MEETING DATE: 1/18/2022

Meeting Location: HSWCD Conf. Room – Bert Harris Center
FINAL – Approved Feb. 8, 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
Doug Deen Sec./Treasurer 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
Kayla Nickerson BMP Tech Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Carlos Torres District Cons. USDA- NRCS

II. Approval of Agenda 
Bishop requested Items VII b. and c. be reversed. Motion to
approve agenda with edit. (Fentress/Smith). Unanimous approval.

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes –December 21, 2021
a. Motion to approve minutes with requested edit. (Wohl/Fentress). Unanimous approval.

IV. Financial Activity
a. Overview & Approval of Financial Reports- November 2021 – Bishop reviewed the financial reports, answering questions. Motion to approve financial reports as presented (Fentress/Wohl) Unanimous approval.

V. Agency Partner Updates
a. FDACS & MIL – K. Nickerson reported on work of the Technicians via instructions from FDACS-OAWP leadership.
b. NRCS – C. Torres explained Federal Gov. is at 25% staffing due to COVID restrictions. No face-to-face meetings are allowed. Having held two local working group meetings last year one of the major suggestions were accepted – removing all payment caps. The local working group meeting will be held in October 2022. The MOU of NRCS & HSWCD will be reviewed and renewed by April 1, 2022.
c. HCBCC – Commissioner Kirouac shared the HCBCC continues to work on gaining easements needed to construct phase 2 of the IMWID water storage project. Also, the $25,000.00 contributed from HSWCD to the County Natural Resource Dept. were allocated to the Lake June “floating mats” project.

VI Old Business
a. Report on SB 1000 Committee Hearing – Bishop shared her notes from the committee hearing on this bill which she attended in Tallahassee on Jan. 10. She reported it was beneficial for her to attend this meeting.
b. HB 738/1038 Letter to Legislature/Updates – Letter sent to Legislative Committee Members on behalf of the board was included in meeting packets. Bishop reported mixed opinions on the traction these bills have. It is the common consensus a compromise would need to be agreed upon regarding the operation of SWCDs if these bills don’t move forward. Continued monitoring of date/time the bills will be heard by the Committees in Tallahassee so a group of non-supporters can attend the meetings.

VII New Business
a. HB 738/SB 1038 Resolution for HCBCC – Draft Resolution was presented for review. Motion made to request this Resolution go before the HCBCC on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022 (Fentress/Smith). Supervisor Wohl will present the document at the meeting.
b. Staff Concerns – Bishop explained Florida Retirement System situation for Drew Pitts due to his early drawing of funds from his fund. Based on law of the system Pitts will need to resign from his MIL Manager position for one month (February), he will return to his position on March 1, 2022. Employees were exposed by co- workers to COVID with 3 employees testing positive and remaining home for 10 days. Bishop shared concerns with MIL Tech. Kaylub Lindsey and his refusal to follow policy.
c. COVID Policy – An amended policy was reviewed by Board with a few edits made. Motion to approved amended and edited covid policy with stipulation of county risk manager reviewing and commenting on the policy (Deen/Smith).

VIII. Executive Director’s Report
Bishop reported she will be meeting with County Commissioners to present Annual Report. This week she will be teaching Agriculture in our County to the Leadership Highlands class.

IX. Citizens Not on the Agenda – None

X. Supervisor Comments
Fentress – Discussion regarding IV process and requirements. Fentress shared: Quoting Kelly Morgan, professor of soil fertility and water management at UF’s IFAS:   “Most of the nutrition recommendations for citrus were developed before the disease came to Florida 15 years ago. Morgan said those recommendations are still good, but for healthy trees only….Morgan then said, “the research projects we’ve conducted over the past 15 years relative to nutrients and HLB and that we need to change our recommendations for HLB-affected trees only.”   All trees in our area have HLB (except for those in CUPS).  95 to 98% of citrus trees in Florida have HLB.  So for ridge citrus growers, the BMP manuals are outdated and IFAS recommendations shouldn’t apply as ridge citrus trees have HLB citrus greening.
Deen – None
Smith – None
Wohl – None
Causey – Asked if Board would like to hear a presentation on Cover crops at a future meeting.

Meeting Adjourned at 5:35 p.m.