[The names of those in attendance were not given in the minutes.]
1. Call to order 6:17
2. Motion to approve the September 21, 2015 minutes made by Jake Rosa, Seconded by Mike McCrary, passed unanimously.
3. FAD/WR&R – Kevin Young presented evidence of and explained the White Paper and “Plan of Action/Relocation Toolkit.” Evidence included data from DEP with permit variance and applications and made to DEP and the number that were approved or denied over the last 10 years.
a. Kevin reviewed a specific case, as an example, of a lodging facility that opened a spa on an adjoining parcel and had to get 7 variances to do a use that used less water than the original use, when the original use was no longer allowed by the zoning, and the proposed use was allowed.
b. Summary – a lot of good has been done, the partnership has worked, and we have learned a lot and now we want to reopen some of these discussions. Funding the Partnership Programs has made a large difference in water quality. Regulating us has not made a significant impact. We are worse off economically than we were 17 years ago in parts due to 1) the upstate economy and 2) in the watershed because of regulatory enforcement that does not yield water quality benefits, especially on small business.
c. What has worked – getting NYC to fund the cost of strict regulations. There are gaps in the funding that need to be filled. Sewer systems have been very successful. What has not worked is lack of funding to assist small business compliance with regulations – very difficult environment for small business. RE: sewer/septic, NYC upgraded all of the WWTPs, but a change of use of an existing septic system would require it be brought up to regulations. We need a Small Business Program which is the same thing they are doing for residential, but not waiting until failure of the system.
d. Enforcement from DEP – DEP employees in the field are simply enforcing the rules and doing the job assigned to them by their department. Their rigid enforcement reflects a departmental culture.
e. Fixing septic systems have very little to no water quality impact according to DEP. So, why is it regulated? Hence the need for funding for regulatory compliance. WWTP costs are completely cost prohibitive. So either a business has to be connected to sewer or expand a septic to expand the business (the latter being VERY unlikely with the regulations as they currently exist.)
f. White Paper suggests that Catskill Fund for the Future should be refinanced.
g. City regulations incorporated 1988 DEC design standards for stormwater and an out of date general permit. So they are being updated.
h. Generally, we should be more proactive. There is a huge disconnection between the economic and social reality of this place and what the regulators believe about this place.
i. Some board members believe the White Paper represents a “huge lift” but we do need to make sure that the city is paying for the difference in costs outside the watershed enforced by the state and those inside the watershed by DEP.
j. It was suggested that Kevin and Jeff attend the TAG meeting. Additionally, a survey to support the work of the TAG was suggested.
k. Kevin suggested that the CWT should petition the CWC to support them in submitting a proposal to NYC to open up some negotiations on the WRR.
l. Mark Tuthill moved to pass a resolution authorizing Jeff and Kevin to work with the TAG and coalition members, to develop a regulatory program to propose to the city and state along the lines of the White Paper to increase regulatory flexibility for small businesses and institutions and gain additional contract financial resources from the city to implement the programs through the CWC. Seconded by Mike McCrary, passed unanimously.
m. Chairman asked that Jeff or Kevin to lay out all of the steps of this process to share with CWT.
4. WSP/FBO/Process Comments – Kevin leads a discussion re: the recently release draft permit language and supporting documents. Kevin suggested that there are flaws in them that can be used as leverage if the CWT chooses. CWT is very hesitant to do that as a first step, preferring to take the high road first working with DEP to achieve CWT goals.
a. Bruce recommends that each county compile a list of how many people will be impacted/eligible for this.
b. Kevin suggests that if a community opts into the inundation program it should be very cautious as an “Outreach Lead” could in essence act as a realtor. Working on commission, motivated to make sales, not protect the community.
c. NYC approached CWC to do the education and outreach, but were going to pay $500 per town that opts in. Because this is lobbying, CWC is not allowed to do that.
d. Kevin and/or Jeff will get revisions to the CWT board by the end of the week.
e. Side agreement has to be signed by the CWT and the Counties. Bruce said to send the side agreement to the Counties so they can review it.
f. Tony VanGlad wants Tim and Alan to see and add to the comments of Jeff and Kevin.
5. Flood Commissions reports – no report
6. CWC reports – none to report. Preparing for the 25th Anniversary of CWT
a. Role of and forms of outreach at CWT
a. Kurt Ossenfort proposal – Jeff reported that he has a huge amount of data that needs to be hosted somewhere. We also need to figure out where to store that data. Jeff will talk to Alan about this.
8. Marge Miller (Town of Middletown Supervisor) Formation of land trust to acquire developable parcels – Jeff spoke with Marge, Catskill Fund for the Future might be able to host this. Will be discussed further.
9. Below the reservoirs
a. Delaware – Water Water Everywhere going on the 19th and 20th. The Stream Corridor Management Plan Kick-off meeting was held on October 7th, and went very well. Waiting on contract from DOS.
b. Esopus – Aaron Bennett said the Draft EIS for the CAT-Alum SPDES permit is still out for review by DEP. No timeline associated with that.
10. WAC – CWT letter to WAC was not well received. WAC will be meeting with DEP soon.
11. Warrants(s) and Treasurer’s report –
a. Tony VanGlad makes motion to accept the Warrants:
Claim #27: Young & Sommer $2,849.00 – professional services and legal expenses
Claim #28: 28 Delaware County Department of Watershed Affairs $3.40 – postage reimbursement
Seconded by Mark Tuthill, passed unanimously.
b. Accounts –
VanGlad makes a motion to accept the treasurer’s report. Seconded by Tuthill, passed unanimously.
12. Correspondence – none
a. Alternates. Jeff will draft a procedure to determine which alternate gets to vote in the case a regular member is not in attendance. We will decide at the beginning of the meeting who will act in the place of the regular member. If a member resigns, the remaining members will decide at that time which alternate will replace the member. Will discuss further at the next meeting. We also need to determine a system to get back into the staggered terms.
14. Motion to adjourn at 8:15 made by VanGlad, seconded by Coiro. Passed unanimously.