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March 2018 Minutes | Print |

STEPHENSON SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT

Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors

March 20, 2018

Call to Order: Chairman Ross Bremmer called the meeting to order of the Stephenson Soil and Water Conservation District Board at 8:30 am on March 20, 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 Ross Bremmer, Chad Alderks, Barb Klinger, Seth Wenzel, Jim Hutchison and Dan Diaz; District employee Lorna Chezem, Administrative Coordinator; NRCS employee Jim Ritterbusch, District Conservationist; and Abby Mielke, Soil Conservationist

Not in attendance –Lori Toelke,

 

Reorganization of the Stephenson SWCD Board: Board Members

  • Barb Klinger made a motion to nominate Jim Hutchison as Chairman, no other nominations were cast. Chad Alderks closed the nominations and seconded the nomination. Voting unanimously. Motion carried. Jim Hutchison was elected Chairman.

 

  • Barb Klinger made a motion to nominate Chad Alderks as Vice-Chairman, no other nominations were cast.        Seth Wenzel closed the nominations and seconded the nomination. Voting unanimously. Motion carried. Chad Alderks was elected Vice-Chairman.

 

  • Chad Alderks made a motion to nominate Barb Klinger as Secretary/Treasurer, no other nominations were cast. Seth Wenzel closed the nominations and Jim Hutchison seconded the nomination. Voting unanimously. Motion carried. Barb Klinger was elected Secretary/Treasurer.

 

2018 Board and Committee Assignments: Board Members and Associate Board Members

  • 2018 Committee Assignments were completed an updated copy is included with these minutes and will be sent to each director with their April board packet.

 

Approval of Minutes:  Chad Alderks moved to approve minutes of the February SWCD board meeting, seconded by Seth Wenzel. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.

 

Bills to be Paid: Jim Hutchison moved to approve the bills as listed on the monthly financial sheet with the addition of bills to Alpha Nurseries, Engel’s Nursery, Jo-Daviess SWCD and Brian Lindquist, seconded by Dan Diaz. 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

  • A hot topic within the County and City currently is the consolidation of the 911 call centers. Safety and transfer of calls are the biggest issues.
  • Another hot topic is the consolidation of current Economic Boards - NIDA, Downtown Development, Chamber of Commerce & Visitor’s Bureau.  The belief is that there is too much duplication and inefficiency currently. Ron feels that there is too little representation from Agriculture and the County on this new board.
  • Ron will come off of the County Board in the fall.
  • Lorna asked Ron once again about the SWCD request for funding; what was the amount approved; so a request can be made for payment.
  • A discussion was held about the citizen’s in Stephenson County; the abuse of social services. Ron would like to see drug testing enforced and pictures required on link cards.

 

 

Freeport City Council Report:  Tom Klemm

  • Sullivan Foods purchased most of the mall where the current store is located and would like to do a massive renovation and are in negotiations with the city to become a business district. A one cent sales tax was proposed; this is being tabled due to a time crunch and not having time to publicize.
  • New year budget is almost done; it is balanced but there is no money in the budget for enhancements for road repairs or sewer improvement projects.
  • The ground that is being leveled behind the new Casey’s will be a truck stop.
  • City is working with RAMP on downtown development projects for handy capped accessibility.
  • Old City Hall building will not be torn down this year (no money).
  • Business expansion/road development project for road to airport was discussed.

 

Conservation Plans & CPO’s: Jim

  • There will not be any Conservation Plans or CPO’s due to lack of new CRP sign-up.
  • A discussion about mid-management practice changes was discussed.

 

Contribution Agreement   Jim

  • Brian continues to work on modifications for CRP from the last contribution agreement and we believe that the work may be completed for the new agreement. Lorna, Brian and Jim will look at this and fill out/send in the paperwork.
  • Lorna continues to work on items for the administrative grant agreement.

 

CRP Update: Jim

  • See above

 

EQIP Update: Abby

  • 19 applications were in this funding cut-off; 11 applications were approved. All signed with the exception of 3. Larger projects get obligated before smaller ones.
  • Friday is cut-off date for RCPP; these are forestry projects for oak/hickory regeneration.  20 projects are to be ranked, planned and uploaded.

 

CSP Update:  Abby

  • Practice reminder letters were sent for both Boone (61) and Stephenson (70) contracts. New contracts needed job sheets and a conservation plan sent with the letter.
  • Re-enrollment letters were also mailed for Stephenson (9) and Boone (39).
  • Applications need to be filled out by April 13; new sign up 19 people.

