The Brevard Soil and Water Conservation District met in a regular public session on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at 4:00 p.m., at UF/IFAS Extension Brevard County, at 3695 Lake Drive, Cocoa, FL.
Board members present:
Bud Crisafulli, Chair
Brian Fleming, Vice Chair
Jim Fletcher, Supervisor
Chris McMaster, Treasurer
Staff members present:
Joe Walter, UF IFAS Ag Agent
Derrick Wyle, USDA NRCS, District Conservationist
Adrienne Adams, UF IFAS Brevard County Administrative Secretary
- Written Minutes for April 2023
- OPPAGA (Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability) email
The meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m. by Bud C. and turned over to Jim F.
Review and Approval of the Current Treasurer’s Report
The ending balance as of April 30th, 2023 is $50,051.87. One check was written out for AFCD’s dues of $350, and a deposit from Mrs. Fleckinger was received.
Motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report – Jim F.; Seconded – Brian F. Motion carried.
Review and Approval of Minutes for the prior Board of Supervisors meeting.
Motion to approve minutes from the prior board meeting – Brian F.; Seconded – Jim F. Motion carried.
District Conversationist Update
Received 3 classic pre-approvals in Brevard County for Brazilian Pepper removal totaling approximately $250K.
New program: PISP – Product Inflation Support Payment. It’s along the same lines as CARP – the Coronavirus Assistance Relief Payment. The new program is support for price changes due to the inflation of material prices for existing contracts.
Derek, area engineer Katie Green, field engineer Julian Zuloaga, conservationist Melissa Fred Shelly and Tavares met with Suzanne Archer at Saint Johns River Water Management District just to compare notes and get an idea of where everyone is at.
Derek attended the quarterly BMP Meeting, and agency updates were discussed. Yellen is looking to host a session for agriculture producers to discuss cost-share information and promote agency programs, tentatively scheduled for July 27th. Looking to form a relationship with the agriculture community.
Jim F. reminded the Board about the fall Association of Florida Conservation Districts (AFCD) meeting on Sept. 26 & 27. Jim will try to attend. AFCD will be paying mileage and for hotel rooms.
a. Program Assistant (PA) Update – The position has been open for a month, and 4 applications have been received. Beth will be screening the applications and will take it from there. The position will also be posted on the Brevard Soil and Water Conservation District website.
b. FDACS grant update from Jim F. – The grant was approved. This was specifically for Bahia grass for cattle, looking at nitrogen optimization. The project will start in July ’24., with Joe W. taking part in the program, as will the new Program Assistant. There are 3 sites where data will be collected: Silver Spurs, The Kempfers, and Deseret Farm.
c. Canaveral Marsh Lease – No updates. Letters have been written to terminate the leases discussed in the last meeting. They just need to be signed. Sheila has written up a new lease agreement. Motion to approve termination letter for the cattle grazing lease dated April 16, 2016 – Chris M.; Seconded – Brian F. Motion carried.
Motion to approve termination letter to the St. Johns River Water Management District intergovernmental lease – Chris M.; Seconded – Brian F. Motion carried.
d. Long-Range Plan – A budget needs to be created and there is a need to plan 3-5 years in the future. Holly Abeels, Sea Grant Agent, will facilitate discussions between the Board at next month’s meeting to work out future plans. Would like to move up the time of the meeting an hour to 3:00 pm in order to accommodate that portion of the meeting.
Motion to change the meeting time to 3:00 pm on June 14th – Chris M.; Seconded – Brian F. Motion carried.
a. Webpage – has been updated with all current information, but the website content needs to be reviewed and revised. It still needs to be made ADA-compliant. Pictures need alternative text. Charlene from AFCD will be helping with this. There was also discussion about who is to be listed as the Registered Agent (RA) on the webpage. The Board came to the decision that Chris M. will be the RA until the new PA is hired. They will then assume that position. Motion to make Chris M. the RA – Brian F.; Seconded – Bud C. Motion carried.
Additions to Agenda/Open Discussion
OPPAGA Survey – due by May 17th. Survey questions were discussed by the Board on how to be answered for the years 2020-2022. We have financial records and board meeting minutes available for the survey.
If the Board makes more than $3K a year and have a balance of $50K or more in the account, an audit is needed. Annual financial report is due June 30th.
Friday, May 12th is the Brevard County Cattlemen’s Annual Barbeque 5:30 pm at F. Burton Smith Park.
Conservation Innovation Grants – Due in July. There are three options to apply: see if the Board can apply, Jim F.’s company can apply, or UF can apply. Flyovers on citrus and looking at nutrient management, particularly nitrogen. Some board members think UF or Jim F. should apply for the grant as the Board has $50K in the account right now and it needs to get spent, and others think that can get spent quickly and it’s good to have more money coming in. This is something that will be discussed when forming the long-range plan.
Bud: There is also a question about if the Board needs a liability policy. Joe W. will email Charlene with AFCD to clarify if we need any insurances.
Brian: The fiscal year runs from October 1 – September 30. The Board needs to review their finances in the event they do need to get audited. Furthermore, what are the stipulations of the audit: is it the year-end balance, beginning balance, anytime the balance hits $50K?
Would also like to have a “working calendar” for the Board, a place to put up meeting dates, field trips, etc. Jim F. will talk to Beth Shephard about getting a calendar created in Outlook through Gainesville/UF for the Board. Then all the members can be added and have access to it.
Document Retention – all paper documents are being held in a filing cabinet with Derek. Looking to possibly transfer all paper documents to digital, as well as keep any pertinent emails. When the new PA is hired, they can work on transferring those documents over. The Board will discuss with Beth S. to see if money needs to be spent on electronic storage.
Business cards will be discussed during the long-range plan/budget meeting with Beth S.
Motion to adjourn – Brian F.; Motion seconded – Jim. F. Motion carried.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:28 pm.
Minutes submitted by Adrienne Adams.