MASWCD MINUTES

USDA Service Center

Jefferson city, Missouri

March 11, 2009

 

Present

Steve Radcliff, President

Bruce Biermann, Area I

Tom Lambert, Area II

Kenny Lovelace, Area III

Beverly Dometrorch, Area IV

George Engelbach, Area V

Ben Gorden, Area VI (arrived 11:20 am)

Sharon Gifford, Area VII

Steve Huber, Area VIII

Peggy Lemons, Executive Director David Dix, Treasurer

David Hale, Area VI Alternate

Bill Wilson, DNR Program Acting Director

Roger Hansen, NRCS State Conservationist

Brad McCord, MDC

Shelly Sumpter, District Employees Association

Charlie Franke, Perry SWCD

Tina Hovendick, Benton SWCD

Jamie Henderson, Benton SWCD

Jim Freeburger, Benton SWCD

 

Not Present

Fred Feldmann, Past President

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Steve Radcliff welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order at 11:05 a.m. with a quorum established by roll call.

The minutes from the November 12, 2008 meeting, November 24, 2008 conference call, December 1, 2008 joint meeting with the Commission, December 1, 2008 meeting, December 2, 2008 meeting, and the January 5, 2009 conference call were approved as mailed. The motion was made by Bruce Biermann, seconded by Tom Lambert. Motion carried with a 6-1 vote, with George Engelbach casting the opposing vote.

A treasurer report was presented by David Dix. David reviewed the list of the districts that have paid state dues. There are 88 districts who have paid dues for 2009 and 26 who have not. George asked how many had paid by January 1 and David responded that 61 paid prior to January 1, 2009 and 27 after that date. There were also financial reports for the MOCREP funds and the CRP-BOB funds. David stated he wanted to hold the funds in the checking account from a CD that will mature shortly, hoping the interest rate will get higher before re-investing the funds. David asked about the mileage rate. A motion was made by George Engelbach to follow the state rate and adjust accordingly as it changed. Kenny Lovelace seconded this motion. Motion carried unanimously. The current state rate is $.475 per mile.

David also asked about signatures on the checking account. Henry will be added and Fred removed. A motion was made by Beverly Dometrorch, seconded by Sharon Gifford, to approve the Treasurer Report as presented. Motion carried unanimously.

DISTRICT EMPLOYEE ASSOCIATION REPORT: Shelly Sumpter reported she is getting several calls on the health insurance. Some are having issues with being told they are not covered, some have bills that are being denied. Missouri Consolidated Health Care is making an effort to make sure the claims are getting re-filed. Shelly also stated she had noticed on Lotus Notes there is a web meeting link and was wondering if it might possibly be something that could be used by their association or the MASWCD Board to save on travel costs or when individuals cannot make a meeting. Bill Wilson stated he would check on it. Shelly also mentioned she had been checking on e-verify, if districts are required to use it. She has discussed this with DNR, but has not heard yet back yet. Shelly also stated she had heard from a few districts that are experiencing severe financial problems due to the changes put in place such as the loss of matching grant dollars and the allocation coming ľ each quarter. George Engelbach stated that the driving force for a lot of the changes was the 2003 audit of DNR. He also stated some of the findings could be argued or disagreed with but some needed to be addressed.

Old Business:

Those who attended the NACD National Meeting in New Orleans recently reviewed the meetings they had attended. Steve Radcliff has to return home early due to the death of his mother-in-law and Beverly Dometrorch took over as the voting member for Missouri. She said NACD is still fund raising to pay for the building renovations (Capitol Court Campaign). Bruce stated he had attended a workshop on Strengthening Boards. He stated Ohio seemed to have a substantial amount of local funding. He stated they stressed partnering with local agencies. Peggy helped Beverly with the Board Meeting duties. During the election Steve Robinson of Ohio was installed as NACD President, Gene Schmidt of Indiana was elected First Vice President, Earl Garber of Louisiana was elected Second Vice President, and Jack Majores of North Dakota was elected Treasurer. The Regional Meeting for the North Central Region is being scheduled for January 2010 in Iowa, trying to get back to the regional meeting concept.

The 2008 Training Conference was reviewed. The Board looked at the number of Supervisors and Employees attending, and reviewed the workshops. The evaluations had several comments about the cash bar at the banquet. Kenny Lovelace stated he had heard that several liked the idea of reading the list of names from the Necrology list and wanted that done next year. The on-line registration program seemed to work very well from all aspects. Registration was a little difficult to reconcile this year due to the way registration was handled with the absence of Peggy. It still appears that a profit of approximately $13,000 was made on the conference this year.

Peggy reviewed the legislative bills being watched. The cuts originally put in for Extension were discussed. It is understood that these cuts have been removed at this time. Motion was made by Kenny Lovelace, Bruce Biermann seconded, to send a letter in support of the Extension budget to the Legislators. Motion carried unanimously.

