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June 2018 Minutes | Print |

STEPHENSON SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT

Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors

June 20, 2018

Call to Order: Chairman Jim Hutchison called the meeting to order of the Stephenson Soil and Water Conservation District Board at 8:06 am on June 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 Jim Hutchison, Chad Alderks, Barb Klinger, and Seth Wenzel; District employee Lorna Chezem, Administrative Coordinator; NRCS employees Jim Ritterbusch, District Conservationist.

Not in attendance –Lori Toelke, Abby Mielke, and Dan Diaz

 

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

 

Bills to be Paid: Chad Alderks moved to approve the bills as listed on the monthly budget sheet, 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

  • City is starting to experience water problems due to recent heavy rains.
  • Paperwork was completed to combine 5 old entities into one partnership; overall goal is to get additional input from other business. Financing has come primarily from the city and TIF funds. The old chamber building is where the new business is located.
  • Sullivan’s store remodel funds will come from TIF district.
  • Old Eagles store; Lincoln Mall location will be expanded and re-modeled.
  • A discussion was held about road repairs and funding of those repairs. Current funding comes from motor fuel tax; which has been decreasing each year. The city has over 63 million dollars worth of repairs that need to be done and only receives about $165,000 per year.
  • Water and Sewer improvements continue; 2 new wells have been drilled.
  • JCI Wi-Fi has been making improvements.
  • Solar farms at the water treatment plant and old landfill locations are in the engineering planning phase.

 

Conservation Plans & CPO’s: Jim

  • There are two on the list for this month; both are filter strips that the mid-contract management practice of mowing was changed. Barb made a motion to approve the two conservation plans/CPO for mowing, seconded by Chad Alderks. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.

 

Contribution Agreement   Jim

  • CRP grant final invoice and paperwork is ready to be submitted for payment.
  • Administrative grant work continues; back payments may be coming next week.

 

CRP Update: Jim

  • One year extensions are coming over from FSA for waterways, filter strips and wetland restoration projects starting June 1st until August 17; this is due to no current farm bill.
  • The NRCS office is experiencing a large amount of whistle blowers this year; many more than usual.

 

EQIP Update: Jim for Abby

  • Payments are continuing

CSP Update:  Jim for Abby

  • 19 new applications but only 8 or 9 have come in and talked to Abby.

 

Programs / SWCD Updates: Lorna

  • FY19 Budget was passed to those present and discussed. Barb Klinger made a motion to approve the budget as presented, seconded by Seth Wenzel. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.
  • Review Scholarship Applications were passed and reviewed. Seth Wenzel made a motion to accept all 3 applications; seconded by Barb Klinger. Voting aye: all Motion passed. Lorna will contact all 3 scholarship winners.
  • County Board Fund Request for FY19 – the board will request a full $25,000 and see what happens this year.
  • Well Water Testing Program has been set for August 20 – 28. This will be advertised in the summer newsletter and a press release. Bruce Johnson has a copy of the flyer and had it available at the Ag Breakfast and will put copies in the Farm Bureau tent at the fair.
  • Transect Survey Results were passed and discussed.
  • Employee hiring & board member turnover discussion was held. Brian Lindquist has decided that he cannot work part-time in Stephenson County again. The board decided to hire a full time RC.

 

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

 

Informational Items:

Correspondence:

  1. New Citizen’s credit card agreement details were shared with the board.
  2. Request from HCC for annual fundraiser donation was shared. Barb Klinger made a motion to donate 2 bluebird houses or a bluebird house and bat house, seconded by Seth Wenzel. Voting aye: all. Motion carried.

 

Other Business:

  • NACD dues discussion was held. Barb Klinger made a motion to pay $100.00 in dues to NACD; seconded by Chad Alderks. Voting aye: all. Motion carried.

Adjournment:

Having no other business, Chairman Hutchison adjourned the meeting at 9:55 am.

