MASWCD MINUTES

USDA Service Center

Jefferson city, Missouri

September 8, 2009

 

 

Present

 

Steve Radcliff, President

Bruce Biermann, Area I

Tom Lambert, Area II

Kenny Lovelace, Area III

Beverly Dometrorch, Area IV

George Engelbach, Area V

Ben Gorden, Area VI

Sharon Gifford, Area VII

Steve Huber, Area VIII

Peggy Lemons, Executive Director David Dix, Treasurer

 

Not Present

Fred Feldmann, Past President

J. R. Flores, NRCS State Conservationist

Bill Wilson, DNR Program Deputy Director

John Knudsen, MDC

Richard Hoelscher, Area V Alternate

David Hale, Area VI Alternate

Deneen Jenkins, Greene Co. SWCD

Debbie Henderson, Polk Co. SWCD

Debbie Niederer, Warren Co. SWCD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Steve Radcliff welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m.  Quorum established by roll call with 100% attendance.

 

A motion was made by Beverly Dometrorch to approve the agenda.  Kenny Lovelace seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously (8-0). 

 

A motion was made by Tom Lambert to approve the minutes from the July 7, 2009 meeting.  Ben Gorden seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously (8-0).

 

David Dix distributed a treasurer report.  David reviewed the list of the districts that have paid state dues.  There are 98 districts who have paid dues for 2009 and 15 who have not and 1 that has paid $300.  David stated the interest rate on CDís is still low, currently 2.1%.  A motion was made by Bruce Biermann to approve the treasurer report as presented and file for audit.  Sharon Gifford seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously (8-0).  

 

MDC REPORT:  John Knudsen expressed appreciation for MDC being included in the recent MASWCD Area meetings.  He announced some changes within the department, the director has announced his retirement and they are in the process of filling that position.  Financially the department is a little strapped due to the reduction in revenue as a result of the economy.  The income is down about 17% from last year.  He said hopefully the changes will not affect customer service.  This year the seed program was transferred to the Protection Division so landowners who want seed for food plots need to contact their local Conservation Agent.  When asked about MDCís role with streambank cost-share, John responded that MDC is the technical lead on stream issues in the state.  Landowners and partner agencies need to contact MDC for the initial visit on a streambank issue.  John also indicated MDC would be available to help with workshops at the Training Conference, he wasnít sure about any financial assistance.  He said he would check on the financial assistance offered last year that had not been received yet.

 

NRCS REPORT:  J. R. Flores reported the CSP (Conservation Stewardship Program) sign-up is August 10 through September.  The sign-up has been slow but they expect it to get busier.  For 2010 some EQIP funding will be designated for hypoxia issues.  The stimulus funds are getting obligated, mostly for watershed work.  Missouri received $160 million from Farm Bill funding -- $116 million for financial assistance and the remaining for technical assistance.  Even though times are tough, landowners are still signing up for programs.  J. R. encouraged attendance at the State Technical Committee meeting.  When asked about the decision on where the timber funds would be handled, local level or state level, J. R. indicated that decision had not been made yet.  He did state that the comments from the last MASWCD meeting had been forwarded to the sub-committee working with that program.  He also stated that he would be encouraging the District Conservationists to attend the Training Conference.

 

COMMISSION REPORT:  Bill Wilson stated 2 new Commissioners had just been appointed.  One fills the vacant spot and one replaces Leon Kreisler.  There are still 2 positions that just expired and will need to be re-appointed or replaced.  Those are Dan Devlin and Baughn Merideth.  Bryan Hopkins was not able to attend this meeting due to conflicts.  The decision on the health insurance for 2010 will be made by conference call of the Commission.  The deadline for the forms due to Missouri consolidated has been extended from September 15 to September 18 to allow for this.  No Commissioners were able to attend today.  Bill Wilson indicated there were a few changes made by the new DNR Director, but it is still early and too soon to tell exactly how the changes and future changes will affect the program.

 

DISTRICT EMPLOYEE ASSOCIATION REPORT:  No formal report, their next meeting will be at the Training Conference.

