Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, March 14, 2019
4:30 p.m. at Stow Senior Center
Directors Present: Jim Andrews, George Borrello, Pierre Chagnon, Bruce Erickson, Ted McCague & Dave Wesp.
Absent: Jay Bailey, Linda Barber & Dave Shepherd.
Others in Attendance: Erin Brickley – Alliance Executive Director, Randall Perry – Alliance Project Manager. June Diethrick & Tory Irgang – Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. Linda Swanson – Sheldon Foundation. Eric Zavinski – Post-Journal. Interested citizens: Doug Champ, Sam Hazen.
Member Representatives in Attendance: Scott Schrecengost – Village of Celoron, Mary Laumer & Claire Quadri – Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy (CWC), John Shedd – Chautauqua Institution, Doug Conroe & Paul Stage – Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA), Karen Rine – South & Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District, and Jim Cirbus & Craig Butler– Chautauqua Lake Partnership (CLP).
Scientific Review & Advisory Committee Members in Attendance: Jane Conroe
I. Call to Order:
P. Chagnon called the meeting of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) to order at 4:30 pm. It was noted for the record that there was a quorum (6 of 9) present.
II. Approval of Minutes:
B. Erickson made a motion to accept the minutes of the 2/14/19 Board work session, seconded by J. Andrews. The motion to approve the February work session minutes was approved unanimously.
III. Update on Current Alliance/Member Projects:
R. Perry gave an update on the status of the eleven state funded Alliance/Member projects in process:
County Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Round 12 grants (six in total) (2015):
- Next Quarterly progress reports and MWBE reports due to NYSDEC in April 2019
- NYS reimbursement reports tentatively approved by NYSDEC and awaiting payment
- Dutch Hollow Creek & West Dutch Hollow Creek:
- Construction complete at Dutch Hollow Creek Main Stem – now tracking vegetative establishment and project performance.
- Construction substantially complete at West Dutch Hollow Creek – working with property owner to retire final punch-list items.
- Time extension request approved by NYSDEC to utilize surplus funding to address erosion issues at additional nearby section of Dutch Hollow Creek; coordination among County/Alliance/Owners in progress.
- Ball Creek: Bank/grade stabilization complete (2017); Site preparation for additional riparian native plant establishment in progress; Site preparation and planting-related work to continue in 2019.
- Goose Creek: No significant change; construction phase complete (2018) by outside contractor.
- Bemus Creek: No significant change; construction phase complete (2016-2017) by Soil & Water.
- Prendergast Creek: No significant change; construction phase complete (2016) by Soil & Water.
Invasive Species Management Grant (Senator Young $50K local assistance grant via County pass-through) (2015):
- Primary Objective: Establish framework for Volunteer enhanced Early Detection program on/around Chautauqua Lake for priority invasive species, as a complement to existing prevention-focused efforts (e.g., CLA Watercraft Steward Program) and monitoring
- Audubon, Evergreen Outfitters, RTPI, and Alliance work complete
- Reimbursement and grant close-out underway
- NOTE: Though the state grant will be closed out, this program entitled “Chautauqua Lake Aquatic Invasive Species Early Detection Volunteer Taskforce” will continue in 2019. The Alliance board of directors recommended this project for funding approval November 8, 2018 for total costs of $7,550 and resolved to accept foundation source funding for this purpose at their meeting on February 14, 2019.
Lakewood/Busti Stormwater Management Engineering Study DEC/EFC EPG Grant (2016):
- Grant closeout is now complete.
Celoron Breakwall and Boardwalk LWRP grants (2013/2016):
- Final billing, reporting, & reimbursements underway.
Celoron Park Improvement (Amenities Building) LWRP grant (2017):
- Design Phase underway between Village and LaBella
- Target construction bidding ca. Spring/Summer 2019.
Mayville / Chautauqua Stormwater Mgmt. Engineering Study NYS DEC/EFC EPG Grant (2017):
- Initial field assessment & preliminary hydrology/hydraulics/loading modeling complete
- Draft report and concept-level designs & estimates for six (6) potential projects selected by Village & Town is in progress
- Next Public Project Meeting to review Draft report/designs TBA (ca. April 2019).
