Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors – Work Session
Thursday, October 27, 2022
4:30 p.m. at the BWB Building, 201 West 3rd St. Jamestown, NY 14701 & via Zoom
Directors Present: Bruce Erickson, Don Emhardt, Ellen Barnes, Jan Bowman, Martin Proctor, David Shepherd, Jim Andrews, Mike LaTone, Paul (P.J.) Wendel, Jr.
Directors Absent: None
Staff in Attendance: Randall Perry – Alliance Executive Director, Taylor West (Zoom) – Alliance Project Manager, and Jay Young– Alliance Communications Coordinator.
I. Call to Order
B. Erickson called the Board Meeting of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) to order at 4:32 PM. A quorum of 8 out of 9 Alliance Board Members were present at the start of the meeting.
II. Approval of the 10/13/22 Board Meeting Minutes
D. Emhardt made a motion to accept the minutes from the 10/13/22 Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by E. Barnes and was approved unanimously.
III. 2022 Alliance Local Grants Update
a.) Discussion of remaining funds and funding requests
R. Perry indicated that the Board has received a $30,000 funding request from the Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA) to support their 2022 operations program, and the CLA provided additional financial information at the Board’s request. R. Perry indicated that the Alliance-held, Board-designated lake maintenance fund has an available balance of $29,488.06. R. Perry indicated that the Alliance received a return of unexpended grant funds from the Audubon Community Nature Center’s Aquatic Invasive Species Rapid Response Grant. R. Perry indicated that the Board, at the October 13, 2022 meeting, authorized to allocate those returned funds to the lake maintenance fund upon receipt. R. Perry indicated that the current balance reflects all outstanding money that the Alliance currently holds that has been designated by the Board for lake maintenance.
B. Erickson indicated that in response to the Board’s request, the CLA provided additional financial information to the Alliance Board via a statement of activities through September 30, 2022. B. Erickson provided the Board with a summary of the financial information and CLA’s macrophyte harvesting statistics for the season.
A discussion followed of the CLA’s request for funding, the statement of activities, work performed and conditions in 2022, and CLA operational and financial information.
J. Bowman made a motion to award the remaining $29,488.06 in Alliance lake maintenance funds to the CLA. The motion was seconded by D. Shepherd. The motion carried with five ayes (D. Emhardt, J. Andrews, M. Proctor, J. Bowman, D. Shepherd), three nays (P. Wendel, E. Barnes, M. LaTone) and one abstention (B. Erickson).
M. Proctor indicated that in the future he would like more financial detail provided by CLA going forward.
B. Erickson indicated that all Members should be held to the same reporting standards.
J. Bowman indicated that it is important that there is consistency in reporting requirements for Members.
R. Perry indicated that typical grant contracts with Members have included stipulations allowing the Alliance to ask for additional financial information as necessary. R. Perry indicated that for the coming round of 2023 grant agreements the Alliance could implement a standard template that outlines the deliverables required for financial reporting.
D. Emhardt indicated that based upon this discussion of financial reporting, he could add additional detail about the Mobitrac program in future.
M. LaTone indicated that standard profit and loss statements would contain much of this financial information.
P. Wendel indicated that he supported implementing a standard financial reporting template that is consistent across all Members, which would benefit the Alliance moving forward.
B. Erickson indicated that detailed financial reports for not-for-profit organizations are produced each year when 990s are made publically available through the New York State filing process.
IV. 2022-2023 Alliance Consolidated Foundation Grant Program
a.) Board Discussion on 2023 Consolidated Funding Request
R. Perry summarized the work performed at the last work session on October 13, 2022, which included the review of the 17 Member-submitted applications totaling approximately $2.95 million in funding requests.
R. Perry outlined to the Board for their consideration an $800,000 consolidated foundation funding request.
J. Bowman asked if there is coordination between the Alliance and Chautauqua County regarding watershed projects funded by the consolidated foundation grant program and the County’s 2% bed tax program.
R. Perry indicated that the Alliance is generally aware of the County’s bed tax-funded programs and indicated that those projects are separate from those funded by the consolidated foundation program. R. Perry indicated that stormwater and watershed projects are also often funded through the New York State Consolidated Funding Application (NYSCFA). R. Perry indicated that the Alliance has partnered on approximately $700,000 in NYSCFA projects scheduled to be in progress in 2023.
P. Wendel indicated that he had recent discussions with staff from the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy (CWC) about the distribution of funding for watershed projects and in-lake maintenance.
R. Perry indicated that watershed projects are often funded and undertaken over timescales of 3 to 5 years, whereas in-lake maintenance typically runs on an annual cycle.
B. Erickson indicated that a Lake Management Committee meeting is scheduled for November 2. B. Erickson asked the Board to contact him with any suggestions regarding the prioritization of in-lake management programs.
P. Wendel stressed the need for cooperation and collaboration between Members.
M. LaTone indicated that at the previous work session, the Board discussed the use of lake-specific boat registration stickers to fund maintenance in other areas. M. LaTone indicated he had begun discussing the issue with local politicians.
A discussion followed of the Chautauqua Lake Protection and Rehabilitation Agency, funding needs for the lake and watershed, boat registration stickers, and potential funding mechanisms.
M. LaTone indicated the primary challenge facing stakeholders is lack of funding.
B. Erickson indicated that many foundations are facing lower revenues this year due to recent economic challenges.
P. Wendel made a motion to approve an $800,000 Consolidated Funding Request to be submitted by the Alliance to the Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation, The Lenna Foundation, and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. The motion was seconded by E. Barnes and was approved unanimously.
P. Wendel indicated he had a recent meeting with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 9 Director regarding DEC’s involvement in lake and watershed management.
R. Perry indicated that the Region 9 Director has offered to meet with the Board at the December 8, 2022 work session. The Board indicated their support for the meeting. R. Perry indicated he will schedule that meeting.
R. Perry indicated that he has been asked to join the DEC Region 9 Open Space Plan Regional Advisory Committee. The Board indicated their support for R. Perry joining the Committee. P. Wendel indicated that Whitney Gleason of the CWC has been appointed to the Committee as well. R. Perry indicated he will contact DEC with his intention to join the Committee.
B. Erickson restated that there will be a Lake Management Committee meeting at 4:30 p.m. at The Lawson Center in Bemus Point on November 2, 2022. R. Perry indicated that there will be a Zoom link available for the meeting, and indicated he will share the meeting materials with the Board.
R. Perry indicated that the Alliance recently distributed a press release prepared by J. Young covering starry stonewort management efforts, and that the story was picked up by The Post-Journal and other media outlets. R. Perry thanked J. Young and T. Leenders for their efforts and indicated that the work included collaboration among volunteers, the Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District, CWC, CLA, Audubon Community Nature Center, and the Alliance.
B. Erickson indicated that while nuisance plant growth can be a problem, harmful algal blooms (HABs) are a serious concern.
J. Bowman indicated her support for focusing on HABs, and indicated that it would be good to have more data on the status of the lake’s fisheries.
B. Erickson indicated his desire to have the Data Analysis and Research Committee weigh in on the fisheries issue. After discussion, the Board indicated support for engaging the committee on the issue.
R. Perry indicated that he would draft a set of questions for Board consideration that could be passed to the committee regarding the status of the lake’s fisheries.
D. Emhardt made a motion to adjourn at 5:49 p.m. The motion was seconded by J. Bowman and carried unanimously.
The Alliance Board of Directors passed a motion to approve these 10/27/22 Meeting Minutes on 11/10/22.