 

Old Business:

The Board reviewed the recent Area Meetings.  All agreed that the areas of concern were the new election procedure and the needs assessment.  More specifically the time and expense of the new procedure and the definition of a cooperator for who is eligible to run for the SWCD Board.  They all felt the attendance was good, most were better or equal to last year.  Bill Wilson stated there was a total of 411 in attendance, down slightly from last yearís number of 448.  It was the second highest attendance over the past 12 years.  There were 86 Supervisors attending representing 63 Districts and 206 employees attending representing 88 Districts.  Overall a total of 101 Districts were represented.  They also all felt August was the best time for the meetings to be held.  The Board had a lengthy discussion on the proposed definition of a cooperator, the fact that the new policy actually will limit who is eligible to run for an SWCD Board and feel that this actually goes against the transparency desired with the new process.  Steve Radcliff suggested that in the future the partner reports should be the first part of the meeting as several times they cut their presentation short due to the amount of time the meeting had already lasted.  He also suggested taping all the meetings so everyone could see the questions and discussion from each meeting.

 

Information on the involvement of Missouri in the Missouri River Initiative was discussed.  In the past there has been some confusion as to exactly what level of involvement was expected.  There are actually 2 different committees or task forces working on the issue which we need to have a representative at.  For one committee each state should have a representative attend, the other committee or task force will have one representative for all the states bordering the river with each state financially supporting this representative.  Bruce Biermann volunteered to be the Missouri representative on the one committee.  A motion was made by Kenny Lovelace to approve Bruceís expenses to attend these committee meetings.  George Engelbach seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously (8-0).  George Engelbach mentioned his concern over the chutes on the Missouri River and their real intent.  He has a concern that they are using the Pallid Sturgeon to harvest the roe and sell as caviar.  He also stated that in the last 2 years since the practice of dumping the sediment into the river has been stopped, the hypoxia numbers have gone down.

 

The speech contest rules have been mailed to each Missouri FFA chapter.  We will need to provide 3 judges for each FFA district speaking contest.  The judges for the state speech contest will be Roger Hansen, Brad McCord and someone from Monsanto.  The speeches will be judged on Tuesday morning at the Training Conference with the winning speech announced at the Tuesday luncheon.  The winning speech will be given for those attending the Tuesday lunch.

 

New Business:

The Board discussed the 2009 Training Conference plans.  They discussed the idea of having a Partner Forum instead of the Joint Meeting with the Commission.  An unbiased facilitator would be needed that has no ties to any of the partners.  Possible names were suggested.  The schedule and workshops were reviewed.  A motion was made by Bruce Biermann to supplement the cost of the Monday dinner with half the cost.  Beverly Dometrorch seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously (8-0).  The seating for the Business Meeting will be back to all theater seating, no designated voter seating like last year.  A motion was made by Beverly Dometrorch to purchase a new banner and include some form of 65th anniversary for this year, but that can be removed for future years use.  Tom Lambert seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously (8-0).  The Board discussed door prizes for this year.  Each Area Director is to bring door prizes from their area.  A motion was made by Bruce Biermann to purchase the clock as the big door prize again.  Sharon Gifford seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously (8-0).  The registration will be handled on-line again this year the same as last year.  A motion was made by George Engelbach to approve the cost to use E-Ply for the registration on-line.  Kenny Lovelace seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously (8-0).  The Board discussed items that could be included in the registration bags.  They decided to plan on 600 bags and items.  The type of bag to get was discussed.  The idea of getting a better bag and not having a 65th anniversary item was discussed.  After looking at several suggested items and bags, Bruce Biermann made a motion to use the bags same as last year and get a nice ink pen with 65th anniversary on it.  Tom Lambert seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously (8-0).  The color of the registration bag will be selected for what goes good with the logo.  Due to the 65th anniversary it was discussed to have the history book updated and printed to give away.  Prices to print new books are $2.40 per book if 250 are ordered and $2.20 per book if 500 are ordered.  A motion was made by Ben Gorden to wait for the 75th anniversary to reprint the history book.  George Engelbach seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously (8-0).  The Business Meeting agenda was reviewed and revised.  There is one resolution for this year along with the proposed bylaw amendment.  A motion was made by Kenny Lovelace to approve the cost for Ronnie Morgason to attend the Business Meeting as parliamentarian.  Bruce Biermann seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously (8-0).  Award nominations were reviewed, the winners will be selected and notified shortly.

 

NACD is making telephone calls to soil and water conservation districts to see if they can answer any questions districts may have and to help with the communication with districts.  Two districts are being contacted each week.  A message will be sent to the Missouri districts to let them know the phone calls are occurring.  Any issues that come up in the phone calls that need to be addressed will be referred to the Area Director for that area for personal contact with the District. 

