MINUTES

Carnegie Room

Capitol Plaza Hotel

Jefferson City, Missouri

February 17, 2004

 

 

 

 

Present

Steve Oetting, President

Eli Mast, Past President

 

Bill Wilson, DNR Program Staff

Brad McCord, MDC

Donald Jordan, Area I

Tom Lambert, Area II           

Steve Radcliff, Area II Alternate

Jeff Otto, Knox County

Jim Hubert, Area III

Beverly Dometrorch, Area IV          

Laura McKeever, Area V

Kathryn Braden, Area VI                 

Ben Reed, District Employees Assoc.

Marie Iiams, Barry County

 

Ernie Calvert, Area VII                     

 

Steve Huber, Area VIII                     

 

David Dix, Treasurer

 

Peggy Lemons, Exec. Director

 

                                   

           

President Steve Oetting called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m.  Introductions were made due to new members in attendance. 

 

The minutes from the December 1, 2003 and December 3, 2003 meetings were approved as mailed.  The motion was made by Eli, seconded by Donald.  Motion carried.

 

David distributed a treasurer report for calendar year 2003 and 2004.  He stated the training conference receipts were $30,190.00 and expenses for the training conference were $21,322.90 leaving a profit of $8867.10.  The funds from the trade show have not been received yet.  25 districts have not paid dues yet, and 4 districts have paid partial dues for 2004.  The 29 districts will not be able to vote at the Area Meeting or the Training Conference unless full dues are paid by the time of the meeting.  The names of these districts were given to their respective Area Directors.  A motion was made by Kathryn, seconded by Beverly, to approve the Treasurer Report as presented and file for audit.  Motion carried.

  

MDC REPORT:  Brad McCord attended for Bob Miller. He distributed literature for the CRP-BOB initiative.  He stated the agreement for MOCREP was revised to extend until May 1, 2006 and allow MOCREP funds to be used for the CRP-BOB initiative based on landowner demand.  This agreement is ready for signatures and approval. Also the agreement for the CRP-BOB initiative targeting quail enhancement is ready for signatures and approval.  Peggy will sign these agreements and return them to Brad this week.  Brad stated there is a series of public meetings (10 so far with a total of 18 or 20) on deer management.  MDC would like to get very aggressive on harvesting doe.  There is an avenue to provide written comments if a person cannot attend one of the meetings. 

 

NRCS REPORT:  NRCS was not in attendance due to other commitments.

 

COMMISSION REPORT:  Bill Wilson reported the Commission meeting is scheduled for the following day starting at 10:00 a.m. at the Lincoln University Carver Farm in Jefferson City.  He stated there was a fairly lengthy agenda.  There was a question on the process of approval of resolutions passed at the MASWCD Annual Meeting at Tan-Tar-A.  Bill stated the resolutions that deal with the Commission are forwarded to the Program Office and placed on an agenda for discussion at a future Commission meeting.  He stated the coordinator staff is complete now with the new coordinators Sarah Popp and Chris Wieberg recently hired.

 

EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION:  Ben Reed stated the state board will meet the following day.  He stated 2 to 3 years ago an associate membership was started.  Currently they have about 130 associate members.  The Employee Association board would like to meet with the MASWCD board once a year either spring or summer to discuss issues they can work on together.  They have 8 scholarships currently offered.  A brochure that will be informational and can be used during the renewal efforts for the sales tax is being developed.  They may be applying for an education grant to help fund this brochure.  There are lot of district employees interested in the 2005 budget and new proposed cost-share program.  He asked for input on anything the Employees Association can do in coordination with MASWCD or to help the MASWCD board.

 

Eli gave an update on the NACD quota collection.  He stated that NACD will be collecting the quota this year, there was some confusion by districts when MASWCD handled that last year.  He encouraged districts to support NACD and discussed how to emphasize to districts the importance of paying quota.

 

Bill Wilson reviewed evaluations of the Training Conference with the board.  There were some complaints concerning longer workshop sessions, however several stated they felt the new format provided a less hectic atmosphere.

 

The comments on the banquet speaker were negative, however the speaker at the opening session was very well liked.  The workshops handled by district and program staff received favorable comments opposed to the workshops with outside speakers which also did not allow question time.  Everyone likes to have workshops repeated.  Ben stated the District Employee Association meeting would be best held later than 8 a.m.

 

Steve, Eli and Peggy reported on the NACD North Central Region Meeting held in January in Chicago.  The discussions centered on the new CEO for NACD, NACD quota and strategic planning for the future.

