Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, May 11, 2017
4:30 p.m. at Stow Senior Center
Directors Present: Jim Andrews, Linda Barber, Sally Carlson, Pierre Chagnon, Vince Horrigan, Dave Shepherd, Dave Spann and Dave Wesp.
Absent: Ken Shearer.
Others in Attendance: Erin Brickley – Alliance Executive Director and Randall Perry – Alliance Project Manager. Doug Champ – Jamestown Riverfront Management Council & interested citizen. June Diethrick – Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. Craig Butler – Lawson Center.
Member Representatives in Attendance: Karen Rine – South & Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District, John Jablonski & Mary Laumer – Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy (CWC), Cassie Brower – Chautauqua County Soil & Water Conservation District, Jim Cirbus, Jim & Debbie Wehrfritz – Chautauqua Lake Partnership (CLP), Doug Conroe, John & Kathy Ford – Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA) and Dave McCoy – Chautauqua County.
I. Call to Order:
Ms. Barber called the meeting of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) to order at 4:33 pm. It was noted for the record that there was a quorum (8 of 9) present.
II. Election of Officers:
Ms. Barber advised that Mrs. Carlson and former board member Don Emhardt were asked to be the nominating committee for this year’s officer positions. Mrs. Carlson advised that their recommendation is as follows: Pierre Chagnon for Chair, Dave Spann for Vice-Chair, Dave Shepherd for Secretary, and Dave Wesp for Treasurer. Mr. Horrigan made a motion to accept the recommendation for officers as presented, seconded by Ms. Barber. The motion was approved unanimously. Mr. Chagnon thanked Ms. Barber for all her work in getting the Alliance up and running and her service as the first Board Chair of the organization.
III. Approval of Minutes:
Mr. Wesp made a motion to accept the minutes of the 4/20/17 Board Meeting, seconded by Mrs. Carlson. The motion was approved unanimously.
IV. Update on Current Alliance/Member Projects:
Mr. Perry thanked everyone for a great first year as Project Manager for the Alliance and then gave an update on the status of the nine funded Alliance/Member projects in process:
Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) grants (six in total):
- Implementation status:
- Preliminary design in progress at Dutch Hollow Creek & West Dutch Hollow Creek
- Ball Creek site preparation planning in progress with CWC (invasive species)
- Continue other preparation/coordination for 2017 schedule and tasks
- Bergmann Associates subcontracts complete for Dutch Hollow & West Dutch Hollow
- Modification requests for some projects in progress with NYSDEC
- Subcontracts with EcoStrategies in preparation (Goose Creek & Ball Creek)
- M/WBE, EEO, and Narrative/Financial Quarterly Reports submitted April; next round due July
- Engineering Support Services at Goose & Ball Creeks award to EcoStrategies
- Likely upcoming public construction bids Spring/Summer 2017 for Bemus Creek (likely Soil & Water-led bid) and Goose/Ball Creek (likely County/Alliance-led bid)
- Other WQIP Updates:
- CWC’s WQIP article picked up by International Erosion Control Association in April
- Apparent growing interest in procurements
Lakewood / Busti Stormwater Management Engineering Study (NYS DEC/EFC Engineering Planning Grant):
- Request for Proposals (RFP) for engineering services released 4/26 and DUE 5/24
- Alliance coordinating remaining agreement between Lakewood and Town of Busti (local match)
- Near-term objective: Facilitate execution of Grant Agreement between Lakewood and EFC to secure initial $50K payment and commence engineering study (Target start: Spring/Summer 2017)
Celoron LWRP grants (2013/2016):
- First Alliance invoice for project administration services submitted and paid
- Biannual status report due June
- Working to consolidate/coordinate engineering design and upcoming construction bid under single phase of construction utilizing separate LWRP grants (2013 & 2016)
- Working to establish State contract for 2016 LWRP grant for target implementation in Fall 2017
Invasive Species Management Grant (Senator Young $50K local assistance grant via County pass-through):
- Coordination among Alliance implementing partners in progress
- Subcontracts in preparation and equipment purchase pending
V. Approval of 2016 Financial Statement and 990 Tax Filing:
Mr. Chagnon advised that Rob Kocur of Kocur, Saxton & Associates performed financial services for the Alliance again this year. The Audit was done with the Executive Director and once Mr. Kocur completed draft versions of the 2016 financial statement and 990, the Alliance Audit Committee met and reviewed drafts as presented by Mr. Kocur. Final drafts of both were sent to the full Board for review prior to today’s meeting. Mr. Chagnon, expressed appreciation to the Alliance Audit Committee members. Mr. Shepherd made a motion to accept the Audit Committee’s recommendation to approve the final reports, seconded by Mr. Horrigan. The motion was approved unanimously.
