CAYUGA LAKE WATERSHED MANAGEMENT PLAN
INTERMUNICIPAL ORGANIZATION (IO) MEETING
5/23/00, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M.
CORNELL COOPERATIVE EXTENSION OF TOMPKINS COUNTY
ITHACA, NEW YORK

MINUTES

Attendees:
David Morehouse (Town of Ledyard)-R*
Chuck Howell (Town of Scipio)-R*
Sylvia Hurlbut (Town of Ledyard)-RA*
Kathy Bertuch (CNY RPDB)
Dooley Kiefer (Vill. of Cayuga Heights)*
Carolyn Grigorov (Town of Ithaca)*
Linda Wagenet (Cornell Center for the Envir.)
Jose Lozano (City of Ithaca)*
Kate Hackett (Tompkins County Planning)
George Kennedy (Town of Ulysses)*
Karen Edelstein
John Sipos (Towns of Varick and Covert)*
Patrick Morrell (Town of Fayette)*
Barbara Stewart (Village of Interlaken)*
Sharon Anderson (Tompkins County)*
Krys Cail (Town of Ulysses)*
Jackie Cassavito (Town of Caroline)
David Zorn (G-FLRPC)
William Shaw (CLWN)
Tee Ann Hunter

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 P.M. S. Hurlbut welcomed everyone. Introductions were made of all attendees. Acceptance of minutes from 4/26/00 meeting moved by D. Morehouse. G. Kennedy seconded with corrections. All voted in favor. Motion carried.

II. Interim Recommendation Ranking: K. Bertuch discussed the delay in distributing the Interim project applications to the Technical Committee and IO Representatives participating in the ranking process. IO members not present at the May IO meeting were invited to participate in the ranking process. The complete ranking packet will be distributed pending receipt of final applications. D. Zorn advised IO members to use the ranking matrix to review and rank all project applications prior to attending the Technical Committee’s ranking meeting on June 2.

III. Municipal Contributions: S. Hurlbut distributed a tally sheet of municipal contributions received to date ($10,906). There is still a $10,000 gap that needs to be filled in order to meet the second year cash match required by DOS. Municipalities that have not yet contributed were asked to contact S. Hurlbut to finalize their commitments and request payment vouchers.

S. Hurlbut has been actively soliciting funds to meet the project’s 3rd-year cash match requirement. Assemblyman Finch has pledged $5,000. Senator Nozzolio failed to come through on a $15,000 member item. He referred the project to the Finger Lakes-Lake Ontario Watershed Alliance (FL-LOWPA) for possible grant funding. It was noted that FL-LOWPA grant money, if awarded, would likely be far less than what was expected from Nozzolio and would not be available until March 2001.

Assemblymen Oaks and Luster both indicated that they had already donated funds to the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network (the Network) for the Cayuga Lake Management Plan. A source at Cornell University also claims cash contributions have been made to the Network for the management plan. S. Hurlbut stated that the Network has not made any cash available for the management plan. She stated that there is a $90,000 gap in matching funds needed for the 3rd-year of the project that will not be filled unless the Network contributes.

Discussion was opened to the IO. D. Kiefer is puzzled by people who claim to have contributed money to the Network that is earmarked for the plan, yet the plan has not had access to any funds through the Network. B. Shaw stated that he was shocked by the suggestion that the Network withheld funds. He stated that the Network has always been willing to help with the development of the management plan. He recounted the Network’s 3/9/00 Board meeting at when the IO asked for the Network’s future participation and the Network readily agreed to participate but did not receive any follow up communication regarding methods of participation. He also referred to meeting held on 5/10/00 between himself, S. Hurlbut, P. O’Malley, S. Anderson and K. Bertuch at which time the IO again requested Network participation during the 3rd year of the project. Prior to that meeting B. Shaw requested and received a list of items appropriately suited for Network participation. The items called for in-kind and cash contributions. The Network agreed to log related time and expenses as local match to the management plan. It was noted that the match from the Watershed Steward search alone would amount to a significant local match contribution.

