Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, September 8, 2016
4:00 p.m. at Stow Senior Center
Directors Present: Linda Barber, Pierre Chagnon, Sally Carlson, David Spann, Ken Shearer, and David Wesp.
Absent: Don Emhardt, Vince Horrigan, and David Shepherd.
Others in Attendance: Erin Brickley – Alliance Executive Director, Randall Perry – Alliance Project Manager, Doug Champ – City Riverfront Management Council & interested citizen.
Founding Member Representatives in Attendance: John Jablonski – Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, Marla Connelly – NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation – Allegany Region, & Cassie Pinkoski – Chautauqua County Soil & Water Conservation District.
Scientific Review & Advisory Committee Members in Attendance: Dave McCoy.
I. Call to Order:
Ms. Barber called the meeting of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) to order at 4:00 pm. It was noted for the record that there was a quorum (6 of 9) present.
II. Approval of Minutes:
Mr. Wesp made a motion to accept the minutes of the 8/11/16 Board Meeting as written, seconded by Mr. Shearer. The motion was approved unanimously.
III. Update on 2nd Annual Membership Drive:
Ms. Brickley reminded the group that all identified members (founding as well as potential) were sent a Membership Letter of Request and 2016-2017 Membership Form on 5/24/16. This was followed by the Executive Director going outbound to as many member meetings as possible this summer to give each an in-person update on Alliance activities over the last year as well as officially request ongoing membership. As of this Board meeting, a few founding members were unable to renew but the vast majority of founding members have decided to continue their membership with the Alliance. In summary, the first annual 2015-2016 membership drive which included a 50% dues waiver and payment deferral as options resulted in 31 founding members and $27k in revenue, $22k collected by fiscal and calendar end of 2015. The 2016-2017 membership drive (which no longer offered a discount on dues) currently has total anticipated revenues of $37k with $31k currently collected. Ms. Barber inquired if members had been providing general feedback. Ms. Brickley advised the feedback has been very positive overall however; some members did express a desire for in person attendance and/or meetings at least twice per calendar year. Ms. Brickley noted this was always the intention but staff capacity limited those efforts during the Alliance’s first year. However, another round of in-person communications (as was done during the membership drive this summer) is slated for end of 2016, very beginning of 2017.
IV. Update on 2015 WQIP Grant Awards:
Mr. Perry gave an update on the status of the six WQIP funded projects.
- All 6 State Assistance Contracts, between State and County are now in place – Prendergast, Bemus (x2 sites), Goose, Ball, Dutch Hollow Main Stem, and West Dutch Hollow Creeks.
- Permitting is complete for Prendergast, Bemus (x2 sites), and Goose Creeks; Ball Creek is pending; Dutch Hollow and West Dutch Hollow will be performed by outside engineering firm (TBD) prior to implementation.
- Prendergast Creek WQIP update:
- County subcontracts finalized (with Soil & Water, Alliance, and CWC).
- Construction started 8/31/2016; Target completion date = 9/15/2016.
- Most site preparation work and channel improvement is complete; stone toe protection installation is underway.
- Thank you to the project team – Soil & Water, CCPED/Other County staff, and CWC – great work so far!!
- Ongoing and upcoming work:
- Quarterly Reports and reimbursement requests to State due 10/30.
- County subcontracts for remaining 5 WQIP grant awards.
- Prepare bid packages for Dutch Hollow Main Stem and West Dutch Hollow projects
- Anticipated prioritization schedule after Prendergast – Bemus Creek (2 sites), Goose Creek, then Ball Creek; Dutch Hollow Main Stem and West Dutch Hollow (project bids and contractor selection Fall/Winter/Spring 2016/2017 with goal to build Summer/Fall 2017).
