NVSWCD Board Meeting Minutes April 24, 2012



Fairfax County Community Development Center (Herrity Building), Room 941
12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia 22035
April 24, 2012


(As corrected and approved by the Board of Directors on May 22, 2012)

Mr. Peterson called the meeting to order at 10:50 a.m.   Those present were:

  •    John Peterson, Vice Chairman, NVSWCD
  •    Johna Gagnon, Secretary, NVSWCD
  •    George Lamb, Treasurer, NVSWCD
  •    Harry Glasgow, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  •    Bob Kohnke, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  •    Jerry Peters, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  •    Debbie Cross, Conservation District Coordinator, DCR
  •    Jim McGlone, Urban Forest Conservationist, Virginia Department of Forestry
  •    Larry Wilkinson, District Conservationist, USDA-NRCS
  •    Nick Kokales, Administrative and Technical Assistant, NVSWCD
  •    Willie Woode, Senior Conservation Specialist, NVSWCD
  •    Diane Hoffman, District Administrator, NVSWCD
  •    Lily Whitesell, Watershed Specialist, NVSWCD
  •    Langavi Makaringe, Intern, NVSWCD
  •    Julia Ribeiro, Intern, NVSWCD
  •    Teddy Harvey, Intern, NVSWCD 

Approval of Minutes.  A motion (Gagnon-Lamb) passed (3-0) to approve the Minutes of the March 27, 2012 Board Meeting.  

Treasurer’s Report.  Mr. Lamb reviewed the monthly Treasurer’s Report.  He noted the District received $60,000 from the Park Authority for the Wakefield stream project.  These funds will be used to cover the cost of the design work, which is underway.  A motion (Lamb-Gagnon) passed (3-0) to accept and file for audit the Treasurer=s Reports for March 2012 and for the third quarter of FY 2013.

Seedling Program.  Mr. Kokales reported that 7,600 seedlings were sold.  This included 405 shrub packages and 245 tree packages.  The District earned approximately $4,600, which will be used for education and outreach programs.  He thanked Mr. McGlone for his help – picking up the seedlings, identifying the species, and bundling packages – and Bob Kohnke and Jerry Peters who helped to bundle both days; also, Jerry Peters helped on both distribution days.  Mrs. Hoffman added that James Patteson helped to bundle one day. 

Virginia Agricultural BMP Cost Share Program.  Mr. Woode reported that two bids have been received for the McCormick cost-share project.  Both were for more than the estimated cost that had been approved previously; however, one contractor priced the stream crossing considerably higher than the other.  The lower estimate was given by a contractor who has done many projects within the horse community and who has a proven track record of good work.  Mr. Woode recommended increasing the cost-share, based on the lower of the two bids.  Mr. Wilkinson said he believed it was a fair price, based on the high cost of stone and transportation.  A motion (Gagnon-Lamb) passed (3-0) to increase the cost-share amount to $10,020.  A tax credit was approved for $835, which is 25% of the landowner’s $3,340 out-of-pocket expenses.    

VASWCD Area II Spring Meeting.   Mrs. Hoffman said that so far, those planning to attend the Area II Spring Meeting on May 8 are: board members Mr. Peterson and Mrs. Gagnon, LBWID trustees Jerry Mendenhall and George McLennan, Park Authority director John Dargle, and staff Ms. Whitesell.  

VASWCD Educational Foundation Scholarship.  Ms. Whitesell said the panel of judges found it difficult to choose from among many excellent applications; however, Darwin Li was particularly outstanding and they selected his application to forward to VASWCD for the state-wide competition. 

NVSWCD Interns.  Ms. Whitesell said the District interns have accomplished a great deal and will be returning to their home countries soon.  Julia Ribeiro will be returning to Brazil and Langavi Makaringe to South Africa.  Everyone was invited to attend their presentations about their internships, which will be given to their professor on May 3 in the District conference room.  Ms. Whitesell introduced a new intern, Teddy Harvey, a graduate of Mary Washington University.

Engineering Standards Review Committee.  Mr. Kohnke said the ESRC met in April and reviewed the Proposed Public Facilities Manual Amendments for the As-Built Plan Process.  In order to be compatible with the state regulations, three Fairfax County documents will need to be amended – the zoning ordinance, the sub-division ordinance and the PFM. 

Green Breakfast.   Mr. Glasgowreported the next Green Breakfast will be held on May 12 at Brion’s Grille, with tentative plans for a presentation about residential green buildings.  He and Mr. Lamb are making inquiries about possible speakers.   

Tree Commission.  Mr. Glasgow said the Tree Commission is participating in the County’s annual Arbor Day-Earth Day celebration on April 28 at the Government Center.  It will present the Friends of Trees awards.  The second class of Tree Stewards will complete their training on May 2.  The meeting date for the Tree Commission has been changed to the second Thursday of the month.