Confusion regarding allowable billing rates for professional services used as match was aired. Specific requests for Network participation similar to the public participation role filled by Network staff under the first year DOS contract were included on the list of items/areas identified for Network participation. B. Shaw believed that some funds would be available to cover the associated costs of these tasks under the 3rd-year DOS grant. He asked that the public participation budget for contracting specific services to the Network be determined for 3rd-year activities as it was for 1st-year activities. The Network offered to review the available budget relative to the request and determine if they could accommodate the work. Several areas were identified for Network participation related to the services of the Watershed Steward. Based on the Steward’s position description much of what the Steward will be doing will be directly related to the management plan. The Network could not comply with the request that 1-day per week of the Steward’s time be devoted to working on management plan development.

S. Hurlbut stated that the 5/10 meeting ran smoothly until the issue of money available to the Network for participation in developing the plan was raised. B. Shaw re-stated that he was under the impression a contract for Network services would be executed as it was under the first year of the project. The Network is willing to provide significant local match in terms of volunteer time. S. Hurlbut asked if the Network was on board with the management plan. B. Shaw stated that it is, was and has been. S. Hurlbut stated that the Network has not contributed any cash to the 3rd-year of the project. B. Shaw replied that the Network has no new budget dollars this year. The Network’s budget is funded largely through grants. Their only source of discretionary funds is membership fees, which are down.

L. Wagenet asked about last year’s budget. B. Shaw provided information. He stated the Network’s budget this year is a range as it was developed prior to receiving confirmation of a large grant. He stated it is not true that Cornell contributed $5,000 for the management plan. Any contribution made by Cornell would have been for the services of the Network. L. Wagenet suggested that perhaps Cornell is confused as J. Gutenberger (Cornell) claims to have knowledge of a contribution made for the management plan. K. Edelstein stated that contributors are often confused regarding the terms of contributions because more than one person is usually involved in the process.

D. Zorn suggested that because the Network is using the management plan and the Watershed Characterization in its funding applications/requests, it contributes to the confusion by making it appear that the Network is part of the management planning process. He stated that the IO has discussed this issue with the Network before and believes that the Network has received money for the plan during years 1 and 2 of the project but has not disbursed any cash to the plan. B. Shaw replied that he has been part of the Network from the start. Prior to the first Network meeting in 8/98 the Network had no bylaws or budget and did not exist. He could not comment on what might have happened prior to 8/98. Since that time the Network has not written any grant applications claiming that they are involved in planning. The Network has specifically referenced the IO as creating the management plan and clearly laid out the Network’s role as a facilitator. He offered to correct anything that suggested otherwise, if it could be found. He re-stated his belief that J. Gutenberger is confused regarding Cornell’s contribution and suggested a phone call to clarify the situation.

D. Zorn stated that the Network and the IO have many things in common but miss opportunities to cooperate which results in the mis-use of money. The two organizations need to work together. B. Shaw will provide a letter setting forth all that the Network has provided to the management plan to date. He disagrees that tremendous opportunities for coordination have been lost over the past two years. He cited the Network’s attempt to involve the IO in the Watershed Steward search and Network attendance at IO meetings as examples of effort to coordinate.

J. Lozano stated that the IO and the Network should develop a common strategy for meeting a common goal. The watershed approach to resource management requires citizen participation and will open doors to significant federal funding sources. S. Hurlbut suggested that a joint approach to funding requests would produce greater dollar amounts. By working as a single unit and including other agencies, the number of funding requests made will be reduced thereby increasing the chances of receiving funding. B. Shaw agreed.

L. Wagenet asked if the IO and the Network are open to informing each other of all future funding requests and possibly inviting the other to making joint funding applications, when appropriate. D. Kiefer noted that the Network provides services similar to those of the Education/Outreach/Public Participation Committee but was not sure what other services they provide to the IO. J. Lozano replied that the watershed approach is key to funding and citizen participation is key to the watershed approach. The Network’s role is to provide citizen participation.

D. Morehouse stated that both organizations are young and are experiencing growing pains, and while each is worthy of a few criticisms, finger pointing is not positive. He stated that the IO is the watershed entity for political funding and the Network is the public arm of the watershed. A common group (not a committee) should work out problems and misunderstandings between the two groups.