V. Update on Match Fund Proposals (Foundations & County):
Ms. Brickley updated the group on the efforts related to the Alliance proposal for a grants match fund supported by area foundations as well as the County. The 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 were all decisioned by mid-June. Three of the five applications were approved for a total of $160k worth of foundation funded grant match support. Now that the local foundations have reached their final decisions, the Alliance will proceed in going back to the County with this update and request the County participate at the same funding level. Ms. Brickley advised a resolution has been drafted and submitted for the September legislature meeting. Mrs. Carlson inquired about the likelihood of the county match funding and Mr. Chagnon advised the group that this had been in the works for a number of months and that the County Executive supports it.
VI. 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:
- Mr. McCoy gave an update on the 2% Waterways local grant program noting that there were 26 applications received and that the assessment committee has completed their rankings for funding which will go before the Legislature this month. Mr. McCoy advised the County / Planning & Economic Development recently renewed their contract with USGS as it relates to lake level gauges and Warner Dam. Mr. McCoy also gave an update on the Lake Erie Management Commission and their recent collaboration for education and outreach efforts for their yard waste management campaign, riparian buffers, microplastics and septic system maintenance. Mr. McCoy and Mr. Chagnon shared an update on efforts to remove a downed tree under the I-86 overpass on Ball creek that has created a large amount of scour and sedimentation at the mouth of the tributary. The needed permit from the DOT is expected in the next few days and a work crew is scheduled for 9/13/16 for the removal work which will involve equipment on the I-86 off ramp at Stow, flagman, etc.
- Ms. Connelly advised the group that Parks had recently started working with Soil & Water to do some erosion control projects at Long Point State Park specific to the point and the swimming beach. There is a pending mussel survey that is slated to be complete by the end of the month before any erosion mitigation could take place.
- Mr. Champ commented on a couple of topics:
- Mr. Champ attended the Lake Rally whereby a panel of experts from various County agencies were available for a question and answer session related to the integrated sewer management plan for Chautauqua Lake. However, he feels there is a need for a separate event of some kind that covers the recent septic system inspection mandate as well as the efforts to sewer the remaining portions surrounding the lake, perhaps summer 2017. Also, a handout out explaining how it’s all going to work would be good. Mr. Chagnon advised that there are still too many variables to be able to advise the community on an anticipated timeline of events for the sewer portion at this point but that certainly the septic inspection piece is known and believes the Health Department has done at least one summary info mailer on the topic. Ms. Connelly stated that we really can’t take anything for granted when it comes to local knowledge and education and outreach efforts. A possible idea is to use existing lake related email lists to send a link to something like a YouTube video that could be done for outreach purposes.
- Mr. Champ also initiated a discussion on long established discrepancies between various municipalities related to zoning and regulations governing new development and construction as well as stormwater management. Mrs. Carlson advised there are a number of municipalities that have improved upon their runoff ordinances but that in order for consistency among the various areas, it would take a county wide initiative which may not be welcomed by all the individual municipalities. Mr. Spann commented that regardless of regulations there is a lack of enforcement and even if all the laws were consistent and appropriate, without enforcement it means very little. He noted that some counties have some local enforcement mechanisms through their Soil & Water districts as many code enforcement officers are part time with possible capacity issues. Mr. Jablonski advised that this has been issue for many many years, prior to the formation of the Chautauqua Lake Management Commission (CLMC) and at some point he thought there was a county wide action plan but that it got dropped along the way. Mr. Chagnon commented that this is not an easy fix but worth the discussion. Perhaps a good step to take would be a municipality round table to get a better sense of where each municipality stands on the topic. There are mechanisms we could trigger such as watershed management districts, but there would need to be political will amongst many groups for it to make sense. It was noted that another place to start may be the Mayors and Supervisors group. The group noted it was important to clearly and in detail highlight the economic impacts for the entire region when the lake has unhealthy algal blooms, etc. Ms. Brickley noted that it’s advisable not to start from scratch but rather, to build off of past efforts and existing mechanisms such as a review and assessment of actions taken based on recommendations from the Chautauqua Lake Management Plan published in 2010.
Mr. Wesp made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:19pm, seconded by Mrs. Carlson. The motion passed unanimously.