MINUTES

Howard Johnson Hotel

Rolla, Missouri

June 25, 2001

 

 Present

 

Eli Mast, President

Donald Jordan, Area I

Richard Morgan, Area II

Henry Heinze, Area III

Bill Hollenbeck, Area V

Kathryn Braden, Area VI

Jerry Rennick, Area VII

Steve Huber, Area VIII

Bill Wilson, DNR Soil & Water Program

Bob Miller, MO Dept. Conservation

Roger Hansen, State Conservationist

Montie Hawks, Asst. State Conservationist

David Dix, Treasurer

Peggy Lemons, Executive Secretary

Ken Bruene, Urban Committee

 

The meeting was called to order by President Eli Mast at 3:00 p.m.

The minutes of February 26, 2001, were approved as presented with the addition of making the approved budget part of the minutes. Motion made by Donald, seconded by Bill Hollenbeck. Motion carried.

The minutes of the May 3, 2001, conference call was approved as presented. Motion made by Bill Hollenbeck, seconded by Richard. Motion carried.

David distributed a treasurer report. He stated he had put another $10,000 in a 3-month CD. There are 12 districts that have not paid their state dues this year. They are: Dade, Dent, Greene, Monroe, Morgan, Osage, Pettis, Reynolds, Schuyler, Texas, Wright, and Washington. Areas 1 and 2 have 100% paid. A motion was made by Kathryn, seconded by Henry, to approve the treasurer report. Motion carried. Eli reported that the copier had been purchased for $799.99. He also reported that the laptop computer was broken on the trip to Washington, DC, and had been replaced at a cost of $750. A motion was made by Bill Hollenbeck, seconded by Donald, approving these purchases. Motion carried.

The NACD North Central Regional Meeting is July 15-18. Registration forms have been submitted for Eli, Peggy, Bill Hollenbeck, and Steve Hopper. The registration for Jerry and Kathryn will be sent in the next few days. Hotel reservations have been made and all planning to attend will be driving.

Ken Bruene, chair of the Urban Committee, discussed with the board what the committee is working on. They have met twice, and one topic that keeps coming up is the election process for the board supervisors. He stated they plan to have a breakout session at the Training Conference. They have a concern about electing supervisors by a small number of votes such as 10-15. They have done some research on how boards are elected across the nation, especially in the Mid-West. He discussed how Iowa changed to the general election ballot and how it affected the conservation program in Iowa. He stated the committee plans to study this more. It was brought up that Farm Bureau had passed a resolution recently stating they supported farmers only as SWCD board members.

It was asked if changing the election process would require a change in the law and possibly a constitutional change. It was decided it would require both. Ken stated the other item they have discussed is Farmland Protection. Bill Wilson stated that the Commission is discussing a pilot for Farmland Protection/Preservation at their meeting tomorrow. Ken referenced the situation in Platte County of charges to lay water line across a farm. They have worked on legislation to prevent this, it passed the House this past year, however, did not make it completely through the legislative process.

Eli discussed with the Board the issue of districts paying (or not paying) NACD quota. A list was distributed which showed by county which districts had paid and the amount paid. He also reviewed the commitment he had made to NACD to increase the amount of quota paid from Missouri. E-mail was sent out in May reminding the Districts that NACD quota is an eligible expense from the District Assistance funds.

Bill Wilson distributed a list of the Area Meeting dates and locations for review. They are: August 14, Farm Credit Office in Sedalia

August 15, Ramada Inn in St. Joseph

August 20, American Legion in Shelbina

August 21, Chillicothe, trying to get the Rural Electric Coop building

August 27, Jonesburg, working on the location

August 28, Best Western in Sikeston

August 29, St. Roberts, looking at location where Pulaski has annual meetings.

August 30, Lions Club in Friestat, will be an evening meeting

The Board reviewed the information on the Watershed Association elections which will be held at the Area Meetings. There is some confusion as to whether nominations or nominations and election will be held at these meetings. The meetings will be 2 1/2 hours concluding with lunch, the evening meeting will begin with dinner at 7 followed by the meeting. There will be reports from the Commission, NRCS and MASWCD, elections in odd number areas, with some time for SALT AgNPS and Envirothon. Eli stated he plans to attend all the Area Meetings again this year. There was some discussion about having Districts have displays to showcase their success stories. Bill Wilson said he would check with the locations to see if this will work.

Peggy reported on the work of the District Assistance Formula Committee. There will be a presentation to the Commission at their meeting tomorrow on a recommended use for a possible additional $500,000 in District Assistance funds in FY-2003. This recommendation will include a base level funding of $44,000 for all districts, and a $5,000 matching grant. There are currently 57 districts with funding less than $44,000. The additional funds would be used to bring these districts up to a $44,000 base. The matching grant funds would be increased to $5,000 for all districts, and the remaining funds would divided among the other 57 districts who receive greater than $44,000. This should be approximately $1,000 per district. The committee used the research information from Dr. Rikoon that states that the average salary for a full time clerk and a full time technician is approximately $50,000. With this recommended base and matching grant, every district should be able to have 2 full time employees. The committee will meet again tomorrow afternoon and will begin looking at recommendations for a new formula for allocation of the District Assistance Funds and a recommended salary scale.