D. Kiefer stated that only good can come from formalizing the Network’s public participation role and agrees with L. Wagenet’s suggested policy of open funding requests. S. Hurlbut agreed. B. Shaw agreed. S. Hurlbut thanked B. Shaw for clarifying the Network’s commitment to the management plan.

IV. Prioritization of Watershed Issues: D. Zorn presented a revised list of watershed issues
for representatives to present to their municipal boards. This collapsed list should replace the longer list distributed at the April IO meeting. A four-page issue description was also provided. Users should refer to the issue description sheets for clarification and additional references to support material found in the Watershed Characterization. Representatives who have already presented the original issue list to their municipal boards were asked to consider making a second presentation using the new list. The new list provides a better understanding of what is happening in the watershed and is easier to work with. Representatives who are unable to re-present to their boards are asked to use prior municipal feedback to complete the new ranking list. Each municipality is allowed 15 points that can be assigned to various issues in any combination. Point distribution will indicate the issue’s relative importance. The issue scoring lists will be collected at the June 28th IO meeting. The Technical Committee will tally the lists. No discussion or review of the lists is planned for the June meeting.

During development of the collapsed issue list, the Technical Committee identified shortcomings in the suggested issue prioritization process. A more credible method of identifying priority watershed issues would require additional time and the hiring of a statistician to conduct a relative risk assessment. The DOS does not provide the funds or the time frame for such analysis. Thus, the Technical Committee will meet contractual obligations by tallying the issue ranking lists provided by municipal representatives to identify “priority issues” in the watershed, but will also continue to work towards the development of a more credible analysis of watershed issues over time.

V. Residential Septic Testing Resolution: The proposed resolution to support residential
septic testing was discussed. Questions regarding the level of inspections, compliance and enforcement, the timing of testing relative to location, affordability, and the type of tests to be conducted were raised. S. Anderson noted that the subject literature suggests dye testing produces unreliable results. She would like more discussion and a better understanding of the issue by the IO before voting. S. Hurlbut will provide more information at the June IO meeting. L. Wagenet stated that in order to accurately test a septic system it should be pumped first. She urged the IO to consider amending the proposal to include pumping in addition to testing.

VI. IO Bylaws: Draft bylaws were made available for review. IO members were asked to
review prior to the June meeting when a final vote to accept will be made. The bylaws are also available on the IO website www.cayugawatershed.org

VII. Watershed Steward: D. Morehouse reported that the Watershed Steward position has been
filled by Steve Lewindowsky. D. Zorn stated that Mr. Lewindowsky has a long history of involvement in local water resource issues. He previously worked in the Canandaigua watershed in a capacity similar to the role defined as Cayuga Lake Watershed Stewart and was involved in the Seneca Lake Watershed Management Plan. Mr. Lewindowski brings a wealth of experience in the education and public participation aspects of the management planning process.

VIII. Committee Reports: E/O/PP – S. Anderson reported that the IO website is up and functional and the minutes from Agriculture Committee meetings are now being posted.

IX. Set Date and Agenda for Next IO Meeting : The next IO meeting will be held at 7:00 P.M. on Wednesday 6/28/00 at the Seneca Falls Town Hall. Refreshments will start at 6:30. J. Sipos will reserve the meeting room. At the June meeting the IO will vote on bylaws; S. Hurlbut will provide additional information on the proposed residential septic testing resolution; Interim Project Recommendations will be submitted to the IO for approval; and representatives will provide municipal issue sheets for tallying.

Additional Discussion: P. Morrell requested that IO meetings be permanently moved from the fourth Wed. to the fourth Tues. of each month. S. Hurlbut noted that the IO will meet in June but not July or August. She suggested that the issue of changing the regular meeting day be taken up in the fall at which time the IO should consider alternating meetings between Wed. and Tues. for the remainder of the project.

The meeting adjourned at 9:04 PM.


SUMMARY OF VOTES

ITEM
OUTCOME
Vote to accept the 4/26/00 IO meeting minutes with corrections.
Carried (unanimously)



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Cayuga Lake Watershed Intermunicipal Organization.
Call 315-364-5707 or email info@cayugawatershed.org

CLW IO 2000