MASWCD MINUTES

USDA Service Center

Jefferson City, Missouri

March 26, 2008

 

Present

Fred Feldmann, President

Steve Oetting, Past President

Not Present

Harry Robbins, Area VIII

David Dix, Treasurer

Bruce Biermann, Area I

Steve Radcliff, Area II

Kenny Lovelace, Area III

Beverly Dometrorch, Area IV

 

George Engelbach, Area V

Marie Iiams, Area VI

Sharon Gifford, Area VII

Steve Huber, Area VIII Alternate

 

Peggy Lemons, Executive Director

 

Don Hicks, Area IV 1st Alternate

Charles Francke, Perry County SWCD

Bill Wilson, DNR Program Staff

Brad McCord, MDC

 

President Fred Feldmann welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order at 1:15 p.m. with a quorum established.

A motion was made by George Engelbach, seconded by Bruce Biermann, to approve the agenda for the meeting. Motion carried unanimously.

The minutes from the November 26, 2007 meeting, and November 27, 2007 meeting, were approved as mailed. The motion was made by Beverly Dometrorch, seconded by Steve Radcliff. Motion carried unanimously.

A treasurer report prepared by David Dix was presented. There are 20 Districts who have not paid their dues in full. A copy of the breakdown of the districts not paying MASWCD dues was distributed so Area Directors would have this for their information. There were also financial reports for the MOCREP funds and the CRP-BOB funds. There was a question as to why the bank balance was left at a higher amount and not have more invested in CDís. The current CDís come due in May. A motion was made by Steve Radcliff, seconded by Bruce Biermann, to approve the Treasurer Report as presented. Motion carried unanimously.

MDC REPORT: Brad McCord stated there is an opportunity for an additional $25,000 for CRP-BOB payments. He will work with Peggy to revise the current agreement. Brad distributed information on the 2008 National Feral Hog conference that will be hosted by MDC. He stated that the letters offering the Conservation Equipment Grant was recently sent to the Districts. Last time there were 9 grants approved.

NRCS REPORT: Roger Hansen was not able to attend.

COMMISSION REPORT: Bill Wilson stated the next Commission meeting will be May 14 and will probably be held in southwest Missouri. They are finishing up the MOSWIMS training this week and the program should be ready for implementation July 1, 2008.

The Program Staff is working on revamping the job descriptions and those should be distributed in June. He stated that they had taken into consideration all the comments received from the first round of job descriptions to revise them. Beverly stated the districts in her area are wondering if the differences between DNR and NRCS will be ironed out so the District employees donít have to go to different computers to use Toolkit. Bill Wilson stated that they are working with Cares to solve this issue.

DISTRICT EMPLOYEE ASSOCIATION REPORT: Ben Reed was not able to attend.

Old Business:

The Board discussed the Training Conference held last November/December. Several options are being considered for this year as far as the location, length and time of the conference. Last November was the end of the contract with Tan-Tar-A and a new contract has not been signed as of yet. The Board discussed the Supervisor training and certification that is being piloted by Ohio. This also ties into the HB1440 that is in the Legislature this year that will require publicly elected boards to attend 4 hours of Sunshine Law training. So far the bill has been voted out of committee, but not passed by the House or Senate.

Bruce Biermann and Steve Oetting discussed the Missouri River Recover Initiative (MRRIC). Bruce attended a meeting in Reno at the NACD Meeting on this and Steve had attended one earlier in Bozeman, Montana. The purpose of the committee is to provide input on how to manage the recovery of the Missouri River in relation to the endangered species. The Governor of each state bordering the river will appoint 2 representatives and each of the organizations involved will have a representative and an alternate. Mike Wells is one of the appointed representatives from Missouri. The conservation districts from each of the states bordering the river will be represented by 2 people. They are asking for nominations for these representatives. Bruce Biermann has submitted his information for this. There is an estimated cost for the travel for these representatives to attend meetings for MRRIC that has been discussed to be split between the supporting states. A motion was made by Steve Oetting, seconded by Kenny Lovelace, to approve up to $800 in support of travel of the representative and alternate for up to 5 years. Motion carried unanimously.

