Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors – Public Meeting
Thursday, July 8, 2021
4:30 p.m. at the Stow/North Harmony Senior Center, 5377 Stow Ferry Rd. Stow, NY 14785
Directors Present: Pierre Chagnon, Rob Yates, Mary Hutchings, Bruce Erickson, Jim Andrews, Don Emhardt, David Shepherd, and Paul (P.J.) Wendel, Jr.
Absent: Mike Latone
Staff in Attendance: Randall Perry – Alliance Executive Director, Taylor West – Alliance Project Manager and Jay Young–Communications Coordinator.
Others in Attendance: Tory Irgang and Lisa Lynde –Chautauqua Region Community Foundation; Cassie Pinkoski – Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD); John Ford
Member Representatives in Attendance: Jim Wehrfritz – Town of Ellery; Dave McCoy– County of Chautauqua; John Jablonski and Becky Nystrom– Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy; Louise Ortman – Town of North Harmony
I. Call to Order
B. Erickson called the Board Meeting of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) to order at 4:31 PM. A quorum of 8 out of 9 Alliance Board Members were present at the start of the meeting.
II. Introduction of new Alliance Communications Coordinator
B. Erickson introduced Jay Young to the board and those in attendance as the new communications coordinator for the Alliance.
B. Erickson indicated that D. Emhardt and M. Hutchings were new members of the Alliance Board and introduced them to the group.
III. Approval of 6/10/21 Minutes
D. Emhardt made a motion to accept the minutes from the 6/10/21 Work Session Meeting. The motion was seconded by J. Andrews and was approved unanimously.
IV. Projects Update
T. West gave the following projects update to the group:
- 2015 County Round 12 Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Grants – Streambank Stabilizations: Dutch Hollow Creek & West Dutch Hollow Creek: Phase I construction complete at Dutch Hollow Creek Main Stem (2018)Phase I construction complete at West Dutch Hollow Creek (2018-2019) Invitation for Construction Bids for Phase II issued on 4/26/21; Bids Due to County 5/24/21.Bid award for construction was awarded in May 2021 to Rock of Western New YorkAnticipated construction Summer 2021
- 2018-2020 Invasive Species Early Detection – Volunteer Task Force
- Water Chestnut (>100 plants) found/removed in Chautauqua Lake Outlet in July-August 2020
- Collaborative efforts among RTPI, ACNC, CWC, Alliance, and Volunteers – thank you to all who participated.
- Contact RTPI (Twan Leenders) and/or Alliance (Taylor West) to get involved for 2021
- To help observe/report on your own, please sign up for iMapInvasives: www.imapinvasives.org/
- Water Chestnut (>100 plants) found/removed in Chautauqua Lake Outlet in July-August 2020
- 2018 Lakewood Chautauqua Avenue Green Street Retrofit (NYSEFC GIGP)
- Village issued Invitation for Bids on 10/8/20; bid opening was conducted on 11/10/20
- Village awarded the construction contract to Kingsview Enterprises (Lakewood NY)
- Engineering/inspection by Barton & Loguidice; and in-kind work by Village DPW; Construction currently underway
- Milling of Chautauqua Ave. by Village DPW complete
- Kingsview Enterprises is currently working on the 3rd Street intersection
- Village businesses on Chautauqua Ave. are open.
- 2018 Busti Precision Swales Stabilization (NYSDEC WQIP)
- Construction is underway by Rock of WNY (EcoStrategies engineering/inspection & Town Highway performing in-kind work); construction planned from Fall 2020 to ca. Spring/Summer 2021
- Currently constructing the Southwestern Drive Swale then moving to Summit Avenue
- 2018 Skimming Capital Equipment (NYSDEC WQIP)
- County bid awarded to Alpha Boats
- Skimmers were delivered to the Chautauqua Lake Association on 6/16/21 and 6/28/21 and are now in use on Chautauqua Lake supporting the Joint-Operations Program.
