MEETING DATE: 12/20/2022

Meeting Location: HSWCD Conf. Room – Bert Harris Center
FINAL – Approved 1/3/2023
Recorded by: Susie Bishop


I. Welcome & Introductions
Dr. John Causey Chairman Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Steve Smith Vice-Chair Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Doug Deen Sec./Treas. Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Pam Fentress Supervisor Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
T.J. Wohl Supervisor Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Sara Sebring Incoming Supervisor
Susie Bishop Ex. Director Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Kayla Nickerson BMP Tech. Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District

II. Approval of Agenda 
Motion to approve agenda as presented (Smith/Fentress) Unanimous Approval.

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes November 14, 2022 
Motion made to approve the minutes as presented (Fentress/Wohl). Unanimous Approval.

IV. Financial Activity
a. Overview & Approval of Financial Reports November 2022 – Review by Bishop of November Financial Reports. Motion to approve (Fentress/Smith). Unanimous approval.

V. Agency Partner Updates
a. FDACS – Bishop reported the suspension of IV process due to Hurricane Ian is still in effect and may be extended. Interim Deputy Director of OAWP has resigned. Much of FDACS-OAWP work is on hold until new leadership is put in place by new Ag Commissioner. No Action
b. MIL –Bishop reported MIL Evaluations are above required amount. The MIL Technician position remains vacant with no applicants. No Action.
c. NRCS – No Report
d. HCBCC – No Report

VI. Old Business
a. CD Investments – Bishop reported the paperwork for the application is now complete and will be filed for approval. Once approved CD investments decisions will be made. Advisor, Tim Baker, will be asked to come present options to the Board. No Action.
b. Local Working Group – Summary of meeting was presented. Bishop will present the top priorities to NRCS State Technical Committee on Jan. 18 in Gainesville. No Action.
c. Vacant Positions – The candidate offered the BMP Technician position did not pass the screening with the State so the position will be advertised again in January. No Action.

VII New Business
a. SB 1078 Update– Bishop shared details of a meeting she and Nickerson held with Representative Truenow regarding SB 1078 and the future of SWCDs. It was a productive and positive meeting. Monitoring of 2023 Session will continue by staff. No Action.
b. Fisheating Creek PL 566 – Bishop informed Board of meetings she held with County staff and NRCS Engineer regarding the O & M of structure. Outcome of meetings was nothing needed to be done. Bishop will add notes from meetings to permanent records of Fisheating Creek. No Action.
c. Meeting Schedule for Year 2023– Proposed 2023 Board meeting schedule distributed and reviewed. Motion to approve 2023 schedule as presented (Fentress/Smith). Unanimous Approval.
d. Annual Report – Fiscal year 2021-2022 Annual Report was presented and discussed. Report will be presented to FDACS-OAWP, Highlands County Commissioners and County Administrator. No Action.

VIII. Executive Director’s Report
Items presented:
-Clerk of Court will be swearing all Supervisors in at the Jan. 3, 2023 meeting. He will prepare and provide the Oaths of Office.
-Polk SWCD will not be dissolved due to lack of a unanimous vote at the Board meeting when Resolution passed to dissolve.
-Annual Leave for MIL Manager was discussed. It was determined Pitts’ annual leave year be Jan. 1 – Dec. 31. The dates were adjusted due to him requirement to resign for month of February and re-hire due to issues with his Florida Retirement System Enrollment.
-The involvement of HSWCD with the Lake June Catfish Creek BMP project was described. The HSWCD was an agenda item at Commission meeting several months back to acknowledge the $25,000 contribution to a natural resource project. What project to make use of the funds was County’s decision. No obligations are the responsibility of the District.
-Add review of leave policies to next agenda.

IX. Citizens Not on the Agenda – None

X. Supervisor Comments
Smith – Appreciation of service given to Fentress.
Deen – Appreciation of service given to Fentress.
Fentress – Reminded Board to conduct a workshop and update their work plan soon.
Wohl – Appreciation of service given to Fentress.
Causey – Appreciation of service and commitment to HSWCD was given to Fentress.

Meeting Adjourned at 4:46 p.m.