 

Steve, Eli and Peggy reported on the NACD National Meeting they recently attended.  Eli stated that the regional support plan for NACD was approved which means that 30% of the quota dollars will be given back to the regions to support regional activities.  This is approximately $125,000 for the North Central Region.  In addition to this $30,000 will be given by NACD subject to the availability of grant funds.  NACDís budget was approved after much debate.  The new CEO, Kristen Hardin, attended the last day of the meeting.  She will be starting March 1.  The Executive Board member representing the North Central Region, Owen Knutsen, passed away unexpectedly at the meeting.  Gene Schmidt of Indiana was elected as the new Executive Board member and Steve Robinson of Ohio, was elected as the new Region Chair.  The Regional meeting for 2004 will be July 11-14 in Springfield, Illinois and the 2005 meeting will be hosted by Indiana, probably in Fort Wayne.  Missouri was one of 10 states receiving quota awards during the meeting.

 

Health Insurance for District Employees was discussed, in particular the premium co-pay issue.  The current policy by the Commission is for District employees to receive an amount equal to $10 less than the lowest premium for their county on the Missouri Consolidated Health Care rates.  There has been some discussion to increase this to $17 due to state employees premium co-pay increasing.  It was pointed out, however, that state employees receive assistance on the dependent coverage where District employees do not.  A change in the premium co-pay would mean approximately $20,000 difference for a year.  District employees also receive a lesser amount for retirement than state employees at the current time.  The Commission will be discussing the future funding of the benefits at their meeting tomorrow.  One of the questions is whether to go to the legislature every year for an increase in the benefit funds or to ask for an amount that will be sufficient until the end of the tax period.  A motion was made by Kathryn, seconded by Donald, to support the District Employee Association request to maintain current policy on the benefits.  Motion carried.

 

Steve Oetting discussed with the Board the new election process for MSASWCD that was voted on 2 years ago.  He emphasized the importance of following the new procedure as directed by the delegates.  He also stated it is easier to get the process going when everyone is not so busy, so now would be a good time to start for those areas having elections this summer.

 

Steve also discussed appointments he plans to make in the near future. He has not received back all of the survey forms he send out to the Board and wants to wait until he receives more of these before making these appointments.

 

Peggy gave a legislative update on the bills currently being followed. For the meeting this evening a quorum has not registered so there will not be the possibility of voting on a position on these bills.  The MASWCD Board discussed these bills and has agreed to recommend support for all except staying neutral on SB 785.  The plans for the Education Seminar for this evening and tomorrow morning were reviewed.

 

The Strategic Planning Involvement Committee met this morning and discussed using upcoming Area Meetings for input on the strategic plan.  The majority of the time for the Area Meeting would be devoted to planning input.  The committee will meeting again on April 20.  The dates discussed for the Area Meetings are late July and early August.  A memo has been sent to the Districts informing them that a new Long Range Plan is due to the Program Office by June 30.  Another memo will be sent out remind them of the process and the date plans are due.

 

The Board discussed the upcoming NACD Spring Legislative meeting in Washington, DC.  Eli stated there used to be an NACD Board meeting at this, however, that has changed and is not held at the same time now.  It was decided that we can go to DC when the need arises, not necessarily when NACD is holding their meeting.  We will not plan to send anyone to the Spring Legislative meeting this year.

 

Correspondence:  A letter was receiving with information about the Upper Mississippi River Basin meeting coming up.  If someone needs to attend it will probably be Steve or Eli.

 

Other Business:  Kathryn suggested it would be a good duty for the Area Directors to follow up with the counties who had not paid full dues yet this year to make sure they understand the voting rights.

 

Steve Oetting questioned the Program Office on the new cost-share computer system being developed.  Bill Wilson explained DNR is currently paying $100,000+ to maintain the current system and that DNR will no longer support the Access 97 program for data storage.  He stated the new system will look a lot like the current system, however will be web-based and Districts will not have to worry about updates as they will be done by DNR.  The cost for the new system will be approximately $900,000 and will be spread over 3 years.  It is still in development, but should not be any cost to Districts.  He stated DNR is going to all web-based programs for data management.  A training plan will be part of the process, also a conversion plan to manage entry of the previous years of data into the new system.  After discussion, it was a consensus of the Board to support this as long as it proceeded in a timely manner and Districts were continued to be kept informed of the process. 

 

The next regular meeting will be held in Jefferson City on April 19 starting at 1:00 p.m.  The meeting will be held at the USDA Service Center in Jefferson City.  There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.  Motion for adjournment made by Kathryn, seconded by Donald.  Motion carried.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Peggy Lemons                                                                                  Steve Oetting

                                                                                                                                                           

  Peggy Lemons, Executive Secretary                                          Steve Oetting, President