Appreciation for Tony Griffin.   Mr. Peterson said the District sent a letter of appreciation from the board and staff and a hard copy of Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac to retiring County Executive Tony Griffin.

TMDL Workshop.  Mr. Peterson said the Tri-County/City SWCD and the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the International Erosion Control Association (IECA) are sponsoring a TMDL Workshop in Fredericksburg on May 17. 

Potomac Watershed Roundtable and Potomac Council.  Mr. Peterson reported that at the April 13 Council meeting, he was elected as chair and Deirdre Clarke as vice chair for 2013.  The Roundtable meeting included presentations about Fairfax County’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation initiatives, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission’s regional Conservation Corridor Planning project and the Fairfax County Public Schools Get2Green program.

Lake Barcroft Watershed Improvement District.  Mrs. Gagnon, Mr. Peterson and Mr. Lamb said they planned to attend the Lake Barcroft WID annual spring meeting on April 25 at Fortuna’s restaurant. 

Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.  Mr. Lamb reported that the survey developed by the IT committee will be distributed in two to three weeks.

Rain Garden at the Packard Center.  Mr. Rouhi reported that the rain garden at the Packard Center is in the process of being installed.  The Park Authority and Merrifield Gardens are project partners. 

Patton Terrace grant.  Mr. Rouhi said the District is preparing a grant proposal to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to work with some residents in the Patton Terrace Community to install infiltration measures, rain gardens and other stormwater control measures to help improve drainage problems in the neighborhood.  At the same time, the County is improving stormwater management by installing innovative measures along the road right-of-ways. 

FOIA Requests.  Mrs. Hoffman said the District has received two FOIA requests recently.  One is for the soil and water quality conservation plan at the BML property in Lorton, which is due to be updated once the landowner makes decisions about the use of the property.  The other is for a soil and water quality conservation plan to establish a pasture on a property in Great Falls.  The request came from a neighbor.  Since the plan was prepared, a potential zoning issue has been raised regarding the use of this property and Mr. Woode has advised the land owner to delay implementing the plan until the zoning issue is resolved by the County.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Mr. Wilkinson said the JED training, held in Verona on April 10, featured a recently adopted stream assessment protocol.  The next JED training on May 16 will focus on resource concerns on forest lands.

Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).  Mrs. Cross reported the following:

  • The General Assembly conferees from the House and Senate restored the operational and technical assistance funds for Districts.  She commended the hard work done by the VASWCD board of directors and legislative chair, Don Wells. 
  • A measure passed by the General Assembly directs the Secretary of Natural Resources to convene a stakeholder group that will include state agencies, SWCDs, VASWCD, private interests and others to examine funding needs for administration and operations of soil and water conservation districts and the technical assistance they provide to implement agricultural best management practices.  The review will include a study of historical and potential funding distribution methods.  Recommendations must be made to the Governor and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee by October 4.  Also, the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board will not be allowed to make any changes in SWCD boundaries until actions are taken on the recommendations. 
  • The Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board formed a committee to study and gain a better understanding of technical assistance issues.  Joan DuBois is a member of the committee. 
  • The SWCD grants for operations will be delayed until after the VSWCB meets on June 28 and adopts a policy for distributing state funding to SWCDs.
  • She reminded the District about grant deliverables, including strategic plans, which should be reviewed once a year and revised every four years. 
  • The Virginia WIP for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL has been submitted to the EPA.  Public comments are due by May 31.  DCR would like to hold a public meeting in the northern Virginia area the week of May 14.
  • VASWCD Area II Districts will hold a conference call on June 1 to discuss items for a legislative agenda for the 2013 General Assembly session.
  • The Area II Spring Meeting will be held on May 8 in Culpeper. 

Virginia Department of Forestry.  Mr. McGlone reported that 43,000 acres burned in the western part of Virginia during the recent fire season (6,500 on private land and 36,500 on forest service land). 

Closed Session – 11:10.  A motion (Lamb-Gagnon) passed (3-0) to go into Closed Meeting, as provided for in the Code of Virginia Section 2.2-3711.(A)(3) to discuss personnel matters.   

Reconvene.  Mr. Peterson reconvened the meeting at 11:40 a.m.  A motion (Lamb-Gagnon) passed (3-0), pursuant to the Code of Virginia Section 2.2-3712.(D) to certify that to the best of the Board’s knowledge only matters lawfully exempted and as identified in the motion by which the Closed Meeting was convened were heard or discussed by the Board during the Closed Meeting.

Mr. Peterson adjourned the meeting at 11:42 a.m.  

Respectfully submitted,

Diane Hoffman signature

Diane Hoffman

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