Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors – Public Meeting
Thursday, November 12, 2020
4:30 p.m. via ZOOM
Directors Present: Pierre Chagnon, Ted McCague, Mike Jabot, Bruce Erickson, Jim Andrews, David Shepherd, and Paul (P.J.) Wendel, Jr., and Mike Latone
Absent: Rob Yates
Staff in Attendance: Randall Perry – Alliance Executive Director and Taylor West – Alliance Project Manager.
Others in Attendance: Tory Irgang – Chautauqua Region Community Foundation (CRCF); Linda Swanson – Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation; Cassandra Pinkoski – Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD); and Michael Hartshorne and Dr. Fred Lubnow – Princeton Hydro.
Member Representatives in Attendance: Louise Ortman – Town of North Harmony; Whitney Gleason, John Jablonski III, and Rebecca Nystrom – Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy (CWC); Karen Rine – South and Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District; Mary Hutchings – Chautauqua Lake Partnership (CLP); Steve Hayes – Town of Ellery; and Doug Conroe – Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA).
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. A quorum of 7 out of 9 Alliance Board Members were present at the start of the meeting.
II. Update on Executive Director Transition
P. Chagnon indicated that R. Perry accepted the position of Executive Director, which went into effect on November 1, 2020. P. Chagnon indicated that transfer of Executive Director responsibility and authority was successfully completed on November 1, 2020. P. Chagnon indicated that V. Horrigan hosted a luncheon with the Alliance Staff at the end of October where they reviewed Alliance related accomplishments over the past 18 months and charted a path into the future. P. Chagnon indicated that R. Perry and T. West have been very busy this month, but are carrying out their responsibilities, both old and new, with the highest degree of professionalism and efficiency.
III. Approval of 10/22/2020 Minutes
D. Shepherd made a motion to accept the minutes from the 10/22/2020 Work Session Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by J. Andrews and was approved unanimously.
IV. Presentation of 2020 Third-Party Monitoring Program Results – Princeton Hydro
R. Perry introduced M. Hartshorne and F. Lubnow of Princeton Hydro to the group. R. Perry indicated that the Alliance contracted Princeton Hydro this spring to conduct the independent third-party monitoring of the 2020 herbicide program on Chautauqua Lake.
M. Hartshorne and F. Lubnow presented a summary of the results of the Independent Third-Party Monitor for Chautauqua Lake Macrophyte Management – 2020 Herbicide Treatment Program to the group. The presentation started at 4:35 PM and concluded at 5:11 PM. The PowerPoint presentation given at this meeting will be posted to the Alliance website along with a copy of the Final Written Report. The presentation was followed by a question and answer session which is outlined below (Q = Question; A = Answer; and C = Comment):
Q: J. Jablonski III – Was the difference in species richness statistically significant in treatment versus non-treatment areas?
A: M. Hartshorne – I don’t believe we ran the Kruskal-Wallace test on that, but this information would be included in the final report.
Q: J. Jablonski III – Was it cost effective to treat sparse densities of Eurasian Watermilfoil?
A: M. Hartshorne – The determination of cost effectiveness is best left up to those who paid for the treatment.
A: F. Lubnow – There appeared to be a large reduction in Eurasian Watermilfoil biomass from pre to post-treatment and an increase in native species. The cost effectiveness depends on the goals of the program and is best left up to the community to decide.
A: M. Hartshorne – Eurasian Watermilfoil abundance was approaching the upper biomass threshold for the sparse rating category during the pre-treatment survey and was approaching the lower biomass threshold for the sparse rating category during the post-treatment survey.
Q: S. Hayes – Based on the data, what are your recommendations prior to a future treatment?
A: M. Hartshorne – Based on our data, the treatment did not appear to impact non-target native species, however we would recommend increased chemical and chlorophyll sampling in the future to understand potential chemical movement and potential causes of reduced transparency.
Q: M. Hartshorne – Will the full report and raw data be available on the Alliance’s website?
A: R. Perry – Yes, once it’s posted, the Alliance will send a notification out.
Q: J. Jablonski III – Were the gram weights calculated for the overall and species abundances?
A: M. Hartshorne – Yes
Q: J. Jablonski III – Did you monitor Bemus Bay as well?
A: M. Hartshorne – We only monitored Sherman’s Bay.
Q: B. Nystrom – Were there impacts to the native coontail species?