 

Election Follow up: Lorna

  • Economic Interest Statements were passed for signatures.
  • Organization of the board pages were passed for corrections/changes.
  • Acceptance of Office forms were passed to Dan Diaz for his signature.

 

Programs / SWCD Updates: Lorna

  • NRI’s – 8 were completed for March meetings with the county board. I have four more at my desk currently that need to be done.
  • Envirothon is done! Fulton took top spot with Eastland being the top FFA team.
  • Tree Sale order deadline had now passed; all quantities were confirmed with the nurseries. Payments will be mailed after this meeting. Starting to order other supplies needed and organize orders.
  • Fish Sale – only 7 orders to date.
  • Nitrogen Testing for NLRS strategy was discussed. Lorna found an article in a publication about a testing strip that Iowa has been using and would like to get additional information.

 

 

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

 

Informational Items:

Correspondence:

  • An e-mail request for sponsors for the State Envirothon was shared. Barb Klinger made a motion to approve a $100.00 for State Envirothon; seconded by Seth Wenzel. Voting aye: all. Motion carried.

 

Other Business:

  • Seth Wenzel gave an update about BHRC upcoming meeting for a comprehensive economic plan. Lorna received the meeting notice and will forward to all the directors and to Ron Fluegel.
  • We will need to do new signature cards for accounts, signature authority letter etc. at the April meeting.

Adjournment:

Having no other business, Chairman Hutchison adjourned the meeting at 10:20 am.

Barb Klinger, Treasurer/Secretary Notes recorded by Lorna Chezem

 
February 2018 Minutes | Print |

STEPHENSON SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT

Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors

February 21, 2018

Call to Order: Vice-Chairman Chad Alderks called the meeting to order of the Stephenson Soil and Water Conservation District Board at 8:15 am on February 21, 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 Chad Alderks, Barb Klinger, Seth Wenzel, and Jim Hutchison; District employee Lorna Chezem, Administrative Coordinator; NRCS employees Jim Ritterbusch, District Conservationist and Abby Mielke, Soil Conservationist

Not in attendance –Ross Bremmer, Lori Toelke and Ron Fluegel

 

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

 

Bills to be Paid: Jim Hutchison moved to approve the February bills to be paid, seconded by Seth Wenzel. 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 Jim Hutchison. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.

Action Items:

Stephenson County Board Report:  Ron Fluegel/No Report

 

Freeport City Council Report:  Tom Klemm

  • Area flooding and road closures were discussed; Pecatonica River not expected to crest until Saturday.
  • Casey’s is open and everything seems to be good.
  • Old K-Mart building has been sold; no word on what is happening with it.
  • An analysis of the roads/streets in Freeport has been completed for drainage issues and needed repairs.
  • Governor Rauner has made funding cuts to Freeport and slowed down payments.
  • Freeport will be starting their annual budget planning process soon.
  • The city purchase patching equipment for cold or hot patch of roads.
  • Designs have been submitted for improvements for Chicago Street and the municipal lot downtown; but no funding for these improvements.
  • Grand River Hall is now open on the 6th floor of the Rawleigh building for events; it is owned by the Alber family.
  • There were two water main breaks this morning in Freeport; this is due to the old spun cast piping that was put in from 1940 -1970. The city does have a hydraulic picture where all of this piping is located.
  • 100 trees will be removed throughout the city. The street department has an inventory of these trees; rated when a complaint comes in. ComEd has been removing trees affected by Emerald Ash borer.
  • The city will have to make a decision this year whether to remove abandon housing or fix/repair roads.
  • Solar farm that Tom talked about in a previous meeting for the site of the landfill was approved by the city council.
  • Improvements and expansion opportunities were discussed for Albertus airport.

 

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

 

Contribution Agreement   Jim

  • Brian continues mopping up issues from last year’s agreement.
  • Lorna continues work for the Administrative grant – calls, signatures, letters and uploading documents to DMS for payments.

 

CRP Update: Jim

  • CRP is a dead issue right now; there is no potential for any new CRP. Jim believes that FSA will offer extensions to those currently needing to re-enroll.

 

EQIP Update: Abby

  • EQIP funding cutoff has now passed; twelve out of 24 have gotten moved to pre-approval and letters were mailed to those 12. There were 7 forest management plans, 1 grazing, 1energy and 3 high tunnels. These all need to be signed by the end of March.