Barb Klinger, Treasurer/Secretary Notes recorded by Lorna Chezem

 
May 2018 Minutes | Print |

STEPHENSON SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT

Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors

May 16, 2018

Call to Order: Chairman Jim Hutchison called the meeting to order of the Stephenson Soil and Water Conservation District Board at 8:05 am on May 16, 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 employee Lorna Chezem, Administrative Coordinator; NRCS employees Jim Ritterbusch, District Conservationist and Abby Mielke, Soil Conservationist

Not in attendance –Lori Toelke,

 

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

 

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

 

Review and Approval of Employee Time Sheets: Employee time sheets were passed around. Jim Hutchison 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

  • Many businesses are expanding – Honeywell, MetLife and Tri-Star Metals.
  • Flood mitigation plan meeting that was held on the east side was a disaster! A lot of complaining about things that happened over the course of many years. IDNR and State of Illinois said that a home that has over 50% damage of value of house will not receive any more funding for repairs.
  • New immediate care facility will be opening up soon.
  • Harbor Freight is looking at several locations throughout Freeport.
  • City is working on 7 or 8 projects that had major flooding on Navaho Drive & Sandy Point; they are digging out silt and planting prairie grasses.
  • 1st new house that has been built in Freeport since 2008 on Shimmer drive.
  • City will have 2 inspectors looking for un-mowed lawns and issuing fines this summer.
  • Old Eagles grocery store on Galena Ave; will be remodeled.
  • Business district plans are re-surfacing for Park Plaza (Sullivan’s); strip mall.
  • Large gas station chains may have gaming machines put in.
  • Old K-mart location is still in holding mode; current owner wants to sell due to too many issues.
  • Clean up at the round-a-bout will be on Thursday, May 16; new solar light will be installed.
  • Two solar companies are in talks with the city to put solar farms at the landfill and wastewater sewage treatment facility.

Conservation Plans & CPO’s: Jim

  • There is one CRP modification on the sheet for May; this is a mid-management modification for mowing of a grassed waterway. Barb Klinger made a motion to approve the CRP Plan/CPO modification; seconded by Chad Alderks. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.

 

Contribution Agreement   Jim

  • New revisions were passed to chairman Jim Hutchison for signature.
  • A possible requirement to turn in 70 hours a month for the Administrative Grant was discussed.

 

 

Conservation Compliance: Jim

  • No board members were randomly drawn for conservation compliance reviews this year. A lot of letters were sent to CSP participants.

 

CRP Update: Jim

  • There is still work that Brian could be doing; mid management modifications. FSA sent out letters to participants.

 

EQIP Update: Abby

  • All EQIP funds have been spent in Illinois. A request was put in for unspent funds from other states. The President pulled back this request. NRCS can work on modifications.

 

CSP Update:  Abby

  • The June 1st cut-off date for new applications has been extended to July 30 due to computer program issues. There are 19 new applications for Stephenson County; Abby has met with about ½ of those producers.
  • There is some talk about CSP being combined with EQIP in the next Farm Bill. Re-enrollments for January; may get a one year extension if the new farm bill has not been passed.

 

Programs / SWCD Updates: Lorna

  • Tree sale recap – 10,500 trees and shrubs were sold; 850 trees were donated to 3rd grade students in Stephenson County plus poster participants. Total sales were $16,692.16 minus bills $14,095.55; leaving a profit of $2,596.61.
  • Fish sale recap – 21 people ordered fish; 4,376 fish plus 29 pounds of fathead minnows were sold. Total sales $2,957.00 minus bill to Logan Hollow $2,355.30; leaving a profit of $601.70.
  • CPP discussion – practice component list for FY18 was passed for Chairman Jim Hutchison’s signature. Barb Klinger made a motion to approve the average cost list as printed with 1 change made to the well decommissioning; seconded by Chad Alderks. Voting aye: all. Motion passed. This will be scanned and sent to IDOA. Partners for Conservation fund program guidelines were passed to those present. It was agreed to focus on strip-till; no-till; cover crop, waterways and well decommissioning projects.
  • Budget committee will meet at 7:00 AM before the June 20th board meeting.
  • Website redesign discussion was held. Seth Wenzel made a motion to have Nathan re-design the website using a new host site that will be easier to update. Costs for the new website are not to exceed $1,000.00; seconded by Barb Klinger. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.

 

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

 

Informational Items:

Correspondence: None

 

Other Business:

  • NACD dues discussion was once again tabled until the June meeting.

Adjournment:

Having no other business, Chairman Hutchison adjourned the meeting at 9:45 am.

