MEETING DATE: 9/15/2020

Meeting Location: HSWCD Conf. Room & GoTo Meeting
FINAL – Approved 12/15/2020
Recorded by: Susie Bishop


I. Welcome & Introductions
Scott Kirouac Chairman Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
John Causey Vice-Chair. Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Steve Smith Supervisor Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Pam Fentress Supervisor Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
T.J. Wohl Supervisor Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Jim Brooks Commissioner Highlands Co. Bd. Of Co. Commissioners
Susie Bishop Ex. Director Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Carlos Torres Conserv. USDA-NRCS
Dawn Ritter Lakes Mgr. Highlands Co. Natural Resources Dept.
TJ Wohl Citizen Public Citizen

II. Approval of Agenda:
Motion to approve agenda (Fentress/Smith)Unanimous approval.
Presentation: Lake June in Winter- Dawn Ritter, Natural Resources-Highlands County
The report of a study completed in 2017 examining of the conditions of Lake June was distributed and reviewed in detail. The County is applying for a Cooperative Funding Grant with SWFWM and it requires a 25% local match. There are 2 BMP Projects proposed to complete to improve the total P & N in the lake. Project one – install upflow filter/baffle; project two – install floating wetland islands. Total estimated cost is $ 260,000.00. The County ask is for the 25% local match to be paid equally by HSWCD and the County. Total match needed is $ 65,000.00 over a 2 year period; $32,500 in 2021-2022 and $ 32,500 in 2022-2023. HSWCD portion would be $ 16,250.00 in 2021- 2022 and 2022-2023. Motion made to table the request to enable Board to study and review the reports in more detail. Item will return to Board on January 5 meeting date for a decision on the funding request. (Smith/Wohl). Unanimous approval.

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes November 17, 2020
a. Motion to approve minutes as presented. (Fentress/Smith). Unanimous approval.

IV. Financial Activity
a. Overview &Approval of Financial Reports – November 2020 – Bishop reviewed the bank statements and financial reports. Fentress expressed her concern over the large amount paid for a project for PAI/Ben Hill Griffin. Motion made to approve financial reports as presented (Smith/Wohl) Unanimous approval.

V. Agency Partner Updates
a. NRCS – Torres presented the proposed renewal of the Memorandum of Agreement between NRCS and HSWCD. Torres & Bishop explained the agreement is a generic agreement stating the mission/goals of both agencies are similar and supportive of each other. Motion made to support the agreement as presented (Fentress/Wohl). Unanimous approval. Torres reported applications are being accepted for FY 2022.
b. FDACS & MIL – Bishop shared an update for FDACS regarding hiring of additional staff, two of which are housed at HSWCD office. The department’s top priority is the completion of IVs. Cost share parameters are more strict with total focus on how the project improves the natural resources. MIL is on schedule and up to date on deliverables. MIL is getting busy with IV work requiring evaluations.
c. HCBCC – Kirouac reported on completion of orientation for the new Commissioners. Also, the key issues are continuing under the new board- recycling, COVID, etc.

VI. Old Business
a. Florida Conservation – Fentress shared her findings on this organization and recommended limited involvement of HSWCD with them. Bishop concurred.
b. New Commissioner Orientation – Bishop reported she met with each newly elected Commissioner giving an overview of who we are and what we do with extra detail given to the partnership we share.

VII. New Business
a. FDACS Staffing – Bishop explained this topic was covered under FDACS report.
b. January Meeting Date – Due to required swearing in date, meeting will be January 5.
c. Contribution Requests – Board discussed request from Avon Park High School ROTC. Following discussion, consensus was for Bishop to send them an application for funding. Per discussion regarding all contribution/ sponsorship requests it was agreed Bishop will start a new process. The initial request for funding will be completion of our Grant Application form followed by a review by Bishop & Board Chairman to determine if request warrants a presentation before the Board followed by a full Board vote for approval/disapproval.

VIII. Executive Director’s Report
Nothing additional to report

XI. Supervisor Comments
– None
Wohl – None
Fentress – None
Smith – None

Meeting Adjourned 4:38 P.M.