Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, May 12, 2016
4:30 p.m. at Stow Senior Center
Directors Present: Linda Barber, Sally Carlson, Pierre Chagnon, Don Emhardt, David Spann and David Wesp.
Absent: Vince Horrigan, David Shepherd & Ken Shearer.
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, Craig Butler & Doug Conroe- Chautauqua Lake Association, Lyle Hajdu & John Jablonski – Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, Tom Cherry – Chautauqua Utility District and Mike Saar – Jamestown Board of Public Utilities.
Scientific Review & Advisory Committee Members in Attendance: Dave McCoy.
I. Call to Order:
Chair Linda Barber called the meeting of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) to order at 4:37 pm. It was noted for the record that there was a quorum (6 of 9) present.
II. Election of Officers:
Ms. Barber advised the group that for the sake of continuity, she was pleased that the current Board officers have agreed to be nominated for another year. This consists of Linda Barber as Chair, Don Emhardt as Vice-Chair, David Shepherd as Secretary, and Pierre Chagnon as Treasurer. Therefore, Ms. Barber offers these four as the recommended slate of candidates for the 5/2016-5/2017 officers. Mr.Wesp motioned to accept the slate of officers as recommended, seconded by Mrs. Carlson. The motion was approved unanimously.
III. Approval of Minutes:
Mr. Conroe noted a typo under Section X. Mr. Wesp made a motion to accept the minutes of the 4/14/16 Board Meeting as written including the correction to Section X, seconded by Mr. Chagnon. The motion was approved unanimously.
IV. Update on Match Fund Efforts:
Ms. Brickley reminded the group that 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 the Chautauqua Lake watershed. Ms. Brickley informed the group that grant applications to five area foundations had been submitted the first week of March and the Alliance has received responses on three thus far, two of which were successfully awarded. The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation has awarded the Alliance $50k and The Lenna Foundation has awarded $100k for the sole purpose of match funds for member project grant writing efforts. Mr. Chagnon made a motion to accept both grant awards, seconded by Mrs. Carlson. The motion passed unanimously.
V. Update on Project Manager Recruiting:
After Board approval in February, Ms. Brickley proceeded to advertise through various avenues for the new Project Manager position. The deadline for submission of 4/15/16 has now passed and we received 30 applications with many strong candidates. As approved at the 4/14/16 Board meeting, the Executive Committee, Mr. Spann and Ms. Brickley are empowered to complete the panel interviews of the top candidates and recommend a final candidate for full Board consideration. Ms. Brickley advised the initial narrowing of the field based on resume review and scoring, followed by conducting brief phone interviews on 4/25/16 has been completed. The top candidates will now participate in the panel interview, scheduled for 5/26/16. Efforts to narrow the field have been documented and available for review by any Director upon request.
VI. Update on Alliance Offices:
Ms. Barber advised that the County IDA has been gracious in offering space for the upcoming year for both the Executive Director and the soon to be hired Project Manager at their new offices in the BWB building in Jamestown at no cost to the Alliance. Mr. Chagnon echoed Ms. Barber and added that the Alliance is fortunate to have such support from the IDA, PED and also the County Executive. IDA/CREDC is in the process of selling the current office building on Harrison. The move will occur in July.
VII. Update on Executive Committee Meetings:
Ms. Barber advised the group that during the time of the Interim Board, a Governance Committee met regularly and that since the permanent Board was established last September an Executive Committee composed of the officers has been meeting monthly and submitting recommendations to the full Board. It was felt these additional meetings were needed in the initial year or two because there was so much detailed work to be done to establish a brand new organization. Ms. Barber advised now that the Alliance is up and running, the regularly scheduled monthly committee meetings will conclude though it does not preclude them from calling a committee meeting if it’s warranted for a specific topic down the road.
VIII. 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 (Note: Member updates are from both the May member meeting and the May Board meeting that were held consecutively on 5/12/16):
- Ms. Barber started the updates off by recognizing the addition of the Alliance’s 31st Founding Member, the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities. The Alliance is very excited to have a partner who represents the outlet and beginnings of the Chadakoin down to Warner Dam in the City of Jamestown. The lake and the outlet are intrinsically linked and have environmental and economic impacts far the beyond individual municipalities so we whole heartedly welcome this new partnership.
- Mr. Emhardt, Mr. Conroe and Mr. Butler gave updates for the CLA. The CLA recently sent out a mailer to all area elected officials. They are holding their first annual “Denim & Diamonds” fundraiser at Chautauqua Institution on June 17th. The CLA is very happy to announce a recent $100k grant award from NYS to establishing a Boat Launch Steward program on Chautauqua Lake which will be aimed at education and outreach to prevent unintentional introduction of invasive species. CLA is also dedicated to promoting use of native species for area gardens. As a lake condition update, Mr. Emhardt advised the group that CLA crews have been very active doing spring cleanup and debris removal. Though not storm related as in past years, tonnage of debris removal has still been high this spring. Mr. Conroe noted that there has been a slight delay in publishing 2015 survey work by Bob Johnson due to the discovery of what was believed to be a very rare species if mussel which requires input from various scientists to confirm.
- Mr. Cherry advised the group that construction for upgrades to the treatment plant at the Institution continue to move forward. Much of the work has to be done prior to the start of the Institution’s summer season and will wind down until this fall. The upgrades are expected to take two years because construction time is limited to spring, fall and winter. All bids have come in under budget and he is very pleased with the contractors.
- Mr. Emhardt gave an update for the Town of Chautauqua. Efforts to decommission Chautauqua Heights treatment plant and divert flow to the North Chautauqua Lake Sewer District treatment plant continue to move forward and should be completed by June 2018. This is part of the integrated sewer management plan for Chautauqua Lake.
- Ms. Connelly gave an update on Long Point and Midway State parks. The new sewer line connecting to South & Center Sewer District is fully completed prior to the Memorial Day weekend. A recent environmental survey identified kidney shell mussels (an endangered species) nearby Midway.
- Mr. McCoy gave an update on County efforts. He advised that the large dredging projects in the North County along lake Erie are going very well. McCoy recently traveled with the County Executive to Albany to discuss some culvert concerns in the Town of Portland along the Rails to Trails route that has the potential for serious flood damage if not proactively addressed. He also advised this year’s 2% Waterways grant program is now accepting applications with a deadline of 6/1/16. Also, the final draft of the Macrophyte Management Strategy has been published in April and copies are available to the technical review committee members. The draft has been sent to DEC and USACE for initial comments.
- Mr. Jablonski advised the group that the CWC is hosting a tour this Saturday in Ellery at a potential future preserve site along Browns Creek which feeds into Bemus Creek. The CWC has recently hired a new conservationist who starts soon. The CWC annual golf fundraiser is scheduled for 6/27/16.
- Mr. Champ noted that we are once again heading toward the peak season for lake use and it is very important we continue to discuss ways to reach and educate the seasonal visitors to our area on all the efforts being done to protect and improve the lake. The annual Lake Rally was noted. Discussion about an effort to provide access to archived news articles by topic or specific to Chautauqua Lake on standalone website or integration into a current site was had.
Mr. Wesp made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Spann. The motion passed unanimously.
The Alliance Board of Directors passed a motion to approve these 5/12/16 Meeting Minutes on 6/9/16.