NRCS REPORT: Roger Hansen stated that Congress passed the FY-09 federal budget yesterday and it should be signed by the President today. It appears to be an adequate budget, now waiting on the details of the 2010 budget. The funding for RC&D is zeroed out in the proposed 2010 budget. Roger announced he plans to retire on June 3, 2009

after 41 years with the agency. The current Acting Chief is Dave White, State Conservationist from Montana. He had spent some of his early career in Missouri.

New Business:

Peggy reviewed the plans for the Education Seminar and distributed the packets to the Board. Mike Wells will handle the review of the legislation and budget.

The Board discussed the 2009 Training Conference. The contract has been signed with Tan-Tar-A for the same dates for 2009, the Monday through Wednesday following Thanksgiving. Peggy, Beverly and Roger discussed a speaker they had heard at the NACD Meeting in New Orleans. Chad Pergracke is the founder of the Living Lands and Waters Foundation in Illinois which does Mississippi River clean-up. He is a very enthusiastic and motivating speaker. George Engelbach made a motion to contract with Chad to speak at the banquet at the Training Conference. Tom Lambert seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously. The fee for Chad is $2500 plus travel. The Board also discussed possible workshop topics and asked about input from those who attended the 2008 Training Conference. Evaluation forms indicated they liked the workshops by Pam Pullman on board responsibilities. Ms. Pullman had also indicated earlier that she had a training that would work well for the group as a whole. The Board decided to see if Ms. Pullman would be available for the Opening Session. They also discussed having the Opening Session earlier on Monday and possibly going back to the meal on Monday evening. Depending on what the input from the Trade Show vendors shows. Some of the other topics mentioned for workshops include: streambank issues by MDC and/or Corps; CMT training; 1099/W-2 training. DNR has already committed to support of the conference similar to this past year. The Board discussed the issue of conference bags, are they needed, is the material in the bags important. It was decided to continue with the conference bags.

MDC REPORT: Brad McCord reported that he will be leaving MDC, he is going to be the RC&D Coordinator in Clinton, MO, starting in April. He stated that the CRP BOB initiative should end this June and the CREP initiative is scheduled to be completed in December. The unspent funds will need to be returned to MDC after the administrative fee is deducted. The administrative fee for CREP has already been paid. MDC is still pursuing the feral hog eradication issue.

Old Business (continued):

One of the questions on a survey completed by District Supervisors and Employees last fall was having a state-wide retirement for District employees. A way to possibly do this is to work with LAGERS to get a change to the state statute making soil and water conservation districts eligible for LAGERS. After lengthy discussion, a motion was made by George Engelbach, seconded by Sharon Gifford, to pursue changing the state statute, then if that happens, further work can be done later on districts participating in LAGERS. Motion carried unanimously. Peggy will check back with LAGERS to see how to proceed from here.

Steve Radcliff reported he had been working with Monsanto on a speech contest idea for the Training Conference. Monsanto has agreed to donate $1500 in support of this. MASWCD would only be responsible for the judging of the speech finalists at the Training Conference. The regional judging would be done at the regular FFA competitions. The speech would be 5 minutes with 5 minutes of questions. We would need to supply the subject theme and judges at the conference. Steve reviewed the suggested cash prize award levels. Steve mentioned that it would be a good idea to see the state speaking contest at the FFA convention in Columbia April 16/17 this year. A motion was made by Kenny Lovelace, seconded by Tom Lambert, to approve the speech contest. Motion carried unanimously. Rules for the contest will be prepared and distributed.

Area Reports:

Bruce Biermann reported that he had contacted all his districts concerning the supervisor election proposed changes. Five of the districts in his area indicated they would agree to go with a mail-out election, 2 maybe, 1 no, and 4 were uncommitted. He stated maybe an article in the MDC magazine about how important the role of the SWCD Board is would help generate interest.

Tom Lambert stated all his districts wanted to stay the way we currently do elections. The main concern was the expense. Some of his districts have an open house for their annual meeting. He also stated he was thinking about moving the Area Meeting to the Trenton area this year to see if it would help on the attendance.

Kenny Lovelace stated most of his districts wanted the election inexpensive and simple. One districts said maybe like FSA does 4 districts did not respond back. He discussed the idea of partnering with other groups or agencies like MFA, local Coops, etc., to get more people at the annual meeting. He stated the rain had slowed down the cost-share. He attended the DSP-3 meeting yesterday and felt it was a good meeting.

Beverly stated she had contacted all of her districts and most felt that if you represented the entire district then everyone should get to vote on that position. Her districts were in favor of the current process 12 to 3. She stated she is still hearing of no trust in the Commission. Some districts were concerned about the comment from DNR about looking to make sure there was sufficient personnel to handle the numbers in the Needs Assessment. She is still hearing of some health insurance concerns, some claims not getting paid.

George Engelbach stated he had not heard back from all his districts. St. Charles stated they had 6340 parcels and were concerned about the cost of the mail ballot.

Ben Gorden stated he had contacted all his districts by e-mail, 8 responded and it was pretty much unanimous on not changing the election process.

