SPRING CREEK WATERSHED COMMISSION MEETING NOTES
May 18, 2016
Spring Township Municipal Building
1) Call to Order: - D. Hameister called the meeting to order and led the Pledge of Allegiance
2) Roll Call of Members – Present: Harris Twp.: Denny Hameister, Bellefonte Borough: Gay Dunne, State College Borough: Janet Engeman, Patton Twp.: Josh Troxell, College Twp.: Steve Lycha, Spring Twp.: Bill MacMath, Potter Twp.: Dave Whiteman, Walker Twp.: Don Franson, Ferguson Twp.: Laura Dininni. Not Present: Halfmoon Township, Benner Township, Milesburg Borough
3) Approval of Minutes - Motion to Approve: missed who! Second: Gay Dunne. Passes unanimously.
4) Citizen Comments –
Todd Giddings, PA Groundwater Assn., Inviting SCWC to attend summer field conference outdoor demo, Educational and entertaining.
This is the 5th year at this site (Home Depot Patton Twp.). There will be a drill rig; drill a well with a permit from Code, Tent 40x100, and lunch! Hawbaker and Valley Vista Development have facilitated the use of this site.
They will demonstrate the use of a silt sock (an actual bag is 10x20, iner, biodegradable). All drill cuttings go into the bag *Mini example was shown to Commission.
TO REGISTER: wwwpgwa.org, commission qualifies for a free registration.
Walt Schneider will attend.
D. Hameister: Has Walt been there before? Has it spread across PA?
Todd Giddings: Yes, and yes, it has spread to SE PA counties and 50 scattered municipalities.
It is unique as the Centre Region is only area in PA that regulates well drilling through code and municipal ordinances. Something worth bragging up at pstat meeting!
Decommissioning is technical term for plugging. Bentonite clay native mined in WY, Add polymer w/ national sanitation foundation seal.
Denny Hameister: Does it go deep enough to draw water?
No, you need to go 250-300 feet to hit water, then we would have quicksand. We simulate the water- in the same amount you encounter during drilling.
Judy, TU Spring Creek Chapter.
Announcing: Get Outdoors, June 12: Free fun! Catch a fish fly fishing, Tussey mountain pond.
Fly tying demonstration, lawn games, and a nature scavenger hunt.
Dave Whiteman will be helping with fishing station. Harris Supervisor B. Graham is doing hotdogs!
5) Educational Topic – Deb Nardone, Ex. Director- Clearwater Conservancy. Presentation of Clearwater Strategic Planning process to SCWC.
Deb Nardone discussed 3 items:
1. Update on Americore (in old business, discussed here)
Application has gone in; We should know in 2-3 weeks as to whether we received the position.
The person hired for the Spring Creek Watershed Conservation assistant or associate will be housed at Clearwater, work 37.5 hrs/week, for 11 months.
The team (Denny Hameister representing the Commission. Deb Nardone representing Clearwater Conservancy. Bill Sharp representing SCWA. Bob Carline representing SC Atlas Project.) will review resumes, interview and hire, then help set their workplan and make sure they are delegating their time appropriately. Work will be divided into three thirds: The Commission The Atlas and Association, Education and Outreach in the SC Watershed.
For future planning: The same person can do up to 4 years of service. They usually do 2.
They make 16,000/year with good medical benefits, and a child care stipend. Upon completion they get a 5700 educational stipend.
Denny thanks Clearwater for the financial commitment. Clearwater is excited about having a person dedicated to education and outreach.
SCWC committed $9600.00 in 2016-2017 for the position.
Bill Sharp thanks Deb Nardone.
2. Connections: Grant program that sends kids to Millbrook Marsh.
There were 24,000 children sent from school districts in Centre County, Clearwater does a lot of fundraising for this program, 2100 sent this spring.
Current research shows a child who has repeated experiences within first 5 years of school takes away lot of ecological concepts and develops environmental stewardship.
Local schools, such as State College School District, have a goal to send a child to the Marsh at least 3 times between K and 3rd.
SCWC gives an average of $1000/year which sends 100 children. CC needed to turn schools down the first time ever this spring. Now CC is trying to fund those, for a trip in fall. Deb asks if SCWC would be interested in continuing their commitment to Connections.
Denny Hameister entertains motion to donate to Clearwater. Bill MacMath motions to donate $1500.00 to CC for Connections. Steve Lyncha seconds.
Denny calls for discussion.
