Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors – Work Session
Thursday, August 12, 2021
4:30 p.m. at the BWB Building, 201 West 3rd St. Jamestown, NY 14701.
Directors Present: Mary Hutchings, Bruce Erickson, Mike Latone, Don Emhardt, David Shepherd, and Paul (P.J.) Wendel, Jr.
Absent: Pierre Chagnon, Rob Yates, Jim Andrews
Staff in Attendance: Randall Perry – Alliance Executive Director, Taylor West – Alliance Project Manager and Jay Young–Communications Coordinator.
I. Call to Order
B. Erickson called the Board Meeting of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) to order at 4:34 PM. A quorum of 6 out of 9 Alliance Board Members were present at the start of the meeting.
II. Approval of 07/08/2021 Minutes
D. Shepherd made a motion to accept the minutes from the 07/08/21 Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by P. Wendel Jr. and was approved unanimously.
III. Alliance Committees
- Governance/Executive Committee
B. Erickson indicated that the Board had previously discussed an amendment to the Alliance by-laws regarding Board elections and term limits for board officers.
M. Hutchings made a motion to return Section 4.2 of the by-laws to its original language prior to revisions on 4/9/20.
The motion was seconded by D. Emhardt and was approved unanimously (6 votes Yes, which is 2/3 of the directors in office).
B. Erickson indicated he agreed with the language discussed at the previous Board work session to have all Board nominees listed on the ballot.
B. Erickson indicated that currently J. Andrews, R. Perry and P. Chagnon are authorized to sign checks for the Alliance.
P. Wendel Jr. made a motion to designate as authorized individuals on all Alliance financial accounts the current Alliance Board Chair, current Alliance Board Treasurer, and current Alliance Executive Director and that any other previously authorized individuals listed on an Alliance financial account who are not listed above should be removed from said account. The motion was seconded by D. Emhardt and was carried unanimously.
R. Perry indicated that the Alliance had a certificate of deposit (CD) with a financial institution that must be redeemed this year and cannot be renewed. The CD was redeemed on 8/11/21.
Discussion ensued regarding the background of the CD and options for its transfer to new or existing account(s). It was determined that R. Perry would gather additional information on the background of the CD and report back to a subset of Board members as directed by the Chair.
- Data Analysis and Research Committee
R. Perry indicated that he did not have an update from the Data Analysis and Research Committee (DAR) as the Committee has not met since the previous meeting, although certain members of the DAR Committee are currently conducting field work.
- Lake Management Committee
R. Perry indicated that the Lake Management Committee is looking to schedule a meeting in late August or early September to review 2021 management efforts and plan for 2022.
- Watershed Management Committee
R. Perry indicated that the Watershed Management Committee is planning on scheduling a meeting soon to discuss the 2021 New York State Consolidated Funding Applications (NYSCFA) and other watershed projects.
IV. 2021 NYS Consolidated Funding Application Update
R. Perry indicated that the Alliance assisted in the grant writing and submission of six 2021 NYSCFAs, and that all of the applications were submitted on time as expected. R. Perry indicated that the project applications include those shown below.
|Project Name||Applicant||NYS Grant Share (Requested)||Total Budget (Projected)||Alliance-Foundation Match Fund Board-Approved Share|
|Sewer Extension for West Side Chautauqua Lake Phase II||County of Chautauqua||$10,000,000||$20,900,000||$0|
|Grandview Stormwater Management Project||Village of Lakewood||$250,064||$312,580||$15,645|
|NCLSD North Chautauqua Lake Inflow & Infiltration Study||County of Chautauqua, North Chautauqua Lake Sewer District||$30,000||$36,000||$0|
|Town of Chautauqua Roadside Swales Stabilization Project||Town of Chautauqua||$213,057||$342,985||$0|
|Ball Creek Stabilization Project||Town of North Harmony||$175,512||$219,390||$7,136|
|Chautauqua County Complex Green Infrastructure Retrofit Project||County of Chautauqua||$1,256,409||$1,396,010||$0|
R. Perry indicated that the Alliance has approved $22,781 in local match contributions from the Alliance-Foundation Match Fund for the Grandview and Ball Creek projects and indicated that this speaks to the importance of leveraging local funds to facilitate NYSCFAs.
P. Wendel Jr. indicated his desire for the Grandview Stormwater Management Project to be addressed in light of this summer’s flooding in the area. P. Wendel Jr. indicated that if the West Side Sewer Extension Phase II project is funded and completed, it would complete the County’s goal of providing public sewer service to the west side of Chautauqua Lake’s. P. Wendel Jr. indicated that the County is looking into the potential of utilizing American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to support Phase II of the West Side Sewer Extension.
D. Shepherd indicated that the Alliance is not likely to hear back on the 2021 NYSCFA results until near the end of the year.
P. Wendel Jr. indicated that the Empire State Development Corporation may increase the frequency of funding availability in the future. R. Perry indicated that the Alliance will brief the Board with any NYSCFA updates as soon as they become available.
