Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors – Work Session
Thursday, December 12, 2019
4:30 p.m. at BWB Building, 201 West 3rd St, Suite 115, Jamestown, NY
Directors Present: Jim Andrews, Dave Shepherd, Ted McCague, Bruce Erickson, Mike Latone, Rob Yates, Mike Jabot, and Pierre Chagnon.
Absent: Stephen Abdella
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 work session meeting of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) to order at 4:25 PM.
II. Approval of 11/14/19 Minutes:
D. Shepherd made a motion to accept the minutes of the 11/14/19 Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by B. Erickson and approved unanimously.
III. Interim Executive Director Update:
a.) Search Update: V. Horrigan provided the board with an update regarding the search for an executive director. V. Horrigan indicated the Alliance has received 3 resumes to date (2 local & 1 out of state) and recommended the Alliance close the search for executive director on December 20, 2019. V. Horrigan recommended the board form a small search committee to review applications for executive director in order to fill the position by the February Board meeting. V. Horrigan indicated he is willing to stay on as interim executive director as long as it takes to make things work.
M. Latone voiced his support for V. Horrigan.
P. Chagnon indicated if we don’t have the right person for executive director, V. Horrigan is willing to stay on.
B. Erickson, R. Yates, and D. Shepherd recused themselves from the search committee and M. Latone indicated he would be out of town in January.
M. Jabot, J. Andrews, and P. Chagnon volunteered to be on the Executive Director Search Committee.
b.) Foundations Update: V. Horrigan indicated The Lenna Foundation has committed their share of funding towards the Alliance Consolidated Foundations Grant Request. V. Horrigan indicated he is hearing good things from the Sheldon Foundation and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation (CRCF). V. Horrigan informed the board that CRCF asked V. Horrigan and P. Chagnon to give a presentation to the CRCF Board on January 8th.
c.) DEC Visit: V. Horrigan informed the board that he attended a meeting with the NYS DEC and County representatives in order to maintain open lines of communication with them regarding 2020 Chautauqua Lake in-lake projects.
P. Chagnon indicated the visit was very effective and is looking forward to a strong working relationship among the County, Alliance, and the DEC in 2020.
d.) Convening and coordinating Alliance role going forward: V. Horrigan indicated that after meeting with municipal leaders and lake and watershed related organizations, he recommends the Alliance take a more active convening and coordinating role going forward, which would be accomplished through the Lake and Watershed Management Committees.
IV. Membership Drive Update:
T. West gave the board an update regarding the 2020 Membership Drive indicating all 26 Alliance members from 2019 have committed to rejoin the Alliance in 2020.
J. Andrews indicated this is a positive sign to see all members willingly signed on for 2020.
P. Chagnon indicated those who are not members can not apply to the Alliance for funding, which is an added value for those who decided to join the Alliance.
V. Lake Management Committee Update:
V. Horrigan indicated Alliance staff put together a charter for the Lake Management Committee for the Board to vote on. V. Horrigan indicated there are a lot of in-lake management actions coming up in 2020 for the Lake Management Committee to weigh in on. V. Horrigan summarized the Lake Management Committee Charter for the Board indicating the Committee membership will be made up of representatives from the nine (9) municipalities bordering Chautauqua Lake, the Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA), Chautauqua Lake Partnership (CLP), and the Chautauqua Institution. There will also be 2 at-large members from the public on the committee.
V. Horrigan recommended that Ruth Wahl and Craig Butler represent the two (2) at-large members and provided the board with Ruth Wahl’s resume.
D. Shepherd emphasized that the purpose of the Committee is to determine and recommend to the board how best to reduce the rate of eutrophication in Chautauqua Lake in an effort to improve recreation and maintain a healthy ecosystem in Chautauqua Lake. As a follow-up, V Horrigan recommended that the topic of eutrophication would best be addressed by the science committee. The board agreed in a follow up email.
V. Horrigan indicated he wanted to make sure everyone is prepared and ready to go when the time comes to send in herbicide permit applications.
M. Latone indicated this would help the CLP tremendously.
D. Shepherd commended V. Horrigan on his efforts.
B. Erickson indicated the real unknown is the impact the skimmers are going to have on the near-shore and shoreline areas of the lake.
V. Horrigan indicated the skimmers draft two (2) to three (3) feet in the water.
V. Horrigan indicated the Alliance staff is trying to plan a trip to Alpha Boats in order to gain a better understanding about their capabilities.
V. Horrigan indicated one (1) of the mobitracs, which is owned by the Town of Chautauqua, will be operated within the Town’s boundaries, while the other two (2) mobitracs will be used lake wide.
V. Horrigan indicated the new skimmers will add significantly more capacity to the mobitrac operations.
B. Erickson made a motion to approve the charter for the Lake Management Committee and the two at-large members. J. Andrews seconded the motion to approve the charter for the Lake Management Committee and the two at-large members.
V. Horrigan indicated Alliance staff will adapt the charter to incorporate D. Shepherd’s comments. As stated above the eutrophication subject will be moved to the science committee.
B. Erickson indicated all plans need revision.
P. Chagnon called the motion to a vote and the motion carried unanimously.
VI. Watershed Management Committee: Ad Hoc Recommendation:
V. Horrigan recommended that the board approve the Watershed Management Committee Charter.
V. Horrigan indicated the purpose is to identify new watershed projects for potential CFA submission. V. Horrigan reviewed the Watershed Committee charter with the Board indicating the membership will be made up of the nine (9) municipalities bordering Chautauqua Lake, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy (CWC), Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), and the Chautauqua Institution.
