MEETING DATE: 04/23/2021

Meeting Location: HSWCD Conf. Room – Bert Harris Center
FINAL – Approved 5/18/2021
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
Scott Kirouac Commissioner Highlands Co. Bd. Of Co. Commissioners
Susie Bishop Ex. Director Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
K. Nickerson BMp Tech. Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Carlos Torres Conserv. USDA-NRCS

II. Approval of Agenda:
Motion to approve Agenda as presented. (Fentress/Deen).
Unanimous approval.

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes March 16, 2021
a. Motion to approve minutes as presented. (Fentress/Wohl). Unanimous approval.

IV. Financial Activity
a. Overview & Approval of Financial Reports- March 2021 – Bishop reviewed the
financial reports. Motion made to approve financial reports as presented
(Smith/Deen) Unanimous approval.

V. Agency Partner Updates
a. FDACS & MIL – Bishop explained cost share projects are slow in getting completed. All projects have been checked on and producers are assuring us they will be done by Mid-June. Concerns were expressed the challenges vendors are facing in getting parts. Nickerson spoke about the nutrient records for the IV process and the many concerns and issues arising regarding application of phosphorus and nitrogen. FDACS-OAWP has requested a list of potential projects for new FY so advances on contracts can be justified. Bishop reported the MIL is up to date on numbers and is still in need of hiring a new MIL Technician.
b. NRCS – Torres reported the deadline for EQIP applications has been moved from
December to September 1, 2021. Pre-approval for 2022 funding is being done now
on the applications. The local working group was successful with the key issues
including advanced nutrient management, variable rate technology, irrigation
projects, increase of caps on funding based on cost of materials and a priority given to invasives. A summary report will be prepared for Bishop to present to the State Technical Committe.
c. HCBCC – Kirouac shared with the Board the pressing issue this month is the future
location of the Public Library in Sebring. There are proposals on the table to move it
to the former bank building on Ridgewood Drive so the CRA of Sebring can develop
a lakefront park. The county has purchased the former power plant property on Haywood Taylor Blvd. as a site for a law enforcement training academy which will serve as a pet friendly shelter too.

VI Old Business
a Local Working Groups – Discussed in partner update by NRCS

VII New Business
a. May 6, 2021 – AFCD – Area 5 Annual Meeting – Lorida – Bishop encouraged
Supervisors to attend our area meeting on this date. Agenda will be emailed to Board.
b. Producer Quick Reference Guide & Expo. – Bishop reviewed some of the goals of the Long-Range Plan that included a guide of agencies for agriculture producers an education/expo program, a newspaper series about HSWCD and asked the Board for input on what they feel should be completed. Consensus was for Bishop to organize a Producer Expo to explain the BMP, IV and Cost Share programs and to include other agencies to present too. Farm Bureau will be asked to assist in sponsoring this event. Bishop & Nickerson will work on this with a May date chosen for the event.

VIII. Executive Director’s Report
Bishop shared a funding request from FFA Foundation. Per discussion consensus
was to deny the request.

IX. Citizens Not on the Agenda – None

X. Supervisor Comments
– None
Fentress – Concern over all the non-operational weather stations was expressed.
These systems were highly successful in conservation of water and they need to be
operational to continue the efforts, but many producers don’t keep their systems
Smith – None
Wohl – None
Causey – None

Meeting Adjourned at 4:45 p.m.