Home     Minutes

Minutes of Regular Meeting
VANDERBURGH COUNTY SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
(SWCD) Office, Evansville, Indiana
7:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Present:                                                                             SWCD Personnel:
David Ellison, Chairman                                                Norma Duckworth
Davie Sue Wallace Litov, Vice-Chairman                  Bonnie Bittner
Laura Lamb, Secretary
Wayne Fehd, Member                                                    NRCS Personnel:
Maurice Berendes, Member                                         Darrell Rice
                                                                                             Lindsay Martinez (Absent)

GUEST: Michael Below

Chairman, Dave Ellison welcomed Mr. Below, asking him to explain his business to staff and
members.. Mr. Below said he will have his Architect Landscape degree soon. He owns Hoosier
Native Environmental Design and is interested in Native Plants, Rain Gardens, etc. Dave asked
staff and supervisors to introduce themselves and their connection with SWCD.

Chairman, Dave Ellison asked members to take time to check the minutes.

                Davie Sue Litov made a motion to accept the April minutes,
                second by Laura Lamb, and carried.

The minutes were passed for supervisor signatures.

Dave asked the board to refer to the April financial report. The previous balance on 4-1-09 was
$46,510.51, Receipts $269.88, Debits $653.03 and the balance as of 4-30-09 was $46,127.36

                A motion was made by Maurice Berendes, second by Laura Lamb,
                and carried, to approve the treasurer’s report as presented.

The following claims were submitted for Supervisors’ approval:
APRIL CLAIMS
W4438 Travis J. Koester (2nd Place Poster Contest)                                               $30.00
W4439 Post Office (April Newsletter Bulk Mailing Postage)                                 $192.61
W4441 Posey County SWCD (CWI Marketing Grant Bus Tour Speaker Fee)  $387.50
W4440 CTIC (Registration Fee Watershed Networking Session)                          $15.00
W4442 Old National Bank Petty Cash (Replenish Petty Cash)                               $27.92
NOTE: the Auditor paid the following claims:
Micrology Laboratories (Water Monitoring Supplies)                                              $183.41
Farm Service Agency (Postage Charges)                                                                   $544.58
IASWCD (2009 Dues)                                                                                                     $2,000.00
AT&T Mobility (Cell Phone)                                                                                               $17.13
Oaks Printing (April Newsletter Printing)                                                                 $1,436.65
Vanderburgh County SWCD (Postage Reimbursement for April Newsletter)  $192.61
Pulse Computer Systems, Inc. (Aerial Photo Scan Burned on DVD)               $1,840.31
Vanderburgh 4-H Center (Expo Hall and Kitchen Rental)                                      $154.00
Lasertone, Inc. (Service HP 3500 Color Printer)                                                          $30.00
Soil and Water Conservation Society (Conservationist 2009 Dues/Norma)        $80.00
Vanderburgh County Fair Association (Fair Booth & 2 Tables)                           $160.00

Maurice Berendes checked the claims saying they were in order.

                Maurice Berendes made a motion to approve the claims, second by
                Laura Lamb, and carried.

Maurice passed the claim registers for the supervisors’ signatures.

OLD BUSINESS:
Natural Resource Committee – Dave Ellison, Chairperson
The Lake and River Enhancement grant projects are on schedule. Mike Thomas submitted bills for one project and Darrell delivers a Stream Bank Stabilization design to Mike. Marvin Schmitt is putting in Water and Sediment Control Basins (WASCOB) and Kay Steinkuhl a pipe structure.

The 2009 Tillage Plot is on schedule. One of the speakers Ron Chamberlain is sending a report on Gypsoil to two Universities and he is doing GPS on the sites. Curt Stahl wants to do things on the plot right and has a scientific based mindset for the No Till Plot. Mike Plummer, the speaker from Illinois would like to do a cover crop section on the plot. Curt is talking to his dad Alan Stahl about it. The No Till Plot day is scheduled for July 30, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. The speakers are Ron Chamberlain, Gypsoil Company Indianapolis, IN, Rodney Rulon, Farmer, Arcadia, IN, Marion Calmer, Calmer Corn Heads and Chad Martin, AgraGate Climate Credits.

Letters and River Friendly Farmer applications were sent to Wayne Fehd and Cummings Bros. telling them they were nominated by the board for 2009 River Friendly Farmer awards. Wayne Fehd handed in his application at the board meeting. A message was left on David Cummings’ answer machine.