Lakewood Chautauqua Avenue Green Street Retrofit NYS EFC GIGP Grant (2018):
- Scope: Comprehensive green infrastructure retrofit of Chautauqua Avenue in the Village of Lakewood to transform the existing impervious, over-widened Village Center roadway to improve water quality and quantity conditions by reducing sediment and nutrient loading to lake; increased infiltration and biofiltration of urban stormwater, reduced burden on existing drainage infrastructure, and co-benefits of improved aesthetics, increased public awareness of urban stormwater management and lake stewardship, and reinvigoration of traditional “Main Street” character
- NYS Funds up to $695,000 (90%) and Local match (cash/in-kind) up to $77,724 (10%)
- Project Team formed and Kickoff Meeting held 3/1/19
- Coordinating Village fulfillment of EFC Project Checklist.
Busti Precision Swales Stabilization NYS DEC WQIP Grant (2018):
- Scope: Approximately 2,100 linear feet of steep gradient and 2,500 linear feet of shallow gradient improvements in Town and Village; to decrease sediment and nutrient loading to lake by decreasing erosion and bank undercutting, increasing infiltration and biofiltration, and reducing stormwater velocities; additional co-benefits include increased biodiversity and habitat for birds and pollinators and improved roadway aesthetics
- NYS Funds up to $202,478 (75%) and Local match (cash/in-kind) up to $67,493 (25%)
- Grant award process has been finalized by NYS Office of State Comptroller
- Town enrollment in NYS online grants portal is complete
- NYS-Town contract setup is underway
- Project Team formed and Kickoff Meeting held 3/8/19.
Skimming Capital Equipment NYS DEC WQIP Grant (2018):
- Scope: Purchase of two (2) mechanized ‘skimmers’ for floating vegetation collection by the Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA) on Chautauqua Lake to improve lake health and usability
- NYS Funds up to $375,000 (75%) and Local match (cash/in-kind) up to $125,000 (25%)
- Grant award process has been finalized by NYS Office of State Comptroller
- NYS-County contract setup is underway
- Invitation for Bids is complete and waiting for State Contract establishment to release.
R. Perry noted that once projects receive state grant funding, the Alliance assists in implementation and project management that starts off by facilitating formation of a project team which consists of representation of all active project partners. R. Perry commented that these project teams are critical to each project and he can’t thank folks enough for their time and energy in serving on these project teams.
R. Perry also advised that he recently attended a portion of the annual state Soil & Water (S&W) training conference focused on stormwater management and thanked our local S&W staff for making us aware of the training opportunity.
IV. Report from Science Committee: No Report.
V. Review Current 2018-2019 Membership in Preparation of Annual May Member Meeting:
E. Brickley advised those in attendance (and via email the following day, 3/15/19) of the current list of Alliance members for the 7/1/2018-6/30/19 membership year who have already renewed and will be eligible for participation in the director nomination and voting process culminating at the annual May Member Meeting scheduled for 5/9/19. E. Brickley commented that if you do not see your organizations’ name listed but would like to renew and participate in the 2019 May Member Meeting activities, to please contact her no later than 5pm on April 8, 2019.
|7/1/2018-6/30/2019 Alliance Members (as of 3/14/19)|
|Audubon Community Nature Center|
|Chautauqua – Cattaraugus Board of Realtors|
|Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce|
|Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau|
|Chautauqua Lake Association|
|Chautauqua Lake Fishing Association|
|Chautauqua Lake Partnership|
|Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy|
|County of Chautauqua|
|Jamestown Board of Public Utilities|
|North Chautauqua Lake Sewer District|
|NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation – Allegany Region|
|Roger Tory Peterson Institute|
|South & Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District|
|The Lenna Foundation|
|Town of Busti|
|Town of Chautauqua|
|Town of Ellery|
|Town of Ellicott|
|Town of North Harmony|
|Village of Bemus Point|
|Village of Celoron|
|Village of Lakewood|
|Village of Mayville|
VI. Feedback on Director Outbound Efforts with Member Organizations:
P. Chagnon advised that the directors had put together a PowerPoint presentation for director outbound efforts and that six member organizations had requested and received this in person presentation by six different directors. One of the discussion topics of this director led outreach was to gather feedback from members on the two ad-hoc committee recommendations made in late 2018. The general feedback received was positive toward adding new committees but the response to the recommendation to add two more at-large director positions was mixed. Both ad-hoc recommendations will be discussed and determined at the April board work session.
VII. Addition of Communications Coordinator to Alliance Staff:
E. Brickley commented that this position was already accounted for in the board approved 2019 operating budget and then reviewed the job opening summary below and advised we had a likely candidate that we were working on finalizing, with a projected start date soon.