 

CSP Update:  Abby

  • New applications are still being taken; Abby has 15 currently (3 or 4 have been floating; moving from year to year). Abby has 9 for re-enrollment in 2018. Payments need to be completed by March 1st; 4 have yet to come in and sign.
  • We talked a bit about coverage in the Boone County offices due to the fact that Louis is retiring March 1st.  Currently Josh from Winnebago will be covering in Boone County one day a week. Abby, Josh and Jim will be working on the 39 CSP re-enrollments that Boone County will have in 2018.

 

Programs / SWCD Updates: Lorna

  • Election paperwork was passed for signatures; acceptance of office for Seth and Chad.
  • 4 completed NRI’s were passed.
  • Envirothon – the committee continues to struggle and get tasks done.
  • Tree Sale – we have about 50 orders in thus far.
  • Fish Sale – only about 2 orders have come in thus far.

 

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

 

Informational Items:

Correspondence:

  1. Grades for Tristan Schubert were passed for his scholarship.
  2. Returned check and letter from Highland (Trent Wingert); is no longer a student.

 

Other Business:

  1. Ross to sign District Operations Quarterly Report for FY17 Grant Agreement; Lorna will call and ask him to stop in and sign since he was not at the meeting.
  2. Intergovernmental Agreement with Jo-Daviess (for FY18 Grant Agreement) has been signed and returned.
  3. Notification of Quick Books payroll subscription renewal on 3/23/18; $215.00 plus taxes.
  4. Donation from Tom Schwartz; FDC Enterprises, Inc. was discussed.
  5. Additional funds received for FY17 CRP Contribution Agreement with NRCS on 1/29/18; $1043.00
  6. LUC meeting agenda was passed.
  7. Jim Hutchison talked about a meeting that he attended at the Library for a solar company out of Chicago.

Adjournment:

Having no other business, Vice-Chairman Chad Alderks adjourned the meeting at 9:35 am.

Barb Klinger, Treasurer/Secretary Notes recorded by Lorna Chezem

 
January 2018 Minutes | Print |

STEPHENSON SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT

Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors

January 17, 2018

 

Call to Order: Chairman Ross Bremmer called the meeting to order of the Stephenson Soil and Water Conservation District Board at 8:00 am on January 17, 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 Ross Bremmer, Chad Alderks, Barb Klinger, Seth Wenzel, and Jim Hutchison; District employee Lorna Chezem, Administrative Coordinator; 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 December SWCD board meeting, seconded by Jim Hutchison. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.

 

Bills to be Paid: Jim Hutchison moved to approve the January bills to be paid, seconded by Chad Alderks.  Voting aye: all. Motion passed.

 

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

Action Items:

Stephenson County Board Report:  Ron Fluegel

  • 3 solar farms have been approved in Stephenson County.
  • $85, 000 was taken out of the budget; Road and Bridge fund by the State of Illinois; this went to fund improvements in the Chicago area. This lead into the discussion of the McConnell to Alfolkey road improvement project; 3miles that will be completely redone (price tag is 3 Million).
  • Stephenson County has completed a road and bridge study and will use that for completing projects. Bridges that were built in the 50’s and 60’s the decks are OK; but the pillars are bad. There is no cost with repairs but Federal dollars are available for replacing the bridge.
  • Ron will check on SWCD funding and e-mail Lorna so she can submit a letter of request.
  • Ron will not be running for the Stephenson County Board at the next election.

 

Freeport City Council Report:  Tom Klemm/ No Report

 

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

 

Contribution Agreement   Jim

  • Brian and Lorna are continuing work on both contribution agreements (CRP and Administrative).

 

CRP Update: Jim

  • No CRP sign-up; new or re-enrollments. Depending on what happens with the new farm bill a one-year extension may be offered.

 

EQIP Update: Abby

  • Funding cutoff was supposed to have been Friday, January 12 but was pushed back an additional 3 weeks.
  • Twenty two from Stephenson will be competing for available funds.

 

CSP Update:  Abby

  • Huge workload has been completed; contracts signed and obligated. Highest number of contracts in the State – 22 re-enrollments. There will only be 9 next year for Stephenson; but Abby along with Josh in Winnebago will most likely be working on Boone County re-enrollments (about 39) as Louis will be retiring.
  • Abby has about 80 total contracts for the County.
  • CSP payments about 25 are left and will be getting reminder phone calls.
  • No deadline/cutoff has been specified for new signups.

 

Programs / SWCD Updates: Lorna

  • Election – absentee ballots were made available for all qualified voters.
  • Scholarship letters were passed for Chairman Ross Bremmer’s signature and check signed by Secretary/Treasurer Barb Klinger; this is the final payment for Tristan and Trent.
  • Poster winner’s gifts were discussed and it was decided to do ribbons and culver’s gift cards. Lorna will supply the board members with the winner’s names at the February meeting.

