Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, May 10, 2018
4:30 p.m. at Stow Senior Center
Directors Present: Jim Andrews, Linda Barber, George Borrello, Pierre Chagnon, Ted McCague, Dave Shepherd, Dave Spann, and Dave Wesp.
Absent: Ken Shearer.
Others in Attendance: Erin Brickley – Alliance Executive Director, Randall Perry – Alliance Project Manager & Tamara Miles – Alliance Grant Writer. Linda Swanson – Sheldon Foundation. Jan Bowman – Jamestown Community College. Interested citizens: Doug Champ, Craig Butler, and Vince Horrigan. EcoLogic: Liz Moran & Emma Coronado.
Member Representatives in Attendance: John Jablonski, Claire Quadri, Mary Laumer & Karey Lawton– Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy (CWC), Craig Seger – Village of Lakewood, Karen Rine – South & Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District, Cassie Brower – Chautauqua County Soil & Water Conservation District, Dave McCoy – Chautauqua County, Jim Cirbus, Jim Wehrfritz & Jodee Johnson – Chautauqua Lake Partnership (CLP), Ken Lawton – Town of Busti, & Marla Connelly – NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation – Allegany Region.
Scientific Review & Advisory Committee Members in Attendance: Jane Conroe & Becky Nystrom.
I. Call to Order:
Mr. Chagnon called the meeting of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) to order at 4:35 pm. It was noted for the record that there was a quorum (8 of 9) present.
II. Presentation of Final 5 Year Implementation Strategy for the Management of Chautauqua Lake & Watershed:
The consulting team from EcoLogic was in attendance to present publicly on the comments received for the draft 5 Year Implementation Strategy after last month’s public presentation and request for member/community feedback, review the steps taken during the final editing process, review final May 2018 Strategy report, and be available for a question and answer session. The PowerPoint presentation given is attached to these minutes. The presentation was followed by a question and answer session which is outlined below:
Q: Mr. Jablonski commented he did not see the addition of the importance of conservation in the figure. He also commented that he likes the proportional allocation but doesn’t feel the narrative does enough to address impacts of further development on phosphorous sources.
A: Mrs. Moran advised that the benefits of precision conservation as well as impacts of development were indeed added to the text of the final report.
Q: Mrs. Johnson noted her appreciation for the chance to have reviewed the draft report last month and asked if this was the final report? She also commented of her concerns for developing a transparent scoring process and wondered if the structure of the tool would push smaller projects forward disproportionately. She also wondered how projects would be identified for scoring.
A: Mr. Chagnon advised that yes this was the final strategy and fulfills EcoLogic’s contracted scope of work. Mrs. Moran advised that a new section was added to the final report and the need for the Alliance to remain nimble was highlighted. Also, the tool is built so as not to shy away from large project opportunities. Mr. Chagnon thanked her for the reminder that the genesis of this initiative was based on the foundations having various funding requests and the challenge of prioritizing among them. Mr. Shepherd commented that the MCA Prioritization Tool is an excellent way to inform the current tabled funding requests and that as we start using the tool and learning best options for fair and transparent processes, we will need to be open to input and modifications over time.
Q: Mr. Wehrfritz wanted to share from his experience some keys to success for the scoring process and commented that scorers should have a common and specific objective and selection of scorers should include a broad spectrum of interests but with commitment to the common objective/common good.
A: Mrs. Moran and Ms. Brickley both commented it will likely be a mix of independent scoring followed by convening the scorers for group for discussion.
Q: Mr. Champ asked now that the CFA’s are open as of May 1st, is this strategy going to be used as a supporting document? If so, he did not see REDC strategic priorities included.
A: Mrs. Moran advised that this strategy would be used to support CFA applications and also noted the HAB Action Plan, yet to be released, will be incorporated into supporting documents as well for this round of CFA’s, along with the REDC strategy that is available and updates every five years. Mr. Chagnon commented that a goal for this strategy is to encourage development of better multi-partner projects originating from members and feel the recommendations and priorities outlined might foster members to reach out to us to take advantage of the priorities outlined in the strategy and MCA tool to build strong fundable projects. Thus far, it tends to be the Alliance reaching out with project ideas and development efforts rather than what was initially envisioned when the Alliance was created.
III. Election of Officers:
Mr. Chagnon reviewed the current officers and asked if there were any suggestions for changes, hearing none, made the recommendation for them to stay the same as follows: Pierre Chagnon for Chair, Dave Spann for Vice-Chair, Dave Shepherd for Secretary, and Dave Wesp for Treasurer. Mr. Borrello made a motion to accept the recommendation for officers as presented, seconded by Mr. McCague. The motion was approved unanimously.
IV. Approval of Minutes:
Ms. Barber made a motion to accept the minutes of the 4/12/18 Board Meeting, seconded by Mr. Spann. The motion was approved unanimously.
