The Board of Directors of the McLean County SWCD had their regular meeting on August 12, 2015 at 7:30 a.m. at the USDA Service Center, 402 N. Kays Drive, Normal. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Mikey Kelley. Directors present were Sally Breese and Irvin Bane. District employees present were Jackie Kraft, Ross Fogle and Stephanie Musselman. NRCS employees present were Kent Bohnhoff and Matt Bell.
~Financials/Minutes: July minutes, Irvin motioned, Sally seconded. Motion Carried. Sally made a motion to approve the August financials, Irvin seconded. Motion carried. Irvin motioned to approve the August checks, Sally seconded. Motion carried.
~Bev gave her report as written. Bev was unable to attend the meeting due to Jury duty so she submitted her report and Stephanie read it during the meeting. Bev attended the Annual Meeting of the AISWCD on July 28th in Springfield, IL. Phillip Nelson, IDOA Director, spoke of the budget stalemate and is hopeful SWCD’s can at least maintain the same funding levels as FY15. He also indicated the IL NLRS (Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy) will be finalized in the near future. A resolution was passed that requests USDA FSA headquarters to provide NRCS field offices with access to a current database for information to be shared statewide. A By-Law amendment was approved that clears up determination of SWCD’s being “in good standing” with the Association. It now states: “Active Voting Members shall be the Soil & Water Conservation Districts of Illinois, whose dues have been paid in full for the previous 365 days.”
~Kent gave his report as written. A new area structure proposed with 4 areas instead of 5; McLean and Livingston counties will be combined. There are 18 CSP producers who have completed the interview process with 3 making it to contract; 2 beginning farmers and 1 ag land. There are also 9 potential reenrolls for 2016. 10% of CSP contracts will receive quality assurance checking with field visits. There are 3 EQIP applications being considered for the January 9th cutoff and 2 have becomes contracts. There is a new peer review process in place this year for EQIP. Project layout and design will continue. Six wetlands have been completed and 1 is in progress. There have been a few other applications for new wetland construction. The CRP reenrollment process has begun with around 200 new applications.
~Ross gave his RC report as written. An estimated 100 contract interviews have been completed so far for CRP reenrollment; 150 left. Many new CRP applications are in the works and have been submitted to FSA. Ross and Jackie have had many conversations and fields visits with producers about issues with the Pipeline and have met with IDOA and American Farmland Trust about pushing cover crops to those producers. Ross has also been speaking with Pro Harvest about Cover Crop opportunities for producers in the pipeline route. Ross attended the AISWCD Summer Conference in Springfield and has been working on the summer newsletter and fish and tree sales.
~Jackie gave her Watershed report as written. The coke wetland will be seeded mid-late August. A thank you and check was sent to the Harms Brothers for the use of their land. The Conservation Tour is now set for August 11th. Eighty eight fields were enrolled into the Adapt Network program this year. Dr. Brehm is working on compiling the data received from surveys for the IEPA 319 grant. The results will be posted on the website and distributed through the media. The Watershed Intergovernmental Agreement was approved by the City of Bloomington Council on July 13th and will go to the Town of Normal and McLean County this month. Jackie submitted an IEPA 319 grant proposal for a pilot program to shift 3000 acres of fall applied nitrogen to spring applied in the Lake Bloomington watershed with $96,759 in funding. Jackie also assisted with the East Central II Water Stakeholders Meeting at Davis Lodge on July 24th. She gave a presentation about the Mackinaw River Drinking Watersheds Project with Maria Lemke.
~Old Business: N/A
~New Business: The next Board Meeting was set for September 9, 2015 at 7:30 a.m. at the USDA Service. The meeting concluded at 8:30 a.m. and the Board entered a closed session for employee evaluations.