- List of Alliance-partnered NYS grants that have been closed out:
- 2015 NYS Invasive Species Management Grant (C. Young Senate Initiative), closed ca. Apr 2019
- 2016 Lakewood-Busti Stormwater Mgmt. Engineering Study (DEC/EFC EPG), closed ca. Jan 2019
- 2013 Celoron Breakwall & Boardwalk LWRP Phase I Grant, closed ca. Sep 2018
- 2016 Celoron Breakwall & Boardwalk LWRP Phase II-III Grant, closed ca. Aug 2019
- 2017 Mayville-Chautauqua Stormwater Mgmt. Engineering Study (DEC/EFC EPG), closed ca. Feb 2020
- 2015 County Round 12 WQIP Streambank Stabilization Projects at Ball, Bemus, Goose, and Prendergast Creeks, closed ca. Oct 2020
- 2017 Celoron Park Improvement (Amenities Building) LWRP Phase IV Grant, closed ca. Mar 2021
J. Jablonski asked about the completion date of the Chautauqua Avenue project.
T. West indicated that the Village is currently working with the contractor on this matter.
V. Alliance Committees Update
a. Alliance Data Analysis and Research (DAR) Committee Update
R. Perry indicated that the Committee last met in May and does not anticipate conducting another meeting until the conclusion of the summer field season. R. Perry indicated that Committee members spoke with the Alliance Board at their June work session meeting regarding the Committee’s internal loading summary document. R. Perry indicated that based on discussions with the Committee, one of Chautauqua Lake’s largest data gaps is the lack of available sediment core data. R. Perry indicated that he and others have started facilitating dialogue with an outside researcher who specializes in lake sediment research and indicated that this individual may be interested in working on Chautauqua Lake.
J. Jablonski asked if the internal loading summary document is available on the Alliance’s website.
R. Perry indicated that the document was prepared by the DAR Committee for the Board and is a working document that would be updated over time.
B. Erickson indicated that the Alliance would look into the matter.
J. Jablonski indicated that he hopes the information would be available to members.
b. Alliance Lake Management Committee Update
B. Erickson indicated that lake organizations are working with each other. B. Erickson indicated that he and M. Latone met at the Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA) to look at GPS data, which helped to resolve questions that were raised surrounding shoreline cleanup operations.
D. Emhardt indicated that Mobitrac crews started on 7/6/21 and have been averaging around 15 tons per crew per day. D. Emhardt indicated that the majority of the north crew’s work over the last week has been concentrated in Hartfield Bay and indicated that over the July 4th holiday weekend over 30 feet of floating weeds and debris blew into the Bay. D. Emhardt indicated that the south crew started near Lincoln Street in the Town of Ellery and began working south towards Shore Acres.
c. Alliance Watershed Management Committee Update
R. Perry indicated that the Committee last met in May. R. Perry indicated that the NYS CFA is now open, and the Alliance is pursuing a slate of projects. R. Perry indicated that the NYS CFA has a very short application window, and the Alliance is working with applicants to submit projects. R. Perry indicated that the Committee intends on meeting after the close of the NYS CFA.
VI. 2021-2022 Alliance Membership Drive Update
R. Perry indicated that renewal requests were sent out on 6/18/21. R. Perry thanked those who have either already renewed or are considering renewing their membership. R. Perry indicated that the Alliance’s membership cycle runs from July 1st through June 30th every year.
VII. 2021-2022 Alliance Consolidated Foundation Grant Program Update
R. Perry indicated that the Alliance would be releasing the Request for Applications (RFA) soon. R. Perry indicated that applicants would have an approximately two-month-long window to prepare their applications, which are due in September. R. Perry indicated that the Alliance would prepare a grant request to the participating local Foundations in November. R. Perry indicated that the Alliance anticipates hearing back from the participating Foundations in early 2022.
B. Erickson indicated that the staff are making the application more user friendly, which he anticipates will make completing and scoring the applications easier in 2021.