V. Update on Current Alliance/Member Projects:
Mr. Perry gave an update on the status of the eleven funded Alliance/Member projects in process:
Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) grants (six in total):
- Implementation status:
- Dutch Hollow Creek & West Dutch Hollow Creek:
- 7 bids received for each project (opened 4/13/18); Construction contracts in progress
- Target Construction: Summer 2018
- Ball Creek: Additional site prep/planting coordination with CWC in progress; Construction completed Nov/Dec 2017
- Goose Creek: Target construction Summer 2018; construction contract executed
- Bemus Creek: No significant change; construction phase largely complete (2016-2017)
- Prendergast Creek: No significant change; construction phase largely complete (2016)
- Quarterly progress reports and MWBE reports submitted April 2018
- NYS reimbursement reports under review by NYSDEC
- Dutch Hollow Creek & West Dutch Hollow Creek:
Invasive Species Management Grant (Senator Young $50K local assistance grant via County pass-through):
- Coordination among Alliance and implementing partners in progress
- Audubon work complete; RTPI/Evergreen Outfitters/Alliance collaboration in progress
- Public-Private collaboration with Evergreen Outfitters for equipment & 2018 field event support
- Equipment purchases in progress
- 2018 event planning in progress by RTPI (12 total); 4 field/workshop events and 8 informational sessions – please see flyer for info on May events
- Primary Objective: Establish framework for 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
Lakewood/Busti Stormwater Management Engineering Study (DEC/EFC Engineering Planning Grant):
- Draft Report under review by Village/Town/Alliance
- Project completion ca. May/June 2018
- Assistance to Village/Town with prioritization of 6 recommended improvement projects underway, including use of newly developed Alliance MCA prioritization tool
Celoron LWRP grants (2013/2016):
- Construction started 2/19/18; Partial completion achieved 3/15/18
- Close-out reporting and reimbursement for older grant is underway
- Next completion milestone ca. Aug 2018; Final completion ca. Oct 2018
Celoron Park Improvement (Phase IV) LWRP grant (2017):
- Assistance with State Assistance Contract establishment
- Other coordination between Alliance & Village in progress – e.g., engineer procurement, timeline, budget
Mayville / Chautauqua Stormwater Mgmt. Engineering Study (NYS DEC/EFC Engineering Planning Grant):
- Engineering RFP released 5/10/18; Proposals Due 6/13/18
- Alliance assistance with other initial Grant Agreement Checklist items complete or in progress
VI. Update on New York State led Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Initiative:
Overview: Late in December 2017, Governor Cuomo announced a new program regarding the state’s commitment to protect New York lakes from HAB’s via a new state led initiative that partners state experts with local expertise and resources. The HAB initiative identified 12 priority waterbodies that are vulnerable to HAB and are critical sources of drinking water and vital tourism and Chautauqua Lake was named one of these twelve. The press release noted that the state will commit up to $500k to each of the twelve waterbodies to collaboratively develop a HAB Action Plan and then make $60 million available statewide, likely via its competitive grant process, for action plan implementation work. Ms. Brickley advised that she was in attendance at the March 26th Western Group HAB Summit held in Rochester along with many Alliance member representatives also in attendance from Chautauqua Lake. The full day event was by invitation only, followed by a public session the same day. The agenda for both sessions is attached to May minutes as well as the handout specific to Chautauqua Lake. Many of the presentations and discussions revolved around known factors that typically impact HAB formation such as nutrient load, light penetration through the water column, warm temperatures, calm winds, seed population and possible impacts of invasive Zebra mussels. All of these factors can play a role in HAB formation and all are important but we as lake and watershed managers can really only influence or aim to control one factor, which is nutrient levels (both from entering the lake as continual inputs and with-in the lake via episodic internal loading). It was also noted that there was confirmation at this meeting that the state funding described in the Governors press release last year would indeed be part of the existing NYS Consolidated Funding Application or CFA process. The CFA process is a competitive state grant program open once each summer which encompasses multiple types of state funding grants, typically opening May 1st and closing July 31st and generally requires local match funding.
Update: Ms. Brickley advised that the local steering committee for the HAB initiative gathered at the County offices 4/19/18 and asked others that were in attendance to share their observations, as many Alliance members are represented on the local steering committee. She noted that the HAB Action Plan for Chautauqua Lake is still due out at the end of May. Mr. Borrello commented that the effort still has a fair amount of opaqueness regarding level of local inputs but that the big picture is that there should be good funding available through the CFA’s for priority lakes like Chautauqua and we need to capitalize on leveraging our local resources.
VII. Open Floor / Member Updates:
Mr. Chagnon opened the floor to any Member updates or upcoming events and/or comments from the general public in attendance:
- Mr. Seger commented that he is thrilled with the work of the Alliance, gave a warm welcome to Ted McCague as the newest Alliance director and noted that it was great to see Mr. Borello on this board.
- Mrs. Quadri advised that CWC is looking into a WQIP CFA regarding source water protection grant possibility this year.
- Mr. Champ inquired about the current Alliance Science committee involvement and make up of that committee. Committee Chair Spann commented that the Alliance is evolving and that he continues to look for opportunities for the Science committee to plug into the equation but that timing and ongoing initiatives need to be considered. Mr. Shepherd spoke of recent offer by Cummings personnel to explore 6 sigma as it relates to project approaches and monitoring. Mrs. Nystrom commented that as a member of the committee she is frustrated with not being asked to offer more input to the board but also understands things are evolving and hopes the committee can be better utilized in the future. Mrs. Conroe described a recent DEC presentation at this year’s NYSFOLA conference where they are looking to update, possibly dramatically, quality measures. Quantification likely will remain a challenge. However, perhaps the Science committee can play a role when comes to assessment of quality data and perhaps an enhanced monitoring program.
Mr. Shepherd motioned to adjourn at 5:53 p.m., seconded by Mr. Spann. The motion was approved unanimously.
Additional Files: CLWMA Presentation