MINUTES

USDA Service Center

Jefferson City, Missouri

September 19, 2000

 

 

Present

Eli Mast, President              

Steve Hopper, Past President

Richard Morgan, Area II

Henry Heinze, Area III

Kerry Gose, Area IV

Bill Hollenbeck, Area V

Steve Huber, Area VIII         

 

Roger Hansen, State Conservationist

Bob Miller, MDC      

Bill Wilson, DNR Soil & Water Program   

David Dix, Treasurer           

Peggy Lemons, Exec. Secretary

Kathryn Braden, Area Director Elect (6)

                                   

                                                           

The meeting was called to order by President Eli Mast at 3:00 p.m. Eli apologized to Richard and Area II for the meeting not being held there as originally planned. This will be rescheduled for next spring.

The minutes from the June 20, 2000 meeting were approved as mailed. The motion was made by Bill Hollenbeck, seconded by Steve Hopper. Motion carried.

David distributed a treasurer report. He stated there had been 7 Districts pay state dues since the last meeting. There is $88.75 remaining in the NRCS Leadership Grant. A motion was made by Kerry, seconded by Steve Hopper to approve the treasurer report as presented. Motion carried.

The recent Area Meetings attendance and comments were reviewed. Kerry apologized for not being at the Area IV meeting. He did express his gratitude for being involved with the State Board. There was a total attendance at the Area Meetings of 341, this is 7 more than last year. There were 124 supervisors attending which is 26 more than last year, with 65 Districts being represented by supervisors. For the evening meetings, the attendance was about the same as last year, however the Area 6 meeting did have an increase in the number of supervisors attending compared to last year.

Those who attended the NACD Regional Meeting in Michigan reviewed the workshops and tours they attended. They felt it was a good meeting. Also discussed was the prospect of an NACD North Central employee that would work for the 8 North Central states and the Great Lakes Commission. Eli updated the board on the status of the funding for this position.

The NACD Leadership Conference was reviewed by those attending. The majority of the conference was strategic planning for NACD, and the NACD Board will continue with this planning. There will probably be some changes in the future resulting from this strategic planning. Steve Robinson of Ohio is the North Central representative on the Strategic Planning Committee. The speaker at this session discussed how important partnerships are and because of this Steve Hopper discussed his thoughts about repairing the rappoir with the partners who have been very supportive of our sales tax and involved in the tax renewal petition drives. He stated there will be several new legislators to work with next year and felt it would be a good idea to organize some tours for them. There was not a quorum present so no official business was conducted including the voting of the proposed by-law amendments.

Eli updated the board on the TMDL committee he just met with and what their purpose is. There were concerns expressed about whom should be involved with this committee on the basis of voluntary versus regulatory.

The MASWCD Web Page is continuing to be updated. There is now information for the District Employees Association on the page as well as information from the Benefit Committee and the Envirothon.

The employee benefit funds were discussed. Richard asked about the possibility of participating in the LAGERS retirement. This would require a statute change or an exemption to the statutes by LAGERS. Bill Hollenbeck had been in contact with a CPA that appears to be knowledgeable on benefits, gave his business information to Peggy for future contact if needed. He may be a possibility for the workshop at the Training Conference on benefits. A letter was received from Cooper County SWCD asking the MASWCD board to check into state-wide health insurance due to the extensive rate increase recently by Missouri Consolidated Health Care. At the last meeting of the Benefit Committee a representative of Farm Bureau was there to discuss the possibility of state-wide coverage and he stated that they could not work that out. The best they could do was regional coverage, however their rates would be dependent upon age, sex, and health information. He also indicated that they could set up a group for as few as 2 employees and it may be in the best interest of the districts if they were interested to contact their local Farm Bureau office. A letter will be sent to Cooper County SWCD explaining what has been done toward this effort. The other main issue with the health insurance is the problem with insurance companies accepting district checks for individual health insurance policies. There seems to be no way to work around this other than the employee seeking insurance with a different company. This will continue to be monitored. The Commission discussed the budget expansion for FY-2002 at their last meeting and decided to follow the provisions of the state employee health insurance which will include some form of co-pay not 100% paid employee coverage. They based their budget expansion request on the new rates of Missouri Consolidated and included a 10% increase. There have been approximately 82% of the employees accepting the insurance funds and all but 1 accepting the retirement funds. This employee will be using the funds next year, there was a waiting period before being eligible for retirement with the district.

Plans for the upcoming 2000 Training Conference were reviewed. The dates are November 27-29 and the conference will be at Tan-Tar-A. The room rate will be $53.56 per night which includes local tax, not state tax. The theme will be "Communication the Key to Conservation". Speakers are being confirmed, the entertainment for the banquet will be Mike and Robin (from the 1999 Women in Ag Conference), opening session will be Andrew McCray past National FFA speaking on communication. There are 22 different workshops being planned. There will be a joint Commission / MASWCD breakfast meeting on Monday morning and at 9:30 a.m. they will break into separate meetings. The Area Meetings (formerly Caucus Meetings) will be Monday afternoon at 4:45.

Last year the reception averaged costing $12 per person. The Board discussed ways to reduce this cost and still provide an enticing reception. A motion was made by Steve Hopper, to have a paid buffet dinner instead of a free reception and continue it to be used as a place for supervisors to mingle and everyone to spend time in the Trade Show. This was seconded by Kerry, motion carried. A motion was then made by Richard, to charge $7.50 per person for this buffet dinner and have MASWCD and DNR supplement the remaining cost. This was seconded by Steve Huber. Motion carried. It was also pointed out that the District Employees Association has approved contributing $500 toward the reception/dinner.

