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July 21, 2020 Meeting Agenda 

Highlands Soil and Water Conservation District
4505 George Blvd.
Sebring, FL 33875-5837
Board of Supervisors

Board Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 – 3:00 p.m.
Go To Meeting

I. Call To Order, Welcome & Introductions

II. Approval of Agenda

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes
a. Board of Supervisors Meeting Minutes – June 16, 2020

IV. Financial Activity
a. Follow-up on Audit – Jeff Carlson, CPA
b. Overview & Approval of Financial Reports – June 2020– S. Bishop

V. Agency Partner Updates
a. NRCS – C. Torres
b. FDACS & MIL – S. Bishop
c. Extension – L. Hurner
d. HCBCC – J. Brooks
e. CFRPC – C. Allison

VI. Old Business
a. Scholarships at SFSC – S. Bishop
b. HCBCC Lake Lotela Project Update – S. Bishop
c. Employee Manual – S. Bishop

VII. New Business
a. New Hires – S. Bishop

VIII. Executive Director’s Report
IX. Citizens Not on the Agenda

X. Supervisor Comments

Next Board Meeting – Tuesday, August 18, 2020– 3:00 p.m.

** Citizens Not on the Agenda requesting to speak will be limited to 3 minutes unless additional time is allotted by
the Chairman. The Chairman reserves the right to remove anyone from the meeting who is unruly or displays
disruptive behavior.

July 21, 2020 Minutes 

MEETING DATE: 7/21/2020

Meeting Location: GoTo Meeting due to COVID-19
FINAL – Approved 8/18/2020
Recorded by: Susie Bishop


I. Welcome & Introductions
Scott Kirouac Chairman Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
John Causey Vice-Chair. Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Doug Deen Sec./Treas. Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Steve Smith Supervisor Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Pam Fentress Supervisor Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Jim Brooks Commissioner Highlands Co. Bd. Of Co. Commissioners
Susie Bishop Ex. Director Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Kayla Nickerson BMP Tech Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Kasey Martin BMP Tech Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Carlos Torres Conserv. USDA-NRCS
Chad Allison CFRPC
Jeff Carlson CPA Carlson Accounting

II. Approval of Agenda
Motion to approve agenda as presented (Fentress/Causey) Unanimous approval.

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes – June 16, 2020
Motion to approve minutes as presented. (Fentress/Causey). Unanimous approval.

IV. Financial Activity
a. Follow Up on Audit – Bishop explained the additional work Auditor John Davis had completed on the audit and several previous years of financials for the District. Using an expanded balance sheet by classes he found concerns regarding classifications of entries in the books. None of this was an audit finding, but something Davis wanted Bishop and Carlson to correct. Carlson explained in detail what Davis’ concerns were and the complications found by he and Bishop as they tried to correct the classifications, but Quick Books was preventing the entries to be completed easily. Carlson has tried contacting Davis to discuss our findings and is working with Quick Books to find a method to complete this work. Assuring the Board that none of these concerns raise concerns of inappropriate management of any funds, more of a concern of how entries are recorded by class. Carlson and Bishop also explained there is a need to increase the involvement of Carlson’s staff to assist Bishop on a monthly basis to implement this new method of entries into the books. Currently Carlson’s office reconciles the monthly bank statements and provides all of the payroll services on a monthly basis too. Supervisors supported the increase in the assistance Bishop will receive from Carlson’s office.
b. Overview & Approval of Financial Reports – June 2020 – Bishop reviewed the bank statements and financial reports. Receiving no questions, motion made to approve financial reports as presented (Causey/Smith). Unanimous approval. Bishop introduced the newest staff member of the District, Kasey Martin, and a BMP Technician.

V. Agency Partner Updates
a. NRCS – C. Torres reported their office is still following COVID tele-working guidelines but still performing farm visits, completing check outs and payments but remain officially closed. The emergency watershed program information has been shared County officials in case there is a need for repairs for damages from a storm event. August 21 is the deadline for the office to complete projects and applications for 2021 are being accepted.
b. FDACS – K. Nickerson & S. Bishop gave an update as to the focus of the OAWP regarding unrolled Ag properties in the BMAP region and the IV process. With the signing of the state Budget the Senate Bill 712 was funded and will be the primary workload of staff. There will be cost share dollars available starting at the same level as last year, but application period has not opened up yet. There are 6 licensed HEMP growers in the Highlands County area, so those properties will be contacted soon for BMP enrollment too.
c. MIL – No Report
d. Extension – No Report
e. HCBCC – J. Brooks reported the Commission voted today to set the millage rate at 9.0, but that will probably be adjusted to be slightly less. They also voted to not make the wearing of face masks mandatory in the County. The Commission voted today to terminate the contract with the County Attorney, effective in 7 days.
f. CFRPC – Allison shared the work they are doing with DOD for REPI funds
application. Also, they will be working with the Range to apply with agencies for easement funds working towards the increase to the Sentinel Landscape. Allison announced a REPI webinar being held on July 29 at 1:00 p.m. He will send the newsletter and webinar information to Bishop for sharing with the Board.

VI. Old Business
a. Scholarships at SFSC – Bishop informed the Board following last month’s meeting drafted a letter from Chairman Kirouac requesting the $8,000.00 of un-used scholars ship funds be returned and has received no response. Kirouac asked Bishop to send the letter electronically in an effort to get a response.
b. HCBCC Lake Lotela Project Update – Bishop reported the County does not have figures yet for the cost of the dewatering, but an estimate for engineering of projects is $10,000 – $ 12,000. In conversations with County Engineer, Bishop stated she asked if the delaying of this project cause a safety issue for citizens and the answer was no. She will follow up with County Administrator and staff in an effort to determine if they want to move forward with this project now or wait until the drier season. And, she will ask for some cost estimates too.
c. Employee Manual – Bishop asked if anyone had any comments on the draft
employee manual she distributed last month. Having none, she will work to
complete this manual, issue one to every employee and submit one to OAWP per contract requirement.

VII. New Business
a. New Hires – Bishop explained the dilemma of getting new hires background
screenings and finger printing due to closures of contracted centers due to COVID. Newest BMP Tech, Kasey, drove to Tallahassee to complete hers so she could start to work and we are now waiting on Tallahassee to set up an appointment for the new MIL Technician, Tyson Bentley.

VIII. Executive Director’s Report
Bishop shared with everyone the celebration of life processional for long time
District. employee, Claude Howerton. It was very well attended and quite

XI. Supervisor Comments
Fentress – None
Deen– None
Causey – None
Smith – None
Kirouac – The August meeting date is on Primary Election day. Consensus was to change the meeting date to Tuesday, August 25 at 3:00.

Meeting Adjourned 4:22 P.M.