Cayuga Lake Watershed Management Plan
Intermunicipal Organization (IO) Meeting

7/28/99, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M.
Ledyard Town Hall



Edward Ide (Town of Aurelius)-R*
John Sipos (Towns of Varick and Covert)-R*
David Morehouse (Town of Ledyard)-R*
Pat Morrell (Town of Fayette)-R*
Krys Cail (Town of Ulysses)-R*
Sylvia Hurlbut (Town of Ledyard)-RA*
Karen Edelstein (Finger Lakes Land Trust)
Kevin Millington (NYS DOS)
Kathy Bertuch (CNY RPDB)
George Kennedy (Town of Ulysses)-RA*
Charlie McCaffrey NYS DOS
Theresa Robinson (Town of Groton)-R*
Deborah Davenport (Town of Summer Hill)-R*
Mikel Shakarjian (Thompkins County Planning)
Linda Wagenet (Cornell Center for the Environment)
Ronald Erickson (Village of Cayuga)-R*
Chuck Howell (Town of Scipio)-R*
Dan Winch (Tompkins County)-R*
Carolyn Grigorov (Town of Ithaca)-R*
Deb Grantham (Town of Dryden)-R*
Jim Malyj (Seneca Co. SWCD)
Don Franklin (Town of Genoa)-R*
Pam O’Malley (Central NY Regional Planning)
Tee-Ann Hunter (CLWN)
Jeannine Kirby (Town of Lansing)-R*
Bruce Johnson (Village of Freeville)-R*
David Allee (Village of Cayuga Heights)-R*
Mayal Parker
Jean Jones

R = designated representative for municipality RA = designated alternate rep. for municipality

*Municipality has signed and submitted the "Call For Cooperation" (intermunicipal agreement)

I. Welcome, Introductions, Approval of Minutes: Meeting began at 7:00 PM. S. Hurlbut welcomed everyone. Introductions were made of all attendees. S. Hurlbut introduced Kathy Bertuch of the Central New York Regional Planning & Development Board who will be filling in for P. O’Malley during her upcoming maternity leave. Acceptance of minutes moved by D. Morehouse. Seconded by J. Sipos. All voted in favor. Motion carried.

II. Proposed Railroad Bridge Removal: R. Erickson stated that he has become aware of a proposal by the Finger Lakes Railroad Corporation to remove an abandoned railroad bridge from the north end of Cayuga Lake. The span will be filled with clean, crushed stone and a 36-inch culvert will be installed to facilitate water movement between Cayuga Lake and an adjacent section of the old Erie Canal. The average water depth around the bridge is 5 feet. He is concerned that the proposed culvert will reduce water flow and cause a buildup of weeds on the Erie Canal side which will eventually decay in the stagnant pool producing an objectionable odor problem. Other potential problems were also noted. Letters of opposition have been written by the Beacon Bay Marina, the village of Cayuga and the Cayuga County Planning Board and he requested that the IO send a letter stating its opposition to or questioning the adequacy of the project as proposed.

D. Morehouse stated that he is familiar with the area and that it is the source of much folklore and historic significance. He moved that letters be drafted to the Finger Lakes Railroad Corporation and the NYSDEC requesting additional information on the abandonment of the bridge as it pertains to hydrologic flows, sedimentation, weed accumulation, water supplies and lake ecology as well as historical and tourism values. E. Ide seconded.

In additional discussion B. Johnson supported having the IO draft a letter but cautioned it needs to go to the right people – DEC, Finger Lakes Railroad Corp. and NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation. All voted in favor to send letters to all three entities. Motion carried.

