Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors
Thursday, March 12, 2020
4:30 p.m. at Stow Senior Center, North Harmony, NY
Directors Present for Entire Meeting: Jim Andrews, Ted McCague, Mike Jabot, Rob Yates, Bruce Erickson, and Pierre Chagnon.
Directors Present for Part of the Meeting: Paul (PJ) Wendel, Jr.
Absent: Mike Latone, Dave Shepherd
Staff in Attendance: Vince Horrigan – Alliance Interim Executive Director, Randall Perry – Alliance Project Manager, and Taylor West – Alliance Communications Coordinator.
Others in Attendance: Linda Swanson – Sheldon Foundation; Craig Butler – Alliance Lake Management Committee; Doug Champ; Lisa Lynde & Tory Irgang – Chautauqua Region Community Foundation (CRCF); Dennis Phillips – The Post-Journal; Jim Wehrfritz; Brandon Dorman; H. & Clayton Emick; Larry Jones – Eastern Lake Erie Charter Boat Association; Mark Calabrese; Ron Barber; Jeff Yanus; Dan Bowman – Chautauqua Fishing Alliance; Peter Beeson; and Garret Cain – Muskies Inc. Chapter 69
Member Representatives in Attendance: Karen Rine – South and Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District; Doug Conroe– Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA); Dr. Jim Cirbus & Frank Nicotra – Chautauqua Lake Partnership (CLP); Judy Maskrey, Jane Conroe & John Jablonski – Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy (CWC); Don McCord & Dave McCoy – Chautauqua County; Scott Schrecengost – Village of Celoron; Jesse Robbins – Town of Busti; Pat McLaughlin – Town of Ellicott; and Louise Ortman – Town of North Harmony.
I. Call to Order:
P. Chagnon called the Board Meeting of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) to order at 4:32 PM.
II. Approval of 2/13/2020 Minutes
B. Erickson made a motion to accept the minutes of the 2/13/2020 Board Work Session. The motion was seconded by M. Jabot and was approved unanimously.
III. Alliance Interim Executive Director Update
P. Chagnon indicated V. Horrigan has been the Interim Executive Director since mid-September 2019. P. Chagnon indicated the Alliance Executive Director Search Committee has been working diligently to try and find a new executive director, but a suitable candidate has not yet been found. P. Chagnon indicated the Alliance Board and Staff are extremely thankful and fortunate to have V. Horrigan continuing to lead the Alliance as Interim Executive Director until such time that a permanent replacement is identified.
IV. Projects Update
- 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)
- Time extension request approved by NYSDEC to utilize surplus funding to address erosion issues at additional nearby section of Dutch Hollow Creek (Phase II); coordination among County, Alliance, Engineer, and Owners in progress.
- Ball Creek, Goose Creek, Bemus Creek, and Prendergast Creek: All work complete; grants close-out in progress (NLT 4/30/20)
- Dutch Hollow Creek & West Dutch Hollow Creek:
- 2017 Celoron Park Improvement Phase IV Design & Construction (amenities building) LWRP grant
- Construction nearing completion (ca. June 2020)
- 2018 Invasive Species Early Detection – Volunteer Task Force (See Flyer)
- Alliance joined WNYPRISM-led Water Chestnut Working Group, first meeting held 1/23/20
- Contact RTPI or Taylor West if interested in participating in 2020 programs.
- New for 2020: Water chestnut removal pilot program by Audubon Community Nature Center
- 2018 Lakewood Chautauqua Avenue Green Street Retrofit (NYSEFC GIGP)
- Engineer design by Barton & Loguidice underway;
- Public design meeting planned 3/23/20 at Town of Busti Municipal Building (Village of Lakewood regular Board of Trustees meeting)
- 2018 Busti Precision Swales Stabilization (NYSDEC WQIP)
- Engineer design by EcoStrategies underway; public design meeting 3/2/20
- 2018 Skimming Capital Equipment (NYSDEC WQIP)
- County bid awarded to Alpha Boats; order fulfillment underway (expected delivery Summer 2020)
- 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
V. Horrigan indicated the Alliance was hoping to receive the two (2) skimmers in May, but after conversations with the manufacturer, the Alliance is expecting at least one (1) of the two (2) by the end of June (pending unforeseen circumstances).