David Whiteman: What is in the kitty?
Denny Hameister: $23,956
David Whiteman: Given the expenditure for the Americore person, do we want to keep a cushion? Is there a consensus as to how much we want to keep in there?
Bill MacMath: We have been sitting on it for a while and it is meant for projects we are doing. Americore is most we have ever spent at once; we will know after a year if it is beneficial.
Denny Hameister: Two years of municipal contribution money (~7000.00) would be good to keep.
Josh: That would be a max. If we are sitting on 6 years of collected taxes, I’d prefer to keep it in taxpayer hands or spend it on good causes.
Bill MacMath: Currently we are only asking for a fraction of what we are able to ask for from municipalities. A quarter
Denny Hameister: .035 cents per cap
Gay Dunne: We don’t have a long view of the budget.
Deb Nardone: Is it helpful to have a monthly budget statement or log of past expenditures?
Only when you spend the revenue can you consider an increase.
David Whiteman: Have we committed anything for atlas project? Might they need something?
Josh: I’d like to see limit by capacity of Millbrook rather than financial concerns.
Deb can send the list of currently funded schools and ones we will delay into fall.
Motion passes unanimously.
3. Educational Topic: Presentation of Clearwater Strategic Planning process to SCWC
Deb Nardone, 7-8 months as Clearwater Executive Director at this point.
Deb has embarked on visioning: Asking of Clearwater Board, SCWCommission, SCWAssociation, TU chapters, stakeholders: What is your vision?
She feels Clearwater has 35 years of success, another 35 brings us to 2050. What do we want to do? CC is going through the strategic planning process over the next months
Another opportunity for private input through a private survey. But she wanted to bring it up for discussion.
Deb Nardone: What excites you about Clearwater? What do we do well?
D. Hameister: Community visibility and credibility.
G. Dunne: Conservation and protection of land.
Todd Giddings: CC successfully engages partners.
Bill Sharp: Watershed Cleanup Day event; Record tonnage and volunteers this year! 82.8 tons, 571 volunteers. 6.9 million tons total accumulated over 20 years!
Judy: You’re so receptive to partnering with/assisting TU.
Don Franson: Equipment assistance with MS4 partners and your public education effort is key to our permits.
Deb Nardone: What are some challenges and opportunities for CC?
Gay Dunne: Climate change is going to be a consideration.
Steve Lyncha: To have Thompson run not look like it currently does.
Deb: There are a handful of streams that don’t meet their designated use.
Judy: That whole area was managed poorly when PSU sold off wetlands that is now a jeep dealership. That really should be reworked but ti will take a huge amout of dollars and cooperation.
Denny Hameister: We should look for sensitive areas like Thompson Run and Millbrook to make sure we are on top of them. A lot of the valley land - Cedar Run, Mackey Run, spring creek in Harris is pretty sensitive.
Judy: Vision based on learning: She moved into a new development along Spring Creek and didn’t know what she knows now. What she knows now is the development probably shouldn’t have been built so close to the stream.
For a vision she’d like to see developers build in a way that preserves this beautiful class a wild trout streams and natural resources, citing them as a main reason people move here. We should build in a way that preserves our best assets.
This awareness should run throughhout the system ( from those that regulate-Silt fences,Silt socks,Zoning violations) to those who develop and buy housing.
Janet Engemen: Thompson Run area
Judy: Youre an example for other urbanizing areas with the rain gardens!
Steve Lyncha: Get Penndot to approve these features within their right of way.
Gay: For all to be aware of the importance of sensible land use. Look at environmental concerns before pushing plans through. Seeing more evidence of recreational benefits of waterway preservation and sensible development. There is value in bringing recreational trail into Bellefonte.
Bill Sharp: An organization that will plan and direct the future, which we do not have.
Barb Fisher: Would like to see a watershed management plan including the Centre region and the county and all the townships working together. Commission can take a lead in meshing that.
Denny Hameister: Work toward a vital economy with diverse business. Stronger economy enables stronger environment.
Josh Troxell: Building on educational opportunity in a way that develops advocacy so next generation has knowledge and passion and acts on it.
Laura Dininni: A Watershed Master Plan
Deb Nardone will send Denny the link to the survey to circulate to the Commission. Deb will return in November to present the CC strategic plan.
