March 10th, 2022

Minutes from the March 10th, 2022 Regular Board Meeting

The meeting of the Lake of the Woods Soil and Water Conservation District was held in the Boardroom of the County Government Center.  

The meeting was called to order by John Sonstegard at 5:00 p.m.

Members present: John Sonstegard, Monica Dohmen, Frank Sindelir

Members absent: Roger Krause, Nancy Dunnell

Others present: Land and Water Planning Director, Josh Stromlund; Resource Conservationist, Mike Hirst; Resource Conservationist, Corryn Trask; NRCS Resource Conservationist, Michael Steinhauer

A motion was made by Sindelir to approve the agenda as presented, including the addition of payments for the grazing workshop presenters.  The motion was seconded by Dohmen. 
Affirmative: Sonstegard, Dohmen, Sindelir Opposed: None Motion carried.

A motion was made by Dohmen to approve the February 16, 2022 minutes.  The motion was seconded by Sindelir.
Affirmative: Sonstegard, Dohmen, Sindelir Opposed: None Motion carried.

The February 2022 Treasurer’s Report was reviewed.  

A motion was made by Sindelir to approve the bills as listed on the agenda.  The motion was seconded by Dohmen. 
Affirmative: Sonstegard, Dohmen, Sindelir Opposed: None Motion carried.

Old Business

Personnel policy waivers – continue or suspend
A motion was made by Dohmen, with a second by Sindelir, to suspend the COVID-19 Temporary Personnel Policy Waiver implemented at the March 20, 2020 meeting. 
Affirmative: Sonstegard, Dohmen, Sindelir Opposed: None Motion carried.

The original policies in the SWCD Employee Policy Handbook related to Article VI: Working policies and Article XI: Leaves of Absence, Sick Leave will be back in effect.

Special Reports

NRCS Partner Updates – Michael Steinhauer, Resource Conservationist – report on EQIP and CSP applications in the county, COVID-19 staffing and masking updates. 

New Business

AIS – Keep it Clean Promotion in the 2022 LOW Guide – TNT Printing – $200
A motion was made  by Sindelir, with a second by Dohmen, to authorize $200 for AIS and Keep it Clean promotions in the 2022 Lake of the Woods Guide.
Affirmative: Sonstegard, Dohmen, Sindelir Opposed: None Motion carried.

Rainy-Rapid 1W1P – SWCD Policy Committee vacancy
A motion was made by Sindelir, with a second by Sonstegard, to name Monica Dohmen as the replacement for Nancy Dunnell on the Rainy-Rapid 1W1P Policy Committee.
Affirmative: Sonstegard, Dohmen, Sindelir Opposed: None Motion carried.

Request to purchase pin flags for tree program resale
A motion was made by Sindelir, with a second by Dohmen, to authorize $239 for the purchase of pin flags to resell through the tree program.
Affirmative: Sonstegard, Dohmen, Sindelir Opposed: None Motion carried.

Training and Travel Requests – None

Staff Reportsthe board reviewed staff reports as presented with the agenda.  

Committee Reports 

Keep it Clean – AIS Committee  – further discussion on statewide use of the Keep it Clean logo. 
Rainy-Rapid 1W1P Policy Committee – overview of the process and the recent meeting
Lake of the Woods Control Board – a memo from the Control Board was presented.  Drought conditions are improving statewide.  Lake of the Woods water levels are in the normal range for mid-winter.                                                                                          

General Information and Discussion

Well testing clinics – discussion on holding an arsenic testing clinic and how to provide technical assistance to landowners who have arsenic in their well.  

SWCD Election Filing Notice – reminder that board members of District 3 and District 4 will be up for election in 2022. 

SWCD Board Evaluation and quarterly meeting topics – this was postponed due to time.  Staff will mail out the evaluations for board members to complete prior to the upcoming meeting.  

Workshop offerings for residents – discussion on possible local workshops, including a mushrooming workshop.  Trask will look into Extension educators for possibilities.     

WPLMN contract language – COVID-19 proof of vaccination and testing protocols – notification on new vaccination requirements for contractors who perform work for the state of MN.  A several page attachment regarding vaccination and testing protocols was added to the recent contract amendment.

The next regular board meeting has been set for April 14th, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. in the Boardroom of the County Government Center.  

Adjourn: Dohmen Seconded: Sindelir

Meeting adjournment time: 6:50 p.m.

March 2021

Minutes from the March 11th, 2021 Regular Board Meeting

The meeting of the Lake of the Woods Soil and Water Conservation District was held in the Boardroom of the County Government Center.  Due to the COVID-19 Emergency declared by MN Governor Walz, board members and members of the public were allowed to join via Zoom conferencing.  All votes were taken via roll call.

