NVSWCD Board Meeting Minutes February 24, 2009


letterhead

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

Fairfax County Community Development Center (Herrity Building), Room 941
12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia 22035
February 24, 2009

MINUTES

(As approved by the Board of Directors on March 24, 2009)

Mrs. Packard called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.   Those present were:

  • Jean Packard, Chairman, NVSWCD
  • John Peterson, Treasurer, NVSWCD
  • Johna Gagnon, Secretary, NVSWCD
  • George Lamb, Director, NVSWCD
  • Harry Glasgow, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • Bob Kohnke, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • Jerry Peters, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • Gary Switzer, Stormwater Compliance Specialist, VA-DCR
  • Larry Wilkinson, District Conservationist, USDA-NRCS
  • Christin Jolicoeur, Watershed Specialist, NVSWCD
  • Asad Rouhi, Urban Conservation Engineer, NVSWCD
  • Dan Schwartz. Soil Scientist, NVSWCD
  • Nick Kokales, Administrative and Technical Assistant, NVSWCD
  • Willie Woode, Senior Conservation Specialist, Agricultural Water Quality Specialist, NVSWCD
  • Diane Hoffman, District Administrator, NVSWCD

Welcome.   Mrs. Packard welcomed new board member George Lamb and new associate director Jerry Peters

Community Appearance Alliance Award – Little Pimmit Run Project.  Mrs. Packard announced that the Little Pimmit Run Project was given a Community Appearance Alliance Award at a ceremony held at the Northern Virginia Regional Commission on January 8.  The award was for “enhancing community appearance by restoring and improving the storm water drainage of Pimmit Run and creating a handsome park-like effect while doing so.”

DPWES Champion Awards – Jolicoeur and Rouhi.  Mrs. Packard congratulated Christin Jolicoeur and Asad Rouhi for receiving DPWES Champion Awards for their work on the Falls Hill Residential LID Demonstration Project.  The Board heard a presentation about this project in November.

Approval of Minutes.  Mrs. Gagnon asked for two changes to the January Minutes:  on page 3, under “General Assembly,” add three words to sentence two, so that it reads, “They were able to talk with 27 legislators or their staff;” and on page 2, under “Soil and Water Conservation Plans,” add, Mrs. Gagnon asked that the magisterial district be identified when reporting on conservation plans.  A motion (Gagnon-Peterson) passed (4-0) to approve the minutes of the January 29, 2009 board meeting, as amended.   

Treasurer’s Report.  Mr. Peterson said he had reviewed the Treasurer’s Reports and the found everything in order.  A motion (Peterson-Gagnon) passed (4-0) to accept and file for audit the Treasurer’s Report for January 2009.   

Mid-Year Financial Review.  Mrs. Hoffman presented a financial status of the personnel and operating budget for the first half of FY 2009:  July through December 2008.  She noted that approximately 50% of the personnel budget has been expended.   More than 50% of the operating budget remains, due mainly to when invoices are received and timing of payments.  She also provided an update on special grants and other non-recurring managed funds, including the funds being held for several outreach programs, the Kingstowne II Stream Restoration Project, the Falls Hill Residential LID Project, the Soil Survey, Agricultural Cost-Share, and the Unemployment Insurance fund.  Interest earned throughout the year is placed in a managed fund and used to help fund the District’s portion of the following year’s budget. 

Funding for 2010.  Mrs. Hoffman said the District requested level funding from the County, which would be met by freezing salaries and reducing operation costs by $5,000 in order to add the new responsibility of paying for phone service.  However, as anticipated, the County Executive’s budget has recommended a 15% cut in District funding, which is in line with recommended reductions in County Departments and for other contributory agencies.  This would mean cutting the watershed specialist position, which coordinates the stream monitoring program, the NEST program and coordinates schools and community outreach programs.  An additional $10,000 cut also would be needed in order to meet the funding reduction. 

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant Proposal to Implement Three LID Projects.  Mrs. Packard said in order to meet a grant deadline, she had given preliminary approval on February 5 to partner with Fairfax County, Fairfax City and Virginia Tech in a grant proposal to implement three LID projects.  If the grant is awarded, Fairfax County will install a green roof on a portion of the main Government Center and will build a rainwater harvesting facility at a school.  Fairfax City will install a floating water treatment wetland in a pond.  Virginia Tech will conduct the monitoring.  The District’s main contribution will be directing the education and outreach components of the projects.  A motion (Peterson-Gagnon) passed (4-0) to approve participation in a proposal to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for a $1,000,000 grant to fund three LID demonstration projects, which the district would help implement in partnership with Virginia Tech, Fairfax County and Fairfax City.   

Mid-Year Program Review.  The staff reported on accomplishments during the first half of FY 2009, from July 1, 2008 through December 31, 2009.  Both ongoing and new activities were reported for five strategic goals, including: (1) Providing leadership in natural resource conservation by working collaboratively with the county and other stakeholders to strengthen policies and practices that encourage natural resource protection, by introducing innovative best management practices, and by spearheading citizen involvement;  (2) Providing high quality technical assistance to constituent groups, including government, agriculture, development, and the general public, and moving ahead with transitioning to the new Soil Survey; (3) Maintaining strong public education and outreach programs,  including the volunteer stream monitoring, storm drain marking and rain barrel programs, workshops, presentations, exhibits, the newsletter, and the website; (4) Continuing to strengthen cooperative relationships with a broad array of partners; and (5) Developing plans and implementing practices to ensure a strong organization.  These actions support the District’s Vision–Fairfax County with clean streams and protected natural resources– and Mission–to lessen the impact of urban/suburban activities on our land and water resources in Fairfax County.  Mrs. Hoffman noted that most programs and projects support several of the goals, e.g., the Falls Hill project supports all five goals, and the storm drain marking program supports goals 1, 3, 4 and 5. (FY2009 Mid-Year Review)   Two handouts illustrated the level of effort and detail that often is provided when responding to requests for technical assistance.  One involved resolving a drainage problem in a homeowner’s yard and the other dealt with a polluted runoff problem at a horse operation.

