Skip to main content

Board Meeting


November 21, 2023 Meeting Agenda 

Highlands Soil and Water Conservation District
4505 George Blvd.

Sebring, FL 33875-5837
Board of Supervisors Meeting
Tuesday, November 21, 2023 – 12:30 p.m.  
HSWCD Conference Room - Bert Harris Agriculture Center

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

II.    Approval of Agenda – Chairman Causey

Presentation:            David Royal, Nutrient Stewardship Project Manager
                                  The Nature Conservancy

       III.        Approval of Meeting Minutes 
a.    Board of Supervisors Meeting Minutes –Oct. 17, 2023

IV.    Financial Activity 
a.     Overview & Approval of Financial Reports-  October, 2023 – S. Bishop  
b.    CD Investments – J. Causey/S. Bishop  
  V.       Agency Partner Updates
a.   FDACS – S. Bishop & K. Nickerson
b.   MIL – S. Bishop /C. Harmon
c.   NRCS Report – C. Torres 
d.   HCBCC - Scott Kirouac

VI.    Old Business
a.    Proposed Legislation – S. Bishop
b.    Holiday Schedule 2024 – S. Bishop

VII.    New Business   
a.     2024 Board Meeting Schedule – J. Causey & S. Bishop

VIII.    Executive Director’s Report

IX.    Citizens Not on the Agenda

X.     Supervisor Comments

                      Next Board Meeting:
Tuesday, December 19, 2023  – 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.

November 21, 2023 Minutes 

Highlands Soil & Water Conservation District - Board of Supervisors

Meeting Minutes

Meeting Date:  11/21/2023

Meeting Location:   HSWCD Conf. Room – Bert Harris Center

FINAL  - Approved 12/19/2023

Recorded by:  Susie Bishop


Meeting Scheduled Start: 12:30 P.M.   Call to Order: @ 12:36 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

Andrew Adams, Environmental Specialist 1, FDACS-OAWP

Chad Harmon, MIL Manager, HSWCD

Wade Smith, MIL Technician, HSWCD

Carlos Torres, District Conservationist, USDA-NRCS

David Royal, Stewardship Proj. Mgr., The Nature Conservancy

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

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes – October 17, 2023 - Motion made to approve the minutes as presented (Wohl/Sebring).  Unanimous Approval.

IV.  Financial Activity

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

b.     CD Investments – Board discussed the details of the CDs held with two Non-Qualified Public Depositors.  Because the amount of the CDs is under the $250,000.00 threshold for protection consensus of the Board was to leave the CDs invested as they are.  No Action.

V. Agency Partner Updates 

a. FDACS – K. Nickerson & Bishop provided updates on field staff work, reporting IVs are going well.  An increase has been seen for cost share projects for Cow/Calf operations. 

b. MIL –  Bishop & Harmon updated the board on the considerable amount of work they completed with all the MILs in the state to edit the new Scope of Work for the Contracts.   The effort was tedious but enabled the MILs to return only one edited version to Contract staff at FDACS-OAWP, rather than seven different edited versions.  There has been no response from OAWP to date.  A new Standard Operating Procedure for the MILs is being written and we should be in receipt of it for our review soon.    Evaluations are ahead of schedule and the hope is there will be financial reward in the new Scope for evaluations completed above the contract required deliverable.  No Action.

-Presentation – David Royal, Nutrient Stewardship Project Manager, The Nature Conservancy.  Royal presented the research project at Buck Island on cover crops as a request for funding of 24 months of connectivity fees for soil moisture probe system on the project.  Check was presented to Royal.  No Action.

c. NRCS – No Report.

d. HCBCC – Commissioner Kirouac reported concerns regarding a recent Commission position on a land rezoning from Agriculture to Medium Density. Fear is this will set a precedence for future rezonings and take away property owner’s rights.  He asked the Board to be present to fight for property owners’ rights at future zonings similar to this one.  A new Chairman and Vice-Chairman for the HCBCC will be selected on Nov. 28.    No Action.

VI. Old Business

a. Proposed Legislation – Bishop reported Representative Truenow has a Bill in draft to regionalize Districts in Florida.  Bishop’s proposal for regionalizing was shared and discussed with the Board.   Bishop’s efforts are to be pro-active rather than reactive in hopes of having a good regional plan for all.    As soon as Truenow’s draft is received she will review and report to the Board the content. Bishop asked Supervisors to review her documents and provide her with their comments and questions. No Action.

b. Holiday Schedule 2024 – Review of the schedule as discussed in October. Motion to approve the schedule as presented (Wohl/Smith) Unanimous Approval.  

VII. New Business

a. 2024 Board Meeting Schedule – Motion made to approve the 2024 Board Meeting schedule as presented. (Sebring/Wohl) Unanimous Approval.

VIII. Executive Director’s Report - Items presented:         

Presented the Thank You letter from Warner University

Presented Ag Angels Contribution to S. Kirouac

IX. Citizens Not on the Agenda – None

X. Supervisor Comments -   

Smith –    None

Deen -     Asked how Ag Venture went with the transition to staff.   

Sebring – None                      

Wohl – None

Causey – None

Meeting Adjourned at 2:12 p.m.