TENTH MEETING

Cayuga Lake Watershed Management Plan
Intermunicipal Organization (IO) Meeting
10/27/99, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M.
TOMKINS COUNTY CORNELL COOPERATIVE EXTENSION

Minutes

Attendees:

Edward Ide (Town of Aurelius)-R*
David Morehouse (Town of Ledyard)-R*
Sylvia Hurlbut (Town of Ledyard)-RA*
Don Franklin (Town of Genoa)-R*
Kathy Bertuch (CNY RPDB)
Charlie McCaffrey (NYS DOS)
Theresa Robinson (Town of Groton)-R*
Jack Remjen (Town of Venice)-R*
Lyle Raymond (Town of Groton)
Jeff TenEyck (NYS SWCC)
Bill Shaw (CLWN)
Linda Wagenet (Cornell Center for the Envir.)
Sharon Anderson (Tompkins Co.)-RA*
John Sipos (Towns of Varick and Covert)-R*
Chuck Howell (Town of Scipio)-R*
Karen Edelstein (Finger Lakes Land Trust)
Tee-Ann Hunter (CLWN)
P. Cohen(Town of Lansing)-R*
Ken Zabriskie (Village of Aurora)-R*
David Allee (Village of Cayuga Heights)-R*
Diana Radford (Village of Freeville)
Steve Farkas ( Village of Lansing)
Craig Schutt (Tompkins Cty. SWCD)
David Zorn (GFLRPC)
John Fessenden

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

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

 

  1. Welcome, Introductions, Approval of Minutes: Meeting began at 7:00 PM. S. Hurlbut

welcomed everyone. Introductions were made of all attendees. Acceptance of minutes moved by J. Sipos. Seconded by D. Morehouse. All voted in favor. Motion carried.

II. 3rd-Year NYS DOS Application: K. Bertuch provided an update of the 3rd-yr. DOS application submitted in August. Handouts included the budget detail and work program description. There were no questions. C. McCaffrey stated that total NYS grant requests exceed available funding. He noted the 3rd-year Cayuga Lake grant request is substantially greater than previous requests. DOS is evaluating each 3rd-yr. task individually. The final grant announcement is expected in November.

III. IO Watershed Bus Tour: S. Hurlbut was pleased with the overall tour, the weather and

presenters, but was disappointed with the level of participation. She thanked L. Wagenet for her assistance in planing the itinerary. L. Wagenet has received good feedback concerning presenters, the level of information provided, and the food. Much credit was given to S. Hurlbut for organizing the tour.

IV. Municipal Cash Contribution to NYS Local Match Requirements: S. Hurlbut stated

that IO members have been requested to contribute $900 in order to meet the DOS required cash match for yr2- activities. Municipalities that have included the $900 contribution in their approved budgets should contact S. Hurlbut to arrange a time frame for payment. She asked if any municipalities were experiencing billing problems relative to the requested contribution. She stated contributions should be billed under a specific State Municipal Budget Item Code. J. Sipos stated the contribution be paid out as a line item under participation in the IO. The line item number will be posted on the web site. S. Hurlbut stated that the IO could provide vouchers to municipalities if requested.

V. Draft Preliminary Watershed Characterization: D. Zorn provided an overview of the chapters contained in the draft Watershed Characterization. Most chapters are under review by the Technical Committee. Review comments will be received and incorporated in the draft by mid November. The draft Preliminary Watershed Characterization report will be printed and distributed in December providing ample time for municipalities and others to review the document prior to the public participation meetings in January. The draft report will be available on the web site prior to the release of the printed draft.

J. Sipos asked if biological sources were included as potential source of contamination within the characterization. D. Zorn replied that the initial work has focused on getting the chapters written. Additional merging and cross-referencing of chapters and sections will take place resulting in a more fully integrated document.

D. Allee asked several questions and received responses from D. Zorn regarding: the use of GIS as an analytical tool in the discussion of land use; what data sources were used in developing the wetlands inventory and how will the inventory factor into the; development of a single set of water supply rules and regulations that would fit the; and, the use of SPDES permits and RIBS monitoring data in the development of the characterization. D. Allee also stated that volunteer monitoring programs are worthwhile and should be expanded. D. Zorn stated that data generated through volunteer monitoring programs have been incorporated into the draft characterization.