6) Old Business
A. Spring Creek Watershed Association Report – Bill Sharp, Chair, SCWA
Dr Tim Kelsey, PSU Ag Econ., attended their meeting to discuss opportunity for collaboration with CED major and SCWA. The students meet w/ client, take on problem, research, survey, swot analysis, then produce a document. The client gives half of grade.
There are already 8 different projects related to SCW. Bill wonders how we can get access to these projects for use in the Atlas Project.
Spring Creek Watershed celebration: Last week the SCW celebration committee met to plan a celebration (September 10th, 12-3, Millbrook Marsh) for the 20th anniversary of the International Countryside Stewardship visit (1996), out of which the SCWA and SCWC were formed.
There will be a potluck and a photo display event. Please Go back to your township to see if there are posters photos 2x3 foot display. Volunteers and contributions welcome.
Bill Sharp asks for a contribution from the SCWC for $300.00 for building rental and beverages.
David Whiteman-motions for $300.00 contribution to SCWA for the SCW celebration. Steve Lyncha seconds. Motion passes unanimously.
B. Spring Creek Watershed Atlas Report
Bob Donaldson, Co-Chair of Working Group with Barb Fisher. Had a meeting of both workgroup and Association since last Commission meeting.
On the website is a new addition: A groundwater presentation Todd Giddings did for a symposium. Those that have agreed to provide productions on pages or productions for the website are Todd Giddings, Bob Carline, Bob Hazelton of CC Historical Society (Water use by old mills, ie. Millbrook), Walt Ebaugh-Geology, Bob Verig-Stream Habitat, Gary Peterson-Soils, Ryan Swistock-Forest Hydrology, Steve Swenski of Fly Fish Paradise-trout fishing, Dave Yoxtheimer Natural Resources, Matt Royer -registration and legislation. Continuing to build list.
You will also find access to the USGS hydrologic model that John Fulton put together and the Groundwater Management plan by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission.
Todd Giddings: Todd created a Groundwater presentation for their May 4 symposium.
His presentation to introduce folks to the Atlas idea was his trial run. He made a Ppt with voice over, then made video loop. He had to put on utube to get it on the Atlas website. Next month Todd will present to the SCWC various ways to preserve water systems. He will use the same method to put it on the Atlas.
Bob Donaldson: Bob May 25 is next meeting (on a Wed. instead of Thurs.) Patton Twp. library.
C. Update on AmeriCorp - Deb Nardone (See 5. Educational Topic)
7) New Business – SCWC 20th Anniversary events, Bill Sharp & Planning Committee (see Old Business)
8) Other Business - None.
9) A) Financial Report & Vouchers – The financial for April 2016, Balance $23,956.69. Payment - $50.00, Cristin Mitchell – note taker for March. Bill MacMath motions to accept. Gay Dunne seconds. Passes unanimously.
B) Once around the Watershed –
Patton: Moving earth around - Waddle project.
Potter: Lake is half full. Fish habitat is already covered. Seeing wildlife come back to the lake. North side is open. South side still unavailable. Looking at creating a trail around the lake.
1. Mt. Nittany Conservancy is looking at Mt Lynch overlook to address erosion issues.
2. Leadership CC environment day was hosted by College Twp.- Covered hydrologic cycle groundwater, consumption, discharges, stormwater management, toured UAJA, Millbrook, Musser and UVC Theater 12 on Shiloh.
3. Kissinger Meadows riparian buffer planting has occurred: Park and Rec, UAJA, College CC Conservation district
Bellefonte: Waterfront is almost done. Dunlop St., behind waterfront development we are putting in a mostly pedestrian walkway with service road component for deliveries. Began making preliminary plans for installing a butterfly garden in Tallyrand Park which will be a satellite garden for the Snetsinger Garden and ultimately geographically link those butterflies.
Ferguson: Still working on Sourcewater Protection Overlay. We are moving sewer out of the Suburban Park runoff channel and planting a riparian buffer
State College: We are planting trees (which help with stormwater management among other things).
C) Remaining meetings – The following dates remain for 2016: June 15, July 20, September 21, October 19, and November 16
D) C-NET Air Times - This meeting can be viewed on Channel 7 (CGTV) on the following days/times
-Tuesday May 24, 8:30 PM
-Wednesday May 25, 10:00 AM
-Thursday May 26, 2:00 PM
-Saturday May 28, 12:00 AM & 8:00 AM
Thank you to State College Borough for sponsoring the airing of this meeting.
Motion to adjourn: Bill MacMath
Second: Gay Dunne