Board of Supervisors Meeting Minutes
Meeting Date: 8/20/2019
Meeting Location: Bert Harris Agricultural Center-Room 3
FINAL – Approved 9/17/2019
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, HCBCC, N
Susie Bishop, Executive Director, Highlands Soil & Water, Y
Jacob Miller, MIL Manager, Highlands Soil & Water, N
Dakota McCullens, BMP Tech, Highlands Soil & Water, N
Earl Thomas, BMP Tech, Highlands Soil & Water, Y
Carlos Torres, District Cons., USDA-NRCS, N
Sierra Ayers, Soil Cons., USDA-NRCS, N
Laurie Hurner, Extension CED, Highlands Co. Extension, Y
Chad Allison, Project Manager, CFRPC, Y
Rosalind Rowe, Envi. Specialist, Florida Park Service, Y
Meeting Scheduled Start: 3:00 P.m. Call to Order: @ 3:01 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 (Causey/Deen). Unanimous approval.
Special Presentation: Update on Little Charlie Bowlegs Creek/Highlands Hammock State Park was presented by Rosalind Rowe regarding an application for a CFI with SWFWMD to conduct a hydrology study on the creek and its condition which affects the preservation of habitat and species in the park. The study is projected to last 3 years and estimated to cost $ 561,000.00. Rowe asked the HSWCD to provide funding for 25% of 2/3 of the cost of the project over the 3 years for a total of $ 93,500.00. She is also pursuing the REDI status of the county to assist in the costs. Bishop was directed to meet with the County Engineer to discuss the study and why the County denied the ask for contribution of some funding per Rowe’s requests. Rowe did confirm the HSWCD would not be asked to do any management of the study or future projects related to the study.
Earl Thomas, BMP Technician announced to the Board his resignation to accept a new position. His last day will be August 29, 2019. Thomas was thanked for his service to the organization and the Agriculturalists.
III. Approval of Meeting Minutes – June 25, 2019
Motion to approve minutes as presented. (Fentress/Causey). Unanimous approval.
IV. Financial Activity
Overview & Approval of Financial Reports – June & July 2019 – Bishop reviewed the bank statements & financial reports for June & July, explaining the large volume of work completed during these two months.. Motion made to approve financial reports as presented (Causey/Deen). Unanimous approval. ?
V. Agency Partner Updates
a. NRCS – No report
b. FDACS – Bishop reported cost share quotes are beginning to be approved but the new department Director is reviewing the entire cost share program for improvements procedures and processes. Many changes are anticipated. The existing contracts FCO and BMP-AgNPS are continuing at the same amount with no increases expected. Nickerson’s vacant position has not been posted yet.
c. MIL – Bishop reported MIL Manager is at a 2 day training in South Florida.
d. HCBCC – No report
VI. Old Business
VII. New Business
Chairman Kirouac moved Item c to a position.
a. Update on Sentinel Landscape – C. Allison updated the board on the work of the Sentinel Landscape explaining easements in review and other programs being offered to landowners. He also expressed his appreciation for the sponsorship of the Land Expo. Even thought the attendance could have been higher he said the comments have been very positive about the entire event.
b. Meeting with Commissioner Fried – Bishop shared an invitation she received to participate in a meeting on August 5 with Commissioner of Ag, Niki Fried. The meeting was organized by AFCD per a request by the officers to introduce themselves and discuss the partnership between FDACS and SWCD. Bishop felt the trip was well worth her time and additional meetings were held with the new OAWP Director Petit.
c. FDACS-OAWP – Stakeholder Meeting – Aug. 28, 2019 – Bishop shared the extensive agenda for this upcoming meeting and stated she will attend as representative for HSWCD and report back to the Board.
d. Polk SWCD – MOU Renewal – Bishop & Kirouac discussed the topic of continuing participant of Drew Pitts on the County group insurance plan HSWCD is a member of. Motion made to leave the agreement as presented with updated dates and no other changes (Fentress/Causey). Unanimous approval.
e. AFCD Annual Meeting Report – Kirouac & Bishop reported on the Annual Meeting sessions.
f. FDACS BMP Technicians – Bishop shared more details about resignations of Earl Thomas and asked Supervisors to refer any potential replacements to the office. The desire will be to fill the position as quickly as possible.
g. Community Garden – Bishop reported her husband has taken on keeping the garden in shape for the next growing season due the work load of Bishop. Soon a press release will be issued recruiting new gardeners to join the group of gardeners we still have.
VIII. Executive Director’s Report
– Bishop shared the news that Clegg Hooks was inducted into the NACD-Southeast Region Hall of Fame and will send the video link to the Supervisors.
– A letter of appreciation from Ag Venture for the annual sponsorship was shared.
IX. Citizens Not on the Agenda – None
X. Supervisor Comments
Fentress – None
Deen – None
Smith – None
Causey – Concerns over spending a large sum of money on a study were shared with extensive discussion among the Board on this topic.
Causey asked if anything will be done for E. Thomas leaving. Bishop explained Thomas requested nothing be done, but noted the office staff will do a lunch with him next week. Board agreed for Bishop to purchase a small token of appreciation for his years of service.
Meeting Adjourned 5:05 P.M.
Post Meeting Action Items
|Purchase a gift for E. Thomas||S. Bishop||Aug. 27, 2019|
|Complete close out of all ending contracts||S. Bishop/FDACS||Aug. 26, 2019|
|Meet with County Engineer regarding State Park Study||S. Bishop||Sept. 15, 2019|
|Attend FDACS-OAWP Stakeholder Meeting||S. Bishop||Aug. 28, 2019|
|Execute the Polk SWCD MOU Renewal||S. Bishop & S. Kirouac||Aug. 26, 2019|
|Begin search for BMP Tech. Replacement||S. Bishop||Ongoing until filled|
|Prepare a draft of an Educational Grant application packet||S. Bishop|
|Work with County and City of Sebring regarding the future of the SunTrust property where shooting tragedy occurred||S. Bishop||Currently ongoing|
|Continuance of managing of FDACS Contracts/Staff||S. Bishop||On Going|