Executive Board Meeting – Jan 20, 2014

Present: Peter Bracci, Tony Van Glad, Bill Layton, Bruce Dolph, Linda Burkhardt, Ric Coombe, Michael McCrary, Tony Coiro, John Van Benschoten, Carl Stuendel, Counsel-Jeff Baker

Others Present: Alan Rosa, Tim Cox, Dan Ruzzo, Rick Weidenbach, Michelle Yost, Jeff Flack, Dean Frazier, Aaron Bennett, Watershed Post – Lissa Harris.

    1. Call to order: 6:17 PM
    2. Minutes: Motion to approve minutes; Tony Van Glad – Second Bruce Dolph. Motion carried.
    3. Privilege of the floor ‑‑ Carl Stuendel reported that Robert Beebe had informed him, Bill Layton, and Nancy Roberts (Town of Tompkins bookkeeper who challenged Mr. Beebe regarding values listed in what was assumed by the towns of Andes, Middletown, Roxbury and Tompkins to be completed templates) that the Article 7 proceedings had been dropped by the City when they realized that even using rough estimates to fill-in values for line items in the template form that had been agreed upon, the city saw immediately that the Town had for taxation purposes not overvalued the City’s underwater land holdings.  Mr. Beebe indicated that he had accomplished his goal when the city agreed to drop its proceedings.  He and the City left it at that and never proceeded to  determine actual values for all the line items in the template, especially the ones where he and the City had not come to an agreement on the methodology to be used to arrive at a value.  In the future if the towns choose to modify the valuation of the lands underwater, they could then opt into the TLAP program negotiated in the Dec 2010 Water Supply Permit.
    4. Outcomes – FAD $15 million (voluntary) flood buyout meeting.  Carl asked Counsel to summarize the Friday January 17th meeting regarding the proposal the CWT would like to put forward to the larger group.  He suggested the goal is to finalize things and try to get into the FAD by mid-April.  This fund is an extender to the CWC and SCMP funds.  Seeking up to $8 million for the homes and outlying parcels that weren’t or could not be covered under FEMA.    The Balance to be used to compliment the LFHMA and Stream efforts on improved properties strictly for flood purposes.  The existing Land Acquisition Money can be used in a willing seller willing buyer scenario subject to the new criteria in the 2010 Water Supply Permit, for purchases of non-improved parcels.  Questions remain as to eligibility of second homeowners.
      There was some sentiment that if addressing a second home would relieve flood issues it should be included.  If they involve water quality then they need to be included.  Administration of the program is complex.  CWT wants the City to cover administrative costs.  There are questions about who will own the land.  There are plusses and minuses for communities.  It was suggested that homes outside the hamlet areas be given a time limit with regard to ownership to avoid undesirable outcomes such as the possibility of flipping properties. The goal is to have a program with more flexibility than FEMA.  Unlike FEMA this program must address water quality as well.  Currently, CWC rules do not include relocation for outlying properties.  There needs to be a discussion on Jan. 23rd as to how to handle these properties.  There is a need to identify the size of the universe, regarding all types of properties that may be eligible.  No action taken, but the Board was supportive of the issues presented by Counsel.
    5. Right of Objection ‑‑ Extensive discussion regarding Right of Objection (RO) on projects being funded by DEP took place.  There is concern, that it is not clear how much money and where it is being spent by the City on stream programs.  It was suggested that the City should be required to do RO’s on stream projects under the auspices of SWCDs and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County (CCE/DC).  Options to the RO process were discussed. Following thorough discussion the CWT board concluded that transparency is what is really at the center of the debate.  The CWT board sought the easiest, least costly and most efficient process.  Feedback from the SWCD groups and those representing CCE/UC indicated that the easiest way to address the transparency question was by providing to the CWT and CWC and other watershed parties (electronically) the same periodic reports that are required under their respective contracts or by the FAD.
      Bruce Dolph moved to rescind the resolution pertaining to the Right of Objection requiring the City to provide them at the January CWT Board meeting.  Motion seconded by Bill Layton.  Motion carried.
      Linda Burkhardt moved to request that the SWCDs and CCE/UC provide reports for Counties West of the Hudson quarterly and annual reports of all stream management programs to the CWT board and any other interested party, such as the CWC.   Peter Bracci seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.
      Mike McCrary suggested that if after three months if this seems to be working well that the CWT request that the DEP voluntarily make available all their expenditures in the watershed and in support of watershed activities.
    6. Updates:
      a) Kurt Ossenfort proposal- nothing to report
      b) Outreach Reminder – Annual Watershed Summit, January 25, 2014
      c) Final FAD – Counsel reported that the goal is to incorporate contractual obligations into the FAD. (See #4 above.)
      d) Below Dams –
      **Delaware River Below Dams Initiatives – Dean reported progress with towns and villages below the dams is moving forward.
      **Permit / Esopus – All quiet at this time.
      e) Dues Follow-up – Carl reported there have been discussions with Stamford/Mike Triolo, no decisions;  he will be in touch with Deposit/Tom.   Ric Coombe reported that Fallsburg is not interested, as so little of the Town is in the watershed.
      f) Still pending – a meeting with NRDC.
    7. Website: Carl restated his offer from the November meeting to create a website for CWT, but others need to volunteer to create the content.
    8. Warrants – Bruce Dolph moved to pay warrants.  Second by Bill Layton.
      Checkbook Balance:    $1,015.00
      Savings Account:        $88,590.27
    9. Correspondence pertaining to the Margaretville Resolution and Windham Mountain Sporting Club Project was acknowledged.
    10. Other – none
    11. Adjourn: Move to adjourn – Tony Van Glad.  Second Linda Burkhardt.  Passed. 8:45 PM.
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