Board of Supervisors Meeting Minutes
Meeting Date: 2/19/2019

Meeting Location:  Bert Harris Agricultural Center – Room 3
Sebring, FL
APPROVED  March 19, 2019
Recorded by: Susie Bishop

Name Title Organization Present
Scott Kirouac Chairman Highlands Soil & Water Y
Dr. John Causey Vice-Chairman Highlands Soil & Water Y
Doug Deen Secretary/Treasurer Highlands Soil & Water Y
Pamela Fentress Supervisor Highlands Soil & Water Y
Steve Smith Supervisor Highlands Soil & Water Y
Commissioner Jim Brooks Liaison  Highlands Co. Board of County Commissioners N
Susie Bishop Executive Director Highlands Soil & Water  Y
Jacob Miller MIL Manager Highlands Soil & Water N
Dakota McCullers BMP Tech Highlands Soil & Water N
Earl Thomas BMP Tech Highlands Soil & Water N
Carlos Torres District Cons. USDA-NRCS N
Sierra Ayers Soil Cons. USDA-NRCS N
Laurie Hurner Extension CED Highlands Co. Extension N
Roy Royce HCCGA & HAC Y
Jeff Carlson CPA Carlson Accounting Y

Meeting Scheduled Start: 3:00 P.m.     Call to Order: @ 3:06 P.M.
Public Meeting Announcement Read by Chairman

I. Welcome & Introductions

II. Approval of Agenda
Motion to approve agenda as presented (Fentress/Deen).  Unanimous approval.

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes
Motion to approve minutes as presented. (Fentress/Smith).  Unanimous approval.

IV. Financial Activity
a. Fund Balance – General Fund – Jeff Carlson reviewed financial reports from FY 2017-18 and 2018-19 with the Board, explaining the fund balance, income vs. expenses and the profit/loss reports.  Following discussion and questions, a better understanding of the financials was achieved for the Board.
b. Overview & Approval of Financial Reports – December 2018 – Bishop reviewed the bank statements for December with the Board.  Questions regarding ACH payments were answered.
c. Overview & Approval of Financial Reports – January 2019 – Bishop presented the bank statements and reports for January.  Motion to approve December & January financial reports (Causey/Deen). Unanimous approval. Kirouac suggested a new CD be purchased for some of the excess funds in the General Fund Account. Bishop requested to wait until the new Director of OWAP is named. All agreed to request.

V. Agency Partner Updates
a. NRCS – C. Torres was not present to give a report. K. Nickerson reported she has worked with Torres on a few projects they are completing as a partnership.
b. FDACS – K. Nickerson reported Governor submitted the same budget as last year.  If the House and Senate approve it OAWP should have the same budget as last fiscal year.   The new Commissioner of Ag & Consumer Services has not named a new Director for OAWP yet, so there are a lot of unknowns throughout the department.
c. MIL – Bishop reported since the creation of the MIL in 2014 the following figures. Total number of acres evaluated – 29,428.52; Potential Water Savings of million gallons per year is 3586.64 million; Actual Water Savings of million gallons per year is 308.97 million ( actual water savings is calculated per the follow- up evaluation vs. the initial ).    To date the MIL is on schedule to complete required work in 3rd Qtr.
d. Extension – L.Hurner was not in attendance, no report.
e. HCBCC – J. Brooks was not in attendance, no report.

VI. Old Business
a. Website – ADA Compliance & Maintenance – Bishop explained the challenging task of the website re-build.  This task was by outside company hired by AFCD to at no cost to HSWCD. HSWCD’s new website is now ADA compliant. Bishop & Royce explained a group of attorneys from another county in the state is filing suits against government websites they have found to be non-compliant ADA. Bishop presented the proposal for maintenance of our website by Get Fish Slapped for a rate of $125.00 per month. Motion made to approve a website maintenance contract with Get Fish Slapped as presented ( Fentress/Causey)  Unanimous approval.
b. PSWCD – Bishop updated the Board on the status of re-organization of the PSWCD. The PSWCD Chairman, Joe Garrison, has a business whose secretary will be assisting the district with their financial work, board minutes, etc.   This arrangement was approved by FDACS Contract Manager.  No changes in our agreement with them at this time, nor is FDACS-OAWP considering entering into a cost-share contract with them.  PSWCD is past due in making payments to HSWCD for Dec. & Jan. invoices.  Bishop will contact their chairman to seek payment.
c. AFCD  – Bishop announced the Annual Meeting dates of July 11-13, 2019 at the Ocala Hilton.  Registration has not opened up, but will soon.

