Meeting Minutes 01.18.2012

SPRING CREEK WATERSHED COMMISSION

Meeting Minutes

Spring Township Municipal Building

January 18, 2012

1)   CALL TO ORDER - At 7:00 pm Mr. MacMath, being the hosting municipality, called the meeting to order and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

2.   ELECTION OF OFFICERS

A.   ROLL CALL OF MUNICIPALITIES - The following members were present:

Bill MacMath (Spring Township)                   Amy Story (State College Borough)

Don Franson (Walker Township)                   Denny Hameister (Harris Township)

Mark Stevenson (Halfmoon Township)          Gay Dunne (Bellefonte Borough)

Bob Donaldson (Patton Township)               Paul Bartley(Milesburg Borough)

Bill Fleckenstein (Potter Township)               Elliot Killian (Ferguson Township)

 

The following were absent (excused) - College Township, Benner Township

 

The following were absent (unexcused) -

 

Guests:   Todd Giddings, Kristen Saacke Blunk, Barb Fisher, Mike Schmidt, Rich Killian

 

B.   BYLAWS - ARTICLE 1.  OFFICERS, TERMS & ELECTION - Section 1.  The officers of the SCWC shall be Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Secretary.  The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson must be elected officials from participating Municipalities.

 

Mr. Donaldson made a motion for the following slate of officers:

 

Denny Hameister - Chairperson

Gay Dunne - Vice-Chairperson

Amy Story - Secretary

 

All nominees accepted and Mr. Bartley provided a second to the motion as well as motioned to close the nominations.  Mr. Stevenson provided a second to this motion and the vote was unanimous.  The vote to elect the officers was also unanimous.

 

Ms. Story noted that correspondence was received from Centre Hall Borough noting they have withdrawn from the Commission.

 

Newly elected Chairman Hameister conducted the remainder of the meeting.

 

3)   APPROVAL OF MINUTES - The minutes of the November 16, 2011 meeting were distributed via e-mail and posted on the Commission's website.  A motion to approve the minutes was made by Ms. Dunne and seconded by Mr. MacMath. The vote passed unanimously.

4)   CITIZEN COMMENTS

A.   There were no citizen comments.

5) OLD BUSINESS -

A.   Groundwater Table & Stream Flow Status Report - Dr. Giddings addressed the Commission to review the water table levels as well as stream flow for the watershed.  It is official that 2011 is the second wettest year on record of 116 years.  He reviewed his calculations for the volume of groundwater to date.  Mr. Stevenson questioned the level of groundwater after the wet years of 2003 and 2004 versus the level of groundwater after the wet year of 2011.  Dr. Giddings explained that having two wet years back to back reinforced the high level of groundwater, but also noted that directly after this, the groundwater level dropped which means we need be cognizant of land use.   Mr. Fleckstein asked if there is a meaning behind the 4 wettest years of all time being within the last 15 years to which Dr. Giddings stated that many are attempting to make statistical inferences but it means nothing.  Chairman Hameister wondered what it means that we do not have the standard snow cover that we normally do.  Dr. Giddings stated that no snow cover means deeper frost and that there is a misnomer that frost means no infiltration, which is not true.  Mr. Schmidt asked if there is an impact to ground temperatures with no snow cover.  Ms. Dunne asked if data can be used for recharge study.  Dr. Giddings noted that the information he is presenting is from one location, but also noted that we have several monitoring points within the watershed.  He noted that we do have depth to water table maps.  Ms. Dunne noted that our previous minutes not that we do not have depth to water table maps.

 

Dr. Giddings provided information on stream flow from information taken from the stream gauge at Milesburg, PA (site of former McCoy Dam).  He also gave an update on the stream gauges through Pennsylvania.

 

B.   Spring Creek Watershed Association Report - Ms. Saacke Blunk distributed a brochure on the Spring Creek Watershed Association and reviewed the group's mission.  She also distributed  a copy of the Spring Creek Watershed Map stating that she has plenty for distribution.  The third handout was an Overview of the SCWA recent accomplishments.  She explained the various items currently on their website and then explained the keystone accomplishments that were done in collaboration with other entities.  Ms. Saacke Blunk offered that at any time the SCWC would like information on the Water Resources Monitoring Program, they would be happy to do a presentation.  Lastly, she distributed a sticker (not magnet) which states "Spring Creek Rocks (mostly limestone)".  Mr. Donaldson noted that the effort to map the recharge area is ongoing as well as efforts with source water protection with DEP.  It was noted that the USGS will be providing a presentation on the recharge area of the watershed.  Chairman Hameister suggested the 2 groups meet together; however, the SCWA felt that it would be good for the USGS to conduct the two presentation in an attempt to fine tune it.  Dr. Giddings noted that the discussions with USGS are usually very technical in nature.  Ms. Dunne asked if there are other programs that SCWA are planning for this year.  Kristen stated they are working on a schedule as well as setting up their speakers and plans to get a copy of it to the SCWC prior to the meetings.  Mr. Stevenson stated that we monitor stream flow with the WRMP but asked if there are other parameters that are being monitored.  Ms. Saacke Blunk noted that there is a list of many parameters that are tested.  Dr. Giddings noted that although it is not being done currently, there was historical monitoring conducted during storm events to establish some base information on what flows off the land during storms.