 

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

 

Informational Items:

Correspondence: None this month

 

Other Business:

  • SolarStone: Stephenson Co. SWCD Board member Jim Hutchison arranged for two representatives from SolarStone; a solar company based in Minnesota to come and talk to the board about the Illinois Community Solar farms that many landowners are receiving information about. The representatives talked about their company, their installations in Minnesota, the Illinois initiative, how the energy is marketed, the contracts and many other aspects of a solar farm.
  • Operations funds; $22,680.41 was received and deposited in our account on 1/12/18.

 

Adjournment:

Having no other business, Chairman Bremmer adjourned the meeting at 11:10 am.

Barb Klinger, Treasurer/Secretary Notes recorded by Lorna Chezem

 
December 2017 Minutes | Print |

STEPHENSON SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT

Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors

December 20, 2017

Call to Order: Chairman Ross Bremmer called the meeting to order of the Stephenson Soil and Water Conservation District Board at 8:20 am on December 20, 2017. 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 Ross Bremmer, Chad Alderks, Barb Klinger, Seth Wenzel, and Jim Hutchison; District employee Lorna Chezem, Administrative Coordinator; NRCS employees Jim Ritterbusch, District Conservationist and Abby Mielke, Soil Conservationist

Not in attendance –Lori Toelke,

 

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

 

Bills to be Paid: Jim Hutchison moved to approve the December bills along with the addition of an invoice for Brian Lindquist, 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 Jim Hutchison. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.

Action Items:

Poster Contest & Update:  Brittani DeVries

  • Board members made final selections of top 3 posters in each age category prior to the meeting. There were a total of 404 posters from 6 area schools.
  • Brittani’s position was made fulltime in September; she has been sending funding campaign letters.
  • Keeper’s of the Land was held in September; 237 students attended from 8 area schools.
  • A variety of programs were offered from September – December reaching 2896 students.
  • Ag Adventure Day will be held in April; an annual outdoor Ag learning day for 5th grade students.
  • A conservation seat remains open on the CAP board.

 

Stephenson County Board Report:  Ron Fluegel/ NO REPORT

 

Freeport City Council Report:  Tom Klemm

  • Casey’s is scheduled to be finished and open in February.
  • The new building site by Burchard Hills is an immediate care facility; part of FHN.
  • The old K-Mart building has been sold for $380,000; the buyer was not local.
  • Paperwork has been signed for the old Eagles store by the Lincoln Mall; not sure if it will be torn down or remodeled with 4 store fronts.
  • Two new trucks for the city have been leased; one is a camera truck.
  • Rawleigh building has a new banquet facility open for rental.
  • A total of 80 houses have been torn down throughout Freeport in 2017. Grants have been applied for continued work for 2018.
  • Sullivan’s has purchased the entire strip mall that they are currently located in and plan to remodel.
  • There have been 3 or 4 water main breaks throughout the city.
  • The teardown of the building on Galena Avenue is collaboration between the owner and the city. A section of the street is currently closed until the work has been completed.
  • Asbestos removal bids are being considered for the old city hall location.
  • The City council adopted a new policy that if a committee person misses 3 meetings you can no longer serve on that committee.

 

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

 

Contribution Agreement   Jim

  • Brian is finishing clean up on the last CRP renewal paperwork.
  • Lorna has been busy completing tasks for the Administrative Grant; uploading paperwork for CSP renewals.

 

CRP Update: Jim

  • No new ground/acres are available for 2018.
  • There may not be re-enrollments for contracts that expire Sep of 2018; they may get offered a one-year extension until a new farm bill is in place.

 

Civil Rights/EEO Conservation Partner: Jim

  • Jim completed annual review with the board members and passed for their signatures.

 

Programs / SWCD Updates: Lorna

  • Election date has been set for February 8 (Thursday). The nominating committee has gotten agreement for Dan Diaz to run for Ross’s seat on the board. Certification of Eligibility to seek office was passed to Seth and Chad to fill out & sign. Grant funding paperwork for the LUC portion was passed to Ross Bremmer to sign.
  • Freidag review/comptroller’s report – Doug Freidag’s review and comptrollers report was passed for the directors to review. Barb made a motion to accept the review and comptroller’s report, seconded by Chad Alderks. Voting Aye: all. Motion passed.
  • NRI review that was completed for a solar farm off of Route 26 was passed for directors to review.