V. 2021 Alliance Local Grants Updates
- 2021 Alliance Consolidated Foundation Grants Update
R. Perry indicated that nearly all 2021 Alliance Consolidate Foundation Grants have been paid out, and only progress payments for the Town of Chautauqua and Chautauqua Lake Association are remaining. R. Perry indicated that the Alliance will work with grantees to complete reports for the grant projects.
- 2021 Alliance County Agency Allocation Pass-Through Grants Update
R. Perry indicated that the Chautauqua Lake Association still requires progress payments, while the Chautauqua Lake Partnership (CLP) and the Town of Chautauqua have been paid.
VI. 2020 Alliance Consolidated Foundation Grants Update
- Time Extension Request for Lakewood’s Grandview Stormwater Management Project (#20-03-LKW)
R. Perry indicated that the Village of Lakewood received a $20,000 grant from the Alliance to fund initial work for the Grandview Stormwater Management Project, and indicated that Phase I has been completed (surveying, land acquisition, and preliminary engineering) under budget. R. Perry indicated that the grant had been previously extended until 6/30/2021 and recommended that a no cost time extension be granted until 8/31/22. R. Perry indicated this would allow time in the event that the NYSCFA is successful. R. Perry indicated that if the 2021 NYSCFA is not successful the Village could use the funds to progress engineering further.
D. Shepherd asked if the Village was in possession of the funds currently. R. Perry indicated that was correct. D. Shepherd made a motion to approve the time extension for the grant to 8/31/22. The motion was seconded by M. Latone and was approved unanimously
- Status updates for other time extensions and/or scope adjustments
R. Perry indicated that in May the Board approved a time extension for two CLP grants until 8/31/21.
M. Latone indicated that the sensor grant funds were used to purchase two Phosphorus and two Nitrogen sensors.
A discussion ensued regarding the specifics of the 2020 CLP sensor grant, and it was determined that R. Perry and M. Latone would clarify any remaining questions at a future time.
R. Perry indicated that the Audubon Community Nature Center grant for Water Chestnut Rapid Response was extended until 12/15/21, and indicated that their work is ongoing.
R. Perry indicated that funds for the Ball Creek restoration have been paid out.
R. Perry indicated that funds had been earmarked for The Jefferson Project at Chautauqua Lake but have not been spent to date.
P. Wendel Jr. asked if The Jefferson Project had returned to the lake this summer.
R. Perry indicated that they were back working on Chautauqua Lake in 2021 and indicated that the research program was similar to that of 2020 but with an earlier start. R. Perry indicated that the Board would be briefed on any updates from the project and noted that the Alliance is aiding research efforts through targeted bathymetric surveys in select areas of the north basin.
P. Wendel Jr. indicated that The Jefferson Project had sought funding from the County and local foundations, and that it was determined the County would fund one quarter of their research budget in 2021 while Chautauqua Institution would fund the remaining three quarters.
M. Hutchings asked if there was ongoing communication with The Jefferson Project. R. Perry indicated that the Alliance is less directly involved than in 2020, but indicated that the Alliance hopes The Jefferson Project will participate in another research conference as done in 2020 and 2021.
M. Hutchings indicated a desire for more communication regarding the research.
P. Wendel Jr. indicated that The Jefferson Project intends on sharing their research with lake stakeholders at the right time.
M. Hutchings asked if they have been communicating with Bowling Green State University.
R. Perry indicated that there has been a lot of communication between all of the researchers on Chautauqua Lake behind the scenes.
P. Wendel Jr. indicated that the work being done on the Lake is part of a trilateral effort along with work on Lake George and Skaneateles Lake, and indicated that there is potential to leverage these local efforts into greater state investment.
B. Erickson indicated that Chautauqua Lake is a valuable test area for The Jefferson Project due to the amount of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) present.
M. Latone indicated that research information gathered during the summer may be ready for dispersal in the fall or winter. A discussion ensued regarding new information on lake currents and impacts from recent storm events.
P. Wendel Jr. indicated that the County is coordinating with the Army Corps of Engineers and NYSDEC to perform targeted dredging at select creek mouths in Chautauqua Lake.
VII. 2020 Alliance Membership Drive Update
- 2021 Alliance Consolidated Foundation Grants Update
R. Perry indicated that the Alliance has had 16 membership renewals to date. R. Perry indicated that the Alliance sent out 26 requests for membership to current and past Alliance Members. R. Perry indicated that the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and the NYS Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation declined to renew their membership in 2020 due to COVID-related reasons. R. Perry indicated that the Alliance has requested membership payments by 10/1/2021 for those members submitting local grant applications.
VIII. 2021-2022 Alliance Consolidated Foundation Grant Request for Applications (RFA) Update
R. Perry indicated that members were emailed the RFA and blank applications on 7/16/21, and that those applications are due on 9/14/2021. R. Perry indicated that the applications have been updated for ease-of-use, and that Alliance staff are available to answer any questions about the new forms. R. Perry indicated that funding recommendations from those applications are expected to be ready in October.
IX. Discussion on 2021 Holmberg Foundation Grant
B. Erickson indicated that the Arnold Holmberg Foundations provided the Alliance with $20,000 in grant funding for member projects.