III. Change in Schedule of Activities for the Remainder of 1999: A revised schedule was handed out. S. Hurlbut stated that modifications to the Schedule of Activities for the Remainder of 1999 were necessitated by the following: the DOS has agreed to print copies for area libraries which will take time; more time is needed for review of information and reports for preparing the Preliminary Watershed Characterization; and, more time is needed for internal review by the Technical Committee to order to guarantee the accuracy and therefore credibility of the Preliminary Watershed Characterization. In order to avoid holding public participation meetings in December and facing low attendance, they have been moved to January 2000. It was also noted that the August IO meeting has been cancelled due to the resulting lack of subject matter and that the September meeting might be a special event (bus tour). The next regular meeting will be held 10/27. The November and December meetings will be combined into one meeting on 12/15. The January, February and March meetings will take place on the regular fourth Wednesday of each month. C. Grigorov moved to adopt the amended schedule. Seconded by D. Grantham. All voted in favor. Motion carried.

G. Kennedy requested a list of Technical Committee members and meeting times/locations. P. O’Malley provided a list of Technical Committee members and will add his name to its e-mail list.

IV. Bus Tour of the Watershed: S. Hurlbut inquired about the level of interest in an IO sponsored bus tour of the watershed to be held sometime in September. The tour would be in place of the normal September IO meeting. Town supervisors and village mayors will be invited. B. Johnson asked if trustees would also be invited. S. Hurlbut stated that all IO representatives would be welcome. C. Grigorov was in favor of the tour. A list of possible tour stops was provided. D. Grantham suggested that a stop at a ground water source be included, as this is an important aspect especially for towns without lake frontage (Vil. of Dryden). G. Kennedy suggested stopping at the sewage treatment plant in Ithaca as it is number one on the interim priority project list. C. Grigorov stated that it is important that the tour provide an overview of the lake and watershed in general. E. Ide suggested focusing stops on at least a few of the highest priority projects from the IO’s interim list. D. Morehouse noted that the list of possible stops included the USGS gage at Sixmile Creek while most information originates from Mud Locke, which is at a different height. S. Hurlbut stated that individual agencies could be contacted to adjust/add tour stops. D. Grantham asked who would be responsible for planning the tour. S. Hurlbut stated that Cornell planned a previous tour which is acting as the model. She and Dave Zorn are working on this tour. L. Wagenet stated that she participated in the previous tour, and although it was good, there was not enough time to make all of the scheduled stops. She also stated the cost for such a tour is high noting that the cost for the bus alone is approximately $400. D. Morehouse asked if there would be televised information available on board the bus. There will not. D. Allee stated that it would be nice to include a ground water source featuring a protected recharge area. S. Hurlbut will check into it and try to line it up. There was no further discussion.

V. 3rd-Year NYS DOS Application: P. O’Malley provided copies of the most recent draft of the proposal to DOS for 3rd-year activities and activities to supplement the 2nd-year activities of the program. The application is due in mid-August. Comments and questions were requested. D. Morehouse questioned the completion of the IO organization mentioning the lack of by-laws and guidelines. P. O’Malley stated that in terms of 1st-year funding, formation and support activities are completed. The IO will need to complete the development of by-laws and guidelines over the next two years if they choose to so do. She noted that the IO started to address issue of by-laws at an earlier date, but settled on a "Call for Cooperation" over a more formalized unit. S. Hurlbut stated that institutionalization of the IO will be addressed over 1 or 2 meetings. She recognized the need to have an established process for dealing with requests made by various groups of the IO down the line. P. O’Malley will include this item in the 3rd-year proposal. K. Cail asked how the $23,000 budgeted for public participation will be spent. P. O’Malley stated that $10,000 of that figure is in cash and $13,500 is in volunteer time. The $10,000 cash will be devoted to such things as planning meetings, mailings, the remaining public participation meetings and distributing the draft plan. A question was raised regarding the development of a video that could be used to reach a "broader" audience. At the present time there are no such plans but it could be included under "education." Videos are typically expensive to produce, but S. Hurlbut will look into the idea. PSAs were also suggested.

