JOINT MEETING

MO SOIL & WATER COMMISSION

MO ASSOCIATION OF SOIL & WATER

CONSERVATION DISTRICTS

Monday, November 27, 2000, 8:00 a.m.

 

Introductions were made around the table. In attendance were the Soil and Water Commission, the MASWCD Board, DNR Program Staff, Roger Hansen of NRCS, Ray Evans of MDC, Marla Young of MO Department of Agriculture, Dave Baker of University Extension, and a few soil and water district representatives.

Eli Mast and Liz Brown welcomed everyone and explained the purpose of the joint meeting.

Roger Hansen stated the USDA/NRCS budget had passed and he had received the FY-2001 allocation. The budget will be tight again this year, all of the $54 million increase is earmarked for specific projects. Otherwise it is a level budget from last year but the pay increases have to be absorbed. With the new Congress, no one is sure what will happen with supplemental appropriations. Allen Green gave an update on the EQIP program. He reported on the number of contracts, dollars spent and practices and systems installed with those dollars for the year 2000 and for the time frame of 1997 through 2000 (the beginning of the program). 3% of the total dollars are earmarked for education assistance (approximately $100,000). One new priority area was approved this year. 10% of the funds have been reserved for limited resource farmers. Roger emphasized that in Missouri the EQIP program works as a supplement to the state cost-share program, there are some states where EQIP is the only cost-share program they have. In response to a question on how the funds are allocated, he stated that the funds are allocated according to NRI data so the state cost-share program did not impact the amount of the allocation.

Stan Putter reported that the budget proposed for FY-2002 is a status-quo budget except for the $413,000 in grants to districts and the $3.2 million for SALT. 73% of the funds are for landowner incentives.

Jim Boschert gave an update on the contract audits. He distributed a map showing districts who have been audited, where field work has been completed and where field work has not been started yet. He reviewed come of the common audit findings. He stated when an audit finding is common state-wide, usually a memo is sent out to the districts with information about the finding. These audit findings have been used as topics for training workshops. The intent is for each district to be audited every 3 years.

Jim reviewed information on the income and expenses of the districts. The total income for all districts was $9.6 million, with 69% of this being from state funds (including SALT and 319 funds). This is the lowest percentage of state funds since the Program Office has been tracking this. There was a decrease in state funds this year due to the ending of traditional SALT's. The total expenses for all districts was $9.5 million with 69% being employee related including benefits. The FY-2000 total income decreased and total expenses increased. He distributed a map showing which districts had expenses exceeding their income for the year. He also distributed a map showing districts whose total income is over 90% from the sales tax, those whose income from the sales tax is 49% to 90% of their total income, and those who have less than 49% of their total income from the sales tax funds. Peter Hoeffer questioned if the decreases in income and the districts whose expenses exceeded their income for the year could be attributed to the ending of the traditional SALT's.

Jim also reviewed the allocations of the FY-2001 district assistance funds. He showed amounts budgeted in each category and stated this had stayed relatively the same. All agreements for the employee benefit funds have been received. Of 271 eligible employees, 210 (78%) have requested health insurance funds and 270 have requested retirement funds. This will account for 76% of the total allocation.

Rose Marie Hopkins reviewed the training for the Supervisor Training Conference with a short explanation of what each workshop would provide.

Joint meeting adjourned at 9:15 a.m. with the Commission and MASWCD both continuing in separate meetings at 9:30 a.m.

 

 

 

Eastwinds Room

Tan-Tar-A Resort

Osage Beach, Missouri

November 27, 2000

  

Present

 

Eli Mast, President

Terry Cosby, Asst. State Conservationist

Steve Hopper, Past President

Bob Miller, MDC

Donald Jordan, Area I

Rose Marie Hopkins, DNR Program Staff

Richard Morgan, Area II

David Dix, Treasurer

Henry Heinze, Area III

Peggy Lemons, Exec. Secretary

Kerry Gose, Area IV

Kathryn Braden, Area VI Elect

Lloyd Gunter, Area VI

Jack Walker, MO Watershed Association

Jerry Rennick, Area VII

 Bob Bross, MO Watershed Association

Steve Huber, Area VIII

 

 

 

President Eli Mast called the meeting to order at 9:45 a.m.

