Cayuga Lake Watershed Management Plan
Intermunicipal Organization (IO) Meeting
12/15/99, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M.
Seneca Falls Town Hall, Seneca Falls, New York



John Sipos (Towns of Varick and Covert)-R*
Sylvia Hurlbut (Town of Ledyard)-RA*
David Allee (Village of Cayuga Heights)-R*
David Zorn (GFLRPC)
Barbara Stewart (Village of Interlaken)-R*
Bruce Johnson (Village of Freeville)-R*
Jerry Codner (Town of Lansing-R*
George Kennedy (Town of Ulysses)*
Jose Lozano (City of Ithaca)
Kevin Millington (NYS DOS)
Katrina Greeley
Don Woodrow (Seneca L. Pure Waters)

R = designated representative for municipality
David Morehouse (Town of Ledyard)-R*
Kathy Bertuch (CNY RPDB)
Craig Schutt (Tompkins Cty. SWCD)
Patrick Morrell (Town of Fayette)-R*
Jeffrey Warrick (Town of Seneca Falls)-R*
Carolyn Grigorov (Town of Ithaca)-R*
Lynn Leopold (Village of Lansing)-R
Krys Cail (Town of Ulysses)-R*
Roxy Johnson (City of Ithaca)
Jim Maly (Seneca Cty. SWCD)
Peter Shuste (Seneca Cty. Farm Bureau)

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
  2. welcomed everyone. Introductions were made of all attendees. Acceptance of 10/27/99 IO minutes was postponed until January due to difficulties accessing meeting minutes on the website.

  3. Draft Watershed Characterizations: Copies of the Draft Preliminary Watershed
  4. Characterization and the Executive Summary were available. D. Zorn stated that watershed-wide distribution of the Draft is currently underway by the Education/Outreach/Public Participation Committee. Public comment on the Draft will be accepted through January at the three public participation meetings as well as by telephone, e-mail and an interactive feedback form on the website. Development of the Draft Characterization required the efforts of many people and much time. The purpose of the Draft Characterization is to present the current state of scientific understanding about the Cayuga Lake Watershed. The Executive Summary was used to provide an overview of the Draft Characterization. The Draft details both the nature of the lake and the nature of the watershed. D. Allee commented that much thought has gone into the collection of data for the draft and asked which data should be given to municipalities. D. Zorn replied that a GIS watershed model (land use and soils) would be an exceptionally useful tool for educating public officials. No such model currently exists. Many individual interests are working on separate GIS pieces. If all interests could work together, development of a watershed model might be accomplished in a relatively short time period (1-2 years).

    A representative of the Lansing Community News asked to what extent the work of the Toxic Targeting group has been incorporated into the management plan. The group identified pollutant loads to the lake from certain tributaries. D. Zorn replied that although the group’s work is considered to be quite good, it is not watershed wide. The Technical Committee would like to see the watershed streambank inventory expanded on a sub-watershed by sub-watershed basis.

    A comment was made that if more than 50% of land use in the watershed is devoted to agriculture then best management practices (BMPs) should have a significant impact on improving and maintaining water quality. It was asked to what extent the IO advocates BMP cost sharing for farmers. D. Zorn replied that cost sharing is part of BMP programs that are currently in place and operating effectively. D. Allee noted that some individuals feel USDA agriculture appropriations for BMP cost sharing programs are inordinately influenced by mid-west concerns, such as nitrates. He noted that Congressman James Walsh is on the appropriations committee and suggested that the IO should take a role in communicating sound and accurate information regarding local needs to the Congressman.

    III. Watershed Coordinator Grant: D. Morehouse reported that the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network (the Network) received a five year grant in excess of $340,000 to hire a watershed "Steward." The Network has formed a Watershed Steward Committee for the purpose of exploring the timing of the project, development of the position description and the filling of the position. It is expected that a final candidate for the position will not be recommended to the Network’s Executive Committee until at least March, 2000. At this time, there are no concrete plans regarding the position of "watershed coordinator." The Network would like the IO to agree work with them throughout the position development process. He suggested that by-laws might serve as a mechanism to increase the Network’s involvement with the IO and the IO’s with the Network. The Network wants to have a say in what is happening in the watershed. The Network has high membership. D. Morehouse views the Network as the "public arm" of the management process and the IO as the "political arm. R. Johnson re-emphasized the Network’s desire to have IO representation with regards to developing the watershed Steward position.

