Skip to main content

Regular Session on September 8, 2021

Brevard Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors
Business Meeting Minutes

The Brevard Soil and Water Conservation District met in regular public session on Wednesday, September 8, 2021, at 4:00 p.m., in the UF/IFAS auditorium, UF/IFAS Extension Brevard County, 3695 Lake Drive, Cocoa, FL.

Chairman, Bud Crisafulli, called the meeting to order by the, at 4:00 p.m. Video with audio of the entire meeting was provided for public viewing through the UF/IFAS Extension ZOOM web-based video conferencing and recording system, as well as on Facebook Live.

Board members present: Bud Crisafulli, Chairman, Supervisor Group 5
Adam Tritt, Co-Chairman, Supervisor Group 1
Jim Sloan, Secretary, Supervisor Group 2
Jonathan Schuman, Treasurer, Supervisor Group 4
Chelsea Partridge, Supervisor Group 3

Staff members present: Mike Engelgau, BSWCD Engineering Technician VI
Joe Walter, Agriculture Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Brevard
Brian Zielinski, USDA/NRCS Conservationist – Brevard & Seminole Co.

Visitors and Presenters: No presentations were made by visitors.

Presented Documents

Documents as presented by the Staff, Presenters and Supervisors for review, approval and/or information of the Board:

? USDA NRCS – Cocoa Service Center, District Conservationist Report, Brevard SWCD Meeting September 8, 2021. Natural Resources Conservation Service Updates.
? Registration is open for the MRC Low Impact Development Conference, Marine Resources Council of East Florida, 6/30/2021. With LID Conference flyer and registration form.
? USDA Rural Development Water & Waste Disposal Predevelopment Planning Grant, Application Process Fact Finding Summary and Conclusion. PowerPoint presentation slide copies.

Reported for Public Records –

There were no documents presented for the public record by the supervisors.

Guest Presentations.

No presentations were given by guests.

Review and Approval of the Current Treasurer’s Report.

The board treasurer, Jonathan Schuman, provided the treasurer’s report for August 1 to August 31, 2021, to the board, with comment the dollar figure 25,j488.85 was a typographical error and will not be included in the approved report. He reported that there were neither deposits nor withdrawals to the Brevard SWCD account during the month of August 2021.

The motion to approve the August 1, 2021, to August 31, 2021, Treasurer’s Report by Adam Tritt was seconded by Chelsea Partridge. The motion passed without amendment by unanimous vote of the supervisors.

Jonathan Schuman noted that the total value of our holdings within the District Checking and CD account exceeds the $50,000 threshold that triggers the annual audit findings and accounting report requirement for Florida Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

He proposed that an amount of $3,000 be set aside for the award of twelve (12) $250.00 grants to science teachers of Brevard public and private schools for support in classroom environmental projects. The set-aside in support of Jonathan Schuman’s grant proposal was approved by acclimation. James Sloan made a motion for the board to approve funding $3,000 for the proposal as stated and Adam Tritt seconded the motion. The vote of supervisors on the motion was tabled until Supervisor Schuman submits a report to the board on criteria for qualification and award of the twelve grants of $250 to local school science teachers in support of classroom projects in the environmental and agricultural sciences.

Staff members stated support for the use of District board funds as additional grants to educational venues such as Envirocom and other soil and water research projects. The board chair, Bud Crisafulli, took those recommendations under consideration for proposals as future District board projects.

Review and Approval of Minutes for prior Board of Supervisors meeting.

The board secretary, James Sloan, presented the business meeting minutes for the regular public session held on Wednesday, Aug 11, 2021. He reported that there were no premeeting review changes requested by the supervisors, so the minutes are presented without corrections or changes.

The motion by Jonathan Schuman to approve the August 11, 2021, Board of Supervisors’ Business Meeting Minutes was seconded by Adam Tritt. The motion passed without amendment by unanimous vote of the supervisors.