 

Informational brochure on geothermal and well bore holes - it is assumed that this project is moving along.

 

C.   Stormwater Authority - no discussion

 

D.   PA Source Water Protection Program - SCWA has a small group of people working on this.  SCWA realized that they can reach additional water providers that were not in attendance at our previous meeting.  Mr. Donaldson noted that Mr. Schipanski was asked to contact Mark Stevens, DEP, who reminded the group to be patient.

 

6) NEW BUSINESS

A.   Mission Statement & By-Laws - Chairman Hameister distributed a copy of the mission statement and the by-laws

B.   Census Data - Chairman Hameister handed out the new census data and thus the revised proposed contributions for 2013.

C.   Monthly Speaker Suggestions - Originated in 2008 was a list of topics for monthly speakers.  Chairman Hameister noted that he will name a committee who will be charged with securing speakers.  Ms. Dunne stated that she will volunteer for the committee.  Mr. Stevenson suggested that the SCWA be the legs to assist with this task.  Ms. Saacke Blunk noted that CCCD phosphorus/nitrogen/ limits for the watershed may be another topic.  Mr. Donaldson noted that similar discussions have occurred at the SCWA and that there is need for different types of presentations.  He suggested that the SCWA is considering larger outreach type meetings in a more public forum.

 

D.   Spring Creek Watershed Plan - Chairman Hameister handed out a copy of the Phase 1 Final Report noting that it explains how we got to where we are at now.

 

E.   New Legislation for Well/Borehole Construction - Dr. Giddings noted that after 11 years of state wide lack of standards for well/borehole construction standards, in December 2011 a draft bill #1855 was finally entered.  However, the challenge is that the state-wide regulations only address house well construction and do not address geothermal borehole construction.  The state wide standard does not include inspection requirements.  York County introduced the bill with just house well construction and most likely was not aware that additional standards existed.  Denny asked if we should not be involved to bring the shortcomings to the attention of the legislation.  Mr. Stevenson suggested that Brian Swisstock conduct his presentation in an effort to get the word out to a larger group.

 

7) OTHER BUSINESS

A.   Financial Report and Vouchers - The financial report for November 2011 is as follows:

Beginning Balance:              $10,613.87

Income                                           n/a

Expenses (staff time)         -95.26 (staff time, supplies/ postage, mtg announcement)

Ending Balance                   $10,518.61

 

An invoice from SF-Ventures in the amount of $211.00 was received for continued support of the Commission's website.  Mr. MacMath made a motion and Mr. Stevenson provided a second to approve this invoice.  The vote was unanimous.

 

B.   Once Around the Watershed - Each municipality present is asked to provide some interesting news from their municipality.

 

Halfmoon Twp - A second alternate, Todd Kersten may also attend meetings.  Twp is the instigator to open and look at advanced wastewater treatment systems that are not UAJA.  Looking at regional growth boundary and regulations.  Ice rink in tennis court

Harris Twp - Academy Street water project nearly complete.  Will be monitored

State College Boro - Educational Wetlands in Westerly Parkway now open.  Walking path around top of basin and also down into basin.

Ferguson Twp - nothing to report.

Bellefonte Boro - As of 1/1/12 Spring Street to Lamb Street is now open to "catch & release".  Tallyrand edible garden to be displayed in workshop "How Green is Happy Valley" to be held on 1/21 2-4 @ College Twp

Milesburg Boro - Working on updating zoning ordinance.

Spring Twp - Slow development.  Weis looking at 2/27 opening, which added 3 traffic signal and 3 detention basins.

Patton Twp - Wetland associated with Grays Woods included in editorial piece by resident who describes value of wetland, eastern spadefoot toad and specifying the natural open space and habitat.  Consulting firm did biological survey to identify rare and endangered species.

Walker Twp - nothing to report

Potter Twp - Planning Commission made changed to borehole ordinance and sent to solicitor, then planning to go to supervisors.

 

C.   Remaining Meetings - The following meeting dates remain for 2012:  February 15, March 21, April 18, May 16, June 20, July 18, August 15, September 19, October 17, November 21, December 19.

 

D.   C-NET Air Times - This meeting can be viewed on C-NET on the following days/times:

 

Monday, January 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, January 25 at 10 a.m.

Thursday, January 26 at 2 p.m.

Saturday, January 28 at 12 a.m. & 8:30 a.m.

 

Thank you to the State College Borough for sponsoring the airing of the January meeting.

 

8) ADJOURNMENT - At 8:35 pm, with no other items for discussion, the meeting was adjourned by motion from Mr. Stevenson and a second from Ms. Dunne.