MEETING DATE: 10/20/2020

Meeting Location: HSWCD Conf. Room & GoTo Meeting
FINAL – Approved 11/17/2020
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
Jim Brooks Commissioner Highlands Co. Bd. Of Co. Commissioners
Susie Bishop Ex. Director Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Carlos Torres Conserv. USDA-NRCS
TJ Wohl Citizen Public Citizen

II. Approval of Agenda
Motion to approve agenda (Fentress/Causey). Unanimous approval.

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

IV. Financial Activity
a. Overview & Approval of Financial Reports – September 2020 – Bishop reviewed the bank statements and financial reports. Motion made to approve financial reports as presented (Smith/Causey). Unanimous approval.
b. FY 2019-20 General Fund Budget Amendments – Bishop presented the end of year budget amendments, explaining them and answering questions. The year end fund balance was $ 85,574.25. Motion to approve the FY 2019-2020 General Fund Budget Amendments (Causey/Smith). Unanimous approval.
c. FY 2020-21 General Fund Budget Amendment – Bishop presented the proposed General Fund budget amendments, two which were mistakenly omitted in budget adopted at September meeting. Motion to approve the FY 2020-21 General Fund Budget Amendments as presented (Fentress/Causey). Unanimous approval.

V. Agency Partner Updates
a. NRCS – C. Torres reported NRCS is accepting application for FY 2020-21 with a deadline of November 16, 2020. With 42 applications in FY 2019-20,19 were funded for approximately $998,055.00 There was an increase in applications submitted and total funded.
b. FDACS & MIL – Bishop reported updates on the IV process explaining the procedures are still being determined as staff continues to get producers in the process. The MIL is on target to complete all required deliverables with an increased work load due to the IV process.
c. HCBCC – Commissioner Brooks reported the induction of Tim Hurner into the Hall of Fame for County Extension Agents for which he was recognized at the HCBCC meeting this morning. Brooks also shared staffing changes with the County and expressed his appreciation for his time spent as the liaison for the Board. Brooks will be retiring in November.
d. CFRPC – C. Allison was not present but provided an update which Bishop read to the Board. The report is attached to these minutes.

VI. Old Business
a. Resignation of Supervisor Kirouac – Kirouac explained the new County Attorney determined and recommended he resign as Supervisor effective today per his candidacy for County Commissioner. Vice- Chairman Causey will become Interim Chairman of the Board until officer elections take place in January 2021. The Board will nominate and appoint Kirouac’s replacement at the November Board Meeting who will be sworn in at the January 5, 2021 Board meeting along with re-elected Supervisors Causey, Deen & Smith.

VII. New Business
a. 2020-2021 Board Meeting Schedule – Per review of proposed calendar, motion made to approve schedule as presented ( Causey/Smith ). Unanimous approval.
b. Annual Evaluation of Executive Director – Kirouac presented a total score of 517 with a possible of 525. Following lengthy discussion, review of Bishop’s
employment history, contract history, etc. Fentress suggested her present base salary be capped. Motion made to cap salary at $ 94,500.00 and grant a merit bonus of $ 4,725.00, 5% of annual salary (Causey/Smith). Motion passed 3-1. Kirouac, Causey, Smith voted yes, Fentress voted no.
Discussion regarding bonuses being issued to Nickerson & Miller. Motion made to award merit bonuses of $ 2,500.00 to each (Fentress/Smith). Unanimous approval.

VIII. Executive Director’s Report
Bishop will be working on the Annual Report and the update to the Work Plan for discussion and review at the November Board Meeting.
The annual City of Avon Park mitigation inspection has been completed with a much more detailed report being submitted. Payment for the inspection has
been received from the city.
Due to a predicted low attendance at the AFCD Annual Meeting in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, Bishop has decided to not attend.
An orientation with two of the four new County Commissioners will be conducted next week by Bishop.
Bishop shared the garden is at full capacity for the first time with excited
Bishop explained an issue with vehicle # 2. Options were discussed and Board authorized Bishop to handle the matter as she determines the best way.

XI. Supervisor Comments
– None
Deen – Absent
Fentress – Fentress shared the CFAP Phase 2 applications are being accepted at USDA-FSA with a quick payout encouraging all farmers to pursue
these COVID funds.
Smith – None
Kirouac – Expressed his appreciation for having served on this Board.

Meeting Adjourned 5:20 P.M.