Board of Supervisors Meeting Minutes
Meeting Date: 09/17/2019
Meeting Location: Bert Harris Agricultural Center-Room 3
FINAL – Approved 10/15/2019
Recorded by: Susie Bishop
For Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District:
Scott Kirouac, Chairman
Doug Deen, Secretary/Treasurer
Pamela Fentress, Supervisor
Steve Smith, Supervisor
Commissioner Jim Brooks, HCBCC Liaison
Susie Bishop, Executive Director
For Partner Agencies:
Carlos Torres, USDA-NRCS
Chad Allison – CFRPC
Meeting Scheduled Start: 3:00 P.m. Call to Order: @ 3:01P.M.
Public Meeting Announcement Read by Chairman
II. Approval of Agenda
Chairman Kirouac presented agenda and asked for approval.
Motion to approve agenda as presented (Causey/Smith). Unanimous approval.
III. Approval of Meeting Minutes – August 20, 2019
Motion to approve minutes as presented. (Fentress/Causey). Unanimous approval.
IV. Financial Activity
Overview & Approval of Financial Reports – August 2019– Bishop reviewed the bank statements & financial reports for August, including a few of the budget amendments that will come before the board next month. Motion made to approve financial reports as presented (Fentress/Causey). Unanimous approval.
Review & Approval of FY 2019-2020 General Fund Budget – Bishop presented a preliminary budget for FY 2019-2020 but explained she did not have confirmation from FDACS regarding any additional funds that could be expected. Motion made to continue budget of FY 2018-2019 until the October Board meeting at which time the FY 2019-2020 budget will be presented and voted on (Deen/Causey). Unanimous approval.
V. Agency Partner Updates
a. NRCS – C. Torres reported 14 contracts processed totaling about 12,347 acres and approximately $800,000.00 through Conservation Stewardship Program and EQIP. Applications for 2020 are being accepted. The EWP projects on Lake Josephine Creek and Jackson Creek repairs have been extended to November 2019. If the area is hit by a hurricane EWP funds will be made available.
b. FDACS – Bishop reported no real changes in contracts, so at this point there are no additional funds being added to the contracts. K. Nickerson’s position is not being advertised yet.
c. MIL – Bishop reported MIL Manager is on track to meet all of his deliverables.
d. Extension – Hurner reported the 4-H program is partnering with the SHS – FFA Chapter to start a SHS 4-H club which will offer new opportunities for all. Hurner will be attending a Sustainable Ag Conference in January where she hopes to acquire some new tools and solutions for sustaining agriculture. Recently, the 4-H, Livestock and Extension agent all received awards on the National Level.
e. HCBCC – Brooks reported the final budget hearing is tonight at 5:30 p.m. Most of the FEMA funds from Hurricane Irma have been received. The parkway is progressing with the second round to be completed soon. Phase I of the IMWMD project is almost complete and phase 3 to begin soon.
d. AFCD – Bishop shared a draft agenda for the Area 4 Workshop, which will be held at the Bert Harris Center on Oct. 24. A flyer announcing the 2020 NACD Annual Meeting was distributed.
VI. Old Business
VII. New Business Chairman
a. Highlands Co. Ag Venture – Nov. 12 -14 – Bishop shared the dates for the 2019 county-wide event.
b. Lake Okeechobee Deviation – S. Kirouac discussed with the Board the request of support of a position on the levels of Lake per a request from Gary Ritter and Florida Farm Bureau. Motion made to add HSWCD to the letter was made (Fentress/Deen). Unanimous approval.
VIII. Executive Director’s Report
a. Bishop confirmed the Board received the email she forwarded from Rosalind Rowe concerning the Charlie Bowlegs Creek Study.
b. Reported she attended the annual FDACS-OAWP Stakeholders meeting. Bishop stated it was a different format and felt it was not as beneficial as in past years.
c. The Polk SWCD and HSWCD MOU has been officially renewed securing the employment of D. Pitts as a BMP Technician in Polk County.
d. With the resignation of K. Nickerson, E. Thomas and B. Griffin, a few of the technicians, Bishop and OAWP management staff held a meeting to distribute producers whom the three worked with to the technicians.
e. With Fall gardening time approaching Bishop and an inmate work team will be tilling the plots on Tuesday, September 24.
IX. Citizens Not on the Agenda
Allison with CFRPC distributed 2019 Sentinel Landscapes Accomplishments Report. He shared he is working closely with Rural & Family Lands Program to close on the SY Hartt easement of 2300 acres. It should close by the end of 2019. There will be 2 new easements in Highlands County in 2020 at approximately 1000 acres each. There will also be a closing soon on another Rafter T Ranch easement.
X. Supervisor Comments
Fentress – Announced the Lake Placid Community Garden project HSWCD supported with funds was awarded a Golden Globe Award from FDACS recently. She also shared there are changes happening in the leadership of AFCD but she hasn’t gotten any answers as to why. Andy Jackson, the newly elected President, resigned and Wilbur Dean is seeking a replacement to his Secretary/Treasurer position due to time constraints with his employment as a County Administrator.
Deen – None
Smith – None
Causey – None
Kirouac – None
Meeting Adjourned 4:29 P.M.