The Chairmen Breakfast will be held on Tuesday morning this year and will include a representative from each district plus the MASWCD Board. A letter will be sent to each chairman asking for RSVP of who will attend. The MASWCD Reorganization Meeting will be held on Wednesday morning instead of immediately following the Annual Meeting. This will allow time for the new Board to get to know each other. This will more than likely be a breakfast meeting. The awards to be presented at the Conference will include the Strategic Plans (selected from the newly revised and submitted plans), Buffer Award, Envirothon Team, Grassland Team, and Poster Contest. There will not be a Grassland Farmer award due to only having one entry. The county submitting this entry will be given the opportunity to enter it in next year's state competition along with the area winners from next year. There will also be no Teacher of the Year Award due to only receiving one entry. The entire awards program will be discussed in the future to see how it can be improved.

The first mailing for the Training Conference will be completed by the first of October. There will be a necrology list presented at one of the meals, names for this will be gathered. The registration fee for the Conference was discussed. A motion was made by Kerry, seconded by Richard, to have a pre-registration fee of $30 and an on-site fee of $35. Motion carried. There will be door prizes again, one from each Area and one main door prize, a Branson weekend. A sample 2001 pocket calendar was reviewed and discussed for consideration of giving out at the Conference. A motion was made by Richard, seconded by Bill, to order 150 of these calendars and give out at the Chairmen Breakfast. Motion carried.

The resolutions received were reviewed. The resolutions committee will hold a conference call Monday, September 25 to prepare the slate of resolutions for the Annual Meeting. The Board discussed proposing a by-law amendment due to the 1996 resolution on setting up a procedure for Area Director elections. This amendment covers attendance, quorum and voting requirements for meetings and elections. A motion was made by Steve Hopper, seconded by Henry to include this by-law amendment in the resolution committee action and submit it to the membership at the Annual Meeting. Motion carried. The Board then discussed the quorum requirements further and proposed a second by-law amendment that would change the quorum requirement from 1/4 to a majority. A motion was made by Richard, seconded by Bill, to include this by-law amendment in the resolution committee action and submit it to the membership at the Annual Meeting. Motion carried.

MDC REPORT: Bob Miller distributed a brochure on the Private Lands services. He also distributed information on a Wildlife Conservation Grant Program for FFA Chapters. He discussed with the Board the growing problem of feral hogs in the state and distriuted a couple of news releases concerning this and a map showing where there were existing populations of these feral hogs in the state.

NRCS REPORT: Roger Hansen stated that Congress has not yet acted on the 2001 budget, it may be included in the Omnibus budget. There probably will not be a government shut down, but will more than likely have continuing resolutions until the budget is approved. There is a lot of interest in the conservation technical assistance funding in the budget, NACD is still pushing for the $330 million to be added. This fiscal year there is now a balanced budget, there may be a little left for equipment. Positions or promotions that had been frozen due to budget constraints have been authorized and are in the process of filling these. He discussed an upcoming problem with the computer system. A USDA Chief of Computer Security has ruled they must put all of the employees on a Windows NT4 machine particularly for e-mail and internet access. This would mean that all computers not NT4's would not have access to e-mail or internet which includes most of the District computers. NACD is working on a solution to this problem with USDA. The effective implementation schedule of this is April 1.

COMMISSION REPORT: Bill Wilson stated the next Commission meeting will be October 26 in Jefferson City. Last Friday Secretary Glickman was in the state and signed an agreement for the MOCREP program which will provide an additional 25% payment on CRP and a bonus payment up front to sign into the CRP program. This is primarily to benefit the 58 public water supplies in 36 counties. Plans are to have the first sign-up around the first of the year. He stated there is a coordinator position vacant and the SALT coordinator position is also open. Training sessions are going on this week for review of the accounting system.

Correspondence: A letter was received from the St. Louis County SWCD asking for use of the MASWCD 501c3 status to gather donations through the internet. This was discussed by the Board and a motion was made by Steve Hopper to approve checking into the feasibility of this by using a separate bank account, having a legal agreement stating St. Louis County SWCD would be responsible for any unauthorized withdrawals from the account, and charging an administrative fee for this. This was seconded by Bill. Motion carried.

NACD is putting together a committee for computer technology and is asking for names of people who would be qualified to serve on the committee. There were no names submitted at this time.

A letter from NACD was received asking for donation of an auction item for the NACD National Meeting in February in Fort Worth. The Board agreed a Branson weekend would be a good auction item and Kathryn Braden agreed to work on this. They also agreed to have Missouri products in a walnut bowl as an additional auction item.

Other Business: Eli indicated he is putting together an Urban Committee and wants to have this committee meet at Tan-Tar-A. He will need suggested names for committee members as well as a committee chair. NRCS and MDC indicated they could have advisors to this committee.

Eli also indicated he had the NACD financial statement through August 30 for anyone who wanted to look at it. Steve Hopper distributed a list of Districts indicated who has and has not paid NACD quota. He stated that in many cases it could be identified the problem of why this quota has not been paid. The Area Directors indicated they will talk with the districts in their areas to see if they can help.

The next regular meeting will be held at Tan-Tar-A on Monday, November 27 at 7:00 a.m. This will be the joint breakfast meeting with the Commission and then will break at 9:30 a.m. into separate meetings. There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

            Peggy Lemons                                                  

Peggy Lemons, Executive Secretary                                 Eli Mast, President