Brevard Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors
Business Meeting Minutes
The Brevard Soil and Water Conservation District met in regular public session on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, at 4:00 p.m., in the UF/IFAS auditorium, UF/IFAS Extension Brevard County, 3695 Lake Drive, Cocoa, FL.
The meeting was called to order by the Chairman, Bud Crisafulli, at 4:00 p.m. Video and audio of the entire meeting was provided for public viewing through the UF/IFAS Extension ZOOM web-based video conferencing and recording system and through Facebook Live.
Board members present: Bud Crisafulli, Chairman, Supervisor Group 5
Adam Tritt, Co-Chairman, Supervisor Group 1
Jim Sloan, Secretary, Supervisor Group 2
Jonathan Schuman, Treasurer, Supervisor Group 4
Staff members present: Mike Engelgau, BSWCD Engineering Technician VI
Joe Walter, Agriculture Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Brevard
Visitors and Presenters: John Dowd, Partner, Smart Terra Care, LLC ; Earth Care Products, Inc.
Brian Zielinski, USDA/NRCS Conservationist – Brevard & Seminole Co. – was
in attendance through ZOOM audio conferencing service.
Documents as presented by the Staff, Presenters and Supervisors for review, approval and/or information of the Board:
USDA NRCS – Cocoa Service Center, District Conservationist Report, Brevard SWCD Meeting August 11, 2021. Natural Resources Conservation Service Updates.
USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2017 CENSUS of Agriculture – County Profile for Brevard County Florida.
Brochure with 2 photographs, for Smart Terra Care, LLC. & Earth Care Products, Inc. – Advancing the science of Thermal-treatment with innovative technology.
USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal Predevelopment Planning Grants with notes for funding a feasibility study covering treatment pond retrofit, infrastructure development, and soil & water testing recommendations within the Scottsmoor area.
Reported for Public Records –
There were no documents presented for the public record by the supervisors.
A PowerPoint presentation was given by John Dowd on the history of Earth Care Products, Inc Z8 Rotary Dryer Systems and his Smart Terra Care, LLC biomass thermal-treatment systems. The two systems have been combined into an integrated dryer-combustion system using the ACTOF Biochar CO2 pathway process. The Biochar processor is a thermal-treatment system of biomass for transforming organic wastes into value-added engineered biomaterials. The Biochar system is being proposed as a way to process the Brevard County and regional wastewater treatment facilities’ residual biosolids into useful fertilizer grade products with innovative technology. A small sample bag of the Biochar product was delivered to each supervisor at the board meeting for their personal testing and evaluation.
The discussion, following John Dowd’s presentation, provided a second solution for one of our main business goals of the past 2 ½ years. That goal was the search for a change to the practice of permitting untreated wastewater biosolids to be placed on agricultural land. The Brevard District supervisors were supportive of the Biochar thermal-treatment system as a technology and as an engineered product that can transform biosolids, food waste and biomass into valuable products. Contact information for the Brevard County Natural Resources Management Department was provided to John Dowd.
Review and Approval of the Current Treasurer’s Report.
The board treasurer, Jonathan Schuman, provided the treasurer’s report for July 1 to July 31, 2021 to the board, with comment the dollar figure 25,917.85 was an error and should not be included in the approved report. He reported that there were neither deposits nor withdrawals to the Brevard SWCD account during the month of July 2021.
The motion to approve the July 1, 2021, to July 31, 2021, Treasurer’s Report by Jim Sloan was seconded by Adam Tritt. The motion passed without amendment by unanimous vote of the supervisors.
Review and Approval of Minutes for prior Board of Supervisors meeting.
The board secretary, James Sloan, presented the business meeting minutes for the regular public session held on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. He reported that there were no premeeting review changes requested by the supervisors, so the minutes are presented without corrections or changes.
The motion to approve the July 14, 2021, Board of Supervisors’ Business Meeting Minutes by Jonathan Schuman was seconded by Adam Tritt. The motion passed without amendment by unanimous vote of the supervisors.
No old business was discussed.
The USDA/NRCS District Conservationist, Brian Zielinski was not present at the meeting, so Mike Engelgau provided the USDA NRCs – Cocoa Service Center, District Conservationist Report, with Natural Resources Conservation Service August 11th 2021 Updates for review by the Board of Supervisors. Brian joined the meeting by an audio connection and provided color commentary on the New Business section of the District Conservationist Report. He highlighted the FY 2022 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) with report that two conservation plans to support applications for grant-rollover funding have been received from Brevard County producers. Mike also provided the board of supervisors the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2017 CENSUS of Agriculture – County Profile for Brevard County Florida as historical information on the total and per- farm overview for 2017, as well as the change since year 2012.
Mike Engelgau reported completion of renewal processing for 16 of 29 stormwater exemptions within Brevard County. The deadline for completion of visitations is September 10th, 2021.
Kaylee Pate will be working as a Liaison for NRCS to plan the next round of Local Working Group Meetings. The expectation is to have a date and location locked in by Thursday, August 19 with the meetings being held between October 1- November 30. She requested that the board schedule a time to speak with her regarding the planning for our next LWG meeting. Brian Zielinski informed Kaylee Pate that he would be the point of contact for scheduling the next LWG meeting. Agreement was reached on scheduling the next LWG meeting immediately following the November 10th board meeting adjournment. The next LWG will use the same process and planning procedures developed for the first LWG meeting in Brevard County.
Jonathan Schuman asked for board concurrence on his proposed data gathering visit to the Titusville water treatment plant and subsequent reporting on their process to the board supervisors. Verbal approval and concurrence for his project was given by all supervisors present at the meeting.
Jim Sloan presented copies of the USDA online document outlining procedures for USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal Predevelopment Planning Grants. The document was annotated with his notes on how the Scottsmoor area pond retrofit, infrastructure development, and soil & water testing recommendations could be validated by contracting a feasibility study thru the Brevard S&WC District and Brevard County NRM Department. That feasibility study and its cost report would be jointly funded by a USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal Predevelopment Planning Grant to Brevard District and County local government agencies. That feasibility study would also include the development of a Scottsmoor community public water system consisting of deep wells, water treatment facility, storage, and distribution mains to village and rural residential lots. Supervisor Sloan is obtaining program resources (includes forms needed, guidance, certifications, etc) from the Champions Gate FL Area Office, and has verified the availability of the program with the State Director’s office in Gainesville FL. Further information on the USDA Rural Development program will be presented at the September 8th district board meeting.
Upon consensus of the Board, the meeting was adjourned by the Chairman at 6:07 PM on 8/11/2021.
Prepared for board review and approval by,
Supervisor, Group 2