia has deployed temperature strings 5 feet below the surface near Mayville but they are not buoyed off. Their purpose is to collect and record temperature data about the north basin of Chautauqua Lake. He asked if someone catches them with a fishing lure or anchor line to contact Dr. Wigdahl-Perry at SUNY Fredonia using the number provided on the temperature string.
R. Perry stated SUNY Fredonia’s ChAMP buoy is expected to be back at its normal location soon as it has been out for repairs.
J. Cirbus stated the CLP will be deploying 2 phosphorus sensors in Chautauqua Lake during the 3rd week in August. One will be deployed near Mayville and the other will be deployed near Bemus.
M. Laumer made the motion to adjourn the July public board meeting seconded by R. Yates. The motion was approved unanimously.