III.   Formation of an Agricultural Committee: Craig Schutt reported on the initial Agricultural

    Committee exploratory meeting held on 7 December, 1999. The meeting was attended by representatives from Tompkins, Cortland, Seneca and Schuyler SWCDs, Cayuga, Tompkins and Schuyler NRCS, Tompkins County CCE, and a member of the 5 County Dairy Team. Seneca County CCE intends to participate in the next meeting. Participants in the 12/7 meeting discussed the agricultural characterization of the watershed from the Draft as well as defining the possible structure of an Agriculture Committee. At the next meeting, to be held on 2 February 2000, they will work towards developing a mission statement and examine the structure of various agricultural committees formed around other lakes. Farm community members that might serve on the Committee will also be discussed at the next meeting. Efforts will be made to lessen the time commitment of participating farmers with regards to the number of meetings they are required to attend. Questions were raised at the 12/7 meeting on how the resulting Agricultural Committee will relate to the Network. Concern was raised that there are too many organizations already at work in the watershed. The group agreed it would be best to have cooperation between the Network and the IO. The group was also concerned that the management plan might result in the creation of watershed rules and regulations. There was a strong desire not to be involved in something that would "create hardship" for local farmers.

    S. Hurlbut suggested that the IO coordinate with the Network to create a single Agricultural Committee for both organizations. D. Morehouse seconded. By show of hands, the motion was unanimously carried.

    D. Zorn suggested that development of the proposed Watershed Steward would benefit from the same spirit of cooperation. R. Johnson stated the Network has requested such cooperation. D. Morehouse stated that the Chair of the Network serves as an ex-officio member of the Watershed Steward Committee and the Chair of the IO should also similarly serve. Failure to include the Chair of the IO in the last meeting was an oversight. S. Hurlbut is concerned that the Steward is coming on board before the management plan is complete D. Morehouse acknowledged that both the IO and Network have expressed a willingness and desire to work together and should take steps to make it happen. He suggested that the Chairman of the Watershed Steward Committee be contacted for receptiveness to officially bringing the IO into the Watershed Steward Committee. S. Hurlbut stated that the IO’s endorsement of the Network’s grant proposal helped them to secure the funding. Consequently, she feels the IO should be included in the development process. R. Johnson agreed. She feels only the logistics need to be worked out – how many people will be on the entire committee, how many from the IO, how many from the Network, etc. Grant funding came to the Network fast, and with little notice. Interagency cooperation on this issue is a great opportunity and a way to formalize a joint venture between the two organizations. D. Morehouse suggested that it might be up to the Chairman of the IO to nominate herself and possibly 2 others who are interested in participating on the Network’s Watershed Steward Committee. Volunteer names should be forwarded to the Network’s Chairman. P. Morrell and J. Sipos volunteered to participate barring no conflicts between meeting dates and their prior commitments.

IV.   Public Participation Update: J. Codner confirmed the dates and times of the three public participation meetings. Postcard announcements were sent to all people in the watershed with the exception of some people in the City and Town of Ithaca where information will be provided through other media outlets. County specific flyers announcing the meeting dates were distributed. Members were asked to post the same in various locations.

D. Zorn confirmed that the Draft Characterization is available on the web site. It was noted that JAVA/browser related problems continue to plague some users. D. Zorn inserted a plain text link to the Draft from the main web page. This should provide access to virtually all Internet users regardless of the age of their browser. If any website related problems are encountered they should be reported to D. Zorn.


V. Proposed IO By-Laws: J. Sipos moved discussion of proposed by-laws be postponed until January in order to provide members with additional opportunity to review and formulate comments. P. Morrell seconded. All in favor. Motion carried.

D. Woodrow stated that it is the first time that he has heard of an organization receiving a large pot

of cash for no defined use. He asked what the Network hopes the Steward will do. D. Morehouse stated the steward will be responsible for correspondence between the Network and the IO, will develop work plans, set priorities and possibly sit on one or both Boards. Adoption of an actual organization plan for the IO will provide a vehicle for needed interagency coordination. S. Hurlbut stated in response to a comment made by D. Morehouse that the DOS grant is for the development of a Management Plan not the formation of the IO. R. Johnson stated that the Steward will help "spread the word" about what is happening in the watershed. D. Allee recounted the results of a review of almost 50 watershed in NYS with watershed organizations. The most active and efficient groups interactively combine separate citizen and government groups. Advantages associated with having more organizations rather than fewer working together include better communication and coopration.

D. Zorn provided copies of a recent 2-page Rochester Democrat and Chronicle newspaper article on Cayuga Lake as part of a series on the Finger Lakes. Much of the article focused on the Preliminary Watershed Characterization. The article will be re-run, verbatim, in the Ithaca newspaper. The article also provides information on the upcoming public participation meetings.

D. Morehouse asked if there was interest by any members on speaking at the Network co-sponsored Symposium on agricultural management taking place the following day at the Aurora Inn.

The next meeting will be held at the Ledyard Town Hall on January 26, 2000. The meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM.




Vote to accept 10/27/99 IO meeting minutes.

Postponed until January 26, 2000.

Vote to create a single Agricultural Committee responsible to both the IO and the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network

Carried (unanimously)

Vote to move discussion of proposed by-laws until January 26, 2000.

Carried (unanimously)

Return to index

To contact the Cayuga Lake Watershed Intermunicipal Organization.

or email info@cayugawatershed.org

CLW IO 2002