Lake Barcroft Watershed Improvement District Budget.  A motion (Peterson-Gagnon) passed (4-0) to approve the Lake Barcroft WID 2010 Budget, which was presented by the Trustees at the NVSWCD board meeting on January 29.  It will be forwarded to the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board for consideration and approval at its meeting in March. 

Green Breakfast.  The March 14 Green Breakfast will feature a presentation by Alan Ford, President of the Potomack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society.  Jerry Peters will serve as moderator. 

Pohick Creek Watershed PL-566 Project.  Mrs. Hoffman said that NRCS has asked Fairfax County and NVSWCD to approve an amendment to the project agreement for Royal Lake, to add an ending date of September 1, 2009.  This was inadvertently left out of the original agreement.  A motion (Peterson-Lamb) passed (4-0) to approve Amendment No. 1 to the Project Agreement:  Item E.1. is hereby revised as follows:  This agreement is effective the date it is fully executed by all parties to this agreement.  All project activities under agreement shall be completed by September 1, 2009, unless amended in writing.   When the amendment is approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, three signed copies will be forwarded to NVSWCD for Mrs. Packard’s signature.  Mr. Kohnke said he has visited the Royal Lake site several times.  Pictures were distributed, showing the installation of the articulated concrete blocks.  Mr. Peterson said there may be an opportunity for funding from the stimulus package for other rehabilitation projects.  He suggested that this need be communicated to state legislators and officials.  Mr. Kohnke said he attended a public meeting to review the plans for Lake Barton.  He did not hear any objections from the community.  Mrs. Hoffman will attend the February 24 task force meeting for Woodglen Lake. 

Engineering Standards Review Committee (ESRC).  Mr. Kohnke said the highlight of the February meeting was Mr. Schwartz’s report on the integration of the new Soil Survey.  Also, Kathy Lemon made a presentation about new features on the County’s website.  At the next meeting, Jimmie Jenkins, Director of DPWES, will present DPWES Champion Awards to the members of the ESRC.

National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD).  Mr. Peterson attended the NACD meeting in New Orleans.  He also serves on the NACD urban committee, which is developing a program for small acreages.  Training for Certified Professionals in Erosion and Sediment Control was provided to about 80 district staff.  The opportunity for this training will be extended to state organizations.  The NACD summer board meeting will be held in Washington DC on July 18.

Tree Commission.   Mr. Glasgow said the Tree Commission is interested in establishing a Fairfax County tree stewardship program.  Similar programs are found throughout the state.

Agricultural Stewardship Act Complaint.  Mr. Woode said a complaint was received by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services on a seven-acre, three-horse operation in the Wolf Run Watershed.  The complaint cites illegal stacking of manure and felling of trees within an RPA.  Following an inspection of the site with the VDACS-ASA Coordinator, Mr. Woode is preparing a soil and water quality conservation plan for the operation to correct the concerns.  An alternate location for manure storage will reduce nutrients going to the stream.   

Seedling Program.  Mr. Kokales said orders are being received.  Mrs. Packard encouraged everyone to pass out the order forms at public events and to ask if the fliers can be displayed in public places. 

Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Mr. Wilkinson there is $236,000 in EQIP money that is earmarked for air quality and that needs to be spent in 2009 (by October 1) in Loudoun, Prince William and Fairfax Counties.  He will check with Ken Carter about the possibility of using the money for tree planting; however eligible tracts would need an FSA number.  On February 5, Mr. Wilkinson met at Royal Lake with NRCS inspector Jerry Wright.  The Thursday JED training is in Harrisonburg and will focus on Agronomy.

Department of Conservation and Recreation.  Mr. Switzer reported on the following:

  • Two new Agricultural Cost-Share practices are available for use on TMDL projects.
  • Training on the new Agricultural Cost-Share program tracking system will be held on June 10 at Lord Fairfax Community College. 
  • District staff needs to make sure that conservation planning training records are up to date and complete.
  • The Area II Spring Meeting conference call will take place April 30 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Plans are underway for an orientation for new SWCD board members. 
  • He distributed two handouts:  the DCR report to the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board on January 29; and the Conflict of Interest presentation made at the VASWCD annual meeting.

Virginia Department of Forestry.  Mr. McGlone said the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will move forward with monitoring the emerald ash borer infestation.  Plans are to deploy about 1,000 traps along the western boundary of Fairfax County, in Loudoun and Prince William County, and into Fauquier County.  Three briefings will be held in Fairfax County in March. The Department of Forestry is partnering in two upcoming conferences: a two-day seminar on Ecosystem Marketing on March 12 and 13; and a Bio-energy conference on April 10 at GMU in Prince William County.  Mr. McGlone announced that he has shortleaf pine available for distribution.

Mrs. Packard adjourned the meeting at 11:30 a.m.  

Respectfully submitted, Diane Hoffman's signature
Diane Hoffman


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