Communications Coordinator Job Opening:
The Chautauqua Lake & Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) is seeking to hire a full-time Communications Coordinator who will aid in the Alliance’s mission to improve the health of Chautauqua Lake and its watershed. The Alliance, working in collaboration with lake and watershed-related organizations, municipalities and other stakeholders, promotes and facilitates implementation of recommendations from the Chautauqua Lake Watershed Management Plan, the Chautauqua Lake Macrophyte Management Strategy and other initiatives primarily by prioritizing projects, securing funding and allocating resources. The Alliance is comprised of members who represent diverse community interests. By collectively working together and demonstrating unity to outside funders, the Alliance, among other initiatives, is positioned to take a lead role in working with members to seek and administer state and federal grant funding for local projects involving the lake and watershed as well as partnering to prioritize locally available funding. The Alliance is a designated 501(c)3 charitable non-profit organization (www.ChautauquaAlliance.org).
The Communications Coordinator will be a full-time employee who will work with the Executive Director, Project Manager and member stakeholders as it relates to our organizational mission and ongoing in-lake and watershed projects. Primary duties will consist of public and member outreach efforts, both to keep the community up to date on Alliance activities as well as project predevelopment needed to bring projects up to grant eligible phase status.
- Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, biology, ecology, water resources, natural resource management, planning, or related field strongly preferred.
- Experience working in watershed management, storm water management, environmental policy, environmental planning or related fields is preferred but not mandatory.
- Self‐motivated, energetic, and demonstrated organizational skills.
- Excellent communication and writing skills.
- Outstanding interpersonal skills, with ability to build trust and rapport with a broad range of people.
- Maturity of judgment, high degree of integrity, discretion, self‐motivation, and taking initiative.
- Ability to work well in a small, entrepreneurial setting, taking on multiple tasks and adapting as priorities change.
- Ability and willingness to conduct fieldwork
- Ability to attend multiple Member, County, Municipal and other stakeholder meetings.
Salary & Benefits:
- Salary commensurate with experience.
- Medical Insurance.
- Two weeks paid vacation/personal time.
- Equal opportunity employer.
VIII. Review of Alliance 2018 Funding Assistance as Related to 5-Year Implementation Strategy:
P. Chagnon noted that as suggested by J. Cirbus at our January meeting, we evaluated grants approved relative to the 5-year implementation strategy recommended proportional allocation of resources for 2018, results of which were summarized and presented below:
Alliance funding priorities, after adoption in May of the 5-year implementation strategy:
2018 Goal: 50% in-lake, 30% watershed, 20% monitoring
TOTAL GRANTS AWARDED
In-lake 39% $ 827,050
Watershed 60% $1,283,829
Monitoring 1% $ 17,550
Outside Grants (NYS) Awarded
In-lake 25% $ 375,000
Watershed 75% $1,153,429
Monitoring 0% $ 0
Local Grants Awarded
In-lake 75% $ 452,050
Watershed 22% $ 130,400
Monitoring 3% $ 17,550
Alliance Funding Sourced from Sheldon Foundation, May 2018
In-lake 78% $177,000 (CLA $90,000; CLP $67,000; CLA/CLP $20,000)
Watershed 18% $ 40,000 (CWC)
Monitoring 4% $ 10,000 (CWC)
Alliance Led Member State CFA Grant (only awarded grant $ listed below), July 2018
In-lake 25% $ 375,000 (County/CLA)
Watershed 75% $1,153,429 (Lakewood/Busti)
Alliance Funding Sourced from Sheldon/CRCF, October 2018
In-lake 67% $202,050 (CLA $162,050; Busti, North Harmony, Ellery, Ellicott $10,000 each)
Watershed 30% $ 90,400 (CWC)
Monitoring 3% $ 7,550 (Alliance)
Funding Sourced from CRCF/County/Alliance(Sheldon), November 2018
In-lake 100% $73,000 Burtis Bay cleanup
P. Chagnon commented that there are a few explanations for these results:
- There are far more NYS grant opportunities available for watershed projects than for in-lake projects
- We prioritized in-lake projects for the local grant opportunities, given the dearth of NYS grant watershed opportunities
- 2018 being the first year we had the 5-year implementation strategy, and it was not even in place until May, the Members and the Alliance staff did not have a lot of time to incorporate the goals into development of projects but we clearly have to develop more projects for monitoring.
