Executive Board Meeting – Feb 16, 2015

Present: Carl Stuendel, Bruce Dolph, Linda Burkhardt, Catherine Magarelli, Anthony Van Glad, Mike McCrary, and Counsel – Jeff Baker

Others in attendance:  Rick Weidenbach, Frazier, Aaron Bennett

1. Call to order: 6:20 PM

2. Minutes – January 19, 2015 – Move to accept, Mr. Dolph; second, Mr. McCrary. Passed unanimously.

3. Privilege of the Floor: Given to Mr. Weidenbach.
a. Extensive discussion ensued regarding the ability to get past bureaucratic differences among agencies with conflicting jurisdictions that cause problems with design and getting approvals and permits needed in a timely manner. Mr. Weidenbach expressed that the agency people he deals with at his level can’t make the decisions needed to overcome duplicative or conflicting interagency or interagency requirements that unnecessarily cause delays that can undermine funding and implementing projects.

To overcome this, Mr. Weidenbach suggested that an Umbrella Group or Task Force of high level agency decision makers be identified that could on an ad hoc basis be summoned to meet in person or by phone conference if possible to address or eliminate roadblocks as they may occur. Mr. Weidenbach explained the situation in Fleishmanns with SEMO and FEMA. Although a vote was not taken there was general agreement to pursue this. Jeff will work with Rick on developing this idea.

b. The second item involved some forthcoming meetings.
i. Mr. Weidenbach announced that the CWC and the stream corridor management program staff will meet the first week in March to have further discussions to clarify how they will integrate their programs. This meeting will be helpful in preparation for the meeting on March 18 noted below. The stream programs are advocating that communities request all relevant funding sources be present at a meeting when discussing the preliminary engineering LFAs and Final LFAs.

ii. There is also a meeting of the Flood Mitigation Group at NYC DEP on March 18. This includes the CWT, DEP, County Departments and Agencies, CWC, State and Federal Agencies and NGOs that began the process. The goal is to finalize changes to the WSP to enable the voluntary flood buyout program to proceed.

iii. Resolution: Bruce Dolph moved to authorize Jeff Baker to attend meetings, at the request of a community undergoing an LFA. Specifically to attend when communities begin to discuss funding from various programs at the LFA Engineering analysis level and the final LFA’s. The intent being to assure clearly which sources of funds and mitigation tasks were to be performed as agreed to in the September 20, 2012 Agreement in Principle. Motion seconded by Tony Van Glad. A qualifier was added to the motion: the offer to attend community meetings would not be indefinitely extended into the future, but available only until such time as clarity had been achieved regarding the jurisdiction and roles of the various funding sources. The qualifier was accepted. Motion passed unanimously. Bruce suggested that the Walton LFA would be a good place to bring all the parties together.

4. Discussion:
a. Regulatory relief options from January 19th meeting.
i. Tool 5: State Legislation Allowing One Stop Permitting in Locally Designated Areas in Stressed Communities. The Board discussed this as one alternative to mitigating duplicative or conflicting regulations. Counsel felt this particular program was not successful and did not provide the type of services the Board was interested in. It did not assist in getting applicants through the process, it merely identified for them the steps they needed to take. Counsel recommended that a county pursue stormwater permitting as allowed for under the WR&Rs. While that is an option it is not without challenges. DEP made it very clear that it would be extremely difficult to achieve that authority. Probably the biggest challenge is who would do it and where would the funding come from. We can investigate.

ii. Tool 3: Adopt and Expanded Type II List under SEQRA for New Residential Projects, Redevelopment of Existing Parcels, and Moderate Commercial Development. Due to time this was not discussed.

b. At this juncture Carl asked Bruce if he wanted to discuss the letter to the editor from Margaretville. Bruce declined suggesting he may write a letter to the editor in response. That peaked interest and discussion about the letter. Although no resolution was brought forth both Bruce independently and the board concluded they would not respond to the letter. A number of people have reached out to Dianna to express their concerns already. The DEP wrote a letter to the Village of Margaretville, reminding them that this is a voluntary program and that it was voluntary program that the watershed representatives from the Counties sought this program and were very clear that relocation would have to be part of the volunteer flood buyout program.

c. Pam Young’s (NYS DOH) request for comment – FAD & Expert Panel – Carl reminded the board that comments are due at the end of March.

5. Updates:
a. Status of Flood Mitigation Program:
i. Water Supply Permit Change

ii. Inundation and DEP’s new FBO Selection Criteria document.

b. Kurt Ossenfort Proposal – Jeff Baker

c. Below Dams Activities
i. Delaware – got a grant working on a work plan in the context of a larger effort. The UDRTC will be meeting Thursday night to finalize an IMA. There is a meeting being pursued with Paul Rush to discuss some issues.

ii. Esopus – Aaron – no new developments.

iii. Schoharie – Tony – Gilboa interested in the tailings to use on local roads in the future.

d. Mike Brandow’s membership on the Executive Board of the CWT. CWT bylaws don’t allow him to have membership both on the CWC board and the CWT board. Jeff recommended to just ignore the issue since elections will be held shortly and a new member will be selected at that time.

6. Treasurer’s report and warrant(s).
Young Sommer – $5,496.68

Checking $1,000.16
Savings $110,399.38
Bruce moved to pay the bills and balances; seconded by Linda. Passed.

7. Correspondence – Mayor Cope’s letter to DEP, DEP’s letter of response to Mayor Cope. Covered above.

8. Other:
a. SUNY-Delhi- Carl reported that there is progress with them to develop a curriculum to provide graduates needed related to watershed issues.

b. Frazer reported that the Army Corp of Engineers (ACOE) is reaching out to DEP to do work up in the watershed. The UDRTC had a visit with the ACOE below the dams.   Because they would have funds, that could be very attractive, but Frazier is concerned how their philosophy of addressing flooding issues and funding might affect the overall flood mitigation program above the dams should they become involved.

9. Adjourn: Tony Van Glad moved to adjourn; seconded by Linda Burkhardt.  Passed.