VIII. New Business
a. Sun Trust Property – Bishop explained her inquiries with County & City of Sebring Administrative regarding the future use of the SunTrust property where the mass shooting took place on Jan. 23, 2019 when 5 people were murdered. Bishop proposed HSWCD be supportive and possibly provide some funding to construct a reflective park with Florida Friendly Landscaping for the community.   SunTrust has emptied the building, officially closed banking services on the property, have applied for a demolition permit and is interested in donating the vacant property to the City. Bishop’s idea is for HSWCD to potentially provide a local match for a grant if needed and to assist in constructing a low water use park.  Fentress asked how that would relate to the mission of HSWCD.  Following discussion regarding Florida Friendly Landscaping, potential of installing education placards in the park, a weather station, etc. would directly tie to the District’s mission.  Bishop was directed to continue exploring the concept with no formal obligation at this point.
b. Education Grants – Fentress reviewed an education grant application packet from a SWCD in Georgia. Board discussed the potential of implementation of a similar   application for the special projects HSWCD considers for funding. Bishop will contact the GA District to get some details and report back to the Board next month.
c. LP Elementary Sign – Fentress reminded the Board the excess funds contributed to LP Elementary for the garden were being used for the fence sign at the school  She will explain this to the new school principal and once funds are spent the sign will not be renewed.
d. County Storage/ Mylar Maps – Bishop reported the County is closing their climate controlled storage room so all the NRCS historical files were brought back to our office for purging and storage.   Bishop explained options for the mylar maps. The consensus was to have them digitized and then discard the mylar maps.  The County Engineer can make use of the maps once digitized.

IX. Executive Director’s Report
A request from a student for an internship was shared and Bishop will reply with some options for her since HSWCD is unable to fulfill the request.
In January Bishop & R. Royce taught Ag Day to the Leadership Highlands Class.
Congressman G. Stubee has yet to make a decision regarding the adjacent office to HSWCD, but Bishop will be sure the County knows we would like some extra space should they not renew the lease.
The Sebring Firemen requested Ag Venture to set up a few of the stations at the County Fair, Bishop reported the participation was poor.
Since HSWCD employees are members of the County Insurance Plan Bishop attends all the insurance committee meetings and is a part of the annual Wellness Fair.  The Fair will be April 23 & 24 this year and all employees are required to attend or pay a higher premium.

X.Citizens Not on the Agenda

XI. Supervisor Comments
Deen – None
Fentress – Suggested a Weather STEM system could possibly be a addition to the potential Florida Friendly park on the SunTrust property.
Kirouac – Reported at a recent meeting he heard the new Commissioner of Agriculture speak and was able to introduce himself to her. When he he asked her if she plans to continue the BMP program she replied yes. She also led him to believe she would be announcing the new Director of OAWP any day and still has not.
Causey Shared a conversation he had with Chuck Crews, a Farm Credit staff member, regarding how they value land in a WRP conservation easement. He suggested we invite Mr. Crews to present this information at the next Board meeting.  R. Royce advised to confirm it is a Farm Credit policy/procedure. Causey reported the frustration with the state block grant program and WHIP.  Discussion regarding both programs took place.  It was agreed it would not be beneficial for HSWCD to host a producer meeting regarding these programs due to the constant changes and each applicant is unique to their particular business.
Smith – None

Meeting Adjourned 5:08 P.M.