Old Business

Supervisor Sloan presented his fact-finding summary and conclusions on the application process for a USDA Rural Development Water & Waste Disposal Predevelopment Planning Grant. The USDA RD grant application was investigated as a way to fund a contract study, with an environmental engineering firm, for the feasibility and cost of all three of the Brevard District survey and study recommendations, which were made to the Brevard County Planning and Development Department. The Brevard District’s survey and study has covered the Scottsmoor mixed-use community village, as well as the rural residential area with its surrounding agricultural land use acreage. The environmental engineering firm’s feasibility and cost study for the Scottsmoor multi-use village community and its surrounding rural residential agricultural land use acreage would include:

1. A comprehensive joint agency water and soil test project for the Scottsmoor drainage basin,
2. Determination of necessary additional stormwater control and treatment pond projects,
3. Justification for joint agency infrastructure development project funding and construction.

We initiated the fact-finding project to determine if USDA Rural Development grants were available through the Florida Champions Gate office of the USDA Rural Development Department and how its grant/guaranteed loan application process works. The application for USDA RD funding for Water and Environment Projects is a three-step process.

1. Get organizational documents submitted for the Office of General Counsel (OGC) review,
2. Obtain the applicant’s level 2 eAutentication,
3. Create an application IAW the RD APPLY format and submit it via the USDA RD application intake system for loans and grants through Rural Utility Services Programs.

We concluded that the Brevard Soil & Water Conservation District does not have sufficient administrative and legal counselling staff resources to successfully complete an application for a USDA RD Water and Waste Disposal Predevelopment Planning Grant.

Mike Engelgau reported completion of renewal processing for 35 of 40 stormwater fee/tax exemptions within Brevard County. He and Brian Zielinski have not been able to contact the remaining five enrollees for follow up on-site visitations and review of their conservation plans. The deadline for completion of visitations was set as September 10th, 2021, so those thirty-five with verified conservation plans have been submitted to the Brevard County government office for tax roll adjustment of agricultural stormwater fees. The tax exemptions review for the remaining five enrollees will be managed directly by the Brevard County government office.

New Business

The USDA/NRCS District Conservationist, Brian Zielinski provided the USDA NRCs – Cocoa Service Center, District Conservationist Report, with Natural Resources Conservation Service September 8th, 2021, updates for review by the Board of Supervisors. He highlighted the Brevard S&WC District’s Intergovernmental Agreement with the St Johns Water Management District for compensation from the grazing lease agreement on the Canaveral Marsh. The terms of the agreement require the Board Supervisors to update of the Canaveral Marsh conservation plan and activity plan by November 2021. Brian Zielinski of the USDA NRCS will represent the board in direct coordination with the St Johns Water Management District and the current ranch management lease holder to update the conservation plan and activity plan. His report on changes and updates to the Canaveral Marsh Intergovernmental Agreement will be presented to the supervisors for approval at the November board meeting.

The USDA/NRCS District Conservationist, Brian Zielinski has proposed a field trip with Brevard S&WC District supervisors to view NRCS projects in the Brevard County region. He asked that the supervisory board consider a joint field trip with Seminole S&WC District supervisors. Scheduling such a field trip poses problems about quorum compliance with the Florida Sunshine Law on public meetings of special district supervisors, as well as the current COVID pandemic mandates and Brevard County restrictions on our assembly meetings. Chelsea Partridge accepted the project for fact finding about what will be required to conduct a field trip early next year 2022 for viewing an NRCS project in Brevard or within Seminole county.

Scheduling for the FY 22 Local Working Group Meeting was coordinated with the Association of Florida Conservation Districts representative (Kaylee Pate). The LWG meeting date of Wednesday November 10th was confirmed and the meeting will be held at the University of Florida, IFAS Extension building from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm. Outreach publicity and meeting logistics will be coordinated and confirmed at the October board meeting.

Jonathan Schuman introduced the invitation for supervisors to attend Marine Resource Council’s 2021 Low Impact Development Conference on October 21st and 22nd at the Center for Collaboration in Rockledge Florida. Jonathan Schuman presented a motion to the board for reimbursement to any supervisor who purchases a General Conference Admission ticket for $200.00. Jim Sloan seconded the motion. The motion passed without amendment by unanimous vote of the supervisors. Two supervisors announced their intent to attend the conference.

Upon consensus of the Board, the Chair adjourned the meeting at 6:00 PM on 9/8/2021.
Prepared for board review and approval by,


James Sloan
Supervisor, Group 2
October 8, 2021