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Board Meeting

Febuary 20, 2024 Agenda 

Highlands Soil and Water Conservation District

4505 George Blvd. Sebring, FL 33875-5837

Board of Supervisors Meeting

Tuesday, February 20, 2024  – 3:00 p.m. 

Conference Room 3 - Bert Harris Agriculture Center


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

II. Approval of Agenda – Chairman Causey

Presentation: OPPAGA Review – Maulden & Jenkins CPA

Information Request

Submission of the Information

Overall Review Process

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes

a. Board of Supervisors Meeting Minutes – Jan. 16, 2024

IV. Financial Activity

a. Overview & Approval of Financial Reports -  January 2024 – S. Bishop

b. CD Investments – J. Causey & S. Bishop

V. Agency Partner Updates – NO updates this month due to time constraints


b. MIL



VI. Old Business

a. Update on Filed Legislation – S. Bishop

VII. Executive Director’s Report

VIII. Citizens Not on the Agenda

IX. Supervisor Comments

Next Board Meeting:

Tuesday, March 19, 2024  – 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.

February 20, 2024 Minutes 

MEETING DATE: 2/20/2024
Meeting Location: Conf. Room 3 – Bert Harris Center
FINAL – Approved 3/19/2024

Recorded by: Susie Bishop


I. Welcome & Introductions


Name, Title, Organization 

Dr. John Causey, Chairman, HSWCD

Steve Smith, Vice Chair, HSWCD

Doug Deen, Secretary/Treasurer, HSWCD

Sara Sebring, Supervisor, HSWCD

Scott Kirouac, Liaison, HCBOCC

Susie Bishop, Executive Director, HSWCD

Kayla Nickerson, BMP Technician, HSWCD

Lauren Ahrens, BMP Technician, HSWCD

Carlos Torres, District Conservationist, USDA-NRCS

Chad Harmon, MIL Manager, HSWCD

Wade Smith, MIL Technician, HSWCD

Charlene Meeks, Executive Director, AFCD

Chris Polischunk, Auditor, Mauldin & Jenkins

Austin Hickox, Auditor, Mauldin & Jenkins

Candace Batulis, Auditor, Mauldin & Jenkins

David Jahosky, Auditor, Mauldin & Jenkins

Graham Sweeney, Auditor, Mauldin & Jenkins

Haley Kasnic, Auditor, Mauldin & Jenkins

II. Approval of Agenda – Motion to approve agenda as presented (Sebring/Deen). Unanimous Approval.
PRESENTATION: OPPAGA Review – Maulden & Jenkins, CPA

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes - January 16, 2024 - Motion made to approve the minutes as presented (Smith/Sebring). Unanimous Approval.

IV. Financial Activity
a. Overview & Approval of Financial Reports- January 2024: Review of bank statements & financial reports. Motion to approve the financial reports as presented (Sebring/Smith). Unanimous Approval.
b. CD Investments – Causey shared recent purchases of new CDs. $100,000.00 at 5.7 % due September 24, $211,000.00 at 5.3% due December 16 and $211,000.00 at 5.2% due July 29.


V. Agency Partner Updates - No Updates due to time constraints
b. MIL –
c. NRCS –
d. HCBCC –

VI. Old Business
a. Update on Filed Legislation – Bishop reported the proposed legislation has died
due to lack of support in the Senate among other politically motivated reasons. The OPPAGA reports will come out in the Fall and the expectation is for new legislation to be filed in 2025 Session to address how SWCDs operate.


VII. New Business
a. None

VIII. Executive Director’s Report - Items presented:
➢ Website – Updates are completed. We will share it at the next meeting.
➢ Bishop explained the Florida Association of Special Districts and the benefits of membership. D. Ramba will reduce our fee to him if we join. Should legislation come back next year this organization will assist us with this. Motion made to join at our level of required joining fee ( Smith/Deen). The fee is calculated on the total revenue reported to the state.
➢ Bishop informed the Board of the Ethics Training they are required to complete by Dec. 31. She will provide the link for the computer course.
➢ Options for our IT services were discussed.
➢ Our MIL and Bishop is working with leadership of OAWP on the MIL Contract Language and the SOP.
➢ Mike Carter, retired CPA, has agreed to review our OPPAGA at $115.00 per hour. Bishop will proceed with compiling the information requested and determine if we need this review.


IX. Citizens Not on the Agenda – None

X. Supervisor Comments -
Smith – Commended staff for their performance and teamwork.
Sebring – None
Deen – None
Causey – None
Meeting Adjourned at 5:22 p.m.

Action Assigned To Deadline

  • Monitor Legislation regarding Florida SWCD Reorganization, S. Bishop, Spring 2024
  • Monitor and Manage SOW and SOP for the MIL Contract & Project Manager Concerns, S. Bishop & C. Harmon, Jan. 2024
  • Rebuild of Website, K. Nickerson & S. Bishop, Feb. 2024
  • Present FY 2022-2023 Annual Report to Co. Commissioners, S. Bishop, March 2024
  • Prepare & Submit OPPAGA Information Request, S. Bishop & K. Nickerson, March 15, 2024
  • Manage DEP Stolen Saddle Ranch Contract, S. Bishop, Ongoing