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Board Meeting

3:00 pm

September 19, 2023 Meeting Agenda 

Highlands Soil and Water Conservation District

4505 George Blvd.

Sebring, FL 33875-5837

Board of Supervisors

Board Meeting & Workshop Agenda 

Tuesday, September 19, 2023 - 1:00 p.m. 

Conference Room # 3 - Bert Harris Agriculture Center


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


II.               Approval of Agenda – Chairman Causey


Workshop – Strategic Work Plan –  Christy Chiarelli

Director, Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources

 UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication

       III.        Approval of Meeting Minutes

a.     Board of Supervisors Meeting Minutes – August 15,  2023


IV.             Financial Activity

a.      Overview & Approval of Financial Reports - August 2023 – S. Bishop

b.     FY Oct. 1, 2022 – Sept. 30, 2023 Budget Amendments – S. Bishop

c.      FY Oct. 1, 2023 – Sept. 30, 2023 Proposed General Fund Budget – S. Bishop   



V.               Old Business

a.   Warner University Scholarship – S. Bishop

b.     Ag Venture Sponsorship/Staff Person – S. Bishop


VI.             Executive Director’s Report


VII.           Citizens Not on the Agenda


VIII.           Supervisor Comments


Next Board Meeting:


Tuesday, October 17, 2023 –31:00 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.

September 19, 2023 Minutes 

Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District - Board of Supervisors

Meeting Minutes

Meeting Date:  09/19/2023

Meeting Location:   HSWCD Conf. Room – Bert Harris Center

FINAL – Approved 10/17/2023

Recorded by:  Susie Bishop

Meeting Scheduled Start: 1:00 P.M.   Call to Order: @ 1:02 P.M.

Public Meeting Announcement Read by Chairman


I. Welcome & Introductions

Dr. John Causey, Chairman, HSWCD

Steve Smith, Vice-Chairman, HSCWD

Doug Deen, Secretary/Treasurer, HSWCD

Sara Sebring, Supervisor, HSWCD

T.J. Wohl, Supervisor, HSWCD

Scott Kirouac, Liaison, Highlands Co. Board of County Commissioners

Susie Bishop, Executive Director, HSWCD

Kayla Nickerson, BMP Technician, HSWCD

Lauren Ahrens, BMP Technician, HSWCD

Carlos Torres, District Conservationist, USDA-NRCS

II. Approval of Agenda – Motion to approve agenda as presented (Deem/Wohl). Unanimous Approval.

Workshop – Strategic Work Plan - Christy Chiarelli, Director

UF-IFAS - Wedgworth Leadership

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes –August 15,  2023 - Motion made to approve the minutes as presented (Wohl/Deen).  Unanimous Approval.

IV. Financial Activity

a. Overview & Approval of Financial Reports- August 2023: Review of bank statements & financial reports. Motion to approve the financial reports as presented (Smith/Sebring). Unanimous Approval. 

b. FY Oct. 1, 2022 – Sept. 30, 2023: Budget Amendment – Bishop presented the Budget to Actual Report with explanations to the recommended Amendment. 

Motion made to approve Budget Amendment as presented (Deen/Wohl).  Unanimous Approval.                                                                                                     

c. FY Oct. 1, 2023 – Sept. 30, 2024: Proposed General Fund Budget – Motion to approve the proposed budget with two increases:   5% Merit/Cola salary increases to L. Ahrens, C. Harmon, W. Smith & K. Nickerson and increase of $3000.00 to the Special Projects line item for Scholarships (Smith/Sebring).  Unanimous Approval.


V. Old Business

a. Warner University Scholarship – As requested by the Board Bishop presented the history of the Scholarship Recipients of previous scholarships awarded by HSWCD.   Motion made to present one single scholarship in the amount of $3000.00 to one upper classman who is majoring in Agriculture or Natural Resources (Wohl/Smith).  Unanimous Approval. 

b. Ag-Venture Sponsorship Level – Bishop shared with the Board the three major sponsors to enable Ag Venture to hire a Program Manager.  The sponsors for 2023 and 2024 are HSWCD, Lykes Bros., Inc. and Cowpoke’s Watering Hole.   Casey Hinote Mosching was hired and is already working to learn/manage the program.  


VI. Executive Director’s Report -  Items presented:        

· Brief discussion about staff and their excellent performance.

· Monitoring talk of another proposed Bill to Abolish SWCD.

· Will compile the Workshop results and create a new Short/Long Term Work Plan for the District.

· An empty desk in the office will be utilized by the new Ag Venture Program Manager until the desk is needed by staff.

· Amendment was completed for the DEP Contract due to the HSWCD Admin. Fee not being in the Contract Budget properly.

IX. Citizens Not on the Agenda – None

X.   Supervisor Comments -   

Smith - None

Deen - None

Sebring – None

Wohl – None

Causey - None


Meeting Adjourned at 4:35 p.m.