 

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

 

Informational Items:

Correspondence: None

 

Other Business:

  • CRP grant agreement/work; extra funding e-mail was shared.
  • State/IDOA grant was signed and returned along with letter stating that IDOA did not have any idea when the funds would be released by the comptroller’s office.
  • Possible tire recycling event was discussed.

Adjournment:

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

Barb Klinger, Treasurer/Secretary Notes recorded by Lorna Chezem

 
November 2017 Minutes | Print |

STEPHENSON SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT

Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors

November 15, 2017

Call to Order: Chairman Ross Bremmer called the meeting to order of the Stephenson Soil and Water Conservation District Board at 8:30 am on November 15, 2017. 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 Ross Bremmer, Chad Alderks, Barb Klinger, and Jim Hutchison; District employee Lorna Chezem, Administrative Coordinator; NRCS employees Jim Ritterbusch, District Conservationist and Abby Mielke, Soil Conservationist

Not in attendance –Seth Wenzel and Lori Toelke

 

Approval of Minutes:  Jim Hutchison moved to approve minutes of the October SWCD board meeting, seconded by Chad Alderks. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.

 

Bills to be Paid: Chad Alderks moved to approve the November bills to be paid, seconded by Jim Hutchison. 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 Jim Hutchison. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.

Action Items:

Stephenson County Board Report:  Ron Fluegel/ No Report

 

Freeport City Council Report:  Tom Klemm

  1. Five new houses are being built in Freeport (these are the first since 2007). Shimer Drive is the location of the five new homes. This area is part of the City enterprise zone; taxes are rebated back to owner after three years of payment.
  2. Casey’s is scheduled to open in February.
  3. The City is in the process of selecting a spot for building 2 new wells and a facility for water and sewer. Currently looking in the Burchard area by the new water tower.
  4. Parking lot repairs are being completed by the old Kmart building; the building has a new potential buyer.
  5. City does not have enough in the budget to pay City employees benefits (retirement benefits).
  6. Shots were fired on Rawleigh Street last night; this is the next street over from our building.
  7. Street Scape – improvements on Chicago Street from the Wagner House all the way up to the library. A beautification idea that includes street improvements, new lighting and a City Center. Monies for these improvements would come from private and public sources.
  8. Improvements are being done at Albertus Airport – roadwork, lighting and hangers.
  9. Old Black Dot building (behind the Wagner House) was purchased.

10.  Building behind Security 1st is leaning (hazard) and will be taken down. Cost is collaboration between the current owner and the City.

11.  Book World is closing their doors after many years in Freeport.

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

 

Contribution Agreement   Jim

  • First report and invoice were submitted on November 6 for the Administrative Grant; payment has not been received to date.

 

CRP Update: Jim

  • The requirement for producers and the Soil and Water Conservation District to have a SAM & DUNS number may be going away!
  • There will be no new CRP sign-up for 2018 (no new acres).  Still have not heard what will happen with re-enrollments; in the past a one year extension of the current contract has been offered. CRP Contribution Agreement will be maintenance work on existing contracts.

EQIP Update: Abby

  • Jim passed out new workload maps by county (CSP and EQIP workload). Stephenson still ranks up there with a pretty high workload.

 

CSP Update:  Abby

  • Payment Letters will go out to producers today asking if they want payment in December or January.

 

Programs / SWCD Updates: Lorna

  • Lorna has talked to Richard Holmes (on nominating committee) about possible replacement names for Ross’s seat on the board. Richard will contact John Phillips.
  • Petition for holding a general election was passed to those directors present for signature. Lorna will call Seth to come in and sign before the December meeting.
  • Notice of 2018 Elections was passed to Chairman, Ross Bremmer for signature (this is the one that has to be posted in 3 locations).

 

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

 

Informational Items:

Correspondence: None this month

 

Other Business:

  1. December meeting (Christmas celebration) was discussed. The meeting will occur at the date/time as scheduled.
  2. Paperwork for a high capacity well was passed for Directors to review.
  3. Two new NRI’s are on the horizon for Solar Energy farms.

Adjournment:

Having no other business, Chairman Bremmer adjourned the meeting at 9:10 am.