VI. Agenda for Public Participation Meetings: S. Anderson provided a draft outline of the public participation meetings to be held in January. She stated that the Watershed Characterization will form the basis for developing the management plan; therefore, it is important to collect as much information as possible. Public participation meetings provide an opportunity to collect information that might not be collected otherwise and also act as a first step in developing a favorable public perception of the ultimate management plan. To increase participation, continuing education credits will be offered to water operators, waste water treatment operators and pesticide applicators that participate in the meetings. The E/O/PP Committee will also conduct targeted mailings whereby information will be made available to groups and feedback requested. They will also generate press releases for major and minor local media outlets. IO members are requested to provide media outlet information for their areas.

K. Edelstein suggested an intensive ad campaign be conducted to alert those who want to review the draft Preliminary Characterization prior to attending the public participation meetings in January. S. Anderson stated that public advertising will begin in November with the bulk of the ads being run in December. S. Hurlbut stated that the Town of Ledyard newsletter has been used to publicize the report and the need for review through the web site. J. Sipos asked who is currently reviewing the draft. D.Zorn stated the Technical Committee forms the primary review body; however, it is an open review and any individual is welcome to attend Technical Committee meetings. The next meeting will be held in Ithaca on November 8 from 10:00 A.M. to 12 Noon.

  1.     Formation of An Agriculture Committee: J. Ten Eyck related his experiences with the

Skaneateles Lake Watershed Agriculture Committee. He suggested that prior to forming an Agriculture Committee (AC) the IO define why it desires an AC and what role it foresees for the AC. ACs are not restricted by political jurisdictions so they have the ability to get things accomplished on a watershed basis. ACs are most effective when members are from the agricultural community. ACs should be expected to get involved in policy and priority setting and to act as a sounding board for identifying realistic expectations and goals. AC members should be selected from recognized leaders and innovators within the agricultural community as they will be responsible for getting the entire agricultural community to "buy into" the program.

The number of representatives appointed to the AC by county should be relative to the amount of land each county has in the watershed. Members from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), County Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCD), Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE), County Planning Departments and the IO should form a core group of advisors to identify potential farmers for inclusion on the committee. A committee coordinator should be appointed and assigned responsibility for developing agendas and doing meeting follow up. This position should be tied to an existing agency or group. The Canandaigua Lake Agriculture Committee provides a good model for the development of an AC.

J. Sipos suggested that farm classification (i.e., dairy, vineyard, etc.) relative to total farmland in the watershed is a better way to appoint representatives. J. Fessenden agreed with this method and stated the SWCD and NRCS can assist in identifying the types of operations within the watershed. Under the Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) program, NYS is identifying the types and locations of all working farms throughout the state, including part time operations.

J.Fessenden stressed the importance of addressing economic as well as environmental issues in farm related environmental plans due to the current farm economy. It is important to clearly communicate to the farm community that the AC is not being formed because agriculture is a problem, but rather, as part of a group effort to improve all potential sources of water contamination.

S. Anderson questioned the level of staff support needed to maintain an AC. J. Fessenden stated staff support should come from a single person within an existing agency that is familiar with the local farm community and has an established relationship of trust. S. Hurlbut noted the need to obtain additional funding for agency staff cooperation. J. Ten Eyck suggested this can be accomplished through dialog, rationality and grants. NRCS has a staff person devoted to Cayuga Lake.

P. Shuster stated that pride in good farm management and the cost savings associated with implementing best management practices have contributed to the fact that Cayuga Lake is a clean lake. He believes that an AC can be successful by getting farmers to take ownership pride in the Lake itself.

J. Fessenden stated that a committee structure should be in place prior to seeking volunteer members from the agriculture community. J. Ten Eyck recognized the necessity of seeking the input of NRCS and SWCD when defining the structure of the AC in order to insure those agencies support of the AC. This will have positive implications when the AC seeks to tap the financial and staff resources of these agencies in the future. D. Morehouse questioned to whom the AC would be accountable. J. Ten Eyck suggested that the AC be accountable to existing agencies with existing programs, not the IO. The AC should work with the IO to create goals, but must have strong ties with agricultural service agencies as that is where the actual work will take place. E. Ide suggested requesting assistance from the individual agencies regarding formation of the AC. He envisions the AC as an advisory committee much the same as the IO Technical Committee. J. Sipos stated the role of the Technical Committee is to provide information to the IO on subjects that the IO lacks expertise. The AC would function similarly. C. Schutt offered to contact SWCD offices to obtain the names of farmers for possible inclusion on the AC. S Hurlbut named C. Schutt as the AC head. He will contact county SWCD offices and report back with findings at the next IO.

