Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors – Work Session
Thursday, December 9, 2021
4:30 p.m. at the BWB Building, 201 West 3rd St. Jamestown, NY 14701
Directors Present: Rob Yates, Bruce Erickson, Don Emhardt, David Shepherd, Pierre Chagnon, Mike Latone, Paul (P.J.) Wendel, Jr., and Jim Andrews
Directors Absent: Mary Hutchings
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 4:32 PM. A quorum of 8 out of 9 Alliance Board Members were present at the start of the meeting.
II. Approval of the 11/11/2021 Board Meeting Minutes
D. Emhardt made a motion to accept the minutes from the 11/11/2021 Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by M. Latone and was approved unanimously.
III. Board Chair Comments
B. Erickson indicated that he was approached by D. Shepherd, who asked to be considered for the position of Board Liaison to the Data Analysis and Research Committee.
D. Shepherd indicated that he was willing to serve on the DAR Committee after speaking with R. Perry about the utility of having a Board Member appointed. D. Shepherd indicated that it may be useful to move his current chairmanship of the Watershed Management Committee to another Board Member.
R. Yates indicated he was willing to take on the Watershed Committee chairmanship.
B. Erickson indicated that Peter Beeson had asked to become a member of the DAR Committee.
M. Latone indicated that the Board had also previously discussed the possibility of naming Jo-Dee Johnson to the DAR Committee.
R. Perry indicated that previously the Board has asked to see resumes/CVs from prospective DAR Committee Members, and that may be an appropriate next step. R. Perry indicated that there has also been precedent for the DAR Committee or Science Committee giving their input on prospective Committee Members before appointment. R. Perry indicated that the Alliance Charter indicates that the Board appoints new Committee Members and there is not a written requirement for input from existing Committee Members.
B. Erickson asked R. Perry to request resumes/CVs from the two prospective Committee Members for the Board to consider and indicated that any potential appointments would be made at a later date.
IV. Alliance Committee
a.) Audit Committee
P. Chagnon indicated that the audit has been completed.
R. Perry indicated that the only remaining step following the previous Board Meeting was the submission of the New York State returns, which have since been completed.
b.) Data Analysis & Research Committee
R. Perry indicated that there has been no new activity from the Committee apart from the previous discussion about the potential appointment of new Members.
c.) Lake Management Committee
M. Latone indicated that there were no updates from the Committee.
d.) Watershed Management Committee
D. Shepherd indicated that there were no updates from the Committee.
R. Perry indicated that he had no new information regarding New York State Consolidated Funding Application submissions, which include several watershed projects.
V. 2021-2022 Alliance Consolidated Foundation Grant Request Update
R. Perry was pleased to announce that The Lenna Foundation has awarded the Alliance $250,000 as part of the Alliance’s consolidated foundation grant request. R. Perry indicated that the final application to the Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation has been submitted, and that a response should be available by late January, 2022. R. Perry indicated that a letter of intent has been submitted to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, and that the Alliance anticipates being invited to submit a full application which would be due in early January, 2022. R. Perry indicated that a funding decision for that submission is anticipated sometime in February, 2022. R. Perry indicated that he would like a motion authorizing him to sign the grant agreement with The Lenna Foundation.
P. Chagnon made a motion to authorize R. Perry to sign the agreement. The motion was seconded by D. Shepherd and was approved unanimously.
R. Perry indicated that the Hultquist Foundation recently expressed interest in receiving a funding request from the Alliance for lake-related work. R. Perry indicated that the Hultquist Foundation had not been approached for an Alliance funding request in the past. R. Perry indicated that he had spoken to S. Wright, and indicated that the Hultquist Foundation has an upcoming March deadline for 2022 funding requests.
D. Shepherd asked if the possible range of funding was discussed.
R. Perry indicated that they had not discussed specifics, but S. Wright had offered input on the overall funding levels that the Hultquist Foundation typically provides.
Board discussion ensued regarding the possibility of seeking funding through the Hultquist Foundation, and the Board agreed that B. Erickson and R. Perry should follow up with S. Wright early in 2021.