Information on the progress of the 2007 Farm Bill was reviewed. A chart showing the House passed version and the proposed Senate version compared to the 2002 Farm Bill was reviewed. The hope is there will be something approved before the April 18 deadline.

 

New Business:

The proposed rule changes for cost-share that were approved at the recent Commission Meeting were reviewed. These rule changes deal with changing the Loan Interest Program to a rebate program instead of an interest-rebate; using the state average cost-list for cost-share instead of county average costs; and using contracts instead of applications. Their hopes are for implementation of July 1, 2009. More information on this will be sent out to the Districts in the near future.

Beverly stated that every time a memo comes out she gets several phone calls. She asked what will be done to help districts with their funding, especially those that were cut. Info/Ed seems to be an area that was hit hardest and needs funding. She stated the Districts are concerned about not being able to charge for services or sell items to make additional local funds. The Board then discussed the recent memo sent out by Doyle Childers on District activities.

The Board also discussed the recent meeting held in Senator Delbert Scottís office and the memo sent out by Bill Foster about the budget process. Fred stated that he felt there were several people who had a misunderstanding over the Commissionís authority and this meeting gave a clarification on the authority of the Commission. The budgeting authority lies with the Legislature, Governor, and Director of DNR. They also discussed the recent memo on the District web sites.

The Board reviewed the plans for the Education Seminar.

2008 Area Meetings were discussed. It was a general consensus of the Board to hold these meetings in August this year and let the areas decide on day or evening.

Area Reports:

Bruce stated he had received no severe complaints. The ground is starting to dry up so work can get started. He said the NACD meeting in Reno was the first NACD meeting he had attended and felt it would be good for all supervisors to attend an NACD meeting.

Steve Radcliff said it was a little drier in his area and they were able to get 2 structures claimed last week. He stated the Reno meeting was very interesting and agreed everyone needs to attend. He also stated that some of the ones attending the Reno meeting from Missouri went on a tour of a farm owned by a Reno state legislator that was very interesting.

Kenny said they are starting to get some projects staked and ready for when it is dry enough to start work. He stated that the discussion today had helped him understand better some of the changes that have taken place this year.

Beverly said she went to 3 annual meetings and that she gets calls every time a memo comes out.

George said he was re-elected at his local district. He said the insurance issue seems to have quieted down, he has not heard from his districts recently. He attended the RC&D conference recently in St. Louis that was attended by over 250 people from 6 states.

Marie said they are getting ready to start field work. She attended an area employee meeting. There are still some insurance concerns in her area. She also felt the Reno meeting was very good. She said she learned that Missouri is the only state that has Extension members on the SWCD Board.

Sharon said she visited a couple of counties. Several counties in her area are disgruntled. They were glad for the increase in fertilizer costs.

Steve Huber said he had not talked with Harry about any contact with districts. He agreed wholeheartedly that more should attend NACD meetings.

Fred stated he also felt the Reno meeting was a good meeting even though he and Steve Radcliff spent most of their time in board meetings.

Correspondence: None other than what was already discussed.

Other Business: Information on the Executive Director Retreat was distributed. This is scheduled for May 14-17 in Wyoming. A motion was made by Kenny, seconded by Beverly to cover the expenses for Peggy to attend this meeting. Motion carried unanimously.

Steve Radcliff shared a chart he had requested from the Program Office showing the salaries and positions of the district employees.

Fred asked if the Board wanted to continue with the newsletter that was sent out at the first of March. George made a motion to continue this on a monthly basis. This was seconded by Bruce Biermann. Motion carried unanimously.

The next regular meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 12, at the USDA Service Center in Jefferson City. There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 5:40 p.m. Motion for adjournment made by George Engelbach, seconded by Steve Radcliff. Motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Peggy Lemons, Executive Director  

Fred Feldmann, President