Barb Klinger, Treasurer/Secretary Notes recorded by Lorna Chezem

 
October 2017 Minutes | Print |

STEPHENSON SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT

Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors

October 18, 2017

Call to Order: Chairman Ross Bremmer called the meeting to order of the Stephenson Soil and Water Conservation District Board at 7:35 am on October 18, 2017. 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 Ross Bremmer, Barb Klinger, and Jim Hutchison; District employee Lorna Chezem, Administrative Coordinator; NRCS employees Jim Ritterbusch, District Conservationist and Abby Mielke, Soil Conservationist

Not in attendance –Chad Alderks, Seth Wenzel, and Lori Toelke

 

Approval of Minutes:  Jim Hutchison moved to approve minutes of the September SWCD board meeting, seconded by Ross Bremmer. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.

 

Bills to be Paid: Jim Hutchison moved to approve the October bills to be paid, seconded by Ross Bremmer. 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 Jim Hutchison. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.

Action Items:

Stephenson County Board Report:  Ron Fluegel/ No Report

 

Freeport City Council Report:  Tom Klemm

  1. A firm out of California is looking at placing solar panels at the landfill; there would be no cost to the city for the firm to look and assess the site. If approved the firm would assume the cost of maintaining the landfill and pay any costs to correct leaching issues. Electricity generated would be used for area businesses.
  2. A two way bridge was voted in by the City to replace the Gladewood bridge; construction will not happen for a couple years.
  3. Replacement of the Hancock bridge will be a 5 year project.
  4. Building at 12 North Galena will be torn down. There are still 2 or 3 buildings that are in bad shape that are slated to be torn down (old Crawford Drug) and 10 houses; after this happens a total of 80 will have been torn down.
  5. Voices has received a grant for 3 years for salary and benefits of employees.
  6. Casey’s build continues to go well. Shoe Carnival, Starbucks and Aspen Dental all now open.
  7. Old Eagles grocery stores – the one on South street was fined for not cleaning up the location. Someone is looking at the building by the Lincoln Mall (tearing down and rebuilding in its place).
  8. Rose Ridge in the Shimmer/Loras area (behind Jones Farrar) was approved for tax abatements for the first three years.
  9. Someone is looking at two buildings in the Rawleigh complex.

10.  Modern Plating expansion project is going well.

Conservation Plans & CPO’s: Jim

  • The 7 on the list that was passed to those present were mop-ups from the last sign up period. Barb made a motion to approve all 7 Conservation Plans and CPO’s, seconded by Jim Hutchison. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.
  • FSA has finally made decisions on funding for this last sign up period. Anyone that was signed before May 3rd has been approved; Pollinator projects did not get funded. HEI acres and waterways did get funded.

 

Contribution Agreement   Jim

  • Sub-agreements for both the CRP and Administrative grants were passed to chairman Ross Bremmer for signature. These are due to the new start date of both grants.

 

 

CRP Update: Jim

  • No other update; see above

 

EQIP Update: Abby

  • Making payments

 

CSP Update:  Abby

  • 22 re-enrollments; 19 have been scanned and uploaded to DMS.
  • Contracts will be signed in late November; early December.

 

Programs / SWCD Updates: Lorna

  • FY18 Grant Agreements (NRCS/AISWCD) revised sub-agreements with new start date were passed for Ross Bremmer to sign.
  • Audit/FMP – no Comptrollers letter has been received yet. Doug Freidag has the tote of material and could start the audit.
  • Nominating Committee/Election discussion; Lorna asked the board to come up with some ideas of replacement for Ross Bremmer’s seat on the board prior to contacting the nominating committee.
  • Highway Clean up day – any volunteers?
  • Fish Sale Recap- 14 people ordered fish; 2026 fish plus 46 pounds of fathead minnows were sold. After paying the bill for Logan Hollow the district netted a profit of $507.75
  • Reminder that we will be holding a Cover Crop Tour on November 7.

 

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

 

Informational Items:

Correspondence:

  • NACD fund request letter was shared.

 

Other Business:

Adjournment:

Having no other business, Chairman Bremmer adjourned the meeting at 8:00 am.

Barb Klinger, Treasurer/Secretary Notes recorded by Lorna Chezem

 
August 2017 Minutes | Print |

STEPHENSON SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT

Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors

August 16, 2017

Call to Order: Chairman Ross Bremmer called the meeting to order of the Stephenson Soil and Water Conservation District Board at 8:05 am on August 16, 2017. 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 Ross Bremmer, Chad Alderks, Barb Klinger, and Jim Hutchison; District employee Lorna Chezem, Administrative Coordinator; NRCS employees Jim Ritterbusch, District Conservationist and Abby Mielke, Soil Conservationist

Not in attendance – Seth Wenzel, Lori Toelke,

 

Approval of Minutes: Ross Bremmer moved to approve minutes of the July SWCD board meeting, seconded by Chad Alderks. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.