Sharon Gifford stated she called all her districts, 10 said leave it as is, 2 really didnít want to say, and 2 felt the postage would be easier to deal with than the nominating committee and felt there should be an incentive for the Supervisors. Most felt the cost was prohibitive. She said some asked what was going to be done about issues brought up at Tan-Tar-A, needs assessment concerns, some said the Assessor office is not easy to get information from.

Steve Huber said he contacted all his districts and all said leave it as it is.

 

COMMISSION REPORT:

Bill Wilson stated the next Commission meeting will be May 13 at the Lincoln University Carver Farm. The election committee plans to meet again in early April. The numbers from the needs assessments were discussed and suggestions were given on changes to stay within the allocation amount. The deadline for the next step in the rules change process in January for the equipment incentive program was missed so the Program Office is back to the planning stage. They plan to continue to work on the idea, Commissioner Devlin had some ideas on how to improve the program. The DSP-3 meetings have been going well. Mr. Wilson asked if there were any issues on the way the Training Conference worked this past year. He stated they would like to work on the workshop topics and help with those where needed. Mike Wells wanted to discuss this with the Board but was tied up in budget hearings today. He will be available for further discussion at the Education Seminar this evening. It was asked how the needs assessment would be affected if HB 428 did not pass. Bill Wilson stated the Commission would have to go back and look at sheet and rill and gully erosion numbers.

Mike Wells of DNR is the Missouri designee on the Missouri River Initiative Task Force. Those who are represented on this task force include the soil and water districts, tribes, barge companies, etc. They cannot make any changes, but can give input. A motion was made by Bruce Biermann to pay the $500 dues invoiced to cover the travel costs for the SWCD representative on this task force. George Engelbach seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously. This will be discussed more with Mr. Wells following the Education Seminar meeting this evening.

Beverly stated at the NACD meeting they were still asking for contributions to help pay for the renovations to the building in Washington, D.C. MASWCD has contributed a few times over the past couple of years for a total of about $1600 so far. Bruce Biermann made a motion to postpone this discussion, Sharon seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Correspondence:

Information from Helms Briscoe, a meeting planning company, was reviewed. The Board decided they did not need their services.

The MASWCD Awards program was discussed. Suggestions were given on how to get more nominations for the awards. A motion was made by George Engelbach, seconded by Kenny Lovelace, to continue with the Awards Program the same for another year. Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution authorizing accounts at Farmers Bank of Lohman for the CRP-BOB funds was approved. A motion was made by George Engelbach, seconded by Tom, to approve this resolution and the signature authority on the account for Sharon Gifford, David Dix and Peggy Lemons. Motion carried unanimously.

Credit cards for the Board travel was discussed. Sharon Gifford made a motion to get credit cards for Beverly Dometrorch and Bruce Biermann, and cancel the credit cards for Steve Oetting and Fred Feldmann. Tom Lambert seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Sharon Gifford to add Steve Radcliff along with Henry Heinze to the Eminence checking account, and remove Fred Feldmann from the account. Bruce Biermann seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Beverly asked if anyone else had received a letter from Lawrence concerning the Technician II certification and the liability connected with that. Bill Wilson reported that the Commission had discussed this further and a memo had been sent out clarifying this issue.

The Board reviewed the contact information for the Directors and made sure all information was current.

The meeting was recessed at 5:00 p.m. to reconvene following the Education Seminar later this evening. Motion for recess made by Bruce Biermann, Kenny Lovelace seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

The meeting re-convened at 8:51 p.m. with the MASWCD Board of Directors, Mike Wells of DNR, Bill Wilson of DNR and Shelly Sumpter of the District Employees Association. Mr. Wells indicated he is interested in working on the planning of the conference and he is in total support of the conference. They would like to help design some of the workshops to help deliver the training that is needed. The MASWCD Board stated they felt it was needed to get back to the partnership, maybe see about the DNR in-house printing possibility. Also discussed was going back to an early morning joint meeting with an afternoon Opening Session and moving the Monday evening meal back to the Trade Show area. Shelly stated the Trade Show booth numbers were down and they were going to do some work on this. Currently they charge $300 per booth with Ĺ price for first time booths and non-profit booths. George Engelbach asked about getting credit for Supervisor Training. Bill Wilson indicated he is working with the national committee for Board accreditation. Beverly asked about additional funding for Districts to help them have funds for employees to attend the conference. Shelly indicated some districts are experiencing financial difficulties that need to be addressed. The comments on the Supervisor election process were discussed. Mike Wells indicated the issue had been brought up to the Governor by people who are not on the Boards. MASWCD suggested having pilot districts try a new process before changing the whole system. MASWCD Area Directors could suggest one district in each of their areas to pilot this. They also suggested for right now working with those districts where problems exist. Mike Wells also indicated they will be starting to work on getting bids for the health insurance for when the contract with Missouri Consolidated expires.

The next regular meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 12, at the USDA Service Center in Jefferson City starting at 11:00 a.m. There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 9:35 p.m. Motion for adjournment made by George Engelbach, Bruce Biermann seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

 

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Peggy Lemons, Executive Director

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Steve Radcliff, President