MINUTES

DNR Building

Roaring River Room

Jefferson City, Missouri

February 28, 2000

 

 

Present

Eli Mast, President

Roger Hansen, State Conservationist

Steve Hopper, Past President

Bob Miller, MDC

Donald Jordan, Area I

Sarah Fast, DNR Soil &Water Program

Richard Morgan, Area II

Bill Wilson, DNR Soil & Water Program

Henry Heinze, Area III

Rose Marie Hopkins,Soil &Water Prog.

Kerry Gose, Area IV

Sam Graves, Atchison County

Bill Hollenbeck, Area V

Kathryn Braden, Taney County

Lloyd Gunter, Area VI

J. D. Hutsell, Wright County

Jerry Rennick, Area VII

David Dix, Treasurer

Steve Huber, Area VIII

Peggy Lemons, Exec. Secretary

 

The meeting was called to order by President Eli Mast at 10:00 a.m.

The minutes from the November 29, 1999 joint meeting with the Commission were approved as mailed. The motion was made by Richard, seconded by Donald. Motion carried.

The minutes from the November 29, 1999 board meeting were read and approved with the following correction: Page 2, second paragraph -- ……to not bring up proposed changes to the DSP-3 / 2 practice for a year. A motion was made by Lloyd, seconded by Henry to approve the corrected minutes. Motion carried.

The minutes from the November 30, 1999 reorganization meeting were approved as mailed. Motion made by Donald, seconded by Steve Hopper. Motion carried.

The minutes from the January 3, 2000 tele-conference were approved as presented. Motion for approval made by Lloyd, seconded by Bill. Motion carried.

The minutes from the February 7, 2000 tele-conference were approved as presented. Motion for approval made by Bill, seconded by Lloyd. Motion carried.

David distributed a treasurer report. He indicated the report included a breakdown comparison of Training Conference receipts and expenses for 1998 and 1999. A motion was made by Jerry, seconded by Donald to approve the treasurer report as presented. Motion carried. David did request clarification of the effective date salary adjustment for the Executive Secretary that was approved at the November 30, 1999 meeting. A motion was made by Richard, seconded by Henry to make the effective date January 1, 2000. Motion carried. David also requested clarification of the mileage rate to be paid. DNR indicated the state rate is currently 28 cents per mile, but will go up in July to 29 cents. The treasurer report included a breakdown of districts that have paid their 2000 dues. Those who have not paid will be contacted by the Treasurer, and the Area Directors will make a follow-up contact with these districts.

Senator Goode visited briefly with the Board to discuss his Senate Bill 723. He distributed a copy of the bill, which included a Division of Research summary of 4 proposed changes to it. Change 1: The Invasive Species Council is renamed the Non-Native Species Council.

Change 2: The Management Plan shall include an interagency agreement on primary areas of responsibility.

Change 3: The act shall not be construed to override existing authority of state agencies to regulate non-native species.

Change 4: State agency requirements regarding non-native species are clarified to apply to situations where the species causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.

Senator Goode stated the main purpose of this bill is to get the department head to meet yearly to share information on non-native species and if there is a problem to deal with it. He stated there would be a continuing problem with non-native species due to trade and imports. Steve Hopper asked why a farmer was not included on the Council. Senator Goode stated he did not want to raise the council to a full appointed council, this council will have no authority, if any is needed the Legislature will have to approve it. He also stated the species would also have to be harmful as well as non-native. The council is not approved for funding, it is his hopes each agency will share in the funding of this council.

Senator Goode was also asked about the employee benefits issue. He stated this was getting serious consideration.

Rose Marie Hopkins gave a report on the recommendations of the Leadership Development Committee. This is part 2 of the original plan and includes 6 major parts. A copy of the plan that includes time lines and budget amounts was distributed. For some parts of the plans there are materials readily available for purchase, however, for some areas the materials will have to be developed. One area of the plan is a retreat for the MASWCD Board and the Commission. Jerry suggested a draft agenda be developed for their review. The Leadership Grant is a 5-year grant with an ending date of September 1, 2000. A motion was made by Lloyd to proceed with the plan of the Leadership Development Committee using discretion and allowing for Board attendance at NACD meetings. This was seconded by Donald. Motion carried.

