MINUTES

USDA Service Center

Jefferson City, Missouri

January 30, 2007

 

 

Present

 

Fred Feldmann, President

Bruce Biermann, Area I

Kenny Lovelace, Area III

Beverly Dometrorch, Area IV

George Engelbach, Area V

Marie Iiams, Area VI

Sharon Gifford, Area VII

Harry Robbins, Area VIII

Steve Oetting, Past President

David Dix, Treasurer

Peggy Lemons, Exec. Director

Roger Hansen, NRCS State Conservationist

Bill Wilson, DNR Program Staff

Bill Foster, DNR Ombudsman

Ben Reed, District Employee Association

Richard Hoelscher, Area V Alternate

Don Hicks, Area IV Alternate

Not Present

Steve Radcliff, Area II

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Fred Feldmann welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. Roll call and quorum established.

The minutes from the November 27, 2006 and November 28, 2006 meetings were approved as mailed. The motion was made by Beverly, seconded by Bruce. Motion carried unanimously.

David distributed a treasurer report. 93 have paid state dues in full. There were also financial reports for the CREP funds and the CRP-BOB funds. A motion was made by Bruce, seconded by Kenny, to approve the Treasurer Report as presented. Motion carried unanimously.

An update was given on the illnesses of Kathryn Braden and Steve Radcliff.

Steve will not be able to attend the NACD meeting in Los Angeles, the board will discuss who may be able to go in his place.

COMMISSION REPORT: Bill Wilson stated the next Commission meeting will be February 16. The MASWCD resolutions were received and will be on the February agenda. Sarah Fast has taken a new position with DNR and her last day with the Program Office will be February 16. She will be Chief of the Water Planning Section. Bill Foster will be the Interim Director of the program.

DISTRICT EMPLOYEE ASSOCIATION REPORT: Ben Reed reported that the trade show profited approximately $1200 for the MASWCD part. He stated that the average age of a District employee is 45. The Employees Association is working with MASWCD and DNR on a better health insurance plan. Not all employees want a state-wide plan, some are on their spouse’s plan and don’t want to change.

MDC REPORT: Brad McCord was not in attendance.

Old Business:

After the Governor’s state speech last week it became known that the 4% increase DNR requested for District Assistance was not included in the Governor’s budget. Bill Foster stated that they are working with the Governor’s office to correct this. If the Governor does not amend his budget to include this, then the next step is to have MASWCD work with the legislature to get this increase added.

The recent Training Conference was reviewed. Bill Wilson gave a brief summary of the evaluations that were submitted. Some of the major indications include the desire to have a plated banquet on the night when awards are given, they liked the entertainment, they liked the new format and the punch card for prizes in the trade show, liked the Area Meetings immediately prior to the MASWCD Annual Meeting, and they liked for the most part the length of the workshops. Other suggestions were to consider a door prize for a Supervisor who has attended the most conferences, not overlapping the MASWCD Annual Meeting and the Employee Meeting, tables in the trade show area for people to sit while visiting. Also the Watershed Association would like a more open time for their meeting. The various times for drawing for door prizes were looked at very positively. The different colors for the lanyards were not understood by many, and there was some confusion about the two evening banquets for which one to attend.

Fred, Steve Radcliff and Peggy attended the North Central Region board meeting in Chicago earlier this month. They reported that Jerry Fine of Iowa was elected as the new region chair. Terry Davis of Illinois, previous region chair, is running for 2nd vice-president of NACD. Steve Robinson of Ohio is running for 1st vice-president of NACD. The supervisor certification program was discussed at the meeting. A pilot state in each region will be selected to get the program started. NACD quota was discussed as well as the region structure. It was noted that the Missouri board members on the NACD web page need to be updated.

NRCS REPORT: Roger Hansen reported on the current budget. He stated the watershed program has been cut in half, Conservation Security Program has been cut. Missouri and Iowa are suffering the biggest budget deficits. The House takes up the continuing resolution tomorrow. It appears they plan to run the rest of FY-07 on a continuing resolution at last year’s budget levels minus any ear-marked funds. Missouri has depended on earmarked funds for the watershed program, the water quality office in Springfield, and GLCI funds for grassland. Approximately 70 employees are funded by these earmarks. The big decision is what Congress defines as an earmark. They plan to get the FY-07 budget settled before the FY-08 budget gets started. Roger stated he has cut back wherever he can, but cuts he can do will not take care of it all, will see what the NRCS Chief decides to do.

New Business:

Area Meetings for 2007 were discussed, when and where to have them. The board seems to prefer August. There was a question posed about having a time during the meeting for a supervisor only discussion. Areas 1-3-5-7 will have elections. A motion was made by Bruce, seconded by Marie to have Area Meetings in early August or late July. Motion carried unanimously.

Peggy reviewed the plans for the Education Seminar meeting later today and tomorrow morning at the Capitol. Legislators have been invited to speak tonight about their bills currently being considered on dam safety and gravel removal.

Area Reports:

1—Bruce indicated he would ask his districts for input on Area Meetings.

3—Kenny indicated he had heard that the districts liked having the Area Meetings prior to the MASWCD Annual Meeting.

4—Beverly stated she has heard of concern over potential health insurance changes and liability of rental equipment. Also comments about learning that the DNR staff is being paid through the sales tax funds.

5—George discussed a problem with a cost-share project on property where owners have changed and discussed what the maintenance agreement does in these types of cases. He also mentioned other issues involving delivery of a letter to a landowner indicating punitive actions to be taken but the letter was not signed. He also mentioned concerns over the nepotism law and that district boards need to be familiar with this law.

6—Marie indicated she had received positive comments on the training conference. She has heard concerns about changes in the health insurance. She has visited a couple of districts.

7—Sharon stated she had heard from a couple of counties, visited Texas County with Fred to mend the relationship there, and that more counties want her to visit. She briefly mentioned the difficulties of ice problems, broken fences and the high price of hay.

8—Harry indicated he had heard from several people that they liked having the Area Meetings prior to the MASWCD Annual Meeting.

Correspondence: None

Other Business: The processing of credit card payments was discussed. Currently the processing is done by computer and the software will not work with the new laptop. New software can be purchased or the processing can be changed to web-based. A motion was made by Beverly, seconded by George, to change to the web-based processing. Motion carried unanimously.

The board discussed who may be able to attend the NACD meeting in Los Angeles in Steve Radcliff’s place. Marie indicated she might be able to.

Auction items for the NACD meeting have been purchased, a fishing trip for the live auction and a burger’s gift certificate for the silent auction.

Don Hicks reported he will be taking over as chairman of the Urban Committee. A motion was made by George, seconded by Beverly, to approve Don continuing to be the MASWCD representative on the Urban Committee. Motion carried unanimously.

Steve Oetting suggested the Area Directors might want to consider visiting with their districts on what conservation needs they have and what would help them use the initial allocation for cost-share funds.

The next regular meeting will be held on March 20 at 1:00 p.m. at the Cole County USDA Service Center. The Commission Meeting is scheduled for March 21. There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 3:45 p.m. Motion for adjournment made by Bruce, seconded by Marie. Motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

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Peggy Lemons, Exec. Director   Fred Feldmann, President