Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors – Work Session
Thursday, June 9, 2022
4:30 p.m. at the BWB Building, 201 West 3rd St. Jamestown, NY 14701 & via Zoom
Directors Present: Bruce Erickson, Don Emhardt, David Shepherd (Zoom), Mike LaTone, Paul (P.J.) Wendel, Jr., Ellen Barnes, Janis Bowman, Jim Andrews, and Martin Proctor
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 4:30 PM. A quorum of 9 out of 9 Alliance Board Members were present at the start of the meeting.
II. Seating of New Directors
B. Erickson indicated that new Directors M. Proctor, E. Barnes and J. Bowman have been seated, and thanked them all for joining the Alliance.
R. Perry thanked the new Directors for meeting with him and B. Erickson and completing paperwork for seating procedures and welcomed them to the Alliance.
III. Election of Officers
B. Erickson indicated that the Governance Committee has met, and offered the proposed slate of officers to be: B. Erickson as Chairman, D. Emhardt as Vice-Chairman, J. Bowman as Secretary, and E. Barnes as Treasurer.
M. LaTone made a motion to accept the proposed officers. The motion was seconded by J. Andrews and was passed unanimously.
IV. Approval of the 5/12/22 Board Meeting Minutes
J. Andrews made a motion to accept the minutes from the 5/12/22 Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by D. Emhardt and was approved unanimously.
V. Alliance Committees
a.) Data Analysis & Research (DAR) Committee
D. Shepherd indicated that the Committee has discussed its next meeting, but has not met since the last Board meeting.
b.) Lake Management Committee
M. LaTone indicated that the Committee met on 5/11/22. M. LaTone indicated that there was a lot of discussion regarding early-season management and planning.
B. Erickson indicated that some issues have come up related to disposal of plant material this year. B. Erickson indicated that last season plants harvested by the Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA) were taken to Rob Yates’ farm for composting. B. Erickson indicated that R. Yates has indicated to the CLA that he will not be taking plant material this year due to issues related to composting last year’s plants. B. Erickson indicated that Chautauqua County has provided for disposal of the plants at its landfill. B. Erickson indicated that the trucking distance to the County Landfill is a challenge, and other potential disposal sites are being considered.
B. Erickson indicated that the CLA has been very active recently and has been receiving feedback from homeowners desiring service.
D. Emhardt indicated that the Town of Chautauqua plans to deploy at least three Mobitracs to the lake by 6/20/22. D. Emhardt indicated that some mechanical work is being done on the machines to prepare them for the season.
c.) Watershed Management Committee
R. Perry indicated that R. Yates was the most recent Committee Chairman, and that there is currently an opening for that position. R. Perry indicated that he would be happy to speak with Board members about what the position would entail.
B. Erickson indicated it may be helpful to discuss the position after new board members have time to get settled.
J. Bowman expressed an interest in learning more about the roles of individual Alliance committees.
VI. 2022 Alliance Local Grants Update
R. Perry provided a summary to the Board of the grant agreements the Alliance currently has in place with Members for 2022. R. Perry indicated this includes projects funded by the Consolidated Foundation Grant Program, which is funded by The Lenna Foundation, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and the Sheldon Foundation. R. Perry indicated the Alliance has also received a 2022 grant provided by the Hultquist Foundation, and also has awarded funds from an unspent portion of a 2021 grant provided by the Holmberg Foundation. R. Perry indicated there is also the Chautauqua County Occupancy Tax Agency Allocation that was provided to the Alliance for 2022. R. Perry indicated that all Member grant agreements for work that has been awarded thus far have been signed and payments are in progress. R. Perry indicated that approximately $395,000 in payments have been made to Members for 2022 with approximately $485,000 in encumbered monies that are due according to dates and/or deliverables identified in grant agreements. R. Perry thanked Members and all those involved with the contractual work done to finalize these agreements.
R. Perry indicated that CLA has completed its spring debris cleanup, and that early-season curly-leaf pondweed-focused harvesting started on May 23. R. Perry indicated that CLA’s regular season operations program, which will coordinate with Town of Chautauqua Mobitracs, is scheduled for later in June.
R. Perry indicated that CLA also has a grant from the Alliance for its Watercraft Steward Program.
M. LaTone indicated that watercraft stewards have begun working at the launch in Long Point State Park.
R. Perry indicated that the Board packet includes preliminary GPS maps of early-season CLA work created by T. West. R. Perry thanked T. West for his work to prepare and install the GPS hardware needed for the Alliance’s monitoring of mechanical harvesting equipment, and thanked D. Emhardt for his help with GPS tracking of the Mobitracs. R. Perry indicated that the Alliance’s program to track mechanical management equipment was funded via a grant from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation in 2020. R. Perry indicated that CLA also operates radio-based GPS fleet tracking of its equipment, and that the programs achieve different end purposes.
R. Perry indicated that the Board packet includes preliminary maps showing the approximately 115 acres that were treated for curly-leaf pondweed on 05/24/22. R. Perry indicated that there are also maps of areas that have been permitted by NYSDEC for herbicide treatment of Eurasian watermilfoil.
M. LaTone indicated that the Eurasian watermilfoil treatment was still scheduled for 6/13-6/14/22.
R. Perry indicated that in addition to the Chautauqua Lake Partnership’s herbicide program, they also have Alliance grants to perform plant surveys and support its nutrient sensors program.
R. Perry indicated that work is underway for the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy’s (CWC) technical assistance program, and that CWC also has an Alliance grant to perform aquatic invasive species early detection and rapid response.
