December, 2018 Minutes

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Stephenson Soil and Water Conservation District Board Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors
December 19, 2018

Call to Order: Chairman Jim Hutchison called the meeting to order of the Stephenson Soil and Water Conservation District Board at 8:15 am on December 19, 2018.  The board met at 1620 S. Galena Avenue, Freeport Illinois.

Roll Call: Present at the time the meeting was called to order were board members Jim Hutchison, Chad Alderks, Barb Klinger, Seth Wenzel and Dan Diaz; District employees Lorna Chezem, Administrative Coordinator and Aaron Dinderman, Resource Conservationist; NRCS employees Jim Ritterbusch, District Conservationist, and Abby Mielke, Soil Conservationist.

Not in attendance –Lori Toelke  


Approval of Minutes:  Seth Wenzel moved to approve minutes of the November SWCD board meeting, seconded by Jim Hutchison. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.


Bills to be Paid: Jim Hutchison moved to approve the bills as listed on the monthly budget sheet for December, seconded by Chad Alderks. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.


Review and Approval of Employee Time Sheets: Employee time sheets were passed around. Barb Klinger moved to accept the employee timesheets, seconded by Chad Alderks. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.


Action Items:

Stephenson County Board Report:  Ron Fluegel/No Report


Freeport City Council Report:  Tom Klemm

1.       Land on Van Buren purchased for Jane Adams bike path.

2.       Land also purchased for water treatment plant around the Burchard water tower.

3.       Old City Hall building is currently being demolished by Fischer Excavating; that block of Stephenson Street is closed to traffic.

4.       Water and sewer expansion project will continue into 2019 with replacement of old storm water drainage pipes and street repairs in 9 areas of Freeport that have major flooding issues.

5.       Pre-flood stage grants for the east side of Freeport are now progressing; a 25% match will be made with the city. People are finally starting to understand that it is profitable and approximately 100 people have applied for grants. There are between 100 – 120 properties on the east side of Freeport of which 102 are currently occupied. Housing development department has filed a petition to move Taylor Park School. The end goal is to get everyone out and turn the land into a wetland.

6.       Salvation Army is behind on donations this year; the Freeport kitchen provides 40,000 meals in a year.

7.       Old Fieldstone restaurant location was discussed; Manny’s Pizza won the bid on the building but many needed repairs were not disclosed to Manny’s prior to the purchase (a local bank currently owns).

8.       The largest City Council challenges for 2019 will be: road repairs (63 million dollars worth of repairs) and home rule (census has declined and home rule could be discontinued); the greatest value of home rule is the City can pass rulings without referendums.

9.       There are 4-6 seats open on the City Council on this year’s ballot; Tom is not running for his spot again he will be our representative until April or May of 2019.


Conservation Plans & CPO’s:  Jim/None this month


Contribution Agreement   Jim/No update


CRP Update:  Jim

·         2019 CRP status reviews; 100 plus contracts up for re-enrollment.

·         Aaron has been working on mid-management changes for CRP contract changes and finishing up work that Brian had not finished.


EQIP Update:  Abby

·         RCPP (forestry); 20 applications were taken; top 3 have been finished. All other on hold until Farm Bill has been signed.


CSP Update:  Abby

·         9 expiring CSP contracts; 5 producers want to re-enroll. Contract expiration modifications were completed due to lack of Farm Bill.


Programs / SWCD Updates:  Lorna/Aaron

·         Poster judging was completed prior to the meeting; Culver’s gift cards and ribbons will be purchased for the top 3 posters in each age category.

·         Election Paperwork was passed for signature(s); Notice of Election of Directors for posting; Petition for holding a General Election; and Certification of Eligibility to Seed the Office of Director.

·         Signature Authority Letter; adding Aaron was passed for Chairman Jim Hutchison’s signature.  

·         CPP Money Market Account – a discussion was held about changing the money market account to checking account now that we have funding for CPP projects. It will remain as a money market account but we will purchase checks and see if the limit of 6 checks written per month becomes an issue.

·         NLRS Water Testing Strips; after a discussion it was decided to purchase 20 and see if they sell.


Approve Reports as E-Mailed: Chad Alderks moved to approve the reports as e-mailed from: Lorna Chezem, Aaron Dinderman, Jim Ritterbusch, and Abby Mielke; seconded by Barb Klinger. Voting aye: all. Motion carried.


Informational Items:

Correspondence: None


Other Business:

·         LUC dues were discussed but payment will be tabled until after the March LUC meeting.

·         Christmas Eve was made a federal holiday and the office will be closed.



Having no other business, Chairman Hutchison adjourned the meeting at 9:30 am.


Barb Klinger, Treasurer/Secretary                     Notes recorded by Lorna Chezem

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