Watershed Manager: S. Hurlbut reported that the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network is writing a grant to secure funding for the position of Watershed Manager/Coordinator. She stated the need for additional information regarding the role of this position as well as who would oversee this position. She also questioned the impact of creating such a position without tying it into the Cayuga Lake management plan.

B. Shaw stated that the funding source initially contacted the Network with an offer of long term funding for the development of a staff position. The Network feels it can not forego an opportunity to obtain long term funding. The deadline for submitting the grant application is in November. The Network is putting together preliminary thoughts in response to the initial RFP. The Network would like to develop the grant with the cooperation of the IO. The Network views the grant as an opportunity to advance the efforts of both the Network and the IO. They feel the grant can be used to enhance the role of grass roots groups in the broader management plan in a way that will compliment municipal efforts.

C. McCaffrey stated that the greater the number of people involved in the watershed protection process, the better the end result will be. As the IO becomes institutionalized, it will need an administrative staff support person to take the place of the Regional Planning Board. Defining the role of this potential position is an important task. This can be done in conjunction with a not for profit group, such as the Network. R. Johnson suggested it would be good for the IO to work with the Network in defining the role of the grant-funded position. B. Shaw expressed the Network’s desire to have one or two IO members agree to work on drafting the application with the Network. The Network expects the primary role of this position, if funded, to be that of an activity coordinator among the many groups and organizations operating within the watershed. The Network would like the IO to participate not only in developing the application, but to also provide input on selection of the person hired to fill the position.

E. Ide reminded the group of time constraints and suggested that the IO should welcome the opportunity to join the Network in this cooperative agreement. If funding is obtained to fill a staff position, the IO should agree to work with the Network and the manager and welcome them into the IO.

J. Sipos asked why the IO is being asked to provide input on developing a job description for a position that will be contracted to the Network.. B. Shaw stated that because of the IO’s experience, their input will have a positive benefits for the watershed. D. Zorn asked what will happen if final recommendations from the management plan are in opposition to the goals of the Network. R. Johnson replied that joint development of the grant and the position description provides an opportunity to lessen such problems before they occur. The Network will meet the proposal deadline, but will request a time delay to develop the role of the position in order to work with the IO.

S. Hurlbut expressed concern over the time frame for filling the potential position. She feels a more coordinated effort could be put forth after the release of the final management plan next year. She also expressed concern that if this position is established it can potentially destroy the management plan efforts to date. C. McCaffrey stated that the ability of the IO to successfully implement the management plan in the long term will be related to the existence of a strong citizen organization willing to work with the IO. D. Morehouse agreed that the two groups should work closely, but noted the existence of several hurdles that must first be cleared. He moved to table the discussion until the proposal is further developed and more details are available. J. Sipos seconded. Vote taken: 3 Yes; 8 No.

S. Hurlbut made a request for volunteers to work with the Network on the development of the grant proposal. S. Anderson expressed thanks to the Network for its generous invitation. She sees value in the IOs involvement and views participation as a good opportunity that should be taken advantage of. S. Hurlbut and S. Anderson will work with the Network on developing the proposal and will make arrangements for a time to meet and begin work.

Membership/Committee Reports: No additional reports were made.

X. Set Date and Agenda for Next IO Meeting The next regular IO meeting will be held at 7:00 P.M. on Wednesday 12/15/99 in Seneca Falls. J. Sipos will set the location. Refreshments will start at 6:30. The main agenda will be focused on setting up the organizational structure of the IO, including By Laws.

The meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM.

SUMMARY OF VOTES

ITEM

OUTCOME

Vote to accept 7/28/99 IO meeting minutes.

Carried (unanimously)

Vote to table the discussion regarding the development of the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network’s grant application for the purpose of securing funds to create and support the position of Watershed Manager for a period of five years.

Not Carried (3 Yes; 8 No)


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or email info@cayugawatershed.org

CLW IO 2002