J. Andrews asked what the life expectancy of a Mobitrac is.
D. Emhardt indicated that a 10-year lifespan with regular maintenance is likely.
R. Yates indicated that the Town of North Harmony does not have an unloading area for CLA harvesters currently. R. Yates indicated that some of the features in place at Cheney’s Point may make it a suitable location for future offloading.
VI. 2021-2022 Alliance Membership Drive Update
R. Perry indicated that all 2020-2021 Alliance Members have renewed for 2021-2022.
VII. 2021 Alliance Local Grants Update
a.) Modification Request: Town of North Harmony.
R. Perry indicated he had received a letter from R. Yates asking for a no-cost time extension of the Ball Creek Stabilization Project to the end of 2022. R. Perry indicated that the work outlined achieved substantial completion, and that there are plans for additional work in the spring in addition to a pending NYSCFA grant application to expand the project. P. Chagnon made a motion to extend the grant to the end of 2022. The motion was seconded by J. Andrews and was passed unanimously.
b.) Modification Request: Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy (CWC).
R. Perry indicated that CWC has a $20,000 Alliance grant from 2021 for forest and tributaries conservation. R. Perry indicated that the CWC has indicated that the project will be completed in 2021, but the CWC has asked to delay until early 2022 the invoicing/payment of certain project expenses for work completed in 2021. The reason for the request is to potentially use these expenses as “cash match” for a New York State grant. M. Latone made a motion to accept the request. The motion was seconded by D. Emhardt and passed unanimously.
VIII. 2020 Alliance Local Grants Update
a.) Modification Request: Audubon Community Nature Center.
R. Perry indicated that the Audubon Community Nature Center received a grant in 2020 from the Alliance for a Water Chestnut Rapid Response Removal Program. R. Perry indicated that the grant was extended to include 2021, however Audubon was unable to expend the grant funds in the second year due to lack of public requests for water chestnut removal assistance. R. Perry indicated that he received a request to extend the grant one more year until the end of 2022, and to expand the scope beyond water chestnut. R. Perry indicated the scope adjustment would allow Audubon to work with Western New York PRISM to perform early detection and rapid response efforts for other invasive species such as hydrilla, European frogbit, water lettuce, and water hyacinth. R. Yates made a motion to approve the request. The motion was seconded by D. Emhardt and passed unanimously.
IX. 2022 Alliance Operating Budget
R. Perry provided the Board with an overview of the proposed 2022 operating budget along with a summary for 2021.
P. Chagnon indicated that he would like to highlight that the staff has internalized website management and social media work moving forward.
D. Emhardt made a motion to accept the budget as presented. That motion was seconded by P. Wendel and was passed unanimously.
B. Erickson indicated that T. West had recently shared information related to CLA work in 2021 and asked T. West to share it with the entire Board. T. West indicated that the staff had prepared slides from their analysis of CLA work reports, which contain statistical and visual representations of mechanical harvesting and shoreline/near-shore cleanup performed in 2021.
B. Erickson indicated that in addition to the work report analysis, Alliance Chautauqua Lake Aquatic Data (CLAD) Mapping sonar biovolume maps were also available to the Board.
P. Wendel indicated that $250,000 of Chautauqua County ARPA funding was allocated to The Jefferson Project at Chautauqua Lake, which is anticipated to support Chautauqua Lake research efforts and has the potential to spur a significant project in the future. P. Wendel indicated that the efforts of Alliance members to work in coordination with one another have paid dividends and stressed the importance of future cooperation.
P. Chagnon indicated that the aforementioned project was being considered for two locations other than Chautauqua Lake, and indicated that the County’s ARPA contribution played a major role.
B. Erickson indicated that he believes stakeholders are working together more than ever.
R. Yates cited positive improvements to lake and watershed management that have happened in the last several years.
R. Perry indicated that he had been invited to participate in the Turner Winter Series discussion on January 4, 2022.
J. Andrews made a motion to adjourn at 5:14 p.m. The motion was seconded by D. Emhardt and carried unanimously.
The Alliance Board of Directors passed a motion to approve these 12/9/2021 Meeting Minutes on 01/13/2022.