Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors
Thursday, April 9, 2020
4:30 p.m. Zoom Meeting
Directors Present: Pierre Chagnon, Jim Andrews, Dave Shepherd, Ted McCague, Mike Jabot, Bruce Erickson, Paul (PJ) Wendel Jr, Mike Latone, and Rob Yates
Staff in Attendance: Vince Horrigan – Alliance Interim Executive Director, Randall Perry – Alliance Project Manager, and Taylor West – Alliance Communications Coordinator.
I. Call to Order
P. Chagnon called the Board Meeting of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) to order at 4:36 PM.
II. Approval of 03/12/20 Minutes
B. Erickson made a motion to accept the minutes of the 03/12/2020 Public Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by T. McCague and was approved unanimously.
III. Alliance Committee Updates
- Lake Management Committee Update
V. Horrigan gave an update regarding the 2020 Chautauqua Lake Herbicide Program indicating based on the Town of Ellery’s Letter of Notification (LoN) that was sent out in late March, the Town is applying for permits through the NYS DEC to treat targeted areas north of Long Point State Park along with targeted areas in the south basin with a new herbicide called ProcellaCOR. V. Horrigan indicated the Letter of Notification also outlined other proposed treatment areas around the lake where municipalities intend on applying for NYS DEC herbicide permits. V. Horrigan indicated the herbicide ProcellaCOR, which would take the place of the previously used herbicide Navigate (2, 4-D), is used to target the invasive species Eurasian Watermilfoil. V. Horrigan indicated based on this LoN, it does not appear that the municipalities intend on applying Aquathol-K (Endothall) in 2020 to treat curly-leaf pondweed. V. Horrigan indicated he informed the Town of Ellery Supervisor A. Johnson that the Town will not receive Alliance funding towards their 2020 herbicide program if they decide to treat north of Long Point as it is a violation of the Chautauqua County Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and their Alliance Grant Agreement. V. Horrigan indicated as a result of this LoN, he notified officials at the Chautauqua Institution of the Town of Ellery’s intentions.
M. Latone indicated that he spoke to G. Sullivan who indicated that the Town of Busti and Ellicott permit applications are prepared and are awaiting the release of a LoN.
B. Erickson asked if the Village of Lakewood and Town of Busti herbicide permit applications are a combined as one (1) and asked if the Village of Celoron and Town of Ellicott also partnered on applications.
M. Latone indicated that the Village of Celoron and Town of Ellicott partnered on an herbicide permit application this year, and so did the Village of Lakewood and the Town of Busti. M. Latone indicated that SOLitude Lake Management has tentatively scheduled their Chautauqua Lake Spring Plant Survey on 4/20-4/22. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, this survey is delayed and is anticipated to occur in May 2020.
R. Perry gave an update regarding the 2020 Third-Party Scope of Work and Budget indicating he sent a draft proposal request to Princeton Hydro for their feedback and preliminary cost estimate. R. Perry indicated that Princeton Hydro got back to him with a preliminary cost estimate for 2020.
M. Latone asked what the Third-Party Monitoring costs were last year.
R. Perry indicated that the Alliance paid about $45,000 in 2019.
R. Perry emphasized that this is a preliminary estimate and indicated that it is hard to get a firm cost estimate on this project without seeing the permit applications.
D. Shepherd asked if Princeton Hydro is working with the Science Committee’s recommendations.
R. Perry indicated Princeton Hydro looked at what the Science Committee had put forward for 2020 and indicated there may be a need to scale back in order to meet the budget for 2020 based on the preliminary cost estimate.
M. Latone asked if the board formally approved the use of the Science Committee’s recommendations.
R. Perry indicated the recommendations were discussed at the February Alliance Board Work Session but no formal Board action was made.
M. Latone indicated that he thought the Board would have communicated and deliberated about which recommendation to pursue.
V. Horrigan indicated that Alliance wanted to see what Princeton Hydro came back with in response to the Committee’s recommendations.
P. Chagnon indicated that if additional work or changes from the past scope of work resulted in increased cost, then those items may have to be scaled back to meet the budget.
R. Perry reviewed the suggested changes to the scope of work and sampling and observation plan and indicated that one of the purposes of the inquiry to Princeton Hydro was to get a preliminary cost estimate for their services based on this adapted approach. R. Perry clarified that he worked the Committee’s recommendations into a proposal request and did not simply send the four (4) page Committee document to Princeton Hydro.
P. Chagnon indicated that the change to ProcellaCOR could change Princeton Hydro’s view of the situation as well.
D. Shepherd asked if we would be able to detect any private, non-permitted applications of herbicides as part of the sampling.
R. Perry indicated that there will be a round of pretreatment sampling, which would give us an idea of preexisting conditions.
