2013 April – McLean County SWCD Minutes

The Board of Directors of the McLean County SWCD had their regular meeting on April 10th, 2013 at 7:30 a.m. at the USDA Service Center, 402 N. Kays Drive, Normal.  The meeting was called to order by Sally Breese, Vice-Chairman.  Directors present were Irvin Bane, Mikel Fonger and Bev Miller.  District employees present were Jackie Kraft, Ross Fogle and Stephanie Musselman.  NRCS employees present were Kent Bohnhoff, Randy McCormack, Matt Bell and Debbie Clairmont.

~February Financials/Minutes: February minutes, Irvin motioned, Mikel seconded.  Motion carried.
Mikel made a motion to approve the February financials, Irvin seconded.  Motion carried.

~Kent gave his NRCS report as written. Kent shared information regarding ongoing programs, including CSP and EQIP.  It appears there will be an opportunity to enroll in CSP again this year, however there are no details yet.  General EQIP applications now have to have 3 priority practices to be considered high and receive a ranking score on the cutoff.  There are 27 applications that met criteria and 18 applications in the January 18th cutoff with requests for funding.  There are 14 applications with requests for funding; waiting to hear which will be funded.  There were 11 contracts behind schedule, that number is now down to 3.  CRP general signup is set for May 20th to June 14th.

~Bev gave her Legislative report. The General Assembly is back at work after Easter break and will have the vast majority of legislation acted upon in the next 6-8 weeks.  They are scheduled to adjourn May 31st.  HB 987 (Prevailing Wage-Production Agriculture)  Rich Nichols and Mike Hoffman not optimistic because labor is too strong and there are not enough votes to overcome labor’s opposition.  HB 2616 (Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act)  Rich Nichols believes a case can be made to use some of the fees from this act to fund SWCDs to help assure water quality.  SB 1739 (Amends the Riverboat Gambling Act)  The AISWCD will continue to work to get the money put back by amendment in the Senate.  The Governor would like all of the money to go to education, so funding may not be at the same level as it was previously.  HB 3595 and SB 2466 (Dept. of Ag Budget Bills) are scheduled for action later this month and most of the money will be used for operations if the bills make it to the final budget bill.

~Ross gave his RC report as written.  The website is now fully functioning with 118 visitors the first month and 235 visitors the second month.  The facebook page has reached 834 people since it was started and has gotten 54 likes.  The Pond Management Clinic was held March 12th and 44 people attended.  Ross explained how he spent a day with Wayne Kinney looking at old SSRP projects that are still functioning.  Ross and Wayne also visited the Howard Heatherwick project and plan to look at Oehler SSRP soon.  Conservation Day will be May 25th with 600 students attending.  Fish and Tree sales were up this spring compared to last spring with a fish sale profit of $1,489.00 and a tree sale profit of $1,332.87. There were 35 in attendance at the Annual Meeting.  Ross has now become a member of Sportsman Club and Pheasants Forever and is the chairman of the Erosion Committee for Friends of EverBloom.

~Jackie gave her Watershed report as written. The workshop for CIG Evergreen Lake Water Quality Demonstration Project is tentatively set for the spring. The seeding still needs to be completed at this site.  The Evergreen Lake Shoreline Protection Project is at a standstill due to road limits and weather, but rock will be hauled as soon as limits are lifted.  Jackie explained that there are a number of landowners she is currently working with regarding wetlands and that they are all in various stages of the investigation process.  She is also working with TNC to send out a newsletter regarding the Mackinaw Drinking Watershed Projects.  The Interpretive Nature Trail is almost complete.  In regards to Friends of EverBloom, Jackie nominated Jim to be the first recipient of the Jim Rutherford Award.

~New Business:  Irvin made a motion to order McLean County SWCD reusable bags, Mikel seconded.  The board was reorganized.  Everyone stayed the same position.  Bev Miller was appointed director at the Annual Meeting on March, 6 2013.

The next Board meeting was set for June 12, 2013 at 7:30 a.m. at the USDA Service Center.  The meeting concluded at 8:50 a.m..


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