Barb Klinger, Treasurer/Secretary Notes recorded by Lorna Chezem

 
April 2018 Minutes | Print |

STEPHENSON SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT

Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors

April 18, 2018

Call to Order: Chairman Jim Hutchison called the meeting to order of the Stephenson Soil and Water Conservation District Board at 8:05 am on April 18, 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, and Dan Diaz; 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: Chad Alderks moved to approve minutes of the March SWCD board meeting, seconded by Jim Hutchison. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.

 

Bills to be Paid: Chad Alderks moved to approve the bills as listed on the monthly budget sheet, 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 Dan Diaz. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.

Action Items:

Stephenson County Board Report:  Ron Fluegel

  • The county board approved 8 solar farms last month. Ron stated that 20 acres for a community solar farm produced the same amount of energy as 1 wind tower.
  • County board is working on next year’s budget. There has been discussion about administrative salary increases.
  • Ron talked about Workplace Development and how their board operated.
  • The new Nucor organization was discussed and Ron emphasized that SWCD should become a member due to the fact that most of the development in the county has been agriculture related.

 

Freeport City Council Report:  Tom Klemm

  • The city has been in talk with 2 or 3 solar companies but nothing has been approved to date.
  • General Obligation bonds are being offered to downtown business for improvements.
  • Old K-Mart store maybe for sale once again, current owner says there are too many issues.
  • There is a meeting scheduled on May 8 with IL EPA to discuss the east side homes, river and floodway. There are approximately 110 to 125 homes on the east side currently.
  • Water and sewer improvements continue. Water and Sewer department is chasing down unpaid bills and shutting off water earlier.
  • Changes are in process for Police & Fire Commission boards (term limit dates).
  • Facade program with downtown business to fix the outside of buildings; this comes out of TIF funds.
  • Contract was renewed for a 3 year extension of Pretzel City Transit; new software and 5 new vehicles will be purchased. There are talks of extending the service into Jo-Daviess County.

 

Conservation Plans & CPO’s: Jim

  • There are none this month but we had a discussion about adding plans for EQIP and CSP.

 

Contribution Agreement   Jim

  • Final paperwork for CRP agreement needs to be completed and sent in. Brian, Lorna and Jim will meet and discuss.
  • Administrative Grant dividend was discussed.

 

 

CRP Update: Jim

  • Brian is still coming in to work on CRP modifications. This started a conversation about getting some additional help/hiring discussion.

 

EQIP Update: Abby

  • 10 projects are moving forward for Stephenson County. There is one contract for Boone County and this is behind schedule and providing to be difficult.

 

CSP Update:  Abby

  • 19 new CSP applications; 1 is on hold. Abby has met with 4 of the 18 applicants they are picking practices etc. All paperwork must be entered by June 1.
  • Boone County has 4 to 6 applications.
  • Renewals will make for a crazy workload this summer – there are 9 in Stephenson County and 39 in Boone County.

 

Programs / SWCD Updates: Lorna

  • Bank paperwork was passed to those present for signature. Seth will be called to come in and sign before the next meeting.
  • Barb Klinger made a motion for Lorna to apply for a Citizen State Bank credit card for the District and that the card should be in her name/Stephenson SWCD. Chad Alderks seconded this motion. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.
  • Tree Sale not all bills have been submitted; a recap will be on the agenda for next month. Lorna and Abby sorted and readied the 3rd grade trees/poster trees this year for Brittani, costs were incurred. Lorna will submit an invoice to CAP/Farm Bureau for supplies.
  • Lorna currently has 8 solar NRI’s on her desk to be completed.
  • CPP Funds have been received. Lorna will bring CPP guidelines and cost sheet to the next board meeting for discussion and prioritizing projects.
  • Another person needs to be listed as a FOIA officer for the district to cover in the event that Lorna is on vacation and does not get the request.  Jim Hutchison agreed to be added.
  • New Signature Authority letter was passed for Jim’s signature.
  • Internal Control checklist was passed for Jim’s signature.

 

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

 

Informational Items:

Correspondence:

  1. Thank-you note from Sondra Baker for State Envirothon donation was shared.
  2. Request for NACD dues was discussed but will be tabled until next month.
  3. Annual report from NACD was passed.

 

Other Business: None

Adjournment:

Having no other business, Chairman Bremmer adjourned the meeting at 10:07 am.

Barb Klinger, Treasurer/Secretary Notes recorded by Lorna Chezem

 
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

 
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

 
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