June, 2019 Minutes

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Stephenson Soil and Water Conservation District Board Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors
June 19, 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 June 19, 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, and Seth Wenzel; District employee Lorna Chezem, Administrative Coordinator; NRCS employee Abby Mielke, Soil Conservationist.

Not in attendance – Aaron Dinderman, Dan Diaz, Josh Franks and Lori Toelke,  


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


Bills to be Paid: Chad Alderks moved to approve the bills as listed on the monthly budget sheet for May and June along with Heidelberg University; water testing invoice; Barb Klinger mileage and CAP annual contribution, 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:  Chairman Bill Hadley for Scott Helms

  • Letter was received requesting last year’s funding; this will paid out in July.
  • Budget process for the next fiscal year will begin at the June meeting.
  • The County is expecting to lose revenue due to new annexation referendums that were passed (donut holes).
  • In-grown Farms is expected to grow their business due to the legalization of recreational marijuana at Mill Race Crossing; adding buildings, greenhouses and employees.
  • Agriculture jobs should increase in the County due to the legalization of marijuana and Hemp production.
  • 7 Solar Farms in Stephenson County were picked from the lottery drawing. Chairman Hadley stated that Stephenson County was the most aggressive in approving solar applications in the State.
  • Acciona (wind farm outside of Lena) has applied and been approved to build a 50 mega-watt solar farm. They are expected to ask the county for approval of an additional 50 mega-watt solar farm. This was not included in the lottery due to the size; not considered community solar project.
  • Road repairs in the county were discussed. Chairman Hadley said that the county website has a very aggressive 6 year plan. More funding is needed from the State of Illinois in order to make a difference. The two major projects that the County is currently struggling with are the total rebuild of McConnell road from route 26 to Alfolky Road and a project on Cedarville road from route 26 into Lena.


Freeport City Council Report:  Dennis Car/NO REPORT


CAP/Ag in the Classroom Report:  Peggy Trone

  • A report was passed to those present detailing all of the programs and students impacted for the months of February, March and April. A copy of the report will be included with the minutes.
  • Peggy asked the board for the annual funding. Chad Alderks made a motion to pay the annual CAP contribution of $3500.00; seconded by Jim Hutchison. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.


Conservation Plans & CPO’s:  Abby- None this month


Contribution Agreement   Abby

  • All CRP2’s coming over from FSA for CRP re-enrollments have been given to Aaron.
  • Administrative work continues; Lorna completed CSP contract acres project screening 70 plus contracts.


CRP Update:  Abby

  • Continuous CRP sign-up started on June 3rd  this has been a huge portion of the workload. CRP2’s coming over for waterways are going to Lori. Everything else will be going to Aaron. The wetlands bring in higher dollars per the contribution agreement. 11,000 acres in the State have been set aside for wetlands and filter strips.


EQIP Update:  Abby

  • Thirty-nine new applications will be ranked and screened by Friday June 21, cut-off date. Two producers have not responded.


CSP Update:  Abby

  • 20 new applications have been taken; this is HUGE; deadline is July 26 to complete interviews and pick practices.


Programs / SWCD Updates:  Lorna

  • Tree Sale summary: 5,680 trees and shrubs were sold; 700 trees donated to 3rd graders and poster students. Total in sales$13,382.50 minus total bills $8663.49 leaves a profit of $4719.01
  • Fish Sale summary: 17 people ordered fish; 4,228 fish plus 87 lbs of fathead minnow were sold. Total in sales $3,928.95 minus bill to Logan Hollow $3,119.25 leaves a profit of $809.70
  • Highway clean up is needed again, any volunteers?
  • Budget planning meeting was set for 7:00 A.M. on July 17; before our next board meeting.
  • County Board Letter was discussed earlier in these minutes with Chairman Bill Hadley.
  • Two scholarship applications were reviewed; both were chosen to receive the scholarship.
  • Barb Klinger made a motion to approve two CPP applications that were pre-approved; a habitat project and well decommissioning; seconded by Jim Hutchison. Voting aye: all. Motion passed.


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


Informational Items:


  • A flyer for the 6th Annual Strip-Tillage Conference August 1 and 2nd in Peoria was shared; our very own Seth Wenzel will be teaching a session.


Other Business:

  • Citizens State Bank is discontinuing our current super now operations account and replacing it with another type of checking account that pays a higher interest rate. Barb Klinger made a motion to change over the account; seconded by Chad Alderks. Voting aye: all. Motion passed. Bank forms were passed for signature for those board members present.
  • NRCS officially announced that Josh Franks has been named as the new DC for Stephenson, Winnebago and Boone counties.
  • A NRCS soil conservationist position was advertised for Boone County; that should help the workload.
  • Donation of Stephenson County products basket for the live auction at Summer Conference was discussed.
  • Barb made a motion to spend up to $1500.00 for a new computer for Lorna; seconded by Seth Wenzel. Voting aye: all. Motion carried.



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

Barb Klinger, Treasurer/Secretary                     Notes recorded by Lorna Chezem

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