R. Perry indicated that he had recently updated the local foundations on progress in the Consolidated Foundation Grant Program.
R. Perry indicated that the Holmberg Foundation has awarded the Alliance $25,000 in 2022 for lake and watershed projects to-be-determined by the Board. R. Perry thanked the Holmberg Foundation, including President Matt Moore and board member D. Shepherd, for the contribution.
R. Perry indicated that there is also $50,000 from the County’s agency allocation held in trust, which has yet to be allocated by the Board.
J. Bowman indicated that invasive water chestnut was found in the Chadakoin River on 6/8/22. J. Bowman indicated that it was reported to iMapinvasives.org and was removed. J. Bowman indicated that the invasive algae starry stonewort has been detected in recent years as well, specifically in Ashville Bay Marina. J. Bowman indicated that CWC is working with the marina to manage that, and that brittle naiad is also an invasive species that has been detected in the lake.
R. Perry indicated that T. West has collaborated with Twan Leenders of CWC on invasive species detection mapping.
R. Perry indicated that the Audubon Community Nature Center also has some funds remaining from a previous Alliance grant for the removal of invasive species this year. R. Perry indicated that the Alliance, Audubon, CWC, and CLA have been coordinating this year’s invasive species efforts and maintaining communication among the program leaders on work.
J. Bowman indicated it was good to see that the networking between organizations is working.
B. Erickson indicated he agreed that networking has improved, and thanked J. Young for his work on the recurring Chautauqua Current submissions to The Post-Journal. J. Young indicated that he is happy to receive feedback from any Board members.
VII. 2022 NYS Consolidated Funding Application Update
R. Perry indicated that the New York State Consolidated Funding Application (NYSCFA) opened on 05/02/22. R. Perry indicated that Alliance staff have been in discussion with Members about potential application submissions, and the list shared today is still very preliminary. R. Perry indicated that an application is being pursued to address culverts in the Town of Chautauqua. R. Perry indicated that an application for an engineering planning grant for a portion of Ball Creek is being pursued with the Town of North Harmony. R. Perry indicated that an application for repairs to the North Chautauqua Lake Sewer District stemming from a previously grant-funded inflow and infiltration study might also be ready for a CFA. R. Perry indicated that Alliance staff are also in contact with the County, Chautauqua Institution, and CWC on potential NYSCFA submissions.
R. Perry indicated that he will update the Board again soon regarding the need to secure matching funds for NYSCFA projects. R. Perry indicated that Alliance funds via the County and Foundations are available for match, and explained the procedures in place to allocate those.
P. Wendel indicated that Drew Rodgers is in a new position with the County as Deputy Director of Transportation and Engineering. P. Wendel indicated that he will be the point of contact for Alliance coordination with the County DPF.
P. Wendel indicated that significant projects related to the lake and watershed are possible if collaboration between stakeholders continues.
A discussion followed regarding recent dialog among local stakeholders on lake-related issues.
B. Erickson indicated that the Alliance Board is being asked to make important decisions using the best available information and expressed an interest in getting feedback from the DAR Committee.
J. Bowman indicated that some of the people voicing concerns about the broad-spectrum use of herbicides like ProcellaCOR have backgrounds in ecological science and understand the lake ecosystem well. J. Bowman indicated she supported taking those concerns into account.
P. Wendel indicated that there has been an expansion of the data collection and research programs working in the lake and watershed in recent years and the information being shared. P. Wendel indicated that he hopes for open dialog between stakeholders who disagree when interpreting scientific findings.
P. Wendel indicated that The Jefferson Project is expanding the scope of their work into watershed tributaries this year, and indicated he supported mutual respect between parties conducting research on the lake.
J. Bowman asked for clarification on where plant debris from CLA is being taken.
P. Wendel indicated that it is being taken to the County landfill.
A discussion followed regarding the collection and disposal by the CLA of Town of Chautauqua Mobitrac-collected materials.
VIII. 2022-2023 Alliance Consolidate Foundation Grant Solicitation and Review Process
R. Perry indicated that the Board packet includes details of the Consolidated Foundation Grant Program planned for 2023. R. Perry indicated that the project solicitation and review process for Members is expected to follow the same overall process as 2021-2022.
J. Bowman asked for clarification on possible competition between the Alliance and Member organizations for funding from local foundations.
R. Perry indicated that starting in 2018 the Sheldon Foundation, The Lenna Foundation and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation decided that all lake and watershed funding requests would go through the Alliance, thereby providing a single, consolidated pathway for Members to seek foundation funding.
A discussion followed regarding the history and origin of the Alliance and the Consolidated Foundation Grant Program.
P. Wendel expressed his thoughts regarding New York State’s financial support for lake management as it relates to its ownership of and regulatory authority over the lake.
P. Wendel indicated that he has spoken with R. Mueller and other stakeholders about the possibility of organizing a lakewide shoreline cleanup and disposal program with the Towns. P. Wendel indicated it may be helpful to coordinate the effort with each municipality on the lake, similar to a trash or leaf pickup. P. Wendel indicated that performing these coordinated cleanups in the fall and again in the spring could help with shoreline conditions year-round.
A discussion followed regarding shoreline cleanup around the lake and the different roles and responsibilities of property owners, municipalities, and lake organizations.
M. LaTone made a motion to adjourn at 5:28 p.m. The motion was seconded by J. Andrews and carried unanimously.
The Alliance Board of Directors passed a motion to approve these 06/09/22 Meeting Minutes on 7/14/22.