March 2020 Minutes

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Stephenson Soil and Water Conservation District Board Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors
March 18, 2020

The March 18th meeting was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak and a special teleconference was held on March 23rd. The main purpose of the teleconference was to re-organize the board and to talk about working during the COVID-19 situation.


Call to Order: Chairman Jim Hutchison called the meeting to order of the Stephenson Soil and Water Conservation District Board at 8:03 am on March 23, 2020.  The board met via teleconference.

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

Not in attendance –No NRCS staff or other partners were on the teleconference.   


Reorganization of the Stephenson SWCD Board: Board Members

  • Barb Klinger made a motion to nominate Jim Hutchison as Chairman, no other nominations were cast. Seth Wenzel closed the nominations and Dan Diaz seconded the nomination. Voting unanimously. Motion carried. Jim Hutchison was re-elected Chairman.


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


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


Board and Committee Assignments: Board Members and Associate Board Members

  • The board and committee assignments were not essential to the meeting and will be completed at the next meeting.


Approval of Minutes: Barb Klinger 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 budget sheet for March along with the nursery bills; seconded by Barb Klinger. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.


Review and Approval of Employee Time Sheets: Employee time sheets will be reviewed and signed at the next meeting if completed in person.


Action Items:

Stephenson County Board Report:  William Hadley/No Report


Freeport City Council Report:  No representative/No report


Conservation Plans & CPO’s:  No discussion

Contribution Agreement:  No discussion

CRP Update:  No discussion

EQIP Update:  No discussion

CSP Update:  No discussion

Programs / SWCD Updates:  Lorna/Aaron

  • Election Paperwork
    • Statements of Economic Interest will be mailed to Directors homes for signature and will be mailed back to the office.
    • Acceptance of office forms will be mailed to Seth, Dan and Matt to fill out, sign and mail back to the office.
    • The financial sheet that was included in the winter edition of the newsletter will be mailed to Chairman Jim Hutchison for signature.
    • Lorna will complete re-organization of the board form and when the acceptance of office, and other paperwork is returned it will be sent to IDOA.
  • Medical Insurance discussion will be postponed until the next meeting.
  • CPP Projects – there were no new projects that needed approval.


COVID-19 Virus discussion was held in reference to the situation with the office doors being locked to customers and social distancing. NRCS and FSA limiting staff in the office. The fact that the SWCD employees are not allowed to take their NRCS computers home to work. Possible work that could be completed if employees were working from home. Safety of employees and families is most important in this situation.

By consensus of the complete Stephenson County SWCD board payroll of the two employees of the district will continue.


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


Informational Items:

Correspondence: None


Other Business: Barb had a teleconference with AISWCD and talked about the following items:

  1. State Envirothon was cancelled.
  2. Farm Family application was changed and is not as cumbersome.
  3. Summer conference was discussed; not cancelled yet.
  4. Two new awards/applications are available – Woman in Ag and Director



Having no other business, Chairman Hutchison adjourned the teleconference at 8:42 am.

Barb Klinger, Treasurer/Secretary                     Notes recorded by Lorna Chezem

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