July, 2019 Minutes

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Stephenson Soil and Water Conservation District Board Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors
July 17, 2019

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 July 17, 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 employees Lorna Chezem, Administrative Coordinator; Aaron Dinderman, Resource Conservationist and NRCS employees Josh Franks, District Conservationist and Abby Mielke, Soil Conservationist.

Not in attendance


Approval of Minutes: Seth Wenzel moved to approve minutes of the June 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 July 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 Seth Wenzel. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.

 Action Items:

Stephenson County Board Report:  Scott Helms

  • Scott was not in attendance but has requested that the Stephenson SWCD board members and employees attend the August 5th County Board Planning and Development Committee meeting at 6:30 PM.
  • They have also requested our budget showing fiscal year end numbers, a balance sheet and profit and loss statement prior to the August meeting.

Freeport City Council Report:  Dennis Car

  • Dennis was introduced to those present. Dennis is the Director of Public works and has held that position for 2 years.
  • Dennis told the board about the following road work projects:
    • Float street from Galena to Adams
    • Woodside Drive
    • West side of Countryside Estate
    • The circle drive by Culvers
  • Tri-Star Metal expansion project


Staff Updates:  Josh

  • Josh passed a board report out to those present. He talked about Lori Toelke’s retirement and how that would affect the NRCS office here in Freeport. He plans on being here 1 or 2 days per week. There is some talk that a Soil Conservationist from a neighboring county may get transferred here. Abby will unofficially be running the Stephenson NRCS office.
  • Josh also informed the Directors about the possibility of the office moving to a new location/building as the current building owner did not renew the lease.

Conservation Plans & CPO’s:  Abby/Aaron – None this month


Contribution Agreement   Abby

  • Lorna has been completing mailings and putting new applications in the system per the administrative agreement.
  • Aaron has been basically doing all CRP work.

CRP Update:  Abby/Josh

  • Sign up continues until August 16 or 17 for CP23 or CP23A wetlands. 11,000 acres available throughout the State for CP23 and 9,000 for CP23A; Stephenson County could cover all of these acres! Additional acres have been requested for the State.
  • Mid management is required for all CRP practices creating follow up and plan/invoice submitted to FSA.

EQIP Update:  Abby/Josh

  • 40 applications submitted in Stephenson; most were forestry applications; 6 were pre-approved from the 1st 2nd round of funding is Friday July 19.

CSP Update:  Abby/Josh

  • Only about ½ of the applicants have met the eligibility deadline.
  • Friday July 26 is the cutoff for having the applications ranked, evaluated and practices selected for funding considerations. Abby is currently conducting interviews and waiting for applicants to call and schedule appointments.

Nathan Hill:  Pheasants Forever Biologist covering Stephenson, Winnebago, Boone, Lee and Ogle counties. He has and office in Winnebago FO. Nathan will be helping NRCS and SWCD’s by writing burn plans, habitat restoration/promoting habitat, making seeding recommendations and right of way. 


Programs / SWCD Updates:  Lorna/Aaron

  • Highway clean up still needs to be completed but not until after this heat wave ends!
  • Barb Klinger made a motion to approve the FY19-20 budget as it was presented; seconded by Jim Hutchison. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.
  • County Board Letter and attendance at the County Board meeting on August 5 was discussed earlier.
  • Audit preparation will start this week; running reports and getting the information to Doug Freidag.
  • CPP Projects were passed; they consisted of a stream bank stabilization project by Woodbridge Condo Association, 2 waterway projects, 2 well decommissioning projects, 1 conservation cover/monarch habitat, and 2 prevent plant cover crop initiative projects totaling 670 acres. Barb Klinger made a motion to accept all of the projects mentioned; seconded by Jim Hutchison. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.
  • Quarterly report for grant FY18 grant funds was passed for chairman Jim Hutchison to sign.

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


Informational Items:

Correspondence: NACD funding request was shared.


Other Business:

Aaron gave shared about his experience at boot camp. The boot camp was structured around putting together conservation plans and implementation of that plan. There were 40 people in attendance from different States and on from Puerto Rico. There was a lot of information packed into 3 weeks but good training overall and good networking experience.


Having no other business, Chairman Hutchison adjourned the meeting at 9:20 am.

Barb Klinger, Treasurer/Secretary                     Notes recorded by Lorna Chezem

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