VIII. 2021 NYS Consolidated Funding Application (NYSCFA) Update
R. Perry indicated that the Alliance is partnering with Alliance members to submit six applications projected to total approximately $12M in NYS funding requests through the NYSCFA by the end of July. R. Perry indicated that the Alliance is excited for the opportunity to work with Alliance members to submit funding applications for the following projects:
- West Side Sewer Extension Phase II
- Grandview Stormwater Management
- North Chautauqua Lake Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) Study
- Town of Chautauqua Roadside Swales Stabilization Project
- Ball Creek Streambank Stabilization
- County Complex Green Infrastructure Retrofit
R. Perry indicated that the Alliance is working to finalize budgets for these projects, and he would be contacting the Alliance Board with match requests soon. R. Perry indicated that currently two out of the six projects are expected to need approximately $24,000 from the Alliance Foundation Match Fund to fulfill the local match requirements of the grants.
P. Wendel Jr. indicated that he recently signed the letters of support for the slate of projects.
P. Chagnon thanked R. Perry and the Alliance staff for progressing these projects along. P. Chagnon indicated that he hopes the Alliance Board can take care of the match needs via email.
R. Perry indicated that he appreciates the efforts of the members to help progress these projects as well.
R. Yates thanked the Alliance staff for their efforts and indicated that they are doing a great job.
B. Erickson indicated that the Executive Committee is looking at adjusting the by-laws to address concerns expressed by members.
X. Open Floor: Member Representatives and Community Members in Attendance
J. Jablonski asked if the Alliance would clarify the election process as part of the potential adjustments to the by-laws.
B. Erickson indicated that the Alliance is looking at adjusting the term limits and adding clarifying language to the Board election process.
B. Nystrom thanked B. Erickson for looking into this.
J. Wehrfritz indicated that the Chautauqua Lake Partnership (CLP) had SOLitude Lake Management conduct a study to look into decaying macrophytes on the bottom of Chautauqua Lake and indicated that this report could be beneficial to lake researchers looking at internal loading. J. Wehrfritz asked when applications are due back to the Alliance for the Alliance’s Local Foundation Funding Program.
R. Perry indicated that they would be due around mid-September.
J. Wehrfritz asked what the two sets of scores will be for the local grant applications.
R. Perry indicated that the process outlined in the June work session minutes was a proposed process for consideration by the Board and is still in the process of being finalized. R. Perry indicated that in the past the Alliance has had 3 scoring groups to score the grant applications. R. Perry indicated that the consultant scoring group will not be continued for the 2021-2022 process, so applications are expected to now only be scored by the Alliance Staff and Committees.
J. Wehrfritz asked where the local match for the I&I study is coming from.
R. Perry indicated that the North Chautauqua Lake Sewer District has budgeted funds to contribute for local match if the study is funded by the State.
J. Jablonski indicated that the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy (CWC) is having an open house on 7/11/21 from 3-6 PM and indicated that all are invited to attend. J. Jablonski indicated that the CWC has several events coming up and encouraged attendees to visit the CWC’s website for more information. J. Jablonski indicated that the CWC will host their Annual Meeting on August 11, 2021 at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel. J. Jablonski indicated that the CWC has conducted and/or scheduled 60 consultations as part of their LakeScapes Program. J. Jablonski indicated that there are more buffers along Chautauqua Lake than ever before.
D. Emhardt indicated that the Town is going after a CFA to add more sewer tie-ins near Shorelands and Wooglin. D. Emhardt indicated that the Town is also going after a CFA to drill more drinking water wells.
J. Wehrfritz asked where the new sewer tie-ins would be located.
D. Emhardt indicated that they would go from Galloway Road to Hartfield Estates.
B. Erickson reminded the group that the CLA’s work plans and work reports are posted on the CLA’s website.
J. Wehrfritz asked if the CLA has found a way to distinguish harvesting tracks from transit tracks.
B. Erickson indicated that the CLA’s GPS software has colored icons, which indicate whether or not the machine is moving or sitting idle.
D. Emhardt indicated that one can differentiate between transit tracks and working tracks based on their orientation and proximity to shore. D. Emhardt indicated that the data the GPS units are providing is great.
B. Nystrom asked if anyone had maps of the actual herbicide treatment areas.
B. Erickson indicated that actual maps have not been produced and indicated that the CLP has been working hard to get this information for lake stakeholders.