J. Cirbus asked how the skimmer collecting head works.
R. Perry indicated the wings on the collection head have rollers on them that help funnel weeds and other floating material to the main collection conveyor.
J. Cirbus asked if there was another name for Ball Creek.
J. Jablonski indicated that he was unaware of any other names or aliases for Ball Creek.
J. Cirbus indicated Bowling Green State University (BGSU) currently has another name for that Creek, but will change its name in the dataset to Ball Creek.
R. Perry indicated New York State (NYS) I Love My Parks Day is on May 2, 2020 and encouraged everyone to visit NYS Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) for more information.
C. Butler asked if the skimmers have cutting capabilities.
R. Perry indicated the skimmers do not have cutting capabilities.
J. Jablonski asked if the skimmers will be used on weekends.
R. Perry indicated the schedule is to be determined and would be finalized in the form of a use agreement.
V. 2020 Alliance Consolidated Foundation Grants Update
V. Horrigan indicated 15 award letters have been sent out and 14 of 15 grant agreements have been sent out to date. V. Horrigan indicated P. Chagnon is issuing checks as the Alliance receives signed grant agreements. V. Horrigan expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the Foundations throughout this process.
VI. Alliance Committees Update
- Alliance Scientific Review and Advisory Committee
R. Perry gave the group an update regarding the Alliance Scientific Review and Advisory Committee indicating that the Committee provided their recommendations to the Alliance Board regarding the 2020 Third-Party Monitor Sampling and Observation Plan. R. Perry thanked the Committee for their work and input and indicated these are recommendations, will be flexible depending on the scope of the 2020 herbicide program, and will also be subject to input from the professional firm selected to perform the work. R. Perry indicated the Committee felt that the 2019 objectives were largely met and indicated the Committee recommended an increased emphasis on drift dynamics for 2020.
J. Cirbus indicated he has issues with the Committee’s terminology and recommendations.
J. Jablonski asked if there was already money set aside for the Third-Party Monitor.
V. Horrigan indicated there is money currently set aside for this program.
- Alliance Lake Management Committee Update
B. Erickson indicated most of the Towns and Villages attended the meeting and indicated we can accomplish more if we all work together. B. Erickson indicated it was a good meeting.
V. Horrigan indicated we should have more capability this year and will be more responsive for near-shore and shoreline clean-up.
- Alliance MMS Subcommittee Update
D. McCoy indicated the MMS Subcommittee has been looking at 2017 and 2018 Chautauqua Lake Data and is making good progress.
- Alliance Watershed Management Committee Update
V. Horrigan indicated D. Shepherd will be the new chair of the committee. V. Horrigan indicated that the Alliance convened a meeting on March 2, 2020, where a subset of the invitees attended the meeting. V. Horrigan indicated the Committee talked about potential 2020 projects for State and local grant submission. V. Horrigan indicated the Alliance solicited feedback from the members of the committee regarding watershed project priorities and indicated that the Alliance welcomes its membership bringing new and impactful watershed projects and/or project ideas to them.
VII. Chautauqua Lake Aquatic Data (CLAD) Mapping
T. West showed the group a set of four (4) underwater videos from Burtis Bay (2) and Mayville (2) taken on February 21, 2020. T. West indicated the videos displayed variable macrophyte and substrate conditions in both areas of the lake.
J. Maskry asked if these conditions are normal.
T. West indicated we do not know what “normal” conditions are in the lake during the winter because these videos are the first of their kind (as known to Alliance).
J. Wehrfritz asked who will be validating the BioBase Technology.
V. Horrigan indicated the Alliance would be cross checking the data with professional rake-toss surveys and potentially underwater camera footage in order to validate the results.