K. Cail stated that it is important to target money towards raising interest and getting people to come to the meetings. T. Hunter stated current efforts to bring people into the process include incorporation of a user-friendly text style in the watershed characterization enabling it to be used as an educational tool, and maximizing public distribution of the draft. While these steps were viewed as good, it was stated that a more proactive approach must also be undertaken. P. O’Malley stated that attempts to reach people are being made, (i.e., web site, feature articles, public participation meetings), however, the DOS contract is specific in what needs to be done and DOS focus of the program has been on the IO and development of the draft plan. She suggested that funding sources outside of DOS are required to expand activities. C. McCaffrey suggested that the IO submit a proposal to private foundations in order to secure funds to develop a video. Further discussions regarding additional sources of funding/expanding capabilities of existing funding were focused on the digital mapping of soils and land use. It was noted that other non-IO organizations within the watershed are doing similar work. Tapping into these efforts will save money and time; however, it was cautioned that the accuracy of digital data must be verified prior to acceptance and use. M. Shakarjian cautioned that the data compatibility is also an issue for consideration. C. McCaffrey suggested including more detail in the application regarding this work item which will allow DOS to identify state GIS projects (satellite mapping) that the IO can tap into to lower costs. D. Grantham asked for clarification of the role the Technical/Fact Finder/Consultant will play. P. O’Malley stated this position would be responsible for helping to prepare the plan, particularly the limnology component. D. Morehouse asked that the individual units in the proposed budget be further broken down. P. O’Malley stated that this version of the budget is provided as a lump sum per component to solicit IO input. The final budget will provide a greater breakdown. She offered to verbally provide additional detail at that time. No further discussion was had.

VI. 2nd-Year NYS DOS Local Match Requirements: P. O’Malley provided a copy of the Financial Report which reflects expenses and budget as of June 30, 1999. DOS grants require a 50% match. For the 2nd-year, DOS is providing $50,000, which is 50%. 25% of the needed match has been secured as in-kind services and an additional 25% in cash is still needed to meet the match and provide enough cash to do 2nd-year tasks. Federal and State Environmental funds are ineligible as match. State member items have been unsuccessfully pursued, with the legislators stating that municipalities need to help fund the project. The match issue will also apply to 3rd-year. It was pointed out that additional funds (some matching and some not) were provided during the first year: $30K from Empire State Development Corp., $20K from the Central New York Regional Planning & Development Board and $20K from the Genesee Finger Lakes Planning Board. S. Hurlbut stated that a healthy watershed is a potential municipal revenue source. As members of the watershed, each of the 28 IO members should be willing to take on part of the expense needed to protect it. She asked that each member municipality include $900 in their budget in order to meet the match requirement. The contribution does not have to be a lump sum. C. McCaffrey stated that it is important to DOS that municipalities show a token commitment to the effort. DOS plans to substantially increase their level of financial support but can’t say that all proposed activities will be funded. He suggested developing a short write-up of the project (what is being done, the benefits of the effort to municipalities and what funds have been contributed to date by non-municipalities) that can be used to facilitate municipal buy-in. K. Cail asked why all municipalities are asked to make the same contribution despite disparities in tax bases and populations. C. McCaffrey stated that organizations similar to the IO developed formulas to pro-rate municipal contributions based on tax base, watershed area, population, etc. and found it created more problems than solutions. L. Wagenet stated that because all IO members have one vote, equal contributions are justified. D. Grantham suggested requesting the contribution under a supplemental activity that will have a direct impact on the municipality. J. Sipos stated that a request for $900 is enough to cause some municipalities to withdraw from the IO thereby jeopardizing the existing effort. He suggested exploring other funding sources prior to "rocking the boat." C. McCaffrey stated that the request for municipal contributions is not intended to force municipalities to withdraw support. S. Hurlbut stated the need to create a Finance Committee for the purpose of identifying additional funding sources. C. Grigorov suggested looking into private foundations. She also suggested pro-rating the municipal contribution to make it more accepted as she felt it would be difficult to get a contribution from the Board at this time. D. Morehouse supported the development of a single, plain and specific fact sheet to be presented to town boards showing why municipalities should contribute and asking for a set figure for this first request. S. Hurlbut and T. Hunter agreed to develop such a sheet. T. Hunter will distribute. K. Cail will also bring the sheet to an anonymous donor she knows to see if they can help with funding. S. Hurlbut noted that financial contributions will be required each year. Member items will be pursued; however, she has been told that in the absence of municipal contributions, member item money is less likely to be provided.