There were 21 individuals approved for attendance to the NACD National Meeting in Colorado, however only 11 actually attended the meeting. Some have requested approval to attend the regional meeting in July due to weather conditions preventing their travel to Colorado.

The NACD Spring Legislative Meeting will be March 19-22 in Washington, DC. Material for packets to be given to the legislators was reviewed. Eli also discussed information he had received from Alaska requesting Missouri support for an initiative to divert part of the $300 million requested increase in the NRCS budget to grants to districts. A motion was made by Lloyd, seconded by Steve Hopper to approve the presented materials and support letter for the USDA budget, and not support the Alaska request. Motion carried. Eli stated it anyone had any other suggestions for the packets to get their ideas and comments to him in the next few days.

Senator Howard visited with the Board briefly about his Senate Bill 558. He stated the purpose of his bill is to correct problems created with past legislation. He distributed the committee substitute for his bill that contains the changes of allowing the chair to vote at all times and names MDC as an ex-officio member of the Commission. He stated the bill has been passed out of committee and is first on the Senate Calendar for perfection. Senate action on his bill could happen later today or tomorrow.

Eli asked the Board for suggestions on how to improve attendance at Area meetings. Surveys collected at the conclusion of last year’s Area Meetings indicate a preference for daytime meetings. 44 employees and 38 supervisors returned surveys.

Representative Peter Meyer and Luann Ridgeway visited with the Board concerning House Bill 1811. Ms. Ridgeway explained the history of why the bill was written and the purpose of the bill. It is not an urban sprawl bill but a farmland protection bill. The soil and water boards have authority of the farmland protection in the bill. She indicated there were still a couple of areas she wants to change, especially concerning the reduction in county property taxes and how to compensate the counties. If a family wants to sell the farm, they can do so after 10 years by buying back the incentive payment. After 10 years the protections goes in 5-year increments. If stays as agriculture land, the farm can be sold at any time. She indicated she plans to change the wording of preservation to protection.

Senator Westfall visited with the Board briefly about his Senate Bill 812. He reviewed the purpose of his bill, his intent and his belief that districts should not be in competition with local businesses.

The Board discussed 2 past resolutions that had never been officially acted on. Resolution 92-10 presented by Iron County was passed at the 1992 Annual Meeting by a vote of 40-2. This resolution deals with reestablishing MASWCD areas to provide for equal representation in each area of the state. After discussion a motion was made by Steve Hopper, seconded by Lloyd, to establish the area boundaries the same as they have been. Motion carried. Resolution 96-05 presented by Lawrence County was passed at the 1996 Annual Meeting by a vote of 33-22. This resolution asks for a written procedure for conducting Area Director elections, which would allow each District to cast one vote. Lloyd suggested Lawrence County be contacted to see if they would like to re-submit or clarify this resolution. A motion was made by Donald to contact Lawrence County as Lloyd suggested Jerry seconded this. Motion carried.

The individual Senators and Representatives have given the Legislative update. At the end of the meeting the Board will discuss their proposed position on these bills.

The agenda for the Education Seminar was reviewed and approved.

Eli indicated he will dissolve the old committees and re-structure the committees. Contact persons will be used and an Ad-Hoc Committee structure used when needed. Following is a list of the named contact persons:

Forestry -- Richard Morgan

Grass & Forage -- J. D. Hutsell

Education/Awards -- Henry Heinze

Watershed -- Kerry Gose

Buffers -- Jerry Rennick

Soil Stewardship -- Steve Huber

Following are the list of standing committees and their chair:

Legislative Committee -- Bill Hollenbeck

Leadership Committee -- Steve Hopper

Resolutions/Policy -- Lloyd Gunter

Grants/Envirothon -- David Dix

The MASWCD representative for the Commission meetings will be Donald Jordan, however Eli indicated he plans to attend the first 5 or 6 Commission meetings.

