Board of Supervisors Meeting Minutes
Meeting Date: 5/14/2019
Meeting Location: Bert Harris Agricultural Center-Room 3
FINAL – Approved 6/25/2019
Recorded by: Susie Bishop
For Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District:
Scott Kirouac, Chairman
Pamela Fentress, Supervisor
Steve Smith, Supervisor
Susie Bishop, Executive Director
Jacob Miller, MIL Manager
Dakota McCullers, BMP Technician
Earl Thomas, BMP Technician
Carlos Torres, USDA-NRCS
Brett Mitchell, USDA-NRCS
Meeting Scheduled Start: 1:00 P.M. Call to Order: @ 1:07 P.M.
Public Meeting Announcement Read by Chairman
I. Welcome & Introductions
II. Approval of Agenda
Chairman Kirouac presented agenda and asked for approval.
Motion to approve agenda as presented (Fentress/Smith). Unanimous approval.
Special Presentation: Scarlett Jackson, Executive Director of Florida FFA Foundation presented programs managed by the State organization, asking for financial support for programs/awards related to Agriculture and Natural Resources. Motion made to approve sponsoring the State Environment & Natural Resource Awards for $600.00 (Fentress/Smith). Unanimous approval.
III. Approval of Meeting Minutes – April 16, 2019
Motion to approve minutes as presented. (Fentress/Smith). Unanimous approval.
IV. Financial Activity
Overview & Approval of Financial Reports – March 2018 – Bishop reviewed the bank statements & financial reports for March. Motion made to approve March financial reports as presented (Smith/Fentress). Unanimous approval.
V. Agency Partner Updates
a. NRCS – C. Torres introduced summer student intern, Brett Mitchell. Torres stated NRCS is still waiting on the rules and budget of the new Farm Bill of 2019. Applications for EQIP are being accepted and they are encouraging farmers to be sure they update their FSA forms/records annually. The annual Civil Rights Policy was presented.
b. FDACS – Bishop reported unofficially the state budget was not favorable to Ag but we should expect approximately the same funding for BMP as in this year. The continuation of CRISP is unknown. The new OAWP Director will be at the meeting this week in Gainesville. Bishop hopes to get some answers to many questions during the state wide meeting. Discussion regarding new crops took place and Kirouac shared the Hemp Bill will soon be on the Governor’s desk to be signed. The bill includes the requirement of a Hemp Committee of citizens, one seat being recommended by Florida Farm Bureau President. Kirouac has asked the President to consider him for the Farm Bureau seat. Motion was made for HSWCD to submit a letter endorsing the recommendation of Kirouac for the seat (Fentress/Smith). Unanimous approval. Bishop will prepare and submit the said letter.
c. MIL – J. Miller reported the MIL is on task to have all required evaluations completed on schedule and evaluations of the CRISP projects will be wrapping up soon too.
d. Extension – L. Hurner was not in attendance, no report
e. HCBCC – J. Brooks was not in attendance, no report.
VI. Old Business
a. County Storage/Mylar Maps – Bishop updated the Board on the future of mylar maps. Having met with Archbold she reported they definitely want the collection for permanent historical records and are willing to digitize them. The County Engineer has requested only 4 of the 9 years of maps to digitize and Archbold will give us a quote for that work. The rough estimate was $3,600.00 and an accurate estimate will be provided soon. The District will have to release ownership to Archbold. Archbold is not a government entity, so they requested the District agree to not require them to provide maps upon every request received. Motion made for Bishop to discuss costs of digitizing the requested years for the County, determine the accessibility of the maps for the citizens and proceed with donating the collection to Archbold. The County would like the maps removed from their storage facility by the end of May.
b. Sentinel Landscape/Easement Expo – Bishop distributed the event flyer and explained the line-up of presenters confirmed has developed into a very good agenda.
c. NRCS State Technical Committee – Bishop reported she and C. Torres have met to prepare the report she will present to NRCS on May 21 in Gainesville. Torres expressed his appreciation to the Board for supporting Bishop’s participation in this annual meeting because the suggestions from Highlands County have always been accepted.
VII. New Business
a. FDACS BMP Technician Contract – Kirouac and Bishop reported the percent of the reimbursement of the Executive Director will decrease to 30% in the next contract year, followed by 20% and then 10% in the next two contract years. Bishop explained the department feels the level of admin. fees HSWCD receives is enough to assist with the expenses of the ED position. Bishop explained recent discussions she has had regarding salaries of the MIL Manager and BMP Technician. A formal request for merit increases has been submitted for McCullers and Miller with no response yet.
VIII. Executive Director’s Report
– Bishop reminded Supervisors to file their financial disclosure reports in June.
– The audit on site work has been completed and audit will be presented at the June meeting.
– The annual mitigation property inspection in Avon Park will take place on May 23. C. Torres will assist Bishop with the inspection.
IX.Citizens Not on the Agenda – None
X. Supervisor Comments
Fentress – Reported LPE will keep sign on fence at school until space is needed at no charge to the District. The weather station and garden continue to be used and appreciated by teaching staff.
Fentress presented a request for funding from LPMS – FFA Chapter for greenhouse repairs and raised gardening beds. The amount needed is estimated at $ 350.00. Kirouac asked Fentress to instruct LPMS to forward the request to him and he will take it to the FNGLA Board. He feels confident it will be approved by FNGLA and funded fully. The expenses are for materials only, the work will be completed by parents/volunteers. Smith – None
Kirouac – None
Meeting Adjourned 2:49 P.M.