B. Nystrom indicated that transparency is important.
J. Wehrfritz asked about how B. Nystrom would use the maps.
C. Pinkoski indicated that it would be nice to overlay all the treatment information on the same map.
J. Jablonski indicated that he would like to be able to go out into the field and observe the plant community in the treatment areas.
J. Ford indicated that it seems unlikely that the public will get maps of the actual treatment areas this year and indicated that maps should be provided in a more expedient manner next year.
B. Erickson indicated that he hopes that will be a condition of the contracts with SOLitude next year.
J. Wehrfritz indicated that the permits require SOLitude to produce maps and reports on the treatments by November.
C. Pinkoski indicated that the maps would be beneficial to everyone once they are published.
P. Chagnon made a motion to adjourn the July 8, 2021 Board meeting. The motion was seconded by M. Hutchings and was passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 5:10 PM.
XII. Approval of Local Matching Funds for 2021 NYSCFA
The following is a summary of Board actions that occurred via electronic mail on 7/20/21:
NYSCFA grant applications were due 7/30/21, but final budgets for two projects in need of additional local matching funds were not yet available at the time of the July Board Meeting on 7/8/21. Therefore, the Alliance Executive Director and Board coordinated the review and approval of the match requests outlined below via electronic mail on 7/20/21. Match funds will be sourced from the Alliance-Foundation Match Fund.
Village of Lakewood Grandview Stormwater Management Project
Project Description: The project will address stormwater management in the area of Fairmount Avenue in the Village of Lakewood through the construction of engineered wetland complexes near the eastern portion of the Grandview development. Plans include the addition of ~95,000 cubic feet of stormwater detention, including the construction of 3-5 pocket wetlands, a nature park, and trails. Phosphorus binding media will also be incorporated into the project to reduce phosphorus concentrations in the effluent leaving the site. These design features have been selected to improve water quality, provide flood reduction along Route 394, a critical commercial corridor that intersects with I-86 and I-90, and enhance aesthetics and recreational opportunities within the Village. The improvements will significantly reduce future flooding impacts, slow the release of stormwater, reduce erosion, and reduce sediment and nutrient runoff to Chautauqua Lake.
NYSCFA Funding Program: NYSDEC Water Quality Improvement Program (WQIP)
Total Project Cost: $312,580
Total NYS Grant Request: $250,064
Total Local Match Needed (25% of grant amount): $62,516
Total Local Match Already Committed/Secured: $46,871 (County 2% Waterways Grant & 2020 Alliance local grant)
Total Local Match Still Needed / Amount of Request from Alliance-Foundation Match Fund: $15,645
Town of North Harmony Ball Creek Stabilization Project
Project Description: Stabilization of two reaches of Ball Creek (approximately 120 & 320 linear feet in length), immediately north and south of Interstate I-86 exit 8 in the Town of North Harmony, which are negatively impacted by excessive erosion and debris jams that cause excess sediment and nutrient loading into Chautauqua Lake. This project would improve stream stability (grade control), stabilize two severely eroding streambanks, reduce sediment and nutrient loading, and protect highway infrastructure. A blend of hard and soft restorative techniques would be used to stabilize the 2 sites and would include rock grade stabilization structures, riprap bank protection, and vegetative stabilization.
NYSCFA Funding Program: NYSDEC Water Quality Improvement Program (WQIP)
Total Project Cost: $219,390
Total NYS Grant Request: $175,512
Total Local Match Needed (25% of grant amount): $43,878
Total Local Match Already Committed/Secured: $36,742 (2021 Alliance local grant)
Total Local Match Still Needed / Amount of Request from Alliance-Foundation Match Fund: $7,136
The Board approved the match requests, to be sourced from the Alliance-Foundation Match Fund, by majority vote via electronic mail on 7/20/21. Matching funds shall be encumbered until the State issues its award decisions. If the project(s) is/are awarded NYS funding, the funds will then be made available for the project(s). If not awarded funding by NYS, the associated match funds will be un-encumbered and remain in the Alliance-Foundation Match Fund for future use.