VI. Discussion of Guidance Documents and Public Education:
Mr. Jablonski advised the group that the recent CWC evening event related to educating the public entitled “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: A Presentation of Algae Growth in Chautauqua Lake” was very successful, with approximately 75 attendees. Mr. Jablonski commented that it might be a good idea to host additional public education events around the existing guidance documents such at the Chautauqua Lake Watershed Management Plan and the Macrophyte Management Strategy. Ms. Brickley advised of a recent discussion with Mr. Shepherd about doing brief educational modules from these guidance documents aimed at keeping the Alliance Board up to date and on the same page. Perhaps John’s idea could be incorporated and we do the public education in tandem with the Board at the Alliance monthly meetings. Mrs. Carlson felt the public education events should be separate from board meetings and be held during evening hours for maximum public attendance. Mr. Wehrfritz commented that there should be clear objectives rather than education for the sake of education. Mr. Champ stated that he has been trying for years to get a group to lead an effort to create a Chautauqua Lake Summit like he did for an Energy Summit in the County, which would entail a two day event with key note speaker and breakout sessions on various topics. Mr. Horrigan noted that we could try and make the annual Chautauqua Lake Rally a bigger event as an alternative to a brand new event. Ms. Brickley noted that she had worked on some synergies with the Lawson Center regarding efficiencies in summer events related to public education. Based on that, the Lawson Center is hosting a sort of “lake ecology 101” presentation in July as a lead in to the topics typically covered at the Lake Rally in August. Mr. Horrigan stated that that was a good example as he sees any Alliance role to be more focused on coordination and promotion when it comes to public education events. Mr. Shepherd noted that education should be constant and repetition is needed and therefore suggested establishing an education committee. Mr. Shepherd and Ms. Barber to discuss further.
VII. Discussion of Email Distribution Policy:
Ms. Brickley advised that the current process for email is an open email distribution list that is visible to all recipients in an effort to be as transparent as an organization as possible. In a letter sent to all Alliance Board members and the Executive Director dated 5/3/17, the CLP has raised concerns regarding this current process, reply all practices and the security of the Alliance email distribution list. Mr. Wehrfritz suggests establishing a written policy with increased security. Ms. Barber commented that the Alliance mission is to bring different organizations together, to have the opportunity to speak to each other and that transparency is key to our mission. She would not want to discourage those open communications. Mr. Chagnon asked the board if we need to establish a policy. Mr. Shepherd suggested that the Executive Committee meet and discuss further.
VIII. Discussion of Dues:
In March, members of the CLP decided to renew their 2016-2017 membership late in the year and inquired about establishing a pro-rate policy. At the time, Ms. Brickley advised of alternative options such as waiting a few months for the new 7/2017-6/2018 membership drive or deferred payment until the end of the year. During the April Board meeting, Mr. Shepherd suggested the Executive Committee meet to discuss further and therefore the topic was tabled. Mr. Chagnon advised that the Executive Committee has now met and their recommendation is not to establish a policy at this time.
IX. Discussion on CLP Requests from April Presentation:
Mr. Wehrfritz, the new Vice-President of the CLP gave a presentation in April on their renewed non-profit homeowner organization via the recent merge with the Bemus Bay Property Owners, their current focus on proposed in-lake actions in Bemus Bay (herbicide and near-shore clean-up) and made several requests of the Alliance. CLP requested: $10,000 in funding from the Alliance; letters of support drafted and sent to Senator Kathy Young, County Executive Vince Horrigan, and local foundations (Gebbie & Lenna) in support of their already submitted requests for state and local funding; and a letter of support to the NY DEC Region 9 Director supporting their pending herbicide permit application. Optional templates for such letters were provided in April. Mr. Wehrfritz advised the request should have included a template letter to CRCF as well and was an oversight if it was not included in the packet provided in April.
After the April Board meeting, these requests were discussed by the Executive Committee at a 4/27 meeting, followed by a roundtable discussion with CLP officers on 5/4. Neither meeting led to a consensus recommendation. However, at the roundtable, it was clarified that the Alliance is not designed, nor has the ability to offer fiscal assistance to members outside of match assistance on non-local grant opportunities that leverage local resources to bring in outside funding for member projects.
Further discussion on letters of support was had. Mr. Horrigan stated that since the Alliance has done letters of support for CLA and CWC in the past that we should be consistent and provide letters for the CLP projects as requested by CLP. Ms. Barber stated that in the case of CLA and CWC letters, it was the foundation (the funder) that made the request for Alliance input. Alliance input was only offered after access and review of their (CLA/CWC) grant applications, which contained detailed descriptions of their scope of work, org and project budgets, timelines, etc. Mr. Spann commented that he is wary of broadly worded support with little knowledge of projects specifics, as we were only offered a generalized presentation in April by CLP to go by thus far. Further discussion was had but Mr. Chagnon stated that he was not hearing any consensus among the Board and in the interest of time, asked if anyone would like to make a motion. No motion was made and Mr. Horrigan commented that we may need more time to make a determination. Mrs. Rine said there was no time as they already have a permit application in at the DEC and requests have been made of the foundations. Ms. Brickley commented that last month the CLP presentation and question and answer session did not allow for any time for further discussion on their requests of the Alliance with the full board. Mr. Wehrfritz stated that in the case of the herbicides, the permit process is the vetting mechanism via DEC and therefore wouldn’t think the Alliance needs further detailed information. Mr. Horrigan and Mr. Wesp both expressed the critical need for existing groups to get along and work together.
X. 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 annual May Member meeting and the May Board meeting that were held consecutively on 5/11/17):
- Mr. Champ advised that the Jamestown Riverfront Council will hold its inaugural McCrea Point Festival at the boat landing on Saturday July 8th which will include exhibits, the Chautauqua Bell, and participants from CLA, Resource Center and others.
- Mr. Jablonski wanted to remind everyone of the Chautauqua Lake Outlet Clean-Up led by the Conewango Creek Watershed Association to be held Saturday May 20th. Interested volunteers can still register online.
- Mr. Conroe asked that Alliance meeting agenda’s go out the week prior to each monthly meeting.
XI. Executive Session:
Ms. Barber motioned to adjourn to executive session at 5:59 p.m., seconded by Mr. Andrews. The motion was approved unanimously.
The Executive Session was closed and meeting was adjourned at 6:20 p.m.