The benefit funds were discussed briefly. Most of the problems seem to have been taken care of. The budget for FY-2002 was signed by the Governor, and does include an increase for the health insurance funds. The Commission will discuss tomorrow the amount of allocation to the districts, but it is expected the decision will be an amount of $10 less than the lowest MO Consolidated premium rate in each county. This is the same amount state employees are allowed.

The Training Conference for 2001 was discussed. It is time for the letter calling for resolutions to be sent out to the districts. This will be completed in the next 2 weeks. Resolutions will be due by September 1. There are also minor wording changes in the by-laws, these will be handled with the resolutions. The reception at the Training Conference was discussed. The Board reviewed how everyone felt the reception went last year and whether to have a similar reception this year, or make changes. A motion was made by Kathryn, seconded by Jerry, to have the dinner reception again same as last year. Motion carried. Bill Wilson indicated he would work on trying to integrate the dinner tables more with the trade show. The location of Tan-Tar-A for the conference in the future was discussed. Since Marriott no longer owns the resort, a new contract will need to be negotiated. A motion was made by Bill Hollenbeck, seconded by Richard, to continue to pursue negotiations with Tan-Tar-A for future conferences. Motion carried. Bill Wilson reviewed the list of potential workshops. Eli suggested the Chairman roles workshop be held again, last year the room was packed. Boot Camp will be held again. The Board agreed they would like to have Bruce Vincent as the banquet speaker. Bill Wilson said he would check on the cost and availability. There is a video of his speech that could be used if he is not available.

The Board again discussed the Commissionís review of their goals and addressing sheet and rill erosion to reach these goals. It was suggested to send out a survey to the Districts for them to tell how they want to target their cost-share funds. Bill Wilson stated the Commission is working with MU on what the Commission would like to see the cost-share program accomplish. Bob Miller stated FAPRI is looking at a risk management program to go along with the continuous CRP program. Roger reminded everyone that it takes a system of things to treat problems. There was no decision to send out a survey.

NRCS REPORT: Roger reported on staff changes, Mike Wells retired June 1 and Harold Deckard is now acting. After his time acting, Dick Purcell will be acting. Allen Green is going to Colorado as State Conservationist. Terry Cosby will be acting for Allen. The budget still has a sizeable deficit of $1.8 million. There is still hope for funds to become available to balance the budget. There are approximately 14 states in deficit. There were no funds for NRCS included in the Supplemental Appropriations. The House has marked up the budget for FY-2002, and this does include an increase in the conservation technical assistance of $70 million. This does include some funding for technical assistance for CRP. There is a new 1-year federal program called SWCA. This program is for non-priority EQIP areas, contracts have to be done by October 1. Missouri will receive $626,500 for this program.

COMMISSION REPORT: Bill Wilson stated the Commission meets tomorrow at Wurdack Farms. The August meeting will be August 23 at the Reynolds Alumni Center in Columbia. This is a meeting with the University. He reported that Jim Boschert is now an Environmental Specialist IV and will be more involved with audits. They will be adding another coordinator. Milton Barr replaced Stan Putter.

MDC REPORT: Bob Miller stated that in July there will be a MO Department of Health advisory to not eat bass over 12" long. There is a concern for the mercury level in these fish that could affect small children and expectant mothers. He also stated the Conservation Commission is planning to suspend their plans to reintroduce elk due to potential diseases.

Eli reported on the Grassland Evaluation Contest. There were 14 teams from Missouri, Louisiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and Arkansas. The winner was Fulton FFA.

Eli attended the Locally Led Conservation conference in Nebraska. He stated there were approximately 70 people there, 6 supervisors with the rest representing agencies. The attendance was half of what they had hoped for. He stated it was a little repetitive, but those who needed to be there were not. The emphasis of the meeting was how to build coalitions and work with local people.

Richard reported on his work with the TMDL committee. They are setting up sub-committees, so far MASWCD is not named on one but probably should be.

Bill Wilson reported that SB462 passed through the legislature, but has not been signed by the Governor yet. This bill has some provision for the protection of landowners when utility pipes were laid across their land. It also included language that changes subdistricts to watershed districts and the authority for the watershed district would vest with the watershed district with the SWCD board of supervisors acting in an advisory capacity. There were also several other agricultural related provisions included in the bill. The Governor has until July 11 or 12 to sign bills. The budget was signed last Friday.

An information page from NACD on Leadership Commitment was distributed.

The hay award at the State Fair will be sponsored again this year. Steve Oetting will do the presentation of the plaque and check.

The next meeting was set for Friday, September 14 in Jefferson City at the USDA Service Center. Starting time will probably be 5:00 p.m., but will be finalized later.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:00 p.m. Motion made by Kathryn, seconded by Jerry. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

_____________________________

Peggy Lemons, Executive Secretary

_________________________

Eli Mast, President