Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District 

May 18, 2021 Meeting Minutes 


  • The meeting was called to order at 4:31 by Joe Garrison. Joe then led the Pledge of Allegiance and called roll. Joe Garrison, Daniel Lanier and Katie Smith were present in person. Brett Upthagrove was present via Zoom.

  • Joe Garrison brought up the topic of choosing a new board member to replace AmyLee Lawrence. Daniel Lanier mentioned that it looked like the only way to have the tie broken was to request the Governor to make the decision. After some discussion Katie Smith stated that she would consider changing her vote for the sake of getting on with business. The board voted 3/1 elected David Lawson Jr. to the vacant seat on the board.

  • The board discussed what amounts of money to award the contestants that placed in the county Speech and Poster Contest. The board agreed to award the winner of the speech contest $100. The winners of the poster contest were as follows: First place- $100, Second place- $75, Third place $50 for each age group. Brett Upthagrove said that he had a box of certificates at his home and he would get these to Raven to go out with the checks.

  • Katie Smith motioned to approve the minutes from the March 16, 2021 meeting. Daniel Lanier seconded. The motion passed.

  • Brett Upthagrove talked about the Florida Association of Special Districts. He went over the benefits of this organization and the different classes and training they offer. The Association is having a convention in June. Brett is planning to attend. The dues are $600 annually. Daniel Lanier asked Brett if he could email the board more information on the association so that the board could discuss joining at the next meeting.

  • Joe Garrison asked Brett Upthagrove for the missing receipts. Brett responded that he needs it in a letter submitted to his attorney since his attorney has them. Katie Smith asked Brett if he has these receipts then why they can’t simply be provided.

  • Katie Smith made multiple suggestions for the board to better handle money and receipts. One major suggestion that was well received by the entire board was for anytime a board member is to be reimbursed, it is to be done so at a meeting in front of the other board members.

  • The meeting went into a second Zoom link where Joe Garrison formally adjourned the meeting at 5:20.