Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors – Work Session
Thursday, December 8, 2022
4:30 p.m. at the BWB Building, 201 West 3rd St. Jamestown, NY 14701 & via Zoom
Directors Present: Bruce Erickson, Paul Wendel, Jr., Mike LaTone, Janis Bowman (via Zoom), Jim Andrews, Ellen Barnes, Martin Proctor, Don Emhardt
Directors Absent: Dave Shepherd
Staff in Attendance: Randall Perry – Alliance Executive Director, Taylor West – Alliance Project Manager, and Jay Young – Alliance Communications Coordinator.
I. Call to Order
B. Erickson called the Board Meeting of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) to order at 4:35 PM. A quorum of 7 out of 9 Alliance Board Members were present at the start of the meeting.
II. Approval of 11/10/2022 Board Work Session Minutes
J. Andrews made a motion to accept the minutes from the 11/10/2022 Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by M. LaTone and was approved unanimously.
III. Discussion with Julie Barrett O’Neill
Discussion under this agenda item occurred between items IV-a and IV-b listed below.
Julie Barrett O’Neill, recently appointed Regional Director for New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Region 9, introduced herself to the Alliance Board and staff. J. Barrett O’Neill offered an overview of her experience working in the management of water resources in Western New York, and her first several months working as Regional Director. J. Barrett O’Neill outlined some of her objectives moving forward as Regional Director, and strategies that she has employed in the past to achieve related goals. J. Barrett O’Neill indicated that she has already had many productive conversations and meetings with stakeholders working on and around Chautauqua Lake.
B. Erickson thanked J. Barrett O’Neill for taking the time to meet with the Board, indicating that the DEC and its staff are an important resource and partner for the management of Chautauqua Lake and the watershed. B. Erickson indicated that the Alliance is willing to help in any way possible moving forward.
J. Barrett O’Neill indicated that she is interested in scheduling meetings with stakeholders on topics such as lake-use/navigational mapping, harmful algal blooms, and communication with the public.
R. Perry thanked J. Barrett O’Neill for taking the time to meet with the Board and staff, and indicated that the Alliance looks forward to participating in and assisting with these meetings and efforts moving forward.
IV. Alliance Committees
a.) Governance/Executive Committee
The Alliance Executive Committee reviewed the Board operating reserve policy. B. Erickson indicated that the Executive Committee recommends assigning the operating reserve as the current balance in the Key Bank savings account.
M. LaTone made a motion to authorize R. Perry to open a new money market savings account for the Alliance at M&T Bank. The motion was seconded by E. Barnes and was passed unanimously.
The Board’s discussion with J. Barrett O’Neill took place between agenda items IV-a and IV-b. It has been summarized in Section III of these minutes.
b.) Audit Committee
B. Erickson indicated that the Alliance’s 2021 audit and filing was completed as planned.
c.) Data Analysis & Research Committee
R. Perry indicated that in response to recent meeting discussions, T. West prepared a document that was shared with the Board, which summarizes existing information about the status of Chautauqua Lake’s fisheries. R. Perry indicated that he has prepared a list of potential questions regarding the lake’s fisheries if the Board has an interest in submitting those to the Data Analysis & Research Committee (DAR). R. Perry indicated that in the past the Committee has provided a brief written summary and engaged the Board at a work session in response to such a request.
B. Erickson suggested that the Board could table this item for more discussion before engaging the DAR Committee.
M. LaTone indicated he agreed with that suggestion.
J. Bowman indicated she agreed with that suggestion.
R. Perry indicated that at the 11/2/2022 Lake Management Committee meeting, the committee passed a motion to ask the Alliance Board to consider having the DAR Committee provide input on methodologies used for aquatic plant surveys in the lake. R. Perry indicated that T. West prepared a table for the Board’s reference, which outlines the rake-toss methods used by different research groups, consultants, and the New York State DEC.
A discussion followed of rake-toss methodology and history on the lake.
B. Erickson indicated that the table provides valuable information and suggested that the table be shared with the Lake Management Committee.
J. Bowman indicated she agreed that the table will be helpful moving forward when there are discussions about rake-toss methods.
d.) Lake Management Committee
R. Perry indicated that there are copies of the Lake Management Committee meeting packets from the 11/2/2022 meeting if any Board Members would like them.
M. LaTone indicated that the Chautauqua Lake Partnership is awaiting the results of North Carolina State University’s 2022 aquatic plant survey.
e.) Watershed Management Committee
R. Perry indicated there is no update from the Watershed Management Committee.
V. 2022-2023 Alliance Consolidated Foundation Grant Program Update
R. Perry indicated that The Lenna Foundation has awarded the Alliance $266,666 towards the 2023 Consolidated Foundation Grant Request submitted in November. R. Perry indicated that responses to the request are anticipated from the Sheldon Foundation in mid-January 2023 and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation in mid-February 2023.
D. Emhardt made a motion to authorize R. Perry to sign the Alliance’s Lenna Foundation grant award agreement. The motion was seconded by J. Andrews and passed unanimously.
VI. 2020 Alliance Local Grants Update
a.) Modification Request (No Cost Time Extension): Village of Lakewood Grandview Stormwater Management Project
R. Perry indicated that the Village of Lakewood is asking for a no cost time extension to expend funds from its 2020 Alliance grant now that it has been awarded a New York State Consolidated Funding Application grant to construct the Grandview Stormwater Management Project.
P. Wendel made a motion to extend the Village of Lakewood’s 2020 Alliance grant agreement for the Grandview Stormwater Management Project to the end of 2023. The motion was seconded by D. Emhardt and passed unanimously with one abstention (E. Barnes).
VII. 2023 Alliance Operating Budget
B. Erickson indicated that R. Perry has prepared a draft of the Alliance 2023 Operating Budget for Board Consideration. B. Erickson indicated that the budget keeps expenses below the rate of inflation.
R. Perry indicated that he is pleased with the efforts of staff, and that the budget includes a 2% increase in salary for 2023.
M. Proctor made a motion to accept the 2023 Alliance Operating Budget. The motion was seconded by M. LaTone and was passed unanimously.
D. Emhardt made a motion to approve the 2% increase in Alliance staff salaries for 2023. The motion was seconded by M. LaTone and was passed unanimously.
P. Wendel made a motion to authorize R. Perry to sign the Alliance’s office lease agreement with the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency for 2023. The motion was seconded by D. Emhardt and was passed unanimously.
R. Perry indicated that the Alliance has received two Director’s Discretionary Grants from Sheldon Foundation Directors and has issued thank you notes for those contributions.
M. LaTone indicated that The Jefferson Project has yet to meet with the Alliance Board, and indicated that may be a meeting worth pursuing.
B. Erickson indicated he supported pursuing that meeting, and indicated that Toby Shepherd of Chautauqua Institution may be a good point of contact to schedule it. B. Erickson indicated his support for having J. Barrett O’Neill attend a future meeting.
R. Perry indicated that he could engage T. Shepherd to schedule a meeting regarding The Jefferson Project.
B. Erickson indicated that D. Shepherd’s term on the Alliance Board will expire in May 2023. B. Erickson suggested that R. Perry reach out to the local Foundations for potential nominees for the at-large seat.
M. LaTone made a motion to adjourn the December 8, 2022 Board meeting. The motion was seconded by P. Wendel and was passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 6:05 PM.
The Alliance Board of Directors passed a motion to approve these 12/08/22 Meeting Minutes on 1/12/23.