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Board Meeting

 3:00 pm

February 21, 2023 Meeting Agenda 

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

Board Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, February 21, 2023 – 3:00 p.m.
HSWCD Conference Room- Bert Harris Agriculture Center

I. Call To Order, Welcome & Introductions – Chairman Causey

II. Approval of Agenda – Chairman Causey

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes
a. Board of Supervisors Meeting Minutes – January 3, 2023

IV. Financial Activity
a. Overview & Approval of Financial Reports – S. Bishop December 2022 & January 2023
b. CDs purchased – S. Bishop

V. Agency Partner Updates
a. FDACS – S. Bishop
b. MIL – S. Bishop & D. Pitts
c. NRCS Report – C. Torres
d. HCBCC – Scott Kirouac

VI. Old Business

VII. New Business
a. AFCD Annual Meeting – S. Sebring & S. Bishop
b. OPPAGA – S. Bishop
c. Staffing – S. Bishop
d. FDACS Training – S. Bishop

VIII. Executive Director’s Report

IX. Citizens Not on the Agenda

X. Supervisor Comments

Next Board Meeting – Tuesday, March 21, 2022 – 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

February 21, 2023 Minutes 

MEETING DATE: 2/21/2023

Meeting Location: HSWCD Conf. Room – Bert Harris Center
FINAL – Approved 3/21/2023
Recorded by: Susie Bishop


I. Welcome & Introductions
Dr. John Causey Chairman Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Steve Smith Vice-Chair Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Doug Deen Sec./Treas. Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
T.J. Wohl Supervisor Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Susie Bishop Ex. Director Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District
Carlos Torres Soil Con. USDA-NRCS

II. Approval of Agenda 
Motion to approve agenda as presented (Smith/Deen) Unanimous Approval.

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes – January 3, 2023
Motion made to approve the minutes as presented (Wohl/Smith). Unanimous Approval.

IV. Financial Activity
a. Overview & Approval of Financial Reports- December 2022 & January 2023:
Review of bank statements, financial reports and CD statements were reviewed. Motion to approve the financial reports as presented (Smith/Wohl). Unanimous Approval.
b. CDs purchased – Bishop explained the levels of CDs purchased via Equitable. No action taken.

VI. Agency Partner Updates
a. FDACS – Bishop reported OAWP has a new Director, Mr. West Gregory who was formerly an attorney for DEP. The new Assistant Director is Mr. Bret Prater, who was formerly in a capacity at The Capital. Commissioner Simpson selected both of Directors for the Department independent of each other. No Action.
b. MIL –Bishop reported MIL Evaluations are at required amount. Interviews will take place on February 22 & 23 for the MIL Manager & MIL Technician. MIL Manager Pitts has decided to leave his position in Mid-March. No Action.
c. NRCS – Torres gave updates on upcoming deadlines for application for their programs. He reminded that all producers need to keep their owner information current with USDA-FSA office in Okeechobee. An email inquiry from U.S. Fish & Wildlife was received by Torres regarding office space for a new position in the area. Bishop will correspond with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife contact and report back to the Board. No Action.
d. HCBCC – Kirouac reported on County projects and decisions. No Action.

VII. Old Business

VIII. New Business
a. AFCD Annual Meeting – Bishop reported on the Annual Meeting including the number of new Supervisors in attendance and election of new officers for AFCD. No Action.
b. OPPAGA – Bishop distributed details & information acquired at the AFCD Annual Meeting regarding the upcoming OPPAGA. It will commence in Fall 2023 and HSWCD can expect to be heavily involved. Supervisors were asked to review the materials in an effort to be prepared for potential individual interviews by OPPAGA Team. No Action.
c. Staffing – Bishop announced a new BMP Technician has been hired, Ms. Lauren Ahrens. She will start on March 1, training under Kayla Nickerson. The MIL Positions will be filled soon since interviews are this week. No Action.
d. FDACS Training – Bishop explained the SWCD Admin. Training she and Audrey Driggers developed and conducted per a request from FDACS-OAWP. The training was well received and appreciated. No Action.

IX. Executive Director’s Report
Items presented:
-Community Garden is at full capacity
-Annual Audit – CPA has completed the review of the books and released them to the audit firm.
-All County Commissioners and the County Administrator have been presented the Annual Report via a face to face meeting.
-Supervisors who received a letter from the state regarding their non-complete Oaths of Office were informed that Bishop corrected and re-submitted them.
-Central Florida Regional Planning Council asked HSWCD to partner with them to host the Land Owner’s Expo in early June. Consensus of the Board was to sponsor it again.
-Bishop taught Leadership Highlands Class Ag Day in January.
-Bishop presented the Local Working Group Results to the State Technical Committee in January.
-The future of Ag Venture program was discussed.

IX. Citizens Not on the Agenda – None

X. Supervisor Comments

Meeting Adjourned at 4:40 p.m.