MEETING DATE: 01/05/2021

Meeting Location: HSWCD Conf. Room & GoTo Meeting
FINAL – Approved 2/17/2021
Recorded by: Susie Bishop


I. Welcome & Introductions
John Causey Chairman Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Steve Smith Vice-Chair. Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Pam Fentress Supervisor Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Doug Deen 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
Kayla Nickerson BMP Tech. Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Carlos Torres Conserv. USDA-NRCS
Dawn Ritter Lakes Mgr. Highlands Co. Natural Resources Dept.
Jonathan Harrison Director Highlands Co. Road & Bridge
Jerome Kaszubowski Clerk of the Courts – Highlands County
John Northcutt SMSgt (Ret.) USAF-APHS-ROTC

Oath of Offices – Clerk of Courts Jerome Kaszubowski
Seat # 1 Mr. Doug Deen
Seat # 2 Dr. John Causey
Seat # 3 Mr. Thomas James (T.J.) Wohl
Seat # 5 Mr. Stephen Smith

Election of Officers
Motion for Officers (Fentress/Smith)-J. Causey as Chairman, S. Smith as
Vice-Chairman, D. Deen as Secretary/Treasurer. Unanimous Approval

II. Approval of Agenda:
Motion to adjust agenda to move Items VI. a. & b. to follow Item II (Fentress/Deen). Unanimous approval.

Presentation: Lake June in Winter- Dawn Ritter, Natural Resources-Highlands
Per last month’s presentation and discussion Ritter answered all questions and concerns regarding this CFI project on Lake June for water quality improvement. County Staff confirmed this project is the highest priority in the County. Director of County Road & Bridge, J. Harrison, commented the Memorial Drive culvert project will be delayed due to levels of the lake. Motion made to contribute $ 25,000.00 to Highlands County Natural Resources Department for use towards any water quality projects at the discretion of the County Administration &Staff (Fentress/Wohl). Fentress, Wohl, Deen & Causey Voted in favor of the motion, Smith dissented.

Presentation: Avon Park High School JROTC-John Northcutt, SMSgt (ret), USAF
As a follow up to application for funding for an Agriculture Cultivation Education (ACE) program at APHS in the JROTC unit, Northcutt shared details and examples of the program, the drones, anticipated training and certification of cadets, all while providing information the drones could provide to agriculture producers. Motion made to provide $ 1,500.00 for the purchase of the software for this program (Smith/Deen). Unanimous approval.

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes December 15, 2020
a. Motion to approve minutes as presented. (Fentress/Wohl). Unanimous approval.

IV. Financial Activity
a. Overview & Approval of Financial Reports- December 2020 – Bishop reviewed
the financial reports. Due to early meeting date the bank statements were not received by meeting time. Motion made to approve financial reports as presented (Smith/Deen) Unanimous approval.

V. Agency Partner Updates
a. FDACS & MIL – Bishop reported the MIL is up to date on deliverables with no issues of concern. Nickerson & Bishop shared the progress staff has made with completion of IVs and the appreciation for all the hard work received from Supervisors /Managers with FDACS-OAWP. Bishop announced an amendment to the FCO contract was received for an increase of $ 1,750,000.00 making the amended contract total $ 3,947,810.62.
b. NRCS – Torres reported the MOU was received back for signature with no changes being made. Causey signed the MOU and it will be returned to NRCS for full execution. Applications for the 2022 funding programs are being accepted.
c. HCBCC – Kirouac reported the challenges with the release of COVID-19 vaccinations in Highlands County.

VI. Old Business (moved to follow Item II.)

VII. New Business

VIII. Executive Director’s Report
Nothing additional to report

XI. Supervisor Comments
– None
Wohl – None
Fentress – Confirmed Conservation Florida is a very large organization and feels HSWCD should not become heavily involved with them.
Smith – Explained his non-support of funds contributed to HCBCC-Natural Resources Department was based on lack of information on the proposed Lake June project.

Meeting Adjourned 5:14 P.M.