VII. Municipal Response to Project Inventories: P. O’Malley distributed an information packet put together by D. Zorn containing an explanation of in-progress land use control, sewer district and salt storage inventories, survey sheets and summaries of responses. IO members were asked to help get information from non-responding municipalities. It was noted that as the Village of Groton is not in the watershed. It might be more appropriate to target the Town of Groton. K. Cail asked if there is interest in obtaining updated information on changes made after the completion of these forms. P. O’Malley stated such information should be directed to D. Zorn.

VIII. Reducing Project Copying and Mailing Costs: There are two mailing lists: 1) IO list -includes all representatives, alternates, and non-representative mayors and supervisors of member municipalities as well as mayors and supervisors of non-member municipalities (approximately 90 entities); and 2) Stakeholders list which includes approximately 90 names. Each mailing costs approximately $180. P. O’Malley suggested removing town supervisors and mayors from the IO list if they are not reps. J. Sipos would prefer an option be given since some non-representative supervisors and mayors do read the mailings. D. Morehouse suggested asking mailing list recipients if they want to remain or be removed from the list. Earlier attempts by P. O’Malley to get this information provided few responses. Other options raised include sending the clerk of each municipality one copy for duplication and appropriate distribution within the municipality and distribution by e-mail. Because of graphics limitations associated with e-mail, this was not thought to be an appropriate alternative. A list was passed and members were asked to supply the names of people they feel should be on the mailing list along with the preferred method of delivery. Mailings to the Stakeholders list will be discontinued after a final letter notifying them to look for future meeting announcements and minutes in local newspapers and on the web site. Stakeholders will also be given the option to still receive mailings if the other means aren’t acceptable.

IX. Membership/Committee Reports: D. Grantham stated that the Education/Outreach/Public Participation Committee is looking for ways to get input on the draft preliminary watershed characterization and generate attendance at the public participation meetings. Sharon Anderson has requested return of the recently distributed questionnaires that will help to provide additional contact information for groups already working in the watershed. The County Water Quality Coordinating Committees have been invited to co-sponsor public participation meetings. If they do so, they will provide input on who to invite and what to include on the agenda. D. Grantham stated that the IO has a one-hour time slot at the 8/14 annual meeting of the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network (CLWN) meeting to be held at Cass Park. The following IO members will participate in a joint presentation regarding development of the plan: D. Winch, technical aspects; P. Morrell, local government; S. Hurlbut, IO. D. Morehouse suggested contacting the Network (i.e., John Fessenden) for advice on forming an Agriculture Committee. D. Allee and K. Cail volunteered to work on a "Fund Raising Committee" (formerly referred to as the Finance Committee).

X. Set Date and Agenda for Next IO Meeting: S. Hurlbut will plan the bus tour to take the place of the September IO meeting. The next regular IO meeting will be held at 7:00 P.M. on Wednesday 10/27/99 in Ithaca. Refreshments will start at 6:30. Agenda items will include preliminary presentation on chapters and sections of the DPWC and review and discussion of the agenda for public participation meetings.

Interest was expressed in having John Fessenden (CLWN) present ideas on the formation of an Agriculture Committee.

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.




Vote to accept 6/30/99 IO meeting minutes.

Carried (unanimously)

Vote to draft letters to the Finger Lakes Railroad Corporation, NYS DEC, and NYS Parks & Historic Preservation requesting additional information regarding issues associated with the abandonment of the RR bridge.

Carried (unanimously)

Vote to adopt the revised schedule of 1999 activities.

Carried (unanimously)

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