- E. Brickley commented that there was a state grant applied for in 2018 for 9 Element Plan addition to the 2010 Watershed Plan which would have addressed development of a watershed wide monitoring program but unfortunately this grant effort was not successful during the 2018 state grant cycle.
P. Chagnon commented that overall, he was very pleased with the 2018 results given the considerations he reviewed with the group.
IX. Status Update on Plan of Action for Burtis Bay Cleanup this Spring:
P. Chagnon gave the group in attendance an update:
We were all disappointed last fall that winter weather closed in before we could proceed with the remediation of the excessive weed accumulation in Burtis Bay and the resulting extensive fish kill. We were, however, very pleased and appreciative that Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and Chautauqua County offered to extend their offers of financial support to deal with the cleanup in the Spring. At this point we don’t know fully the nature and extent of the situation that will present in the Spring. Therefore, I convened a meeting in February with our Members who have the capability to deal with this type of situation, as well as others who also have the capability, including representatives of the DEC. The objective of the meeting was to jointly develop a plan of action that can be executed quickly upon ice-off.
Invited to the meeting on February 19th were Pat McLaughlin, Shirley Sanfilippo, Paul Stage, Doug Conroe, Rudy Mueller, Jim Cirbus, Jim Wehrfritz, Don Emhardt, Dave McCoy, and NYSDEC. Able to attend the meeting were Pat, Shirley, Jan Bowman, Doug, Bruce Erickson, Don, Dave, Dave Denk and Mike Clancy from NYSDEC, Erin, Dave Shepherd, and myself.
NYSDEC was very understanding and supportive of our objective, and provided their advice and guidance as to how best to proceed. We discussed at length the uncertainty of the situation that will present when the ice comes off in the Spring. Others present, far more knowledgeable and experienced than me, suggested the extent of cleanup required will be substantially less than we observed last Fall. But we are committed to following through with the cleanup. We discussed several alternatives to the cleanup methods and process. We finally settled on a plan to utilize the CLA skimmers and barges with manual raking and forking. The Town of Ellicott will assist the CLA as needed with staging and transportation of the spoils, and the Town of Chautauqua is willing to assist with their new Mobitracs as needed. The spirit of cooperation and willingness to help from those present was very encouraging and greatly appreciated. Erin is now working with the CLA to have a contract of services in place so they can commence work as soon after ice-off as possible.
X. Status Update of County Pursuit of a Consensus Strategy for Aquatic Plant Management:
G. Borrello gave an update to those in attendance and advised that he was pleased with the participation by invited stakeholders with the County’s consultant, E&E, for this plant management consensus effort. He commented that E&E was provided the recent Conservation Statement signed onto by a number of organizations as one of their inputs. E&E has taken all of the information gathered and organized it into categories based on level of agreement between groups (i.e. agree, mostly agree, etc.) to come up with a framework of tenants that all could compromise on. There will be no draft review or option for suggested edits but he did advise that this would be reviewed by DEC prior to finalization. Next steps are anticipated to be release of the final strategy with a deadline to sign and noted that the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) will be active for a period of two years at which point it would be open to possible updates and renewal.
XI. Open Floor / Member Updates:
P Chagnon opened the floor to any Member updates or upcoming events and/or comments from the general public in attendance:
- E. Brickley commented that on behalf of Parks (as they were unable to attend today’s meeting) that Saturday May 4th will be the “I Love My Park Day” at Long Point from 9am to 12pm and that pre-registration could be done at www.ptny.org. Both P. Chagnon and R. Perry have participated in past years and it’s a great volunteer event and encourages everyone to participate.
- D. Champ commented that he feels the current Science committee is dysfunctional and needs reexamined as they should be playing more of a role. E. Brickley commented that the Science Committee had played a large role in last years RFA process and local project scoring / prioritization efforts and therefore have been playing a key role recently. However, she also commented that the Ad-Hoc Committee recommendation is to adjust the overall committee structure going forward but that has not been decisioned by the board yet. D. Champ asked for info in the current Science committee as far as participants and charter. E. Brickley advised the group that she would send a summary email to the full list serve (which was completed 3/15/19).
- D. Conroe advised that CLA is hiring for the summer work season but that much of their traditional operational funding support has not been fully finalized as it normally would be at this time in the year, which has created challenges for them.
G. Borrello motioned to adjourn at 5:11 p.m., seconded by T. MacCague. The motion was approved unanimously.