Minutes February 29, 2000, 5:00 p.m.

Present: Jim Skaley, Jerry Codner, Tee-Ann Hunter, Sharon Anderson

1. Sylvia’s Work Applauded
· The committee wants to recognize Sylvia’s dedicated efforts with the whole management planning project. We commend her commitment to keep the project moving forward and to build a strong, sustainable IO. Kudos to Sylvia!
2. Watershed Characterization Public Meetings
· Sharon presented a summary report, which was also given to the IO and to the Tompkins County Board of Reps. The committee requested that the summary be updated, adding appreciation to communities that posted information in newsletters. Then send to all towns for possible inclusion in their newsletters. Tee-Ann will make arrangements with the towns. Sharon will update and get a master copy to Tee-Ann who has letterhead for the IO.
· The printing and postage for the mailing cost approx. $2000 (not including staff time or mailing to “dignitaries”) and was perceived as being worthwhile. It would not have been enough without the significant media coverage however, it was one more thing to alert people and was a good size to be hung on a refrigerator. Tee-Ann suggested a promotional piece folded to the size of a post card with the vital information on the outside and additional information inside.
· There was discussion about continued concern that the Characterization is more of an inventory than a Characterization. The writers of the document may feel that the Characterization meets the stated goals however, public comments indicate that the document does not state the parameters clearly enough.
· Sharon and Jerry will finish up the write-ups for the meeting very soon.
3. Characterization Update
· Given the cost of reprinting the Watershed Characterization, the group questioned the value of a full reprinting, unless the changes where substantial. They suggested instead a printing of just the changes that were made, with the full reprint of the document just going to key places such as libraries. The full document would still go on the web.
· Making available one per county of the hard copy versions of the compiled public comments, with annotations of what is being done with each comment, was not viewed as sufficient. The committee would like to see the annotated comments put on the web. Jerry is willing to help with this. Sharon will take care of the few comments that are not yet electronic (an electronic form procured from the person that submitted the comments, or they will be typed, or scanned).
4. Web Page
· Having a Web site is a significant asset, though admittedly the majority of people may not have Web access. EPPOC would like to see the Web site more closely linked to the committee since it is a significant delivery method for those people who do have Web access.
· People (both committee and non-committee members) continue to express concerns about the Web site. Most commonly people express 1) a difficulty in finding information, 2) redundancy which fosters confusion, e.g. there is overlap of information on the “Summary of the Cayuga Lake Watershed” and “Cayuga Lake Watershed Management Update,” and 3) a need for increase readability
· The committee is also concerned about delayed responsiveness to some of its previous Web site change requests. Jerry has strong Web skills and has volunteered to oversee the Web page. Since funding for public participation may be limited (see below), the committee has requested that funds that would have been used to pay for staff support of the Web page be allocated instead for EPPOC work.
5. Public Participation for the Management Plan
· Sharon reported that given the amount of work that needs to completed and the short time frame, the focus will be on completing the tasks required by the DOS grant. DOS requires a public meeting after the draft management plan is created and again once revisions have been made but before the Plan is considered final. Sylvia, in addition, would like to see public meetings after the plan is done to get input on implementation.
· The committee cautioned that if the product needed to fulfill the DOS grant is not truly a management plan, that should be clearly stated. Prioritization and synthesis must happen before/as the first step in moving to creating a management plan.
· One suggestion was to follow examples set in other watersheds that looked for a key issue that all the stakeholders could agree to such as Keuka Lake’s focus on improving septic systems.
· Discussion of what was needed to have successful buy-in for the next phase included reaching people with why the management plan is necessary and for the common good. Specific suggestions included: a presentation that could be done for each Town/Village/County Board, more publicity, more time for the public to voice their concerns, a minimum of 3 public meetings spaced geographically around the watershed for each DOS requirement (though ideally there would be 2 mailings in advance of the meetings and more than three meetings for each DOS requirement). A watershed wide mailing would be needed to cover each set of meetings.
· Format of the next round of meetings might better be a fully facilitated process with set ground rules, limits to speaking times and topical guidelines on what would be addressed.
· Should there be a special, by-invitation, meeting for agency staff and citizen groups? (discussed briefly)
· Presentations to Boards would be a good task to request from the Network’s Watershed Steward. It could help that person get to know the communities plus let Board’s now that there is citizen support. Municipalities are more likely to support the Plan and implementation if their citizenry is behind for them. Presentations ideally would also be done to associations of highway superintendents, supervisors, etc.
· The Network could also be asked to sponsor an essay contest on a vision of Cayuga Lake in 2025 or 2050. Could be open to school youth as well as adults. Prizes might include free subscriptions to local newspapers, Network T-shirts.
6. Budget
· Tee-Ann reported on Sylvia’s fund raising efforts. Tee-Ann is assisting and accompanying Sylvia as she approached elected officials and businesses, such as NYSEG.
· Sharon reported that $10,000 cash, with additional in-kind match, was currently budgeted. The committee did not feel this was nearly enough to cover 2 sets of public meetings, which are essentially twice the work of the public participation for the Characterization. The committee is requesting $20,000 to carry out a similar level of activity for 2 sets of public meetings. Should funding efforts be successful, budget requests should be revisited.
· Next meeting will be set as soon as there is a timeline for the management planning process or once the budget is finalized.People want to know how others in the community feel. Let people know what was heard in a somewhat detailed matter. People appreciate the sharing of information. Tee-Ann will look through and try to summarize.

Return to index

To contact the Cayuga Lake Watershed Intermunicipal Organization.

or email

CLW IO 2002