V. Horrigan indicated the Alliance is in need of someone to chair this committee.
P. Chagnon indicated this committee would help prioritize these watershed projects for grant submission.
B. Erickson asked if a staff member could chair the committee.
V. Horrigan indicated R. Perry does a wonderful job for us managing all of the Alliance partnered projects, but thought we should have board leadership on the committee. V. Horrigan indicated staff will support the committee, but a board member should chair the committee.
R. Yates volunteered to chair the committee and indicated he has a lot of experience with Town and Village Highway Supervisors and has performed a variety of stream restoration techniques.
D. Shepherd asked that his written comments be included in the Committee charter.
M. Jabot indicated he is in favor of the committee as it would give proper attention to the watershed and takes some of that weight off the CWC’s shoulders.
P. Chagnon made a motion to approve the Watershed Management Committee Charter. M. Latone seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
VII. Scientific Review and Advisory Committee:
V. Horrigan indicated that Alliance staff has met with the Scientific Review and Advisory Committee and informed the group that the committee is currently looking at the sampling and analysis plan from the 2019 Independent Third-Party Monitor for Chautauqua Lake Macrophyte Management – 2019 Herbicide Treatment Program document.
R. Perry indicated the Committee held a work session on 12/10/2019 and had good conversation about their recommendations for 2020. R. Perry indicated D. Spann plans to provide a summary of their recommendations once they are finished.
V. Horrigan indicated the Committee members are in favor of adding D. Josephson to the Committee.
V. Horrigan also proposed the addition of G. Bullerjahn to the committee and gave a summary of G. Bullerjahn’s resume. V. Horrigan indicated that he has reached out to the science committee for their approval of G. Bullerjahn and has been receiving very positive feedback so far regarding G. Bullerjahn.
P. Chagnon reminded the group that G. Bullerjahn is leading HAB research on Lake Erie.
M. Jabot made a motion to appoint both individuals to the Scientific Review and Advisory Committee. B. Erickson seconded the motion to appoint both individuals to the Scientific Review and Advisory Committee.
P. Chagnon indicated the Alliance will continue to receive feedback from the Committee regarding the potential appointment of G. Bullerjahn to the Committee. P. Chagnon indicated G. Bullerjahn would be appointed to the Committee if the Committee does not object to it. There was no objection and G. Bullerjahn was appointed.
P. Chagnon called the motion to a vote. The motion passed unanimously.
VIII. Chautauqua Lake Aquatic Data (CLAD) Mapping Project: Taylor West:
T. West presented the Chautauqua Lake Aquatic Data (CLAD) Mapping Project to the Alliance Board. The CLAD Mapping Project uses a program called BioBase to monitor macrophyte biovolume, bathymetry, and sediment deposition. This is a relatively low cost program that would allow the Alliance to rapidly collect data about macrophyte biovolume, bathymetry, and sediment deposition in Chautauqua Lake using sonar equipment, computer processing, GIS, and the Alliance FRIB (Boat).
D. Shepherd asked if this project would threaten any of our members.
V. Horrigan indicated this program would assist our members with informative data about macrophyte biovolume, allowing them to allocate their resources to the areas of the lake that show the greatest need.
V. Horrigan indicated the Scientific Review and Advisory Committee will also be involved in this project.
D. Shepherd asked if this is an effort of the board for the Alliance or for the Members.
P. Chagnon indicated this project would assist our members by informing resource allocation in the Lake.
M. Latone indicated the CLP is getting their fall plant survey data back from SOLitude, but indicated this survey did not include Burtis Bay because SOLitude will be sampling the Bay after ice out in the spring of 2020.
M. Jabot asked if this project incorporates Lidar and Landsat data.
T. West indicated BioBase has another service called EcoSat that incorporates Landsat and Lidar data for emergent vegetation management, but the Alliance subscription would only cover the EcoSound program for submerged vegetation, bathymetry, and sediment data.
R. Yates indicated he knows anglers who use this sonar technology while fishing. R. Yates added this would give us the ability to survey the lake all season long.
B. Erickson made a motion to allow T. West to move forward with this project and a budget of $5,000. R. Yates seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
IX. Approval of the 2020 Alliance Operating Budget:
V. Horrigan asked for the Board to approve the 2020 Alliance Operating Budget.
R. Yates asked if we had enough money budgeted for legal costs.
P. Chagnon replied indicating the legal services that were used in 2019 were in-kind and would anticipate that those services would be available again should the Alliance need to use them.
D. Shepherd asked why the Alliance County allocation was reduced by $90,000.
V. Horrigan indicated the $90,000 is pass-through money and the total allocation from the County is the same as last year.
B. Erickson made a motion to approve the 2020 Alliance Operating Budget. The motion was seconded by T. McCague and passed unanimously.
X. Other Board Comments:
D. Shepherd commended the staff’s efforts.
V. Horrigan indicated the Alliance will have a lot to talk about at the January 2020 Public Board Meeting.
P. Chagnon indicated he liked all of the energy and enthusiasm that the board and staff brought to the meeting.
B. Erickson asked when the January Board meeting will occur.
V. Horrigan indicated the next board meeting will be on January 9th at the Stow Senior Center at 4:30 PM.
B. Erickson made a motion to adjourn the December 12th, 2019 work session Board meeting. The motion was seconded by D. Shepherd and was passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 5:37 PM.