Meeting Date: 6/16/2020

Meeting Location: HSWCD Conference Room & GoTo Meeting due to COVID-19
FINAL – Approved 7/21/2020
Recorded by: Susie Bishop


I. Welcome & Introductions
Scott Kirouac, Chairman, Highlands Soil & Water
Doug Deen, Secretary/Treasurer, Highlands Soil & Water
Pamela Fentress, Supervisor, Highlands Soil & Water
Steve Smith, Supervisor, Highlands Soil & Water
Commissioner Jim Brooks, Liaison, Highlands County Board of County Commissioners
Susie Bishop, Executive Director, Highlands Soil & Water
Kayla Nickerson, BMP Tech, Highlands Soil & Water
Carlos Torres, District Cons., USDA-NRCS
Chad Allison, Project Manager, CFRPC
Kyle Green, Director, Road & Bridge – HCBCC
Gator Howerton, Engineer, HCBCC
John Davis, CPA- Auditor, Wicks, Brown, Wms., CPA

II. Approval of Agenda
Motion to approve agenda with one change. Item VII.a moved to follow Item III.a (Smith/Deen) Unanimous approval.

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes –May 19, 2020
Motion to approve minutes as presented. (Fentress/Smith). Unanimous approval.

VII.a. HCBCC Partnership Request – Bishop & Commissioner Brooks gave the history of long-term issue at Lake Lotela in Avon Park. A ditch between residential homes on Memorial Drive is causing severe erosion and sediment to flow into the Lake. The County plans to install a culvert/water diversion structure to stop the erosion and heavy amounts of sediment flowing into the lake. The materials have been purchased, the County has budgeted for the labor and pulled the construction permits. Due to water levels dewatering will need to be completed in order for the work to be done and a permit is required for the dewatering. The exact funds needed for the dewatering was not available at meeting time. Item was tabled until County staff can provide costs for the dewatering and permitting portion. Once received a special BOS meeting may be called to review and determine if HSWCD will provide some funds to this project. Fentress suggested a cap of $25,000.00 be the amount provided. Consensus was to wait and see what the figures are first.

IV. Financial Activity
a. Presentation of Audit – J. Davis with Wicks, Brown, Wms., CPA presented the FY 2018-19 Audit. A tentative draft of the audit was presented. Davis wants to meet with the CPA for HSWCD, Jeff Carlson to discuss the one finding. The finding was similar to last year’s; inaccurate journal entries primarily of advances received. Motion made to approve the audit contingent upon Auditor meeting with CPA and notification to the BOS of any significant changes in the Audit. (Smith/Deen)
b. Overview & Approval of Financial Reports – May 2020 – Bishop reviewed the bank statements and financial reports. Receiving no questions, motion made to approve financial reports as presented (Smith/Deen). Unanimous approval.

V. Agency Partner Updates
a. NRCS – C. Torres reported their office has been operating during the COVID shut down performing farm visits, completing check outs and payments but remain officially closed. The emergency watershed program will be available for this year’s storm season. There are partnerships available via this program. A food drive will take place June 1 – July 30 in the office. Apps for year 2021 are being accepted.
b. FDACS – K. Nickerson & S. Bishop gave an explanation as to the efforts of the OAWP regarding unrolled Ag properties in the BMAP region and the IV process. Senate Bill 712 still has not been signed by the Governor yet, but is predicted to be by July 1. In coming year cost share projects will be funded differently with priority given to BMAP areas with new criteria. There is no budget signed for July 1 yet.
c. MIL – Bishop informed the board of recent interviews for the MIL Technician position. No decision has been made as to who an offer will be presented to.
d. Extension – No Report
e. HCBCC – J. Brooks had left the meeting, so no report given.
f. CFRPC – Allison shared the Florida Forest Service partnered with SY Hartt and Micco Bluff ranch on more easements. The annual applications are being prepared for REPI funds. A new compatible use plan with the county for compatible development around range in the future to update the JLUS done several years ago.

VI. Old Business
a. Scholarships at SFSC – Bishop shared the response from the SFSC Foundation regarding the $ 8,000.00 donated to the scholarship program. The funds have not been awarded and remain in the account at SFSC. Following discussion a motion was made to direct Bishop to draft a letter from the Chair requesting these funds be returned to HSWCD (Smith/Deen). Unanimous approval.

VII. New Business
a. MIL Technician Interviews – Bishop stated 3 candidates have been interviewed but a decision on an offer has not been made.
b. Employee Manual Update – Bishop distributed the first draft of the employee manual Supervisors were asked to conduct a broad review of the document and notify her of any recommendations of edits or questions.

VIII. Executive Director’s Report
Bishop reported the AFCD Annual Meeting will be held in Ft. Walton Beach in September but she does not plan to attend. Supervisors can notify Bishop if they would like to attend and she will make their arrangements.
b. Bishop shared the decision of the Ag Venture Board to cancel the 2020 Ag Venture program due to risks of COVID-19.
c. Bishop shared several thank you cards with the Board.

XI. Supervisor Comments
Fentress – None
Deen – None
Causey – None
Smith – None
Kirouac – None

Meeting Adjourned 5:05 P.M.