VIII. May Annual Member Meeting
V. Horrigan indicated the Alliance intends to get back on schedule with respect to membership and dues this year (new Membership year starts July 1, 2020). V. Horrigan indicated the Alliance will be accepting Board of Directors nominations now through May 7, 2020. V. Horrigan indicated there is one (1) municipal and one (1) at-large seat open. V. Horrigan indicated the Alliance will solicit and collect nominations, and the Governance Committee will recommend a slate. V. Horrigan indicated the ballot will be sent to the members on May 8, 2020. V. Horrigan indicated a ballot will go to both the primary and secondary member contacts, and they will be counted at the May Annual Meeting on May 14, 2020 (one vote per member organization). V. Horrigan requested members review the list of primary and secondary contacts passed out at the meeting and notify Alliance staff of any changes as soon as possible.
- 2020 Chautauqua Lake Invasive Species Programs
T. West shared an invasive species flyer with the group that outlined the invasive species programs that will be conducted in 2020.
- Water Quality Research Panel
R. Perry indicated the Alliance is hopeful to announce the date and location of the Chautauqua Lake Water Quality Research Panel in the future. R. Perry indicated members of the Panel may include researchers from SUNY Fredonia, Bowling Green State University (BGSU), and the Jefferson Project.
V. Horrigan indicated we would reschedule the Panel when the COVID-19 Pandemic subsides.
X. Open Floor: Member Representatives and Community Members in Attendance
J. Wehrfritz shared a list of comments regarding the Alliance Scientific Review and Advisory Committee’s recommended Third-Party Monitoring scope of work with the Alliance Board. The list of comments included assessments of terminology assigned to certain chemical and physical processes related to chemical movement in water, the relative regulatory structure of the herbicide program versus mechanical harvesting, and the balance between third party monitoring of chemical and physical macrophyte management programs.
J. Cirbus indicated the issues that are contained within the list are sources of frustration for the CLP.
P. McLaughlin indicated there is a need for a combined harvesting and herbicide program on Chautauqua Lake but requested a more even playing field with respect to oversight.
Cross conversation ensued among J. Cirbus, J. Wehrfritz, and J. Maskry about the use of GPS in monitoring macrophyte management techniques and the CLA’s harvesting program.
V. Horrigan indicated the Alliance is looking into the feasibility of implementing GPS into lake maintenance programs.
J. Jablonski asked if the Alliance had a map of the actual treated areas for 2019 in Chautauqua Lake.
T. West indicted the Alliance has maps that were made in-house by digitizing the approximate treatment polygons provided by SOLitude into GIS, but indicated that they are approximations and not the actual treatment shapefiles. T. West indicated that there are treatment maps in the 2019 Third Party Monitor Report on the Alliance website located in Appendix III.
J. Cirbus shared comments about several topics related to lake maintenance and funding.
J. Maskry asked if the Town of Ellery signed the MOA.
V. Horrigan indicated they did not sign the MOA.
J. Cirbus indicated the Town of Ellery took on a major undertaking when they chose to be the lead agency.
P. McLaughlin indicated he is very thankful that the Town of Ellery chose to be the lead agency.
D. Champ indicated the location of the Alliance public meetings should rotate throughout the Chautauqua Lake Watershed in order to attract more people and engage more of the public.
L. Jones indicated that musky fishing in the south basin of the lake was the worst it’s been in years for him and indicated he lost 50% of his business. L. Jones indicated he is not against herbicide treatments as long as they are granular forms in order to minimize drift.
R. Barber indicated he was on the lake several days after the treatment and he had a conversation with a SOLitude Lake Management employee who was on a boat performing sampling about fish consumption in treated zones.
P. Beeson provided comments seeking to clarify differences between drift and diffusion from a hydrologist’s point of view. P. Beeson indicated that the herbicides are not staying in the same areas and indicated the Science Committee should be looking at the both dilution and drift. P. Beeson indicated there is a greater need to know the hydrodynamics of the lake as the DEC Dilution Model is not a very complex model and is very general regarding the prediction of contaminant fate and transport.
P. McLaughlin indicated the Town of Ellicott may have a funding shortfall for this year’s herbicide treatment and may be unable to treat all of the areas that SOLitude Lake Management is recommending.
D. Conroe recommended the Alliance talk to Robert Johnson about his experience with the BioBase program.
B. Erickson made a motion to adjourn the March 12th, 2020 Board meeting. The motion was seconded by T. McCague and was passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 5:55 PM.