V. Horrigan indicated that we are close to finalizing the first CLA grant agreement. V. Horrigan indicated that the CLA has agreed to enter into a GPS Pilot Program with the Town of Chautauqua and the Alliance, which would include GPS tracking of at least one (1) harvester and all of the Mobitracs.
D. Shepherd asked how the Alliance is proposing to use the data and indicated that it should not be used against the CLA.
V. Horrigan agreed and indicated that the Alliance should carefully consider the CLA’s concerns. V. Horrigan indicated that the data would be posted on the Alliance’s website and would be documented for organizations like the County and DEC.
M. Latone indicated that the idea behind incorporating GPS into the harvesting program is to help the CLA and their operators be more efficient.
V. Horrigan indicated that Alliance Staff solicited advice from Princeton Hydro, SOLitude Lake Management, Racine-Johnson, the CLA, and other organizations regarding the type and model of GPS unit to implement.
D. Shepherd indicated that if CLA leadership has concerns about the Pilot Program, they need to know the Alliance is there to work with them, not against them.
V. Horrigan indicated that a lot of compromise has gone into this grant agreement, but believes that we are in a good position now and have built a base of mutual trust.
M. Jabot indicated that there may not be a need for live tracking as one of the most important datasets is the historical track data displaying harvested areas. M. Jabot indicated the GPS records a track line file, which could be easily mapped through GIS.
V. Horrigan indicated we welcome any expertise and advice we can get in this area.
- Watershed Committee Update
R.Perry reviewed the draft project list for potential NYS CFA submission in 2020, which contains 5 potential projects. These 5 projects are a combination of new projects and resubmissions. The Alliance staff will be reaching out to potential project partners in the near future in order to solicit their input on these potential project ideas prior to submitting State CFA applications.
D. Shepherd asked how the 2% Lakes and Waterways Program will be impacted as the Alliance submitted a 2% Grant on behalf of the Village of Lakewood.
R. Perry indicated the current 2% program could be impacted by the virus, but deferred to P. Chagnon for more information.
P. Chagnon indicated the current Alliance Match Fund balance will not be impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic as it is already in the bank, but indicated that there may be a potential for impacts to the amount of 2% funding available.
T. McCague asked how the COVID-19 Virus will impact the CFA program.
P. Chagnon indicated that the NYS CFA Program is fully funded in the State budget that was passed, however the budget that was passed is subject for revision in the future.
R. Perry indicated that we won’t know what the State CFA Program will look like until it opens in May.
V. Horrigan indicated that the Alliance staff will work with Committee Chair D. Shepherd to coordinate a date and time to hold a Committee meeting.
D. Shepherd asked what staff member(s) will be leading this Committee.
V. Horrigan indicated R. Perry will be the staff member tasked with leading the Committee.
- Scientific Review and Advisory Committee Update
P. Chagnon indicated that he received a call from D. Spann where they discussed the future of the Committee. P. Chagnon indicated D. Spann is seeking the Alliance Board’s direction regarding the future of the Committee.
A discussion ensued among the Alliance Board members where the Board concluded that P. Chagnon and V. Horrigan will meet with D. Spann in the near future to discuss the future of the Committee.
IV. Alliance 2020-2021 Request for Applications (RFA) for Consolidated Local Funding
R. Perry reviewed the 2019-2020 process and approach with the board indicating the Alliance would pursue a similar approach in 2020-2021 with a few adjustments. R. Perry indicated the RFA would be released in mid-summer and members would have about 2 months to prepare written applications with Alliance staff available throughout the process to provide assistance. R. Perry indicated this would be a clear and transparent process throughout. R. Perry indicated the Alliance would like to add more time for the three (3) scoring groups to review the applications. R. Perry indicated the Alliance would like to bring in a subset of members from each of the Alliance Committees in order to provide a more diverse suite of viewpoints for the 2020-2021 process. R. Perry indicated the Board would receive the initial technical rakings and discuss at the October Board Work Session and would reach a final funding recommendation by the end of October, which would then be submitted to the participating local foundations.
M. Latone indicated this new process should hopefully level the playing field with regards to a more diverse group of people scoring the applications.
V. 2020 County Agency Allocation
V. Horrigan indicated the County allocated 2% Occupancy Tax funding to the Alliance for the purpose of lake maintenance. V. Horrigan indicated the County Executive placed a hold on this funding until conversations took place with the appropriate stakeholders. V. Horrigan indicated these meetings and conversations have taken place and asked P. Wendel if the Board can proceed with an action to move forward with the 2% allocation.
P. Wendel indicated the money is now available, and the Alliance is now allowed to make a Board action on this Allocation to the CLA.
V. Horrigan indicated the terms of this grant agreement would include specific terms and conditions that are MOA compliant and would be drafted by the Alliance in coordination with the County Watershed Coordinator. V. Horrigan asked the Board for guidance on how to proceed from here.
