Meeting Location: HSWCD Conf. Room – Bert Harris Center
FINAL – Approved 01/18/2022
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
T.J. Wohl Supervisor Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Susie Bishop Ex. Director Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District

II. Approval of Agenda
Bishop requested an item be added to the agenda, Item III.b. Budget Amendments. Motion to approve agenda with added Item III.b (Fentress/Smith). Unanimous approval.

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes – November 15, 2021
a. Fentress requested correction of her comments in Item IX. Motion to approve minutes with requested edit. (Wohl/Smith). Unanimous approval.

IV. Financial Activity
a. Overview & Approval of Financial Reports- November 2021 – Bishop reviewed the financial reports, answering questions. She distributed a chain of emails regarding FDACS-OAWP and the level they will cover the expenses associated with her position. A request for a meeting with FDACS-OAWP to discuss this portion of the contract was never fulfilled nor has anyone answered her emails regarding the decision of the department. The decision was for an annual flat rate of $ 25,000.00 to be applied on a monthly calculation towards the cost of the Executive Director position. All held invoices, four total, have been submitted for payment with this new dollar amount charged to Team Leader. Motion made to approve financial reports as presented (Smith/Fentress) Unanimous approval.
b. Budget Amendment – Bishop distributed the proposed budget amendment, a budget to actual report and a memorandum explaining the reason the additional budget amendment is needed (see the packet for the memo.). Motion to approve the Budget Amendment # 4 for FY 2020-2021 as presented (Fentress/Smith). Unanimous approval.

V. Agency Partner Updates
a. FDACS & MIL – Bishop gave updates on a recent state-wide staff meeting Staff said the meeting included explanations about proposed changes for the department. A new Bill being proposed was explained which would make OAWP more regulatory. Bishop also shared status of staff meeting their qoals – ahead of schedule.
b. NRCS – No Report
c. HCBCC – Commissioner Kirouac shared the HCBCC continues to work on gaining easements needed to construct phase 2 of the IMWID water storage project. He also explained the County’s self- insured employee insurance plan and negotiations taking place to reduce excessive costs. Because the Governor added a paid holiday this year to all state employees, Dec. 30, it was brought up to Commission today and passed with a 3-2 vote. HSWCD follows the County Holiday Calendar. Based on Board discussion, Bishop will make the decision to add the holiday or have HSWCD employees work.

VI. Old Business
a. None

VII. New Business
a. Proposed Bills for Florida Legislative Session 2022 – Bishop explained four proposed Bills that directly affect SWCD and/or Ag Industry. Board discussed multiple strategies and plans to address these Bills. A letter prepared by Bishop to send to all Senators and Representatives on the Committees listed to do review of Bills was examined by Board. Consensus was for a re-write of the letter including more facts and figures of work of HSWCD. Board agreed Chairman Causey can sign and send the finished letter, per his approval. Supervisors agreed a plan needs to be made for the future of HSWCD should SB 1078 & HB 783 pass.
b. Annual Report – Executive Director presented the 2020-2021 Annual Report in detail. Motion made to accept the Annual Report as presented (Fentress/Wohl). Unanimous approval.
c. NACD Annual Meeting – Orlando- Feb. 12-16, 2022 – Bishop shared she is registered to attend and will register any Supervisors who wish to attend. As of today, ALL the tours have been cancelled for this meeting due to outbreak of a new variant of COVID 19. The meeting may be cancelled and become virtual if pandemic continues to worsen.
d. Board Meeting Schedule 2022 – J. Causey & S. Bishop presented the meeting schedule with an edit to location of meeting from Conf. Room 3 to HSWCD Conf. Room. Bishop explained the February meeting date was moved up one week due to NACD Annual Meeting dates.

VIII. Executive Director’s Report
Bishop reported the old shed belonging to HSWCD will be removed and demolished. When installed it was placed above the drain field for the restrooms at the 4-H barns. The poor condition of the shed does not warrant relocation. Items were moved to the shed at the Garden.
Supervisors discussed salary of ED Bishop and based on evaluations and performance an annual increase was suggested. Motion made to grant a 6% merit increase to annual salary (Fentress/Wohl). Unanimous approval. Supervisors discussed wages and bonuses of other HSWCD employees. Bishop explained K. Martin and K. Lindsey recently received increases to their annual salaries, D. Pitts was recently hired and K. Nickerson is an hourly wage employee with no increase to her hourly rate. Motion made to grant a performance bonus to K. Nickerson (Fentress/Smith) Unanimous approval. Discussion continued regarding this bonus. Motion made to increase bonus by an additional $500 (Smith/Fentress). Unanimous Approval

IX. Citizens Not on the Agenda – None

X. Supervisor Comments
Fentress – None
Smith – None
Wohl – None
Causey – None

Meeting Adjourned at 5:22 p.m.