D. Shepherd indicated that he informed the Holmberg Foundation’s Board that the Alliance Board would make a judgement on how best to distribute the funding.
B. Erickson indicated that a portion could be given to the Town of Chautauqua to help purchase a dredge pump for the Mobitracs, which could be used to help manage shoreline muck.
D. Shepherd asked if the $5,000 would be enough to support the Town’s efforts to purchase a dredge pump.
D. Emhardt indicated that the Town has $5,000 in existing funding for the project from an Alliance-County pass through grant and indicated that an additional $5,000 may be just enough for the Town to purchase the dredge pump and associated hardware.
M. Latone made a motion to grant $5,000 from the Arnold Holmberg Foundation Grant to the Town of Chautauqua. The motion was seconded by M. Hutchings and was passed unanimously. The board tabled its discussion on how best to utilize the remaining $15,000 for a future meeting.
B. Erickson indicated that there will be a need for post-season maintenance efforts, noting the recent accumulations of floating vegetation in Burtis Bay and other areas. B. Erickson provided an update on the new skimmer vessels after their first season in operation. D. Emhardt indicated that the skimmers were more effective when both were working together to service the south Mobitrac crew. D. Emhardt indicated that their operation has slowed down as a result of the one skimmer being down for maintenance.
B. Erickson indicated that lake conditions in the South Basin have changed significantly in the last three weeks.
M. Latone asked what can be done to improve labor issues with CLA crews.
B. Erickson indicated that the addition of GPS monitoring to maintenance vessels was a significant improvement this year. B. Erickson indicated that work had been done to remove macrophytes from Burtis Bay in 2018, and reviewed the impact of that work.
D. Emhardt indicated that Mobitrac operators and maintenance crews are learning how best to service near-shore areas of the lake and indicated that it has been and iterative process.
M. Hutchings indicated a desire to see more rapid responses to problem areas of the lake and referenced South Basin conditions in 2021. M. Hutchings indicated that the CLA is performing less work in the South Basin because property owners in that area do not financially contribute as much to the CLA compared to other parts of the lake. M. Hutchings indicated that receiving lake maintenance service should not be dependent upon donation to or membership in the CLA, given the significant funding provided to CLA by the County and the Alliance.
Discussion ensued regarding lake conditions in 2021, management actions undertaken in 2021, the potential role of the Alliance in facilitating dialog on identifying opportunities for future improvement, and the importance of coordination among members. Board members indicated an interest in meeting with service providers to discuss activities, challenges, and potential opportunities for improvements in 2022. B. Erickson indicated that the Lake Management Committee, or a subset of that committee, could assist with identifying possible questions that the Alliance Board could use to gather information on 2021 and look ahead to 2022.
B. Erickson indicated that the CLA dredge could work in collaboration with municipalities to remove sediment from stream mouths.
D. Emhardt indicated that a recent meeting was held to discuss targeted dredging projects at two creek mouths in Chautauqua Lake.
P. Wendel Jr. indicated that he has been communicating with representatives from the Governor’s office and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) in regard to potential dredging projects.
B. Erickson indicated he was thankful for the work the Village of Bemus Point had done to help the CLA remove July storm debris from the lake.
X. 2021 Chautauqua Lake Conditions and Maintenance Update
R. Perry indicated that the Alliance coordinated with the County Executive’s office, Town of Chautauqua, County Watershed Coordinator Dave McCoy, and the CLA to author a press release regarding this year’s joint operations between CLA crews and Town Mobitracs. R. Perry indicated that the Alliance is continuing to map macrophyte biovolume using sonar technology. R. Perry briefed the board on recent survey maps, indicating their value as historical data sets. R. Perry briefed the board on the early-season curly-leaf pondweed harvesting program and associated Alliance maps.
M. Hutchings indicated that the targeted curly leaf pondweed herbicide treatments positively impacted early-season macrophyte conditions in Burtis Bay and Fluvanna.
R. Perry indicated that the data acquired from surveys can be archived for future use at relatively low cost. R. Perry indicated the Alliance intends to conduct monthly surveys during the summer season, and indicated that the data could be shared with other research organizations working on the Lake. R. Perry indicated that these data exist in conjunction with maps of macrophyte harvesting activity, Mobitrac operations, and NYHABs reporting.
B. Erickson indicated that the CLA’s location monitoring data was similar to that being collected by the Alliance.
R. Perry briefed the board on the Alliance Chautauqua Lake Aquatic Data (CLAD) Mapping Program’s history, indicating that it has grown to include underwater imagery collection in addition to sonar mapping and the Alliance’s GPS program. R. Perry indicated that the Alliance approved an initial budget for the project on 12/12/2019. R. Perry indicated that unspent funds from the program could be utilized to cover future programmatic expenditures (fuel, wires, batteries, etc.), and additional purchases are expected now that the program is well underway.
No discussion occurred under this agenda item.
M. Latone made a motion to adjourn the August 12, 2021 Work Session meeting. The motion was seconded by M. Hutchings and was passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 6:39 PM.
The Alliance Board of Directors passed a motion to approve these 8/12/21 Meeting Minutes on 9/9/21.