 

Bills to be Paid: Jim Hutchison moved to approve the August bills to be paid with the addition of Farm Bureau membership renewal, Nathan Miller for website hosting fee and removal of bill for postage meter funds, 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 Jim Hutchison. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.

Action Items:

Stephenson County Board Report:  Ron Fluegel

  • Shelia Hooper and Jeff Mikkelson are both stepping down due to health issues; appointments for their replacements will be coming from the Democratic Party.
  • Approved the building of the counties first solar energy farm – Cypress Creek Renewables; a 20 acre parcel outside of Lena. Building/installation of panels will begin next year.
  • Winslow road has been chipped and sealed and many other around the county will be done due to a pavement presentation grant.
  • Road & bridge damage along with damage to townships was discussed as a result of the flooding.
  • The SWCD funding request letter was discussed, Ron says he would like us to attend the Planning and Development Committee meeting at 5:30 on September 5th.
  • The companies that are expanding in Stephenson County and their lack of ability to find people that want to work or those that cannot pass the mandatory drug test was discussed. The possibility of the county being able to crack down on the issue (picture on link card; reloadable link card) was also discussed.

 

Freeport City Council Report:  Tom Klemm

  • A good education was received by taking readings from the Yellow Creek during the last flooding event.
  • Gladewood and Hancock bridges were both inspected after the flooding; both are still closed. Gladewood Bridge which was foot traffic only has now been closed to all traffic. A meeting will be held in the near future at the Swartz Chapel to discuss replacement of the Gladewood Bridge.
  • Water & Sewer is now leasing a camera truck to find problems with mains. City is now leasing all vehicles with the exception of the police department vehicles.
  • A new Fire Chief will be hired soon.
  • Recent shootings in Freeport have made the news; drug and gang problems were also discussed.
  • There have been a lot of positive things happening due to the new city manager.

Conservation Plans & CPO’s: Jim

  • Random conservation plans still being finished, no word from FSA what projects have been funded.

 

Contribution Agreement   Jim

  • FY17 agreements have been fulfilled; just waiting for payment on both Administrative & CRP.
  • FY18 agreements – paperwork has been submitted but details have not been worked out between NRCS (National) and AISWCD.

 

CRP Update: Jim

  • Brian finishing up on some CRP paperwork from FY17 agreement.

 

EQIP Update: Abby

  • All EQIP dollars have been allocated.
  • Working on 1 hog confinement – producer is demolishing 7 buildings and an existing earthen pit to put in 1 large building with a pit underneath.
  • Abby working on contract management and payments.

 

CSP Update:  Abby

  • 4 new contracts; having system issues so work has been sporadic.
  • 3 of the 4 producers have been contacted to come in and sign paperwork.
  • Payment calls and letters will be coming soon.
  • Abby has 22 re-enrollments to put in this new system.

 

Programs / SWCD Updates: Lorna

  • Well Water Testing Program – 24 people purchased kits (2 tested multiple wells); 27 nitrate kits, 23 pesticide kits, 19 metals kits and 14 bacteria kits were sold. 13 Farm Bureau discounts were applied.
  • Scholarship payments and letters were included with the August bills.
  • Employee Review was completed; Barb Klinger made a motion to give Lorna 2 extra paid holidays – the day after Thanksgiving and either December 24 or 26. In addition Lorna will earn vacation at a rate of 7.0 hours per pay period; seconded by Chad Alderks. Voting aye: all. Motion carried. 2018 contract will be typed up and signed at September meeting.

 

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

 

Informational Items:

Correspondence:

  • Letter of support from Jeff Hastings; project manager for Driftless Area Restoration effort was shared.

 

Other Business:

  • A $200.00 check was received from Peoria County for summer conference training.
  • Survey from AISWCD in regards to water quality/NLRS and training was passed to directors; this needs to be returned to Lorna by August 31st.
  • Long range plan was distributed to directors; they were asked to review it and see if modifications were needed or if it could be sent to AISWCD as is. After a short discussion it was decided that the plan was sufficient as it was written.
  • LUC meeting was shared; Lorna and Barb will attend.
  • Funding letter that was submitted to the County Board was shared.
  • NRI that was completed for Acciona was passed for board review.

