Board of Supervisors Meeting Minutes
Meeting Date: 12/18/2018

Meeting Location:  Bert Harris Agricultural Center – Room 3
Sebring, FL
FINAL – Approved 1/8/2019
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 Y
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 Y
Sierra Ayers Soil Cons. USDA-NRCS N
Laurie Hurner Extension CED Highlands Co. Extension N

Meeting Scheduled Start: 3:00 P.m.     Call to Order: @ 3:02 P.M.
Public Meeting Announcement Read by Chairman

I. Welcome & Introductions

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

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes
a. Board of Supervisors Meeting Minutes – November 20, 2018 – Motion made to approve minutes as presented (Fentress/Causey). Unanimous approval.

IV. Financial Activity
a. November 2018 – Bishop presented the bank reconciliations and financial reports for November 2018. Motion made to approve the bank reconciliations and financial reports as presented, (Causey/Smith).  Unanimous approval.
Bishop read a narrative to the Board from Auditor John Davis and CPA Jeff Carlson explaining the Fund Balance and how the carry forward of that will affect the P n L. Supervisors asked for further detail as to actual income vs. actual expenses. Bishop will continue work to get the information as requested.

V. Partner Agencies
a. NRCS – C. Torres reported deadline of Dec. 21 for program applications. The new Farm Bill passed and is awaiting the signature of the President. Engineering work of the projects is behind, with a waiting list.  The engineer for the Highlands Co. office, Keijo, has accepted a position with the WRP team and will be leaving his current position the first week in January. Torres will no longer be covering offices in Lee and Collier counties on January 7, 2019.
. FDACS – K. Nickerson reported the CRISP projects are being completed in a timely manner.  The department is in a state of unknowns waiting on the newly elected Commissioner of Ag to hire the new department director and begin her new position. The OAWP submitted the same budget as last year.
c. MIL – The MIL has completed all the required evaluations for this quarter and has one more re-evaluation to complete, which will be finished this week.
. Extension – L. Hurner was not in attendance, no report. Kirouac reported on the Farm Safety workshop he attended today, a successful training.
. HCBCC – J. Brooks – Commissioner Brooks reported he will continue as our liaison. The north end of the parkway is about 75% completed with its first layer of asphalt. The 90 degree turn will be changed to a roundabout and the final phase of the parkway should begin construction soon.

VI. Old Business

VII. New Business
a. Polk SWCD – Kirouac & Bishop updated the Board on conversations with PSWCD Supervisor Garrison, expressing concerns and items to be addressed. The consensus of the Board was to monitor the requests from them carefully with Bishop not contributing too much time to fulfilling all of their requests. Garrison is arranging for a meeting with the new Ag Commissioner in Tallahassee, asking Kirouac to attend.  Board agreed Kirouac should attend, but only if Bishop can attend too. As things progress Bishop will continue to update the Board.
b. BMP Technicians/MIL Manager Salaries – Bishop explained the decision from FDACS-OAWP that no merit or cost of living increases will be awarded to the staff employed under a contract with HSWCD.  In effort to reward staff who has performed at an excellent and above average level, Bishop presented proposed merit bonuses for Board discussion and approval.  Auditor was consulted as to the ability for HSWCD to award bonuses and he gave full approval as long as the Board understands they will not be reimbursed via the FDACS-OAWP contract.  Per lengthy discussion and several proposals, final motion was made to issue merit bonuses based on evaluations/performance as follows:  Earl Thomas-4% Merit increase based on a 32 hour work week equaling a total of $ 1,536.00; Dakota McCullers – $3,500.00 and 5 additional days of leave; Jacob Miller – $500.00 and 5 additional days of leave.  The additional leave is granted for the fiscal year 2018-19 only. (Smith/Causey)  Unanimous Approval.
Bishop will make an effort to have salary increases included in the next Technician and MIL Contract budgets.  The salaries paid throughout the state are not aligned or comparable on education, experience, or performance, so Bishop will seek the opportunity to have more conversations with OAWP regarding the salaries structure.

VIII. Executive Director’s Report
Bishop has scheduled Clerk of Courts Bob Germaine to conduct the Oath of Offices at the January 8, 2019 meeting.
The Annual Reports have been presented to the County Commissioners and County Administrator with one remaining to be completed in January.
Bishop shared with the County Administrator and the Commissioners the possibility of HSWCD partnering with the County on any future CFI projects they are awarded by Southwest WMD – strictly in a financial capacity only.
The Central Florida Regional Planning Council will be meeting on January 7 with Bishop to discuss potential involvement of HSWCD with the large easement/sound barrier projects at the Dept. of Defense Air Force Range in Avon Park. There is potential for HSWCD to be a fiscal agent for the easements.

IX. Citizens Not on the Agenda

X. Supervisor Comments
S. Kirouac – Kirouac reported the success of the 2018 Ag Angels program. A total of $78,230.00 was collected to assist children in Highlands and Hardee Counties.
Fentress – No Comments
S. Smith  Asked Kirouac about more detail on the operation of Ag Angels program. Stories and processes shared by Kirouac. Smith also requested copies of the emails Bishop received from PSWCD.
J. Causey
– No Comments
D. Deen No Comments

Meeting Adjourned at 4:47 p.m.