SRA Board Meeting Minutes

SRA Meeting

December 15, 2009

1.       Introductions

This is the monthly board meeting of the SRA.  Requested members to pick up agenda, sign in and enjoy cookies, cider. Susan Hartsfield was introduced -- she had a display green products in baskets for gifts.  Fred Kelly – the River Keeper was introduced.

2.       Report of Officers

·         Bob Whitcomb has been active the past month defining and filling committee appointments. (By-laws, Audit Committee, Nominating Committee (Kurt will chair), Public Relations, Oyster Growers -- to plan for future efforts). 

·         Bob will walk with Matt McGehin to scope out potential cleanup sites for our annual spring cleanup.  Clements, Maynadier, Hopkins creek are potential sites – dump sites, property owners to solve.  Exploration walks were to plan how to get the trash out.  March 27th, last Saturday in March is date but they still need to make lots of arrangement before we are ready for a public announcement.

·         Betsy, Stevie, Bob did another exploration walk of Cypress Creek which was identified in the Crownsville Stormwater Plan.  Betsy reported that Cypress Creek is horrible.  Spoke with man who lives there and he complained how the County continues to put pipes up.  This funneling of water has created a huge ravine.  There is a sediment trail from outfall to river.  Betsy has a meeting set up with county next Wednesday on how to fix this and she may give update next month.  Also the community beaches were evaluated -- all need repair.  We need to help communities along the river to fix their beaches. 

·         Charlotte Lubbert talked about the project off Riva Road.  Gorgeous project funded by county.

·         Don – tried to schedule a meeting with Scott Peterson at Priest point.  Email said that he asked engineers to redo the design.  Barbara Samorizak to help review plans.  Coke project was evaluated by Broadneck organization formed by staff attorneys to work pro bono.  Hearing officer ruled that assisted living complex needs Coke to redesign.  Doug Holman was the attorney.  None of the units had cooking, not a complete kitchen – they were more like rooms in hospital, the number of bathrooms needed to be considered in the design.  Impervious surface throughout the county -- critical area won. 

3.    Execution of Committee Actions

Endorse Letter for Carrollton Manor Stormwater grant to CBT.  Bob vom Saal motioned and Charlotte Lubbert seconded.  All in favor, none apposed – motion carries.

4.    Old Business

Review of Recent Programs and Follow-up Action.

·         Stevie will create a PDF file of the Crownsville Stormwater Master Plan for upload to the SRA website.  Bob vom Saal will provide the CD he has from Jim Sullivan’s grant on prioritizing projects on the Severn for posting on the website.  Both these tools could be helpful for community projects and help get this message out to our neighbors on stormwater solutions and design. 

·         Oyster update – The Corp of Engineer have barges in the Severn to lay substrate in the river for oysters.  They have 70 Million oyster spat to put on the River.  Sally Horner was concerned about slag used for substrate and was anyone testing that for heavy metals.  Bob has a contact person to provide to Sally to follow up on that.  Heavy metals could be in the slag from Bethlehem steel.  Not what they said they were going to use originally.  Bob asked is Sally could find out more about the slag.

·         Clement Creek Restoration Project is in progress and is being managed by the Severn River Keeper.  This is a Keith Underwood design/construction.  You can go see in the neighbor Carriage Hills – off Generals Highway.  Heavy equipment is out there now.  MDE folks are impressed with this technology for managing stormwater and they are starting to pick up how wonderful this design is.  This took a horrible cut out ravine and is managing the runoff and increasing infiltration.  The County is adopting these systems.  This creek has been that this ravine drains to has been DREDGED twice -- at the cost of $100,000.  Need a bog between.  Keith will be putting in the weirs.  This is what we want to do throughout the river.

·         Bob Whitcomb attended Watershed Steward Academy training session as part of a panel to educate the stewards about the River associations in their Watershed.   Meet and talked one on one with the WSA candidates.  Both Charlotte Lubbert and Stevie Wilding are in the session.  They mentioned their capstone project they are planning at the Baptist Church off Herald harbor Road.

5.     Budget for 2010 – Bob vom Saal put together a budget for the next year for discussion and approval.

·         Discussed the merits of an email newsletter versus mailing -- as this usually is our largest expense.  Most felt comfortable putting the newsletter on the web and making hardcopies to hand out at meetings.  Community association memberships are increasing.  Individual members declining so—more donations are being active via the website.  Many cases regular members smaller.  Patrons increased.

·         Operation Clearwater – Sally will handle the community participation directly.  Vlavianos donation in his memory – (possibly add this info to our newsletter)  Not calculating – Per Pat Lynch for Patrons Member by Number.

·         Severn River Map sales have broken even for the cost to create.  How much inventory is left?

·         Legal Defense fund.   Donated for that purpose earmarked. 

·         Bay Friendly Neighborhood (BFN) is on the budget – how to modify it to ignite community involvement.  The Initial impetus was to get neighborhoods to adapt environmentally responsible plans. Debated about whether to keep BFN on the budget.  Decided it can remain to keep it for community project planning.  To fund projects will be reviewed by the board/committee prior to allotment.  This was the impetus for the Stormwater Action Fund.

·         Budget is a road map.

·         Is this the insurance we need – increase budget to $1600 in case of increase?  Discussion on what this insurance covers.   We need to review this policy.  Insurance was useless for Magothy River Association.   Home owner insurance covered since suit was to him not organization.    All agreed that insurance is needed.

·          Kurt commented on budget for legal actions.  In retrospective we need to spend money on clear strategic purpose for good and worthwhile projects.  Spending on fighting random cases on zoning is not effective.  We did commit to funds not disbursed.  Arrow Cove and OSP have not complied with reporting requirements.  Arrow cove had no expenses so budget is not required -- reduce to $2000. 

·         The 2010 budget was modified before motion to accept.  Motion carried.

a.       Annual Meeting Donation changed from $500 to $1000

b.      Bay Friendly Neighborhood changed to Community Project Planning (Stormwater Action Fund).  Amount changed from $4000 to $5000

c.       Legal Action changed from $3000 to $2000

d.      Annual Meeting changed from $2000 to $2500

e.      Insurance changed from $1475 to $1600

·         Plans for future speakers: 

a.       January:  Mel Wilkens – need for watershed studies and how to apply for grants to get projects done. 

b.      February: Churches are great opportunity for stormwater projects.  Round table discussion of 3 or 4 stormwater projects underway at local churches on the Severn River.

c.       March:  Project Clean Stream

d.      April: Bill Fritz to discuss the project in Safearn. 

e.       May:  Clean Marinas -- DNR program – many of the private marina are not clean.  Information to boater for pump out.

f.         June: Annual meeting

(Revised Feb 2010)