Adjournment:

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

Barb Klinger, Treasurer/Secretary Notes recorded by Lorna Chezem

 
June 2017 Minutes | Print |

STEPHENSON SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT

Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors

June 21, 2017

Call to Order: Chairman Ross Bremmer called the meeting to order of the Stephenson Soil and Water Conservation District Board at 8:15 am on June 21, 2017. 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 Ross Bremmer, Chad Alderks, Barb Klinger, Seth Wenzel, and Jim Hutchison; District employee Lorna Chezem, Administrative Coordinator; NRCS employee Abby Mielke, Soil Conservationist. Brian Lindquist, Ogle County RC entered the meeting at 8:30 AM.

Not in attendance –Jim Ritterbusch, Lori Toelke, and Ron Fluegel

 

Approval of Minutes: Seth Wenzel moved to approve minutes of the May SWCD board meeting, seconded by Barb Klinger. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.

 

Bills to be Paid: Jim Hutchison moved to approve the June bills to be paid, seconded by Ross Bremmer. 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 Jim Hutchison. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.

Action Items:

Stephenson County Board Report:  Ron Fluegel/No Report

 

Freeport City Council Report:  Tom Klemm

  • The Water & Sewer Commission was dissolved and now resides under the City Manager and will merge with the Street Department. There is a search on for a new director as the person in this position resigned after the Water and Sewer Commission was resolved. There will be many changes including the billing process.
  • Two new high capacity wells are needed for the City; location will need to be moved. One of the directors asked how many wells existed currently for the City of Freeport and Tom believed 4-6.
  • The referendum passed for raising water rates for residents of the City to pay for the cost of infrastructure improvements; unfortunately this does not cover the cost of the 2 new wells.
  • The Bank of America purchased the old K-Mart building.
  • CVS owns the old Eagles grocery store on South Street and says they will be making changes.
  • There is interest in one of the old Rawleigh buildings for a hydroponics growing center.
  • City is looking into renting equipment – street sweeper and equipment needed at Albertus airport instead of buying.
  • Starbucks and Aspen Dental building is about half way to completion.
  • There was much discussion about the possible merging of the City and County 911 systems.

 

Conservation Plans & CPO’s: Abby

  • June list was passed to those present; everything on the list was completed by Brian and Lorna per the Contribution Agreement. Barb Klinger made a motion to approve all of the CPO’s and plans listed; seconded by Chad Alderks. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.

 

Contribution Agreement: Lorna/Brian

  • As far as work goes we feel we can turn in the final paperwork for payment of all work completed. Brian will have lots of follow-up work to finish once the producers have been told they are actually in the program by FSA.
  • The board assured Brian that they would LOVE to have him continue to work here in Stephenson County!
  • New 3-5 year agreement is being planned but details have not been finalized by NRCS & AISWCD.

 

CRP Update: Lorna/Brian

  • Workload was discussed; follow up work mentioned above under Contribution Agreement.

 

EQIP Update: Abby

  • 5 or 6 applications went forward and were funded.

 

CSP Update:  Abby

  • 4 new applications for 2017; all interviews completed; they have been ranked and have been moved to pre-approved. No contract work can be completed because of computer issues.

 

Programs / SWCD Updates: Lorna

  • Highway Clean-up – has not been completed yet; but Lorna would like to schedule a day next week if anyone would like to join in the fun.
  • Transect Survey – was completed on June 2 and June 5; a big thanks to Jim for driving and helping with the survey and a big thanks to Abby for the wonderful new maps! All data was entered into the spreadsheet; sent to IDOA and returned with results. Copies of the county results and charts were passed to those present and have been included in the newsletter.
  • FY18 Budget – The budget committee met prior to the board meeting and presented the proposed FY17-18 budget. Barb Klinger made a motion to approve the FY17-18 budget as written; seconded by Jim Hutchison. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.
  • Summer Conference Resolutions – were copied and passed to board members and given to Barb Klinger as the voting delegate.

 

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

 

Informational Items:

Correspondence:

  • Request was made by the Highland Community College Foundation for a rain barrel donation for their annual fundraising event. Barb Klinger made a motion to approve the donation of a rain barrel, seconded by Chad Alderks. Voting aye: all. Motion carried.
  • Annual water report from the city was shared.

 

Other Business:

  • Stephenson County Board funding check for FY17 was received on 6/19/17.
  • Two scholarship applications were reviewed by all board members and discussed. Barb Klinger made a motion to give both applicants the scholarship money for FY17-18; seconded by Chad Alderks. Voting aye: all. Motion carried.

Adjournment:

Having no other business, Chairman Bremmer adjourned the meeting at        9:40 am.

Barb Klinger, Treasurer/Secretary Notes recorded by Lorna Chezem

 
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