A: M. Hartshorne – Coontail was growing at sparse densities during both the pre and post-treatment surveys. The final report will have more detailed statistics broken down by species.
P. Chagnon thanked M. Hartshorne and F. Lubnow for presenting at the Alliance’s Board Meeting.
R. Perry thanked Princeton Hydro for all of their work and thanked those who attended the presentation.
F. Lubnow thanked M. Hartshorne and the Princeton Hydro staff for their work on the project.
V. Projects Update
R. Perry indicated that he is working closely with T. West to train him in the Project Manager position. T. West indicated that he is thankful for the opportunity to serve as the Alliance’s Project Manager and is honored and excited to take on this new role within the organization. T. West gave a summary of the following Alliance Projects Update to the group.
- 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)
- Design & permitting work by Bergmann is underway at nearby section of Dutch Hollow Creek (Phase II); design/permitting ca. Summer/Fall 2020 and construction ca. Summer 2021
- Dutch Hollow Creek & West Dutch Hollow Creek:
- 2017 Celoron Park Improvement Phase IV Design & Construction, Amenities Building (NYSDOS LWRP)
- Construction complete; Final Grant Close-out in progress;L. Olson (General Contractor) & LaBella (Architect/Engineer)
- 2018-2020 Invasive Species Early Detection – Volunteer Task Force
- Water Chestnut (>100 plants) found/removed in Chautauqua Lake Outlet in July-August 2020
- Collaborative efforts among RTPI, ACNC, CWC, Alliance, and Volunteers – thank you to all who participated.
- Contact RTPI (Jonathan Townsend) and/or Alliance (Taylor West) to get involved for 2021
- To help observe/report on your own, please sign up for iMapInvasives: www.imapinvasives.org/
- 2018 Lakewood Chautauqua Avenue Green Street Retrofit (NYSEFC GIGP)
- Village issued Invitation for Bids on 10/8/20; bid opening scheduled for 11/10/20
- Construction Contractor TBD; Engineering/inspection by Barton & Loguidice; and in-kind work by Village DPW; Construction tentatively scheduled ca. Winter to Summer 2021
- 2018 Busti Precision Swales Stabilization (NYSDEC WQIP)
- Construction underway by Rock of WNY (EcoStrategies engineering/inspection & Town Highway performing in-kind work); construction planned for Fall to ca. Spring 2021
- 2018 Skimming Capital Equipment (NYSDEC WQIP)
- County bid awarded to Alpha Boats; order fulfillment underway with significant COVID-19 delays (tentative delivery ca. April 2021)
- 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
- 2015 County Round 12 WQIP Streambank Stabilization Projects at Ball, Bemus, Goose, and Prendergast Creeks, closed ca. Oct 2020
T. West indicated that the Alliance recently wrapped up their 2020 GPS Weed Management Program, which, in its first year went well. T. West thanked the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation for supporting this program. T. West indicated that the Alliance anticipates this program continuing for years to come. T. West also thanked the Chautauqua Lake Association and Town of Chautauqua for their collaboration and participation in the program.
T. West indicated that the Alliance completed an update to their Multi-Criteria Analysis Tool in September. T. West indicated that this updated version was used to score Alliance Member’s 2021 Local Grant Applications. T. West thanked the Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation for their generous support of this project.
VI. Alliance Committees Update
R. Perry commended the Committee Chairs and members for their participation in the MCA scoring process.
a. ) Alliance Lake Management Committee Update
R. Perry indicated that the Committee does not have any updates at this time. R. Perry indicated that the Alliance is looking forward to reconvening the Committee in the future to plan 2021 lake management.
b.) Alliance Watershed Management Committee Update
R. Perry indicated that the Committee does not have any updates at this time as we are awaiting on an update on the NYS CFA.
c.) Alliance Data Analysis and Research (DAR) Committee Update
R. Perry indicated that the Alliance DAR Committee is very active and has been meeting monthly since August. R. Perry indicated that the Committee has been providing valuable input to the Alliance Board regarding the prioritization of research tasks surrounding The Jefferson Project along with other research initiatives.
P. Chagnon indicated that the Committee is doing a terrific job and is exceeding expectations. P. Chagnon indicated that he is excited by the collaboration between members of the Committee and other researchers.