The minutes from the September 19, 2000 meeting were approved as mailed. The motion was made by Kerry, seconded by Jerry. Motion carried.

David distributed a treasurer report. All but $88 was spent of the NRCS Leadership Grant. One district has already paid dues for 2001. All but 8 districts have not paid dues for 2000 and will not be able to vote on resolutions at the Annual Meeting. The names of these districts were given to their respective Area Directors. The expenses include the amounts for awards for the Training Conference including the $3600 for the Buffer Awards. A motion was made by Jerry, seconded by Donald, to approve the Treasurer Report as presented. Motion carried. David asked for approval to pay the bill for the National Envirothon dues of $200. Motion for approval made by Richard, seconded by Lloyd. Motion carried. David stated the mileage rate currently being paid is $.28 per mile, the state increased their mileage allowance to $.295 in July. He asked if the Board wished to increase the amount they pay for mileage. A motion was made by Jerry, seconded by Steve Hopper, to increase the mileage rate to $.295. Motion carried. A request had been received for a refund of conference meal expenses after the cut-off date for refunds. After discussion about whether or not MASWCD would have to pay this anyway since it was included in the guaranteed meal counts, a motion was made by Steve Hopper, seconded by Richard, to stay with the cut-off date and not approve any refunds requested after that date. Motion carried.

The agenda for the Training Conference was reviewed, and individual assignments were given. A parliamentarian will be coming for the Annual Meeting, and a CPA will be doing the benefits workshops on Monday afternoon. A motion was made by Steve Hopper, seconded by Kerry, to pay each of these persons $150 for their services at the Conference. Motion carried. The agenda for the Annual Meeting was reviewed, as well as the agenda for the Reorganization Meeting scheduled for Wednesday morning. Door prizes will consist of the Branson packages, and items from Henry (Area 3) and Lloyd (Area 6) and Richard (Area 2).

An update was given on the Benefit Advisory Committee. The Commission had requested they meet to discuss some of the issues concerning the benefit funds and bring recommendations back to the Commission. A list of the recommendations being presented to the Commission was reviewed. Bill Hollenbeck will present these recommendations to the Commission at their meeting today.

Jack Walker and Bob Bross of the Missouri Watershed Association asked for MASWD support of their proposed by-law changes. Currently their board is made up of representatives from the PL-566 areas. They want to change from the current 5 members to 9, one from each of the MASWCD areas plus a president. This is a similar design to the MASWCD board. They also would like to have SWCD supervisors as well as representatives of the PL-566 areas be eligible for election to the board. They would also like to have the endorsement of MASWCD to hold their elections at the MASWCD Area Meetings. A motion was made by Steve Hopper, seconded by Richard, to endorse their proposed by-law changes and accommodate their elections at the MASWCD Area Meetings. Motion carried. They also discussed the legislation which has been introduced for the past few years which would make the watershed trustees the governing body of the sub-district, and the need for this legislation. A motion was made by Steve Hopper, seconded by Kerry, to support this legislation. Motion carried.

Steve Hopper showed a draft of the Landowner's Assistance Guide. Jan Dellamano and Kurt Keller of MDC have put a lot of time in the development of this. MOWIN plans to keep it updated on the Internet so that new pages can be printed so hard copies can be kept updated in the offices. Hopes are to have this ready to print in the next few weeks.

The awards program for MASWCD was discussed. The Teacher of the Year award program has only had one entry for the past couple of years. Indications are that the application is too time-consuming and complicated and therefore teachers who would like to apply do not. A motion was made by Steve Hopper, seconded by Donald, to have a simplified application form for the state level competition, and then the state winner can complete the application form for NACD competition. Motion carried.

The District of the Year has had no entries for the past few years. A motion was made by Steve Hopper, seconded by Richard, to drop this award. Motion carried.

