STEPHENSON SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT BOARD
FEBRUARY 16, 2022
CALL TO ORDER: Stephenson Soil & Water Conservation District Chairperson Jim Hutchison called the meeting to order at 8:05 a. m. on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, in the Walsh Room, Stephenson County Farm Bureau in Freeport, Illinois.
ROLL CALL: Present at the time the meeting was called to order: Board members Jim Hutchison (Chairperson), Barb Klinger (Secretary/Treasurer), and Seth Wenzel (Vice President); District employee Trina Orr (Administrative Coordinator); NRCS employees Abby Mielke (Soil Conservationist); Stephenson County Board Garrett Miller (Board Member); Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever of Illinois Jared Trickey (Habitat Strike Team Technician).
Not in attendance: Matt Schlachter, Aaron Dinderman, Dan Diaz, Josh Franks, Hannah McWhirter, and Luke Tweeten.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Review, discuss, and approve of the minutes from the January 19, 2022, Stephenson Soil & Water Conservation District Board of Directors meeting.
Hutchison moved to approve the minutes from the January 19, 2022, Stephenson Soil & Water Conservation District Board of Directors meeting, Wenzel seconded the motion. There being no further discussion – Voting aye: All. Motion passed.
BILLS TO BE PAID: Review, discuss, and approve to pay the bills as listed on the monthly budget sheet for January 2022.
Wenzel moved to pay the bills as listed on the monthly budget sheet for January 2022, Hutchison seconded the motion. There being no further discussion – Voting aye: All. Motion passed.
REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF EMPLOYEE TIMESHEETS: Review, discuss, and approve of Aaron Dinderman and Trina Orr employee timesheets.
Klinger moved to approve Aaron Dinderman and Trina Orr employee timesheets; Hutchison seconded the motion. There being no further discussion – Voting aye: All. Motion passed.
STEPHENSON COUNTY BOARD REPORT (Garrett Miller)
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• Stephenson County Highway Department has completed bids for a replacement Dump Truck. An Oil Truck was purchased, but delivery has been delayed.
• Stephenson County has new Board Members.
• The water and sewer project for Stephenson County is funded by the American Rescue Plan.
FREEPORT CITY COUNCIL REPORT (Randy Bukas)
Nothing to report.
NRCS – CRP/CONSERVATION PLAN/CPO’S REPORT (Abby Mielke)
• September 30, 2022 is the deadline for 2023 Contract Status Reviews. Aaron is currently completing reviews – Total around 107.
NRCS – CONTRIBUTION AGREEMENT REPORT (Abby Mielke)
• The Administrative Agreement has been updated with Trina Orr’s information. After she receives her LincPass, Abby will begin training and assigning tasks.
NRCS – EQIP/CSP UPDATE REPORT (Abby Mielke)
• February 25, 2022 is the deadline for ranking EQIP applications, only 9 are new.
• March 4, 2022 is the deadline for CSP Renewal Letters, and March 25, 2022 is the deadline for ranking CSP applications, only 4 are new.
• Effective February 9, 2022 the building was returned to 50% staffing, and customers can enter by appointment.
PHEASANTS FOREVER & QUAIL FOREVER UPDATE REPORT (Jared Trickey)
• 25 – 30 new Burning Plans will be completed by the end of first week in March 2022.
• Classroom projects will begin mid to end of March 2022. This will include Pollinator Projects, Boy Scout Projects, and School Work.
Review, discuss, and approve of Stephenson County Board Report, NRC-CRP/Conservation Plan/CPO’s Report, NRCS-Contribution Agreement Report, and NRCS-EQIP/CSP Update Reports as e-mailed in the Board of Directors packet on February 11, 2022.
Klinger moved to approve the reports as e-mailed in the Board of Directors packet on February 11, 2022 Hutchison seconded the motion. There being no further discussion – Voting aye: All. Motion passed.
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ELECTION UPDATE (Trina Orr) – Richard Holmes from the Nominating Committee was contacted, but no information has been received about possible candidates, and possible candidate Mark Binger. No motions made.
NEWSLETTER UPDATE (Trina Orr) – The 2022 Winter Newsletter was completed and mailed. A cost comparison was completed due to Freeport Press now offering an automated version of printing that included folding and stickering. No envelope, mailing envelope, or assembly is required from the Soil and Water Conservation District employees. The newsletter will also return to a Quarterly publishing schedule instead of the Semi-Annual schedule that was taken on due to the COVID pandemic. No motions made.
LAND USE COUNCIL (Trina Orr) – A conversation regarding what the annual dues were covering since all activities normally hosted by Land Use Council were no longer occurring due to the COVID pandemic. Klinger confirmed that the dues paid in do cover other advantages outside of normal activities. No motions made.
AISWCD TREE PLANTING UPDATE (Aaron Dinderman) – This topic was tabled until next month. No motions made.
STEPHENSON SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION (Trina Orr) – Review, discuss, and approve a possible change for eligibility for the scholarship. The current requirements state “a RESIDENT of Stephenson County”. An inquiry was made if a “LANDOWNER” but not “RESIDENT” could apply.
Klinger moved to leave the requirement as is, and only a RESIDENT could apply for the scholarship, Wenzel seconded the motion. There being no further discussion – Voting aye: All. Motion passed.
EXECUTIVE SESSION – No Executive closed session was needed.
ADJOURNMENT – Having no other business, Chairperson Hutchison adjourned the meeting at 10:00 a. m., Klinger seconded the motion.
Notes recorded by Trina Orr
STEPHENSON SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT BOARD