BUSINESS PLAN
Priority Actions for 2009:
Soil Erosion: Continue developer’s workshop to highlight urban control practices and legislation
(Partnering with other agencies)
Conservation tillage will be increased by 20% over 2002 amounts, with a minimum of 5%
per year on highly erodible land.
Promote No Till Workshop for producers
Locate and promote programs that provide incentives to adopt conservation practices
(Newsletter/ongoing)
Water Quality: Educate public on maintenance of septic related issues by SWCD & Partners with
Newsletter, flyers, fair booth
Nitrates and phosphates levels will be reduced in Locust Creek by 10% over 2002 Levels
Target Locust Creek with Core 4 grant (i.e. soil erosion, nutrient management, pesticide
Management, & buffer strips)
Partner with Health Department to address water quality concerns
Preservation of Natural Areas: Preserve existing wetlands, forests & wildlife areas
Create additional wetlands, forest and wildlife areas
Encourage the utilization of "green spaces" in subdivisions & urban areas
Partner with the city to get rid of kudzu
Preservation of Farmland: Reduce the loss of prime farmland to urban development

Land Use Committee – Wayne Fehd, Chairperson
Vic Shelton presented the Camp Reveal Project to Area Conservationist asking if he would supply
the labor to install the fencing for their horses. He agreed and the designs are in progress.

The Oaklyn Meadows Project was tabled.

The district’s portion of the Clean Water Indiana (CWI) Howell Wetland Project is finished, bills were paid. The Wild life Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) portion of the project was turned in and a check will be sent to Happe and Sons. The remainder of the bill will be sent by Happe and Sons to Wesselman Nature Society in care of Lauren Preske.

The Clean Water Indiana (CWI) Marketing Grant is complete, the final report was filed and they are in the process of sending the remainder of the grant.

Members were asked to refer to their packets for copies of the Eagle Slough minutes and a report from Greg Meier on the World Video Premiere of "Where Waters Wed" at Culver School. The Nature Conservancy, one of the organizations involved in the development of Eagle Slough, decided to film a documentary on Indiana bottomlands and wetland areas. To continue with the vision of the Eagle Slough steering committee for Eagle Slough to be an educational outdoor classroom, the Nature Conservancy needed students to be part of the documentary. Eight Culver students were asked to visit Eagle Slough and to be "in the movie", which turned out to be secondary for them. Experiencing Eagle Slough as an outdoor science lab and seeing all that nature had to offer, became the educational focus for the Culver students. Cody Wiedner completed his Eagle Scout project at Eagle Slough this past weekend.  We now have an "outdoor classroom" which consists of an 8x12 platform with nine 8 ft. benches in a semi-circle arrangement made with #1 treated lumber
from Center Heights Lumber Co.

Dr. Summers sent an e-mail reporting he will have the final report finished the first part of June. He offered to come with a presentation to a board meeting if the supervisors were interested. After some discussion consensus was to let him know they would be pleased for him to present at a board meeting.

Associate Supervisor, Tom Niksch sent an e-mail to Dr. Donald Batema, University of Evansville professor who is working with a student testing soils at Eagle Slough for a report. Dr. Batema e-mailed back this report. The student working on the ES project is tying up some loose ends with some of the statistical analyses, even though he has technically graduated. They did experience some scheduling problems and didn’t get done all they wanted at Eagle Slough. For example, they did all the surface soil sampling, but did not get the subsurface sampling done before the areas they were sampling filled with water. He will need to wait until later summer or early fall to go back and do the subsurface sampling. He hopes in a month or two to have something concrete to pass on. He is most excited about the IRIS they were able to install at other wetland areas (and will install at Eagle Slough in the fall).  He will take pictures in a couple of weeks of the tubes they just retrieved.

The Jacob Village Project was tabled for lack of any new developments. Steve Marling was unable to meet with the board at Jacob Village before our board meeting. Our meeting with the board was postponed until Steve can meet with them.

Education Outreach Committee – Laura Lamb, Chairperson
Laura Lamb reported she talked with Blaine Oliver, Area Plan, about the possibility of the district putting a sign at the site of projects saying this is a project of the Vanderburgh County SWCD. We are exempt since we are a government entity, but it must be on property of the project and not in the right of way.

Members were asked to refer to copies in their packets for the proposal and budget for the Rain Garden Project at Mesker Zoo. There was a discussion on who would maintain it and for how long. Verbiage will be in the contract that the Rain Garden must be maintained for three years.

                Laura Lamb made a motion for the district to pay the cost ($3,175) of the
                Rain Garden at Mesker Zoo, seconded by Wayne Fehd; three yes votes and
                one no vote, motion carried.