The poster contest currently follows the rules of the NACD poster contest. The posters must portray a theme which is the soil stewardship theme each year, and this year NACD has asked the poster board to be the 22" x 28" size. Many of our districts have a stock of the smaller size of poster board and have asked if they can use it this year. Steve Hopper stated the reason NACD made this change is due to receiving all sizes of posters from 8" x 10" up to the 22" x 28". They felt all posters should be the same size. When asked about this, they have agreed to also accept the 14" x 22" posters this year. The Board agreed to continue with the NACD rules of using the soil stewardship themes and allowing the 2 sizes of poster board.

A request was received from the Grassland Evaluation Contest Committee asking for awards for the top 5 teams and top 3 individuals instead of the top 3 teams. A motion was made by Lloyd, seconded by Donald, to approve this request and provide plaques for the top 5 teams as well as smaller plaques for the top 3 individuals. Motion carried.

The Distinguished Service Award was discussed. A motion was made by Lloyd, seconded by Donald, to bring back an emphasis for this award. Motion carried.

The Grassland Farmer Award was discussed and decided to not make any changes at this time.

Eli distributed a list of the members of the Urban Committee who met for the first time yesterday at this conference. Ken Bruene of Platte County was elected Chair of the committee with Henry Twiehaus of Jackson being elected Vice-Chair. They plan to meet again at the Legislative Conference in Jefferson City. They voted to have MASWCD pick up their expenses for travel if necessary. A motion was made by Steve Hopper, seconded by Jerry, to agree to picking up the expenses of this committee when necessary. Motion carried.

The Mid-America Grassland Contest has requested sponsorship again this year of $100 from MASWD. A motion was made by Kerry, seconded by Richard, to approve this $100. Motion carried.

Eli discussed with the board the consideration to pay all travel expenses for Gary Mast since he was coming to the conference at our request. We normally pay for the hotel room, meals, and registration, but Eli was also considering airfare and transportation from the airport to Tan-Tar-A. Due to not knowing the amount of funds this might be, this was tabled until the Wednesday morning meeting.

Eli distributed a letter received from Dent County explaining why they had not paid their MASWCD dues.

NRCS REPORT: Terry Cosby indicated there was no further report from what was presented in the Joint Meeting earlier.

MDC REPORT: Bob Miller provided information on a couple of videos that were made with EQIP educational funds. One is on grazing systems and the other on how to build wetlands. These should be available to the districts shortly. He indicated that Paul Johnson, former Chief of NRCS, would be a speaker at the Natural Resources Conference at Tan-Tar-A the first week of February 2001. There is also a Grazing for Prairie Restoration Workshop scheduled for January 31 at Tan-Tar-A, which is immediately prior to the Natural Resources Conference.

COMMISSION REPORT: Registration for the conference to date is 797 (219 employees, 233 supervisors, 59 NRCS, 31 DNR, 8 award winners, and 247 others).

Other Business: MASWCD has sponsored a pizza party for the Program Staff at the end of the Training Conference in appreciation for their work in preparation of the conference and their assistance at the conference. A motion was made by Lloyd, seconded by Kerry, to approve $125 for the staff pizza party. Motion carried.

Kathryn Braden reported on the auction item she was working on for the NACD meeting in Fort Worth. The Branson package will be a 2-night stay at a hotel, meals and activities for 3 days including tickets to several shows. She estimated the value of the package at slightly over $500.

The copier owned by MASWCD is in need of repair or replacement. The board discussed this and decided to table a decision on this until their next meeting. Estimated cost for replacement is approximately $700.

Steve Hopper stated that MASWCD had been paying his expenses to serve on the NACD Executive Board from the Leadership Grant funds, which are now depleted. He indicated he would submit his bills to NACD for reimbursement. A motion was made by Henry, seconded by Jerry, for MASWD to pay for what NACD does not pay. Motion carried.

The next regular meeting will be held in conjunction with the Legislative Conference in Jefferson City in February, date to be set after the Legislature goes into session. There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m. Motion for adjournment made by Kerry, seconded by Henry. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

  

Peggy Lemons, Executive Secretary Eli Mast, President