MINUTES

USDA Service Center

Jefferson City, Missouri

July 20, 2004

 

Present

Steve Oetting, President

Eli Mast, Past President

 

Roger Hansen, NRCS

Sarah Fast, DNR Program Director

Donald Jordan, Area I

Tom Lambert, Area II

Bill Wilson, DNR Program Staff

Henry Heinze, Area III

Beverly Dometrorch, Area IV

Kathryn Braden, Area VI

 

Steve Huber, Area VIII

 

David Dix, Treasurer

 

Peggy Lemons, Exec. Director

 

 

President Steve Oetting called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. following a joint meeting with the District Employees Association State Board. Roll call for attendance. Steve gave an update on the health issues on Jim Hubert.

The minutes from the April 19, 2004 meeting were approved as mailed. The motion was made by Kathryn, seconded by Donald. Motion carried.

David distributed a treasurer report. He stated the interest rate on the CDs has not increased any. 16 districts have not paid dues yet, and 5 districts have paid partial dues for 2004. David stated last year 110 districts paid dues. It was emphasized that only those districts who have paid dues in full will be eligible to vote at the upcoming Area Meetings. A report was also given on the MOCREP and CRP-BOB funds. A motion was made by Kathryn, seconded by Tom, to approve the Treasurer Report as presented and file for audit. Motion carried.

NRCS Report: Roger Hansen reported there is a new policy effective July 1 on construction inspection on large dams. Any dam with a cost estimate over $15,000 must be aproved by the Area Engineer and any dam with a cost estimate over $20,000 must go to the State Engineer. He also stated Area Conservationists were given the authority to lower the dollar amount for Area Engineer involvement if they felt the need. Roger stated there was a need to make sure the practices are installed as designed. He has a meeting scheduled with the MO Land Improvement Contractors to discuss with them as well. This will also be part of his report at the Area Meetings. Roger stated that the TSP funds had $1.3 million earmarked for Misouri and he has authorized the Area Conservationists each $50,000 to use for agreements with districts in their areas. Most of the work needed for these agreements include data entry and some technical work. The decision as to how to distribute these funds was left up to the Area Conservationists and they will be on a 50/50 match basis. As of July 1 there was $17.7 million EQIP funds available. Over $25 million requests were received which means approximately 70% of the requests were funded. There were 4 counties that had no applications, the average contract is $12,341. 68% of all the contracts address some form of livestock concerns. Steve Oetting asked about maintenance on cost-share practices that have been installed for several years, maybe a new form of maintenance programs should be available instead of totally rebuilding older structures.

COMMISSION Report: Bill Wilson reported the Commission Meeting is tomorrow, July 21. There will be an update on the sales tax revenue given at the meeting. The 2004 Missouri Envirothon team will give their oral presentation following lunch. There will also be a budget review.

An update was given on the legislative bills from the recent legislative session. The joint resolution on the Parks & Soils Sales Tax did not move out of committee, however, the Citizens Committee will be working with the legislature for the next session to get the bill introduced early in the session and approved. The CAFO bill that was approved by the legislature was vetoed by the Governor.

The Benefit Committee will be making a recommendation to the Commission at their meeting tomorrow on the desired parameters for the use of the health insurance benefit funds. This has been discussed in length by the Benefit Committee several times. The basic recommendation will be that districts need to start moving toward true group coverage, however direct payments to district employees reimbursing them for health insurance paid will not be allowed any longer.

Tom Lambert asked about fencing costs and the limit of fencing allowed on cost-share practices. He stated due to the increase in steel costs, the landowners were having to spend a lot more for fence posts, etc. Ron Redden explained that he had received a couple of calls from districts on this subject, and a few districts have incresed pipe prices recently. Steve Oetting commented that there were a couple of options for this issue, either a resolution to be handled at the Annual Meeting or districts could send a letter from the board to the Commission.

The North Central Regional Meeting was attended by Steve Oetting, Eli, Peggy and also Tom Lambert. A review of the meeting was given. A copy of the NACD quota report was distributed to the Board, along with a 7-year past history listed by county. Eli stated that at the Regional Meeting it was discussed why NACD held their Annual Meeting in Hawaii in February and the answers from NACD were that it would have cost a large sum of money to get out of the contract, they also felt the meeting being held there would be of help to the state of Hawaii who has been struggling with their program, and there was a record attendance which meant that NACD made more money on the meeting. NACD has begun outsourcing their printing services and catalog. They feel this should offer more choice of products and districts will still be able to talk to the same people when placing orders or getting information. A comparative for the North Central Region was reviewed.

