Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, February 11, 2016
4:00 p.m. at Stow Senior Center
Directors Present: Linda Barber, Don Emhardt, Sally Carlson, David Wesp & Vince Horrigan.
Absent: Pierre Chagnon, David Shepherd, Ken Shearer & Dave Spann.
Others in Attendance: Erin Brickley, Alliance Executive Director. Doug Champ, City Riverfront Management Council & interested citizen.
Founding Member Representatives in Attendance: Marla Connelly – NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation – Allegany Region, Cassie Pinkoski – Chautauqua County Soil & Water Conservation District, and Tom Cherry – Chautauqua Utility District
Scientific Review & Advisory Committee Members in Attendance: Dave McCoy.
Call to Order:
Chair Linda Barber called the meeting of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) to order at 4:00 pm. It was noted for the record that there was a quorum (5 of 9) present.
Approval of Minutes:
Mr. Wesp made a motion to accept the minutes of the 1/14/16 Board Meeting as written, seconded by Mrs. Carlson. The motion was approved unanimously.
Review of 2016 Goals:
The Executive Director sent out a draft of the Alliance 2016 Goals for review on 2/10/16 via email to all Board Members and Founding Member representatives. The draft incorporates suggestions from the January Board meeting as well as suggestions from the 2/5/16 Executive Committee meeting. Mr. McCoy questioned the end of year goal pertaining to identifying and developing projects, the time it takes to do this, and the fact that various grant opportunities have deadlines throughout the year. Ms. Brickley agreed and noted the intent is to work on this important goal throughout the year in order to hit the number of projects identified in the goal by years end. Ms. Brickley advised the group to forward any additional goal suggestions to her as they would be welcome, especially those originating from our member organizations.
Audit Committee – Service Provider Determinations:
At the January Board Meeting on 1/14/16, Mr. Chagnon advised that the Audit Committee was scheduled to meet 1/21/16. In order to avoid delay, a motion was approved for the Audit Committee to review all proposals and make the final service provider determination for both Audit & Tax services and Bookkeeping services, which could then be ratified at the February Board meeting. The Audit Committee determined that the Alliance would hire Saxton Kocur & Associates for audit and tax services and Theresa Nelson for bookkeeping services. Mr. Wesp made a motion to ratify the Audit Committee’s decision on service providers and was seconded by Mrs. Carlson. The motion passed unanimously.
Update on Foundation Match Fund Proposal:
Ms. Brickley updated the group on the ongoing meetings and discussion related to the Alliance proposal for a grants match fund supported by area foundations. The County has provided some accessible funds for this same purpose, especially important in the six WQIP state grants awarded in 2015, but it is felt that more tools are needed. The idea is for the county and the local foundations to work together to expand match fund opportunities which leverages local fiscal assets in order to magnify the amount of outside state and federal grant funding that can be secured for our watershed. This proposal addresses two main challenges the Alliance faces related to securing outside funding for lake and watershed projects: identifying and securing local match funding commitments and the often short timeframes available between when a grant opportunity is announced and the application deadline. Match funding must be identified and confirmed by the time the grant application is submitted. The area foundations have different deadlines for requests so it was determined that multiple submissions on this proposal to various foundations would be completed by the first week in March.
Sheldon Request for Alliance Review:
Ms. Barber advised the group that the Sheldon Foundation is requesting that the Alliance Board review any lake related grant requests that they receive, as they have since 2014. Specifically, the Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA) recently submitted a request for $50k for operational support to Sheldon that they would like a response on. This request was reviewed by the Executive Committee and it was determined that the work done by the CLA is unique and very important. Based on the wording of the letters received for review, it was determined that there was no scientific question before the Alliance Board and that our response letter would reflect this. A response letter to Sheldon Foundation was drafted for today’s review. Mr. Wesp motioned to accept the response letter as drafted, seconded by Mr. Horrigan. Mr. Emhardt abstained. The motion passed.
Staff Capacity – Approval of Project Manager Position:
Ms. Barber advised the group that Ms. Brickley had submitted additional information for review on the topic as requested last month. This included a summary of current job duties performed by the Executive Director, highlighting functions that would likely be transitioned to a new Project Manager, with a focus on management of already funded projects. An expected timeline of events for the six WQIP grant awards was also created and sent out for review.
Ms. Barber advised the group that the Executive Committee met on 2/5/16, reviewed the additional information provided and have decided to recommend the addition of a full time project manager to the full Board for approval. After some further discussion, Mrs. Carlson made the motion to accept the recommendation made to hire a full time project manager, seconded by Mr. Horrigan. The motion passed unanimously.
Open Floor / Member Updates:
Ms. Barber opened the floor to any Member updates or upcoming events and/or comments from the general public in attendance:
- Mr. Emhardt gave an update on North Chautauqua Lake Sewer District (NCLSD) as it relates to the Integrated Sewer Management Plan. One of their first areas of focus will be on decommissioning the Chautauqua Heights plant which will eventually be converted to a pump station to convey flow to the NCLSD treatment plant.
- Mr. Cherry advised the group the Chautauqua Utility District WWTP was finally issued the proper permits from DEC after much delay and has put the work needed to update the WWTP out for bid.
- Mr. Champ advised the group that as a member of the City Riverfront Management Council, he feels strongly about the inherent connection between Chautauqua Lake, the outlet and beginning of the Chadakoin River, and the City of Jamestown. With this in mind, he has asked that Ms. Brickley join him at the next Jamestown Board of Public Utilities (JBPU) meeting in February.
- Mr. Champ also advised the group of recent grant opportunity via the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). He noted the max grant under this opportunity is $150k and that many times ARC is just one of several sources to fully fund a specific project. He also mentioned the federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants program as a possible opportunity if the right narrative was developed. Mr. Horrigan mentioned that he believed the NCLSD is currently waiting on an EDA opportunity.
- Mr. McCoy gave an update on efforts to finalize the Macrophyte Management Strategy (MMS). He stated he has high hopes that we have vetted this guidance document sufficiently so that all involved can support the finished product. The last edits are being completed currently and then will be sent to DEC and USACE for review and comment. After that, the SEQR process will be restarted. McCoy noted that there still sometimes seems to be a misconception that the MMS is just about herbicide application when in reality it’s about defining all the tools in the lake management tool box and identifying when and where each tool can be appropriately applied.
Adjourn: Ms. Barber adjourned the meeting at 4:57 pm.