September, 2019 Minutes

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Stephenson Soil and Water Conservation District Board Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors
September 18, 2019

Call to Order: Chairman Jim Hutchison called the meeting to order of the Stephenson Soil and Water Conservation District Board at 8:10 am on September 18, 2019.  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; and NRCS employee Abby Mielke, Soil Conservationist. Marty McManus, IDOA region representative was also in attendance.  

Not in attendance – Aaron Dinderman, Josh Franks, Scott Helms


Approval of Minutes: Seth Wenzel moved to approve minutes of the August 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 for September 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 Chad Alderks. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.


Action Items:

Stephenson County Board Report:  Scott Helms

  • Scott was not in attendance at the meeting but sent a message that he was in Washington DC with elected officials in attempt to bring more federal dollars into Stephenson County for road improvements.


Freeport City Council Report:  Dennis Carr

  • There is a new house being built on the west edge of Freeport.
  • Two business located on Walnut road are expanding – a trucking company and Tri-Star Metals.
  • Road repairs are in process for Woodside Dr.; Countryside (Cherokee Hills Subdivision); behind Culver’s and the underground work is done on Float Street.
  • The State of Illinois offices (including Veterans) that were located across the street from the USDA building moved to the Meadow’s Mall.


Conservation Plans & CPO’s:  Abby

  • List of conservation plans & CPO’s for CRP work was distributed and reviewed. Barb Klinger made a motion to approve all conservation plans and CPO’s on the list; seconded by Seth Wenzel. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.


Contribution Agreement   Abby

  • FY19 CRP workload is now complete!
  • Paperwork was passed for the board to review and Chairman Jim Hutchison to sign for the FY20 Administrative Grant.
  • FY20 CRP grant proposed plan of work was also passed for the board to review.


CRP Update:  Abby

  • Kudo’s to Aaron for completing the CRP workload. Everything was completed/signed by the deadline of Friday, September 13. There was no payment for mid-management practices in this sign-up and rental rate were down also.
  • Burn permit letters are starting to come in; Nathan Hill (PF biologist) will be writing many of these plans.


EQIP Update:  Abby-

  • All work has been completed for this year!


CSP Update:  Abby

  • Still working on the 6 approved contracts that were obligated in Stephenson County. Tatiana from Winnebago is helping Abby with mapping.
  • CSP reminder letters for payments will need to go out after the contracting is done.


Programs / SWCD Updates:  Lorna

  • Employee Reviews/Contracts – this was moved to later in the meeting.
  • Keeper’s of the Land – 246 third grade children are enrolled from 18 classrooms. Lorna will be purchasing the food items needed for our speakers/volunteers and will be reimbursed by CAP.
  • Fall Fish Sale – only eleven people placed orders; number of fish sold way down this time.
  • Highway Cleanup – still needs to be completed before winter.
  • Annual Plan of Work – was sent out prior to the meeting for the board members to review. Barb Klinger made a motion to approve the plan as printed but would like to review the plan in greater detail in either January or February; seconded by Dan Diaz. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.
  • FMP/Internal Control Checklist – the annual financial review is still in process by Freidag Associates; there is no update to share.
  • CPP Projects – two waterway projects were passed for review. Barb Klinger made a motion to approve both projects; seconded by Dan Diaz. Voting aye; all. Motion passed.
  • SWCD Insurance was discussed; it was decided that Lorna and Aaron would continue their spouses plans.
  • FY20 State of Illinois (IDOA) grant funding breakdown sheet was shared and discussed, and grant paperwork was passed for Chairman Jim Hutchison’s signature.


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


Informational Items:


  • Letter from Blackhawk Hills Regional Council was shared about the vacancy on their board for the Stephenson County Area Representative. Tim Wilson, Dakota Village Clerk and VP of Quest Industrial has been recommended to fill this seat.


Other Business:

  • Chelon Rieck temporary NRCS employee in our office stepped in and was introduced to the board and explained that she would be scanning maps and other documents from NRCS files.
  • Marty McManus talked about;
    • FY20 Grant Agreement
    • Reinstatement of SWCD employee insurance
    • PFC spending deadlines
    • Transect survey will need to be run in FY20
    • Employee meetings to be held on October 1, 2 and 3rd in different locations
    • January 23rd Conservation Cropping Seminar will be held in Rochelle
    • Preventive Cover Crop program and payments from FY20 funds
  • At 9:10 A.M. Barb Klinger made a motion to close the regular SWCD meeting and go into executive session to discuss employee performance and contracts; seconded by Dan Diaz. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.
  • At 9:45 A.M. Barb Klinger made a motion to close the executive session and resume the regular SWCD board meeting; seconded by Seth Wenzel. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.



Having no other business, Chairman Hutchison adjourned the meeting at 10:05 am.

Barb Klinger, Treasurer/Secretary                     Notes recorded by Lorna Chezem

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