VII. Presentation of Board-Approved 2020-2021 Consolidated Local Foundation Funding Grant Request
R. Perry shared a presentation with the group, which gave an overview of the 28 grant applications the Alliance received through the 2020-2021 Consolidated Local Grant Program and detailed the Alliance’s recommended funding allocations and the rationale for those recommended allocations as part of the Board-Approved 2020-2021 Consolidated Local Foundation Funding Grant Request.
R. Perry thanked those who reviewed and scored the 28 grant applications and thanked the Alliance members for their grant application submissions.
R. Perry indicated that this request aims to strike a balance between long-term and short-term projects and programs that are expected to benefit Chautauqua Lake and its watershed.
The Board-Approved 2020-2021 Consolidated Local Foundation Funding Grant Request is as follows:
- Town of Chautauqua Mobitrac Operations (plus proposed joint ops with CLA) – $50,000
- Town of Chautauqua Mobitrac Shoreline Cleanup Program (purchase new Mobitrac) – $75,000
- CLA 2021 Operational Support (plus proposed joint ops with Mobitracs) – $247,000
- CLA 2021 Pre-Season Curly Leaf Harvesting – $36,000
- 2021 Chautauqua Lake Herbicide Treatments (Ellery/CLP, Ellicott/CLP, North Harmony/CLP, Busti/CLP, Bemus Point/CLP, Lakewood/CLP & Celoron; Locations/acreage/herbicides TBD based on NYSDEC permitting) – $90,000
- RTPI Aquatic Invasive Species Volunteer Task Force – $6,000
- CLP 2021 Weed Survey of Chautauqua Lake – $25,000
- CWC Chautauqua Lake Watershed Forest, Wetland and Tributary Conservation and Enhancement Program – $20,000
- CWC Our Water, Our Lakes…One Community – $50,000
- CLP 2021 Nitrogen Study on Chautauqua Lake – $52,000
- Lakewood Fairmount Stormwater Basin and Watershed Improvement Project (final design) – $3,000
- North Harmony Ball Creek Stabilization Project (Phase 1) – $36,000
- Total Foundation Request: $690,000
The presentation was followed by a question and answer session which is outlined below (Q = Question; A = Answer; and C = Comment):
C: W. Gleason – Thank you for your support
Q: J. Jablonski III – What is the timeline going forward?
A: R. Perry – We are submitting the Board-Approved 2020-2021 Consolidated Local Foundation Funding Grant Request to the participating Foundations soon. Awards are anticipated in January or February 2021.
No discussion occurred under this agenda item.
IX. Open Floor: Member Representatives and Community Members in Attendance
D. Shepherd asked member representatives in attendance if they could provide an update regarding their 2020 projects and programs.
W. Gleason indicated that the CWC is carrying out their LakeScapes program later into the season than initially anticipated. W. Gleason indicated that the CWC has performed over 100 consultations in 2020 as part of this program and is still booking consultations into the fall. W. Gleason indicated that the CWC is also planning 2021 programs and events and is catching up on remaining 2020 work items.
B. Erickson indicated that the CLA’s equipment is in the process of being serviced as part of their usual winter maintenance program. B. Erickson indicated that the CLA’s coordination and assistance with the Mobitrac program went well. B. Erickson indicated that the CLA implemented their own GPS program and received positive responses to their detailed work plans and work reports that integrated their GPS data.
D. Shepherd asked if the CLA had an update regarding the 2 County-purchased skimmers.
R. Perry indicated that the skimmers are tentatively scheduled to be completed in April 2021 due to COVID-19 related delays in production. R. Perry indicated that the County is in the process of executing a use agreement with the CLA.
D. Shepherd asked the CLA if they thought the skimmers would be ready to deploy in June if they were delivered by the end of April.
D. Conroe indicated that the CLA anticipates having them in operation from mid-June to Labor Day, but noted that their time on the water in 2021 could be extended or reduced depending on funding. D. Conroe indicated that the CLA anticipates finalizing the use agreement with the County soon.
C. Pinkoski indicated that the SWCD is finishing up a composted bedded pack facility and have completed a silage storage facility in the Chautauqua Lake Watershed.
J. Jablonski III indicated that the CWC received a grant from the County to create a stormwater guide for municipalities, which is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2020.
D. Conroe indicated that the CLA will host their Annual Meeting virtually on December 7, 2020 at 6:00 PM. D. Conroe indicated that the CLA is in the process of finalizing workshops and programs for the meeting.
B. Erickson made a motion to adjourn the November 12, 2020 Board meeting. The motion was seconded by J. Andrews and was passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 5:54 PM.