B. Erickson indicated the CLA is committed to providing their services to the entire lake. B. Erickson indicated that the CLA is concerned that the Alliance may be playing more of a management versus pass-through role. B. Erickson indicated more is being asked from the CLA than ever before, meaning the CLA needs the funding to meet the expectations of the Lake stakeholders.
B. Erickson made a motion to pass through 2% money from the County to the CLA provided that the terms and conditions set forth by the Alliance and County are followed and indicated that he is on the Executive Committee of the CLA, but not on the Management Committee. P. Chagnon indicated that he would accept the motion as presented by B. Erickson. D. Shepherd seconded the motion made by B. Erickson.
Further discussion ensued among the Alliance Board members regarding how to proceed with the 2% County Allocation regarding the timing of the Allocation, potential phased disbursement of funding, and if some of the funding should be reserved to fill a potential 2020 herbicide treatment funding shortfall.
P. Chagnon called for a roll call vote on the motion to proceed with a grant agreement between the Alliance and the Chautauqua Lake Association for the County 2% Agency Allocation funding.
Motion Carried: 7 ayes (McCague, Wendel, Shepherd, Erickson, Jabot, Yates, Andrews), 1 nay (Latone)
VI. Alliance Audit Committee Appointments
P. Chagnon indicated the Alliance conducts an audit each year, which is reviewed by the Alliance Audit Committee. P. Chagnon recommended that the Board appoint the following individuals to the Alliance Audit Committee; J. Andrews, M. Connelly, P. Chagnon, B. Erickson, and S. Hayes.
M. Jabot made a motion to approve the individuals recommended by P. Chagnon. M. Latone seconded the motion made by M. Jabot, which then passed unanimously.
VII. May Annual Meeting Events and Timeline
V. Horrigan indicated the Alliance sent out Board election information to the Alliance membership after the March Public Board Meeting and indicated J. Andrews and D. Shepherd are up for reelection and are both eligible to serve another term on the Alliance Board if reelected. V. Horrigan indicated the Alliance would like to receive Board nominations from Alliance members no later than (NLT) May 7, 2020. V. Horrigan indicated the Alliance Governance Committee would meet on May 7, 2020 to review the Board nominations and develop a recommended slate of candidates to place on a ballot. V. Horrigan indicated the ballots will be sent to the Alliance membership on May 8, 2020 and are due back to the Alliance no later than May 14, 2020 by 12:00pm ET. V. Horrigan indicated the results will be announced at the May Annual Meeting.
V. Horrigan indicated he will be presenting the 2019 Annual Report at this meeting via a PowerPoint presentation.
V. Horrigan indicated the Alliance officer election will take place after the Annual Meeting and indicated that according to the bylaws as currently written, P. Chagnon and D. Shepherd have served their maximum term of 3 consecutive years in their respective Board Officer positions.
V. Horrigan indicated Alliance staff are in the process of developing an Annual Report Presentation and a detailed written report, which will be given to the Board prior to the Annual Meeting.
P. Chagnon indicated that Officer Elections will take place after the Annual Meeting and indicated that the bylaws state that an individual may hold an officer position with the corporation for a maximum of 3 consecutive years.
T. McCague made a motion to amend the language of Article 4, Section 4.2, of the Alliance bylaws to include the following language: “Any officer may serve up to three (3) consecutive one (1) year terms and may succeed themselves for additional one (1) year terms subject to a two-thirds (2/3) approval of the directors then in office.”
M. Latone seconded the motion made by T. McCague.
P. Chagnon indicated this proposed language would allow an Alliance Board Officer to remain in position for one (1) additional year subject to a 2/3 approval of the board and would go into effect prior to the May Board meeting.
A discussion ensued about the current language of this section of the bylaws versus the new proposed language of the bylaws among the Board members.
P. Chagnon called for a vote on the motion made by T. McCague.
Motion Carried: 8 ayes, 0 nays (McCague, Wendel, Shepherd, Erickson, Latone, Jabot, Andrews, Yates)
VIII. July Public Meeting Discussion
V. Horrigan indicated the Alliance is thinking about hosting the July Public Board Meeting on Saturday July 18 from 9:30am – 12:30pm at the Village Casino and would like to host a Scientific Research Panel and Equipment Demonstrations at the meeting. V. Horrigan indicated this would be free and open to the public.
IX. Chautauqua Lake Aquatic Data (CLAD) Mapping Update
T. West indicated that the sonar equipment has arrived and that he is in the process of making a universal portable mounting system.
B. Erickson inquired about the name of the proposed 2020 herbicide.
V. Horrigan indicated that the proposed herbicide is called ProcellaCOR and it does not have any drinking water or fish consumption restrictions.
B. Erickson made a motion to adjourn the April 9, 2020 Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by M. Latone and was passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 6:10 PM.