Meeting Date: 5/19/2020

Meeting Location: GoTo Meeting due to COVID-19
FINAL – Approved June 16, 2020
Recorded by: Susie Bishop


I. Welcome & Introductions
Scott Kirouac, Chairman, Highlands Soil & Water
Dr. John Causey, Vice-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
Jacob Miller, MIL Manager, Highlands Soil & Water
Dakota McCullers, BMP Tech, Highlands Soil & Water
Kayla Nickerson, BMP Tech, Highlands Soil & Water
Carlos Torres, District Cons., USDA-NRCS
Ray Royce, Executive Director, Heartland Ag Coalition
Chad Allison, Project Manager, CFRPC

II. Approval of Agenda
Motion to approve agenda as presented with the addition of partner agency reports following Item IV (Causey/Fentress) Unanimous approval.

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes –April 21, 2020
a. Motion to approve minutes as presented. (Fentress/Deen). Unanimous approval.

IV. Financial Activity
a. Overview & Approval of Financial Reports – April 2020 – Bishop reviewed the bank statements and financial reports giving explanation to several questions. Receiving no additional questions, motion made to approve financial reports as presented (Fentress/Causey). Unanimous approval.

V. Agency Partner Updates (not on agenda, partners present were offered time to give updates)
– C. Torres reported their office has been operating during the COVID shut down performing farm visits, completing check outs and payments. Applications for the 2020-21 year are being taken. A new state conversationalist has been selected and will be starting June 8 coming from Maine. The annual civil rights presentation will be presented at a Board meeting of HSWCD soon.
b. CFRPC – C. Allison reported the Sentinel Landscape partnership event scheduled for today was cancelled due to COVID but The Nature  Conservancy released a well-done media blitz in place of the event. A documentary explaining the Sentinel project partnerships has been released to featuring Rafter T Ranch.
c. HAC – R. Royce reported a meeting of the SFWMD and the highlights of the meeting were that agricultural producers better get enrolled in the BMP program so they will be in compliance. He also said some feel the SFWMD is exceeding some of their authority in these efforts.
d. HCBCC – J. Brooks reported an update on COVID outbreak with data showing a flattening of the curve, even with more testing taking place in the county. The county is gradually opening up and the county will be creating a plan regarding vacation rentals. This plan has to be submitted to the Governor for review. The garbage service contract terms are being reviewed due to loss of funds in the recycling program. Several county offices remain closed but plans are to open up to normal operating hours by June 1.

VI. Old Business
a. COVID-19 Working Conditions – Bishop reported most everyone is working back in the office full time now with the option to return to telework if needed.
b. Office Space & Staffing – Bishop confirmed the District will have the use of the Congressman’s office space when they vacate it and the plan is to make this into a conference room for meetings with the producers and the Board meetings. Furniture has been purchased for additional staff anticipated to be based in this office. Dakota McCullers has returned as a BMP Technician and is assuming the work load of Wyatt Johnson.
c. Filings & Elections – Bishop reminded the Supervisors up for re election, (D. Deen, J. Causey & S. Smith), to complete their paperwork by deadline of June 12 at Noon. The Supervisor of Elections office will accept election forms beginning May 26, by appointment.
d. Insurance Policies – Having presented a summary of all the insurance policies to the Board, Bishop asked if there were any further questions or concerns over the current coverage amounts of the policies. No concerns were expressed so no changes in the insurance policies will be made.

VII. New Business
a. Supervisors/Officers – Bishop shared the selection of officers for the Board will be done in January, after the November election.

Kirouac discussed the scholarship funds HSWCD issued to SFSC, $ 8,000.00, explaining that none of the funds have been awarded to students nor can SFSC tell Bishop where the funds are. Motion made to have Bishop continue to seek evidence of where the $ 8,000.00 is in their records, and ask for a refund of these monies to HSWCD since our scholarship criteria doesn’t qualify under their programs offered (Causey/Deen). Unanimous approval.

VIII. Executive Director’s Report
Bishop reported participation in several FDACS-OAWP GoTo meetings to discuss the future of the programs, contracts and funding. She has completed detailed review of the contract language and will be discussing them with Audrey at OSWCD as well as the management team in Tallahassee. There are lots of changes and financial consequences if deliverables are not met.
b. In regards to the new contracts Bishop will be working on proposed budgets to present to the contract writer.
c. Staff is pushing producers hard to complete cost share projects, there are numerous ones not finished that have to meet a June 30 deadline.
d. The audit for fiscal year 2018-19 is in process with the onsite portion
scheduled for May 21. A lot of information has been requested for review
this year.
e. The MIL Technician position being advertised still has had no applicants.

XI. Supervisor Comments
Fentress – None
Deen – None
Causey – None
Smith – None
Kirouac – Asked the Board to begin thinking of some candidates to consider to be appointed to his seat should he win the November election for County Commissioner. Since it won’t be the end of his term this person would be appointed by the Board to finish the term. And, if elected, Kirouac expressed his desire to serve as the liaison to the HSWCD.

If the county buildings are not opened back up for use by the June Board
meeting Kirouac suggested the meeting could be held in the Farm Bureau
conference room if everyone is comfortable with being together.

Meeting Adjourned 4:14 P.M.