 

The health insurance for district employees for 2010 was discussed.  The Commission was supposed to make the decision on which plan at their meeting tomorrow, however, their meeting was cancelled due to no quorum.  The decision will be made by a conference call.  The selection forms that district need to submit to Missouri Consolidated are due September 15.  That date has been requested to be moved to September 18 to allow time for the Commission conference call.  Bill Wilson discussed some potential changes for 2010 due to legal issues.  The new provider this year will be United Health Care, a proposal from Mercy Health Plans was not accepted by Missouri consolidated. This new carrier poses a slight problem for the southwest part of the state as they cover the Cox network and the Mercy Health Plans covered the St. Johnís network causing employees to use different doctors and hospitals. The Commission will be looking at the issue of reimbursement of the deductible, the cost for employees to have family on their policy, and the potential of approving a choice of plans.

 

The Board discussed the idea of the state-wide retirement through LAGERS.  The statute that would need to be changed was reviewed.  A Representative and a Senator need to be lined up to sponsor a bill to change the statute and also be prepared to kill the bill if anything else gets added to it or changed in the statute during the process.  A motion was made by Tom Lambert to proceed with the process to get the statute changed.  George Engelbach seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously (8-0).  Several legislator names were suggested as sponsors.

 

Area Reports:

Bruce Biermann stated it had been a busy year, abnormal weather, he is expecting harvest to get started in a couple of weeks.

 

Tom Lambert stated they had good participation in the cost-share this year.

 

Kenny Lovelace said the money was getting spent, the harvest had already gotten started early by one landowner so far.

 

Beverly Dometrorch stated she had heard from her districts with concerns about the election process and the allocations.

 

George Engelbach stated nothing to add to what had already been discussed.  He did state that he still has a concern about the watershed situation at Elsberry.

 

Ben Gorden stated it had been slow on participation until the last couple of months.

 

Sharon Gifford reported her area had been busy getting grass practices on the ground.  She had a question on the new protocol for addressing the Commission.  She stated the new protocol seemed restrictive.  Bill Wilson indicated this is the process other Commissions use, it is supposed to make the discussion with the Commission more thorough and better organized.  The intent is not to cut people out.  The Clean Water Commission is one of the other Commissions that uses this process.  George Engelbach stated he was concerned about the hoops now needed to go through to discuss an issue with the Commission.

 

Beverly Dometrorch made a motion that the MASWCD is not happy with the new policy and would like it withdrawn.  Tom Lambert seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously (8-0).  A letter will be sent to the Commission indicating this.

 

Correspondence/Other Business:  The idea of having a Board retreat was discussed again.  A message from the Springfield Convention and Visitor Bureau was reviewed offering discounted hotel rooms, etc., if the retreat would be held there so the Board could look at their facility with the Training Conference in mind.  After discussion the Board decided to drop the idea of a retreat for this year. 

 

The NACD Regional Meeting in Iowa in January was discussed and who will attend.  Steve Radcliff, Beverly Dometrorch and Peggy Lemons will attend.  Also indicating they would like to attend are Bruce Biermann, Kenny Lovelace and possibly Steve Huber.  The NACD National Meeting in Orlando was also discussed and who will attend.  Steve Radcliff, Beverly Dometrorch and Peggy Lemons will attend.  Also indicating they would like to attend was Bruce Biermann.

 

Peggy reported on the 65th anniversary recognition of the MASWCD past presidents and the letter sent to the Districts these presidents are from.  Some contributions have already been received.  The Board decided to check on the amount of contribution already given in past presidents names before deciding on the total amount to give in this effort.

 

Steve Radcliff stated he had received information on a Sunshine Law workshop being held in the Chillicothe area.  He stated they indicated several of these workshops are being scheduled.  A list of these workshops and locations will be obtained so Districts can be notified of them.

 

Peggy distributed examples of the new web page and newsletter that were both re-designed.

 

Due to having new Commissioners, a concern was expressed that the Commissioners need to be briefed on what MASWCD does.  Bill Wilson indicated that they do training with the new Commissioners and that the role of MASWCD is included in that training.  George Engelbach made a motion to send a letter welcoming the new Commissioners and a letter to Leon Kreisler thanking him for his time on the Commission.  Bruce Biermann seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously (8-0).

 

The Board will do the audit of the books on Sunday evening at Tan-Tar-A prior to the Conference.  The Board also decided they would all help stuff the registration bags at Tan-Tar-A on Sunday night.  Any items they are gathering for the registration bags will be brought to Tan-Tar-A to be included in the stuffing.

 

The next regular meeting will be held on Monday, November 30, at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach starting with the Joint Breakfast with the Commission at 7:00 a.m.  There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

____________________________

Peggy Lemons, Executive Director

___________________________

Steve Radcliff, President