The meeting was called to order by John Sonstegard at 5:00 p.m.

Members present: In person – John Sonstegard, Monica Dohmen,  Remote – Frank Sindelir, Nancy Dunnell

Members absent: Roger Krause

Others present: In-person – Land and Water Planning Director, Josh Stromlund; Resource Conservationist, Mike Hirst; Resource Conservationist, Corryn Trask; Remote – County Commissioner, Joe Grund; NRCS Resource Conservationist, Michael Steinhauer; Chad Severts, BWSR Board Conservationist; Brett Arne, Acting BWSR PRAP Coordinator

A motion was made by Sindelir to approve the agenda.  The motion was seconded by Dohmen. 
Affirmative: Sonstegard, Dohmen, Sindelir, Dunnell Opposed: None Motion carried.

A motion was made by Dohmen to approve the February 11, 2021 minutes.  The motion was seconded by Sindelir.
Affirmative: Sonstegard, Dohmen, Sindelir, Dunnell Opposed: None Motion carried.

The February 2021 Treasurer’s Report was reviewed.  

A motion was made by Sindelir to approve the bills as listed on the agenda.  The motion was seconded by Dohmen. 
Affirmative: Sonstegard, Dohmen, Sindelir, Dunnell Opposed: None Motion carried.

Special Presentation – Chad Severts, BWSR Board Conservationist and Brett Arne, BWSR Performance Review Coordinator presented on the SWCD Performance Review that will be completed in 2021. 

Old Business
Personnel Policy Waivers – no action was taken.  

Special Reports
NRCS Partner updates – Michael Steinhauer, Resource Conservationist – reported on current EQIP and CSP Program status.  COVID staffing levels are at 25% and no visitors are allowed in offices.  The Soil Conservation Technician position was recently hired and the new person would be starting Monday.  

New Business
Request to purchase Quickbooks Pro 2021
A motion was made byDunnell, with a second by Sindelir, to authorize the purchase of Quickbooks Pro 2021 in the amount of $400. 
Affirmative: Sonstegard, Dohmen, Sindelir, Dunnell Opposed: None Motion carried.

Shoen cost share payment request
A motion was made by Sindelir, with a second by Dohmen, to authorize final payment for the Shoen FY15-37 DRAP shoreline protection project.  Cost share is not to exceed $1500 for site access and $52,500 for project construction.  Payment is authorized upon engineering certification and completion of payment vouchers. 
Affirmative: Sonstegard, Dohmen, Sindelir, Dunnell Opposed: None Motion carried.

AIS – Keep it Clean Promotion in 2021 LOW Guide
A motion was made by Dohmen, with a second by Sindelir, to authorize $200 for a full page ad in the Lake of the Woods Tourism Guide to promote the AIS and Keep it Clean initiatives.
Affirmative: Sonstegard, Dohmen, Sindelir, Dunnell Opposed: None Motion carried.

USGS LCCMR Grant Application Letter of Support
A motion was made by Sindelir, with a second by Dunnell, to authorize Chairman Sonstegard to sign a letter of support for the USGS application to the Legislative Citizen Commission on MN Resources (LCCMR) for a “Rainy River Drivers of Lake of the Woods Algal Blooms” study. 
Affirmative: Sonstegard, Dohmen, Sindelir, Dunnell Opposed: None Motion carried.

Training and Travel Requests

A motion was made by Dunnell, with a second by Dohmen, to authorize staff and supervisors to attend the March 18th virtual MASWCD legislative days.
Affirmative: Sonstegard, Dohmen, Sindelir, Dunnell Opposed: None Motion carried.

Supervisors online local workgroup training  – supervisors were notified of upcoming trainings for the local workgroup program which are being hosted by the MASWCD. 

Staff Reportsthe board reviewed staff reports as presented with the agenda.  

Committee Reports 

Keep it Clean and AIS Committee – Lakeland Public TV news brief, inspector update, shoreline cleanup with Conservation Corps.

General Information and Discussion
Correspondence from MPCA regarding Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring (WPLMN) Contract – staff updated the board on recent changes to contract implementation in response to a letter sent by the SWCD board. Retainage on WPLMN contracts is no longer a requirement. 

SWCD Board first quarter special meeting – no action was taken. The board will postpone a first quarter special meeting until an outdoor in-person meeting could be held.  

The next regular board meeting has been set for April 8th, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. in the Boardroom of the County Government Center.  

Adjourn: Dunnell Seconded: Dohmen
Meeting adjournment time: 6:15 pm