MASWCD Conference Call
July 30, 2001
Those present for the conference call are: President Eli Mast, Bill Hollenbeck, Donald Jordan, Henry Heinze, Steve Oetting, Steve Hopper, Jerry Rennick, Richard Morgan, Steve Huber, David Dix, Peggy Lemons, Brad McCord of MDC, and Bob Miller of MDC. Not present was Kathryn Braden.
Eli stated the main purpose of the conference call was to discuss the possibility of MASWCD cooperating with MDC on cost-share payments through the MOCREP program. He gave an overview of what the agreement would consist of.
Bob and Brad explained the purpose of MOCREP (a more wildlife friendly seed mix may be more expensive, this incentive would help landowners decide to use this type of seed mix). Two seeding practices in the CRP program would be approved for this additional incentive of $20 per acre which should bring the cost down to about $5 per acre out-of-pocket cost for the landowner to plant these native mixes.
A 5% administration fee is in the agreement, MASWCD can decide how much of this administration fee can be passed on to the Districts for their administration of the program. Not all of the water supply districts are interested in participating. Of those that do want to participate, then the SWCD in that county can participate with this additional cost-share.
Payment requests would be submitted through the SWCD to MASWCD with the payment going to either the SWCD or directly to the landowner. It was decided it would be better to have MASWCD pay the landowner directly. This would create less auditing problems for the districts.
This is a 2-year grant program the water supply districts can participate in and it is expected the majority of the activity will be within the first 2 years of the agreement. Donald questioned who would be eligible for the program, would it be only landowners located within that public water supply district? Brad stated it would be landowners in the county, their land would not have to directly flow into that public water supply.
Eli stated he would start promoting this at the upcoming Area Meetings. Bob Miller stated that DNR will promote through their public drinking water supply program. Eli stated he feels this opens the door for future partnerships. Steve Hopper stated that everyone needs to remember that this is not a state-wide program, but is predetermined based on the locations of the existing public drinking water reservoirs.
There are 14 states who have CREP (Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program). The Missouri program agreement was signed in November 2000.
The agreement between MDC and MASWCD was reviewed, it may need to include a statement about the possibility of extending the time if necessary. The administration fee is 5% of the expended funds. The funds would be transferred from MDC to MASWCD and MASWCD would be able to earn interest on the funds until expended. MASWCD has more flexibility to carry the funds into future fiscal years than MDC or DNR has. This is why the Commission decided they could not handle the program. They could not make the program work the way MDC needed it to work. Wildlife organizations would also help promote the program.
Henry stated he was concerned about the amount of interest from landowners. Steve Oetting stated he feels the quality of land may make a difference in the landowner’s decision to participate.
A motion was made by Steve Hopper, seconded by Jerry, to accept the proposed agreement. Motion carried with no opposition. Brad will make the change indicated concerning the possible extension of time and send the agreement to Eli for his signature.
The MOCREP funds can be put in the checking account that was set up for the St. Louis SWCD Internet donations and currently has no balance.
The MASWCD Board also discussed the upcoming NACD Board Meeting on October 13,14, 15 in Salt Lake City. Those approved to attend are Eli, Bill Hollenbeck and Peggy. Steve Hopper will be attending as an Executive Board member also.
David Dix indicated his surgery will be either August 6 or August 21, he will know more after talking with his doctor tomorrow. He plans to be back involved again by fall.
Eli also brought the board up to date on the status of the Farm Bill in Congress. The Senate is asking for $2 million more for conservation than the House put in their version of the Farm Bill. Hopefully this will be worked out in conference with an amount closer to the Senate version.
There being no further business, the conference call was ended at 9:00 p.m.