Members were asked to refer to copies in their packets for a proposal from the Urban Backyard Conservation Program Planning committee. The first page was notes from the meeting and then the three areas the committee decided we could do in Vanderburgh County which was Native Plants, Rain Barrels and Rain Gardens. We will give a $50 rebate for Rain Barrels installed, do 50% cost share up to $1,000 on Rain Gardens; which must be maintained for three years and $1,000 for Native Plants selected from Native Plants of Indiana list. Of course there are criteria with each project that will be put in the contract. After some discussion and input from Michael Below who reported in flood prone areas rain gardens and rain barrels can reduce the flooding by 50%. The committee will work on the contracts, brochure, etc.

                Laura Lamb made a motion to set aside $20,000 for the Urban Projects,
                Seconded by Wayne Fehd and carried.

District Operation Committee – Maurice Berendes, Chairperson
The sign up sheets for the County Commissioner/County Council meeting dates was passed for two supervisors to sign up on the dates they will be attending meetings.

The district vehicle is in Vic’s Garage waiting for an estimate. By consensus the board gave Chairman David Ellison the okay to proceed with having the Blazer worked on.

An e-mail was sent to Lt. Governor Skillman and ISDA Director Ann Hazlett asking if there was a possibility they could speak at the district annual meeting. Lt. Governor Skillman is in session at that time. Ann Hazlett replied she would love to do it and put it on her calendar. Wayne Fehd called and left a message for Al Pell, Ag Radio personality. It was suggested we wait to hear Mr. Pell’s answer since he was called.

SWOT reports were turned in and Bonnie was directed to compile all of them and send to Ken Eck asking when he would like to facilitate a new business plan for the district.

NEW BUSINESS
Natural Resource Committee – Dave Ellison, Chairperson
The Indiana Conservation Tillage Transect will take place in June.

Land Use Committee – Wayne Fehd, Chairperson
Members were asked to refer to copies in their packets for the minutes from the Smart Growth Meeting on April 30, 2009.

The Conservation Implementation Teams (CIT) report for status of projects in Vanderburgh County was passed for review.

Education Outreach Committee – Laura Lamb, Chairperson
Laura Lamb volunteered to be Education Outreach Committee chairperson.

Members were asked to refer to a copy in their packets for the proposal from Four Rivers RC&D for a Rain Barrel Sale. After some discussion it was decided by consensus to refrain from participating in the project due to the sale of rain barrels in several stores in Evansville and the City Engineers office selling them.  This brought on a discussion of having a rain barrel on display at the fair as a give away at the end of the fair.

                Davie Sue Litov made a motion to purchase a rain barrel ($150), seconded
                By Maurice Berendes and carried.

Norma passed her daily reports for members to review. She completed 4 field training and data collecting sessions with Riverwatch volunteers, water monitoring in seven areas, a workshop in Hazelton, Project Learning Tree (PLT) at USI for professors/pre-certified teachers, PLT/soils with girl scouts, Soils/Water Quality/Composting/Forestry with girl scouts and had a Rain Garden Display booth at the Mesker Zoo plant sale.

District Operation Committee – Maurice Berendes, Chairperson
The 2010 district budget proposal for the county is due June 1, 2009. The state of the economy and its impact on the county was discussed and it was decided

                Maurice Berendes made a motion to send a budget letter to the County
                Commissioners asking for a 3% cost of living raise for the District in the
                2010 budget seconded by Davie Sue Litov and carried.

Members were asked to refer to copies in their packets for information and a form to send resolutions to the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (IASWCD) by Friday, September 4, 2009.

Maurice Berendes checked the Petty Cash report with the actual cash and reported everything was in order.  He passed the report for supervisors to initial.

Darrell Rice, District Conservationist reported he has 11 new Environmental Quality Incentive Programs (EQIP) applications, 1 new Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) application and 5 new applications for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)/Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP).

Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) has extended incentives for cost share for organic farmers and incentives for air quality/non-attainment areas.

County Employee time sheets were passed for review and signatures of supervisors.

Dave set the date for the next board meeting on June 23, 2009, 7:00 p.m. in the Vanderburgh County SWCD conference room.

                Wayne Fehd made a motion to adjourn at 9:15 p.m.
                seconded by Maurice Berendes and carried.

Respectfully submitted,
Bonnie Bittner
Executive Assistant

MINUTES APPROVED ON June 23, 2009

David Ellison, Chairman ________________________________________

Davie Sue Wallace Litov, Vice-Chairman ___________________________

Laura Lamb, Secretary __________________________________________

Maurice Berendes ______________________________________________

Wayne Fehd___________________________________________________