By statute districts need to have a long range plan every 5 years. It is time to start the planning process again. A joint letter will be sent from MASWCD and the Commission and assistance of trained facilitators will be offered.

MDC Report: Bob Miller gave an update on the private lands specialists hired. 1/3 came from SWCDs or NRCS, ˝ came from existing MDC employees and the rest from other areas. Training sessions will start next week, a lot of these employees will be housed in district offices. There are 39 positions with 2 watershed planners in Kansas City and 2 in St. Louis.

NRCS Report: Roger Hansen stated the private lands conservationists agreement has been distributed to the 32 Districts where one will be housed. Roger and Jerry Conley developed this agreement. Roger stated they are there to provide accelerated conservation assistance in forestry and wildlife and they must be like any other USDA employee, voluntary not regulatory. The District needs to sign the agreement as well as NRCS. The positions vacated by NRCS employees hired for the private lands positions should be able to be filled, but need to decide what is the best priority and location for these positions. Roger also distributed copies of the Conservation Initiative paper that explains the background and conservation provisions of the President’s FY2001 budget proposal.

COMMISSION Report: Bill Wilson reported the next Commission meeting is Thursday. They will be looking at the next call of SALT proposals. The audit contract was negotiated in December and audits are ongoing. There were 4 auditors contracted and they will be conducting audits on 49 districts that will be completed by next December. There is a vacancy in the Coordinators, the Northwest area, hopes are to have a domicile placement maybe in St. Joseph. At this time the amount in the Governor’s budget is $5.9 million for Grants to Districts, there are measures being taken to get the benefits funds back in the budget.

Employee Association Report: A report from Ben Reed was distributed.

Area Reports: None.

Correspondence: A letter received from Sarah Fast concerning the use of local funds was distributed. The letter states the information was reviewed by the Attorney General’s office and they state the districts have limited powers granted by statute with respect to the use of public monies and they must also comply with the Missouri constitution. They go on to state that the memorandum in question states a policy that is consistent with these principles and should continue to remain in effect.

A letter was received asking for attendance at a meeting concerning Fish and Wildlife grant funds. After reviewing everyone’s schedule, Steve Hopper suggested we respectfully decline the invitation.

Other Business: Eli stated the group in Missouri hosting the Mid-America National Grassland Contest this year had contacted him and he had pledged $100 from MASWCD. Jerry made a motion, seconded by Steve Hopper, approving this pledged amount. Motion carried.

Peggy gave an update on the Envirothon. There will be 6 regional competitions this year with the top 3 teams from each region advancing to the state competition. The regional competitions are scheduled the week of April 24 with the state competition on May 4. There are over 50 teams registered so far for this year’s competitions.

The employee benefits funds were discussed. A fact sheet has been developed and will be distributed at the Education Seminar for individuals to give to the legislators.

The board took up discussion of the legislative bills that affect soil and water districts. They decided on the following proposed position on these bills due to the information received earlier today. These positions will be finalized at the meeting later this evening.

House Bill 1655, Gary Wiggins, shifting authority from soil and water boards to Watershed trustees -- Support

House Bill 1811, Luann Ridgeway, creates state enabling legislation for farmland protection, A motion was made by Richard, seconded by Steve Hopper to support this bill with clarification changes. Motion carried. -- Support

House Bill 1825, David Klindt, names Menfro soil as the state soil -- Support

Senate Bill 558, Jerry Howard, changes voting powers of the Commission and ads MDC as ex-officio member -- Support

Senate Bill 723, Wayne Goode, creates Non-Native Species Council. A motion was made by Jerry, seconded by Bill to support this bill. Vote was 6-3 with Henry, Lloyd and Steve Hopper against. -- Support

Senate Bill 812, Morris Westfall, sets up procedure for Commission approval before Districts can sell items that are agricultural related and not readily available in their area. -- Oppose

The next regular meeting will be April 18, 2000, at 5:00 p.m. at the Cole County USDA Service Center. There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Peggy Lemons

 

Peggy Lemons

Executive Secretary

Eli Mast

President