Steve Oetting indicated he had talked to Jim Hubert about being chair of the Resolutions Committee, however, due to health problems he would not be able to do that this year. Eli indicated the need for a standing committee and that the policy book needs to be

reviewed yearly. Steve Oetting appointed Eli as the chair of the Resolutions Committee for this year. He will put a committee together to handle the resolutions and review the policy book. This was followed by a discussion on how the new resolution/policy procedure will work.

Area Meetings will be the weeks of August 16 and 23. Peggy asked how many Area Directors had received nominations for the Grassland Farmer Award, only 1 area had indicated an entry. It was reminded that the District Employees Association wants to ask those attending their opinion of the fun night at the Training Conference. The time being looked at is from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with the business part of the meeting being first. The remainder of the meeting will be the planning process where the long range plans and priorities from the counties in the area will be brought together to develop a regional plan. Bill stated they have received approximately 80% of the district long range plans so far. Steve Oetting asked areas 2-4-6-8 how the nominating committees were working. Some guidelines will be sent to the nominating committee chairs before the Area Meetings. A reminer was also given that there will be Waterhed Association board nominations at the Area Meetings.

Steve Oetting reported the Leadership Task Force report has been reviewed and he will be visiting with Roger Hansen about possible funding through NRCS grants to help set up some leadership training. More than likely this will be a 2-year plan.

Eli reported on the Advisory Committee he is on that is working on the strategic planning. The committee was organized to guide the Commission through the tax renewal process. Steve Oetting stated he felt the need to have an advisory panel of experienced people who have been through the tax renewal previously. He appointed Eli, Jeff Otto and Steve Hopper (all past presidents) on this advisory panel. A motion was made by Eli, seconded by Kathryn, to approve paying the expenses of those appointed to the panel. Motion carried.

The Board discussed items concerning the 2004 Training Conference. A motion was made by Eli to have a sit-down meal for the Monday night reception. This was seconded by Beverly. Motion carried. Then a motion was made by Eli to set the price at $9 per person. This was seconded by Steve Huber. Motion carried.

Since this year is the 60th anniversary of MASWCD it was felt that something should be done to recognize this at the Training Conference. Kathryn suggested a map showing the year each of the counties was organized and a memento be included in the registration bags. Eli suggested that for the 50th anniversary the history book was updated and distributed and he thought this might be appropriate again. A motion was then made by Kathryn, seconded by Donald, to update the history book and have copies in the registration bags. Motion carried.

Information on a suggested speaker that was heard at the North Central Regional meeting was given to Bill Wilson for consideration at the Training Conference. He stated they have other names to consider as well. NACD has a grant through NRCS for doing some social equity workshops and needs to put on 22 of these workshops this year. After discussion, it was suggested to see if there could be a 1-hour introduction workshop on this at the Training Conference instead of the 4-hour regular workshop. The registration fee for the conference was discussed. A motion was made by Tom, seconded by Donald, to set the registration fee at $35 pre-registration and $40 registration at the door. The vote on this was as follows: NO Kathryn, Steve Huber, and Eli. YES Beverly, Donald, Tom and Henry. Motion carried. Kathryn asked Bill Wilson how long it had been since there was a workshop on audits. He stated there probably would be one again this year. She stated the Urban Committee plans to do a workshop again. Other workshop suggestions include: Plant Materials Center, The role of the Districts in the success of the Envirothon, The Role of Hiring and Firing, How Districts Earn Local Funds, What can you do to get Cooperators to get Practices Done.

Kathryn Braden reported the Urban Committee has met and threw out several ideas for workshops. They are having trouble getting everyone to understand that all districts have urban issues.

Beverly Dometrorch asked for advice on help with controversy between counteis involved in a SALT project.

Tom indicated he had received complaints on the new dam inspection rule. He also stated watershed elections are a real problem and asked how to go about getting the voting process changed. Bill Wilson stated it is in the rules and it could start with a resolution to take to the Commission. Eli made a motion to have MASWCD recommend a policy change to allow watershed trustee election votes by mail. This was seconded by Henry. Motion carried.

Steve Huber reported on the tour at Otter Slew and a wetland mitigation project where Bruce Knight attended.

Eli reported on the Watershed Meeting he and Jim Hubert attended in St. Louis in June. He staetd the emphasis of the meeting was on how agencies can work together.

A letter was received from the 2005 Envirothon Committee asking for sponsorship of the national competition in July 2005. After discussion, Eli suggested this issue be brought up at the next meeting so there is more time to discuss it in detail and make a better decision.

David reported that the mileage rate had increased to 34.5 cents per mile effective July 1.

The next meeting is tentatively set for October 5, starting at 1:00 p.m. either at the Cole County USDA Service Center or the DNR Meeting Room.

A motion was made by Kathryn, seconded by Beverly to adjourn. Motion carried, meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.

Respecftully submitted:

Peggy Lemons                                